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Science College, General Science Dept

What is the scientific method?

The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

To explain the above easier, we might say the steps are:
  1. Study part of your world for a while (i.e. butterflies)
  2. Make an educated guess from what you observed (butterflies visit flowers to drink nectar)
  3. Test your guess with experiments. If your guess is proven wrong, come up with another educated guess.
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your guess seems to fully explain what you see. Then your guess is called a "theory", or a tested guess.

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