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Science, everyone talks about it.  Very few do anything about it.

Well that's a shame, given how simple the "Scientific Method" really is ...

How the Scientific Method Works
by William Harris -

Scientific Method Steps


Step 1: Make an observation   [...]

Step 2: Ask a question  [...]

Step 3: Formulate a hypothesis  

The great thing about a question is that it yearns for an answer, and the next step in the scientific method is to suggest a possible answer in the form of a hypothesis. A hypothesis is often defined as an educated guess because it is almost always informed by what you already know about a topic. For example, if you wanted to study the air-resistance problem stated above, you might already have an intuitive sense that a car shaped like a bird would reduce air resistance more effectively than a car shaped like a box. You could use that intuition to help formulate your hypothesis.

Notice that there are two important qualities about a hypothesis expressed as an "if … then" statement. First, it is testable; an experiment could be set up to test the validity of the statement. Second, it is falsifiable; an experiment could be devised that might reveal that such an idea is not true. If these two qualities are not met, then the question being asked cannot be addressed using the scientific method.

Step 4: Conduct an experiment

Many people think of an experiment as something that takes place in a lab. While this can be true, experiments don't have to involve laboratory workbenches, Bunsen burners or test tubes. They do, however, have to be set up to test a specific hypothesis and they must be controlled. Controlling an experiment means controlling all of the variables so that only a single variable is studied. The independent variable is the one that's controlled and manipulated by the experimenter, whereas the dependent variable is not.

Step 5: Analyze data and draw a conclusion

And you thought all that science stuff was hard.

Here's a slightly different -- more user-friendly -- take on what the Scientific Method is all about. This site has a colorful flowchart of the process too.

Science Buddies

Steps of the Scientific Method

The steps of the scientific method are to:

 -- Ask a Question
 -- Do Background Research
 -- Construct a Hypothesis
 -- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
 -- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
 -- Communicate Your Results


Construct a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work:

"If __[I do this] __, then __[this]__ will happen."

You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure, and of course, your hypothesis should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question.

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: Once your experiment is complete, you collect your measurements and analyze them to see if your hypothesis is true or false.

OK, that's not so bad ... let do some "practical science" ... shall we?

Remember the formula for constructing "your Theory of the way things work":

"If __[I do this] __, then __[this]__ will happen."

Here are some "Hypotheses" (ie Theories) worthy of further testing ... perhaps even worthy of some re-evaluation, given the latest evidence we've all observed?

If I go to college and get a degree, then I will be able to get a good job.

If I work hard and play by the rules, then I will eventually be have a secure future.

If we bail out Wall Street Banks, then they will lend out money to spur the Economy.

If we give even more Tax Cuts to the Job Creators, then they will create more American Jobs.

-- Dare we "draw any {revised} conclusions" about these commonly accepted Social Contract Theories, which govern so much of life in America?

Here's another "Hypothesis" currently being tested, by American citizens, and by citizens around the world:

If we Occupy the streets and parks around the Country, then Politicians will have to reevaluate their SOPs on how they govern.

[Note:  SOPs = Standard Operation Procedures]

Follow up question:  

How can the inevitable "re-evaluation" of our established Governing assumptions, be turned into actual operational changes, which are beneficial for the vast majority of citizens?   (... Instead of just the relative few, as they are now?)

ie. Who will be the ones "Drawing the new Conclusions" -- to replace the old one?  ... if ever, whenever that "re-evaluation" time eventually comes ...

Will we end up living in a True (or False) assumptions, world?

One more "generally accepted hypothesis", worthy of keeping in mind when the treadmill of life gets you down. Courtesy of one of the greatest scientific minds, that humanity has known yet:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

-- Albert Einstein

Challenging Assumptions, especially when it's plainly obvious, that they no longer hold true, is the very sign of what it means -- to be Intelligent Human beings.

Build those new Hypotheses wisely, people ... Humanity is depending on it.

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