Science is both empirical, and an art of verification. Ideas in science are ascertained through systematic methods referred to as Scientific methods. The building blocks of scientific study include observations, concepts, facts, hypotheses, measurements, experiments, variables, models, theories and laws.
These form the foundation upon which any idea is built progressively through various stages until it becomes a ‘universal’ truth.These building blocks are discussed thus:OBSERVATIONS: these could be unintentional or intentional [in relation to an experiment]. It is the conscious sensual [especially visual] investigation of a phenomenon or a set of phenomena; it is usually at attempt that initiates data collection for processing in order to generate an idea. Most discoveries started with this stage of scientific study where the scientists simple observe environmental changes or changes in the physical and chemical components of the environments. Observations are prompt by changes or an unresolved issue. Its natural history could be sudden or gradual. It includes identification of a problem which would be resolved by the ‘emerging’ idea.HYPOTHESIS: is a reasonable but untested proposition based on an observation; it could take the form of a mathematical model or and existential statement.
It is a way of juxtaposing the available idea with the new. What prompts any idea is observed pattern or regularity or irregularity that has not hitherto been noticed by others. For this observation to become acceptable, it is explained within the limits of available facts in certain well-chosen concepts. It can be confirmed true and adopted as theory or law, or debunked and dismissed.FACTS: For every idea that is new, there is an already existing associated thought.
These ‘associated thoughts’ include the avalanche of information that is currently available on the focus of discussion or discovery. These facts could either confirm promote the observation and further thought it around it, or do otherwise. They generate the variables required for measurements.CONCEPTS: to explain the observation or the ‘emerging’ idea, concepts need be developed. These include the main words or targets options would be used for the characterization of the hypothesis.DEFINITIONS: for the purpose of clarity, the subject or focus of explanation is well-defined. Concepts related to it are also equally defined.EXPERIMENTS: The scientist is particularly interested in confirmation of the proposed idea or hypotheses.
After formulating a hypothesis, predictions are made by the scientist. The prediction guides the interpretation of the outcome of the experiment. The aim of the experiment is to confirm the veracity of the hypothesis.VARIABLES: these include the means of measurements during the experimental procedure to determine the validity of the proposed explanation. They are the factors for deriving a relationship between existing ideas and the ‘emerging’ one. These scientific measurements are organized into data to make sense of them; this requires use of statistical tools such as graphs, tables, maps, measures of central tendency and deviations.
INTERPRETATION: If the test results contradict the predictions, the hypothesis is re-examined. However, if the results confirm the predictions, the hypothesis is considered likely to be ascertained true and thus subjected to further testing.FURTHER TESTING: The hypothesis is subjected series of further testing. If it is convincingly found true, it becomes acceptable as a theory. This is also subjected to rigorous series of tests, and if found to be true beyond all doubts, the theory becomes a Law.This is the sequence that events of scientific study follows: an idea emerges and passes through the aforementioned stages to become or be proven wrong and dropped or becomes acceptable into mainstream science as true and verified as an extension of knowledge.MODELS: These involve the way the idea becomes incorporated into existing ones; it creates the pathway for the penetration. The observation leads to questions and uncertainties which aretested until a degree of certainty is reached.
It could be classical or pragmatic. The aim is to be able to create how the theory can convenient fit into real life situations, as they are.The Scientist observes; he has a high index of suspicion. Because of this, he identifies an unresolved mystery suddenly or progressively.
Then, he set forward to confirm this within the limits of available evidence provided by facts. He searches available facts to arrive at a relationship between existing details and the ‘emerging’ idea. He provides a reasonable explanation for his finding [hypothesis], which is subjected to series of tests in order to arrive at a logical conclusion. This verification is tedious and long: if the experiments conclusively confirm the associated predictions of the hypothesis, it is accepted as a theory.
This is subjected to further scrutiny over time and by different people until it can become acceptable as a Law. However, it the test results do not confirm the validity of the idea within the limits of available evidence, it may be discarded. The scientist is also interested in making this discovery available to other colleagues who can add to the growing arguments and counterarguments on the subject.Models are created to provide the needed certainty and also for ease of incorporation of the theory into mainstream knowledge.REFERENCESBeveridge, William I.
B., The Art of Scientific InvestigationBernstein, Richard J., Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis, 1983.
Brody, Baruch A. and Grandy, Richard E., Readings in the Philosophy of Science, 1989.Burks, Arthur W., Chance, Cause, Reason — an Inquiry into the Nature of Scientific Evidence 1977.Poincaré, Henri, Science and Hypothesis, 1905,