Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On Good Science

Good Science is the pursuit of knowledge derived from questioning. It is science that looks at a phenomenon and attempts to elucidate its workings through rational thought and empirical investigation. It strives to be as objective as possible in its process. Conclusions are eventually drawn following the thorough analysis of evidence but the conclusions must not extend beyond the assumptions that so defined the research.

There is no single scientific method but there are broad procedures that extend from the initial observation, through hypothesis to the investigation, analysis and the subsequent conclusion(s) for any inquiry.

Scientists are not guardians of truth, but agents of clarification that peel away the fog of noise in an attempt to model more accurately the workings of the world. They are of course free to philosophize and speculate about the significance of their findings (something I call the extended objective) but these speculations should not overwrite (or even overextend) the mandate of their original research.

Scientists must understand the limits of their findings which ultimately calls for an appreciation of the boundaries of their respective disciplines. Science is not a religion, nor should it be vaunted a such, however it is the best tool that we humans have of understanding the material world. It is indeed very powerful but it is ultimately confined to the milieu of matter/energy.
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