The Nature of Science

(Modified from: Moore, J. A. 1990. Science as a Way of Knowing-- VII. Amer. Zool. 30: 858.)

  1. Goal of science is the obtaining and systematizing of knowledge of natural phenomena.
  2. The domain of science is that part of nature not solely restricted to the human mind.
  3. The basis of all science is the accurate description of natural phenomena.
  4. The experimental method for determining causal relations involves altering one condition (independent variable), while keeping all others constant (controlled variables), and noting the outcome (dependent variable). The results must be reproducible.
  5. The scientific questions asked at any one time depend on available knowledge, resources, and the intellectual and social climate.
  6. One of the standard ways for obtaining verifiable information is by the question-hypothesis-deduction-test procedures, or thehypothetico-deductive method. Scientific hypotheses are: 1) predictive and 2) testable (falsifiable).
  7. The statements of science are those that have not been falsified.
  8. The art of discovery is the ability to see relationships among disparate phenomena.
  9. Science is a self-correcting enterprise, which means that over time its statements become evermore probable.
  10. The synthesis of scientific information involves uniting isolated observations and hypotheses as conceptual schemes or theories.
  11. Complex phenomena can be better understood in terms of simpler phenomena but simpler phenomena have limited usefulness in predicting more complex phenomena.
  12. Scientist are human beings, involved in a social enterprise.

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