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What are the properties of scientific inquiry?

My definition, though I'm sure there are others, is that science is a method of systematically finding ways to explain what happens in the world around us.

There are a few characteristics that are true of science:

  • The thing being studied must be testable. If you want to study whether God exists, you need some objective way of testing this in order for your study to be scientific.

  • Data must be collected. When you perform an experiment, you need to collect information in some systematic fashion that will make sense to outsiders who are neutral or hostile to your hypothesis.

  • The experiment must be reproducible. The results of one experiment are considered meaningless to scientists. It's only when something has been verified and reverified that something has credibility.

  • The experimenter should approach the problem assuming that their hypothesis could be right or wrong. If you go into an experiment believing that something will or should happen, you can be sure that's what you'll observe even if it's not true.

  • Thinking isn't data. Data is something you must observe, not something that you've deduced form reasoning.

  • Experimental error should be assumed to exist in all experiments and planned for whenever possible.

Again, I'm sure there are other things people would say about science, but this sounds good to me.


Well written but only 5 principles can be found on this site http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-science-inquiry-based

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