The Scientific Method

I have learned about the scientific method since grade school. I have used it to conduct different scientific experiments. However, I’ve only seen the scientific method in one form and have never really questioned it. Anderson’s article questions the scientific method that I learned and shows that there is no set scientific method. He first states the theory of logical empiricism. It argues that “no number of empirical tests can ever guarantee the truth of universal statements.” It only believe in “gradually increasing confirmation.” The logical empiricism method begins with questions from experiences. On the other hand, the falsificationism theory begins when an experience conflicts with an existing theory. I found the different methods of determining scientific questions very interesting. I never thought about how I arrived at questions about which to conduct scientific experiments.


Also, I found the marketing of science extremely interesting. In my other class, we discussed the importance of culture and how different cultures have different ideas about groups of people and traditions. Different cultures respond to different groups of people in different ways . This same idea is expressed in the idea that different social groups respond to scientific theories in different ways. Anderson mentions that the class interests, social acceptability of the results, presentation, and social cost of the theory can all influence the response of the public. I think that it implies that scientists should conduct their experiments and present their findings in certain ways to convince different social groups of their results. If the people do not believe their results, then nothing will change.

2 Responses to The Scientific Method

  1. I definitely agree with Meredith in that I’ve about the scientific method since grade school, but have never really employed it in my thinking, except for when conducting an experiment. While I see your point about how Anderson argues against the “strict” definition of the scientific method, I disagree and think that there is clearly a set scientific method, but that no one thinks in terms of the steps of the scientific method. Almost involuntarily, an experimenter’s thoughts will jump from question to solution.

  2. Meredith, I think you bring up a very interesting point. As we grow up, the way we learn about, and perceive the scientific method is bound to change. As well, your point about different cultural perspectives brings to light many discussion points. In class, we discussed how “science” is an incredibly loose term. How do people from various cultures define science? Does the scientific method exist to all people? Do all people apply it in the same way? These are questions that would be very interesting to consider when studying the definition and application of the scientific method in various cultures.

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