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WEBQUEST: THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

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According to Pinoy Henyo….

According to Pinoy Henyo….

part of learning....

“Let us ask these pinoy henyo on what is the answer about the question:”

What is scientific method?

aztigzjay said:

Scientific method refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce biased interpretations of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

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jazz_up00013 said:

Scientific Method, term denoting the principles that guide scientific research and experimentation, and also the philosophic bases of those principles. Whereas philosophy in general is concerned with the why as well as the how of things, science occupies itself with the latter question only, but in a scrupulously rigorous manner. The era of modern science is generally considered to have begun with the Renaissance, but the rudiments of the scientific approach to knowledge can be observed throughout human history.

Definitions of scientific method use such concepts as objectivity of approach to and acceptability of the results of scientific study. Objectivity indicates the attempt to observe things as they are, without falsifying observations to accord with some preconceived world view. Acceptability is judged in terms of the degree to which observations and experimentations can be reproduced. Scientific method also involves the interplay of inductive reasoning (reasoning from specific observations and experiments to more general hypotheses and theories) and deductive reasoning (reasoning from theories to account for specific experimental results). By such reasoning processes, science attempts to develop the broad laws—such as Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation—that become part of our understanding of the natural world.

Science has tremendous scope, however, and its many separate disciplines can differ greatly in terms of subject matter and the possible ways of studying that subject matter. No single path to discovery exists in science, and no one clear-cut description can be given that accounts for all the ways in which scientific truth is pursued. One of the early writers on scientific method, the English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon, wrote in the early 17th century that a tabulation of a sufficiently large number of observations of nature would lead to theories accounting for those operations—the method of inductive reasoning. At about the same time, however, the French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes was attempting to account for observed phenomena on the basis of what he called clear and distinct ideas—the method of deductive reasoning.

A closer approach to the method commonly used by physical scientists today was that followed by Galileo in his study of falling bodies. Observing that heavy objects fall with increasing speed, he formulated the hypothesis that the speed attained is directly proportional to the distance traversed. Being unable to test this directly, he deduced from his hypothesis the conclusion that objects falling unequal distances require the same amount of elapsed time. This was a false conclusion, and hence, logically, the first hypothesis was false. Therefore Galileo framed a new hypothesis: that the speed attained is directly proportional to the time elapsed, not the distance traversed. From this he was able to infer that the distance traversed by a falling object is proportional to the square of the time elapsed, and this hypothesis he was able to verify experimentally by rolling balls down an inclined plane.

Such agreement of a conclusion with an actual observation does not itself prove the correctness of the hypothesis from which the conclusion is derived. It simply renders the premise that much more plausible. The ultimate test of the validity of a scientific hypothesis is its consistency with the totality of other aspects of the scientific framework. This inner consistency constitutes the basis for the concept of causality in science, according to which every effect is assumed to be linked with a cause.

Scientists, like other human beings, may individually be swayed by some prevailing worldview to look for certain experimental results rather than others, or to “intuit” some broad theory that they then seek to prove. The scientific community as a whole, however, judges the work of its members by the objectivity and rigor with which that work has been conducted; in this way the scientific method prevails.
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cuteabby said:

The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way.

Just as it does for a professional scientist, the scientific method will help you to focus your science fair project question, construct a hypothesis, design, execute, and evaluate your experiment.

OBSERVATION Find out everything you can about the problem being investigated.
HYPOTHESIS An explanation that would explain the observations. The hypothesis should state or imply a prediction that can be tested.
Test Hypothesis Test with a controlled experiment or by further observations.
Conclusion Determine the validity of the hypothesis.

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Another approach about Scientific Method

Scientific Method

Scientific Method is a term denoting the principles that guide scientific research and experimentation, and also the philosophic basis of those principles. Whereas philosophy in general is concerned with the why as well as the how of things, science occupies itself with the latter question only, but in a scrupulously rigorous manner. The era of modern science is generally considered to have begun with the Renaissance, but the rudiments of the scientific approach to knowledge can be observed throughout human history.

Definitions of scientific method use such concepts as objectivity of approach to and acceptability of the results of scientific study. Objectivity indicates the attempt to observe things as they are, without falsifying observations to accord with some preconceived world view. Acceptability is judged in terms of the degree to which observations and experimentations can be reproduced. Scientific method also involves the interplay of inductive reasoning (reasoning from specific observations and experiments to more general hypotheses and theories) and deductive reasoning (reasoning from theories to account for specific experimental results). By such reasoning processes, science attempts to develop the broad laws—such as Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation—that become part of our understanding of the natural world.

Science has tremendous scope, however, and its many separate disciplines can differ greatly in terms of subject matter and the possible ways of studying that subject matter. No single path to discovery exists in science, and no one clear-cut description can be given that accounts for all the ways in which scientific truth is pursued. One of the early writers on scientific method, the English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon, wrote in the early 17th century that a tabulation of a sufficiently large number of observations of nature would lead to theories accounting for those operations—the method of inductive reasoning. At about the same time, however, the French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes was attempting to account for observed phenomena on the basis of what he called clear and distinct ideas—the method of deductive reasoning.

A closer approach to the method commonly used by physical scientists today was that followed by Galileo in his study of falling bodies. Observing that heavy objects fall with increasing speed, he formulated the hypothesis that the speed attained is directly proportional to the distance traversed. Being unable to test this directly, he deduced from his hypothesis the conclusion that objects falling unequal distances require the same amount of elapsed time. This was a false conclusion, and hence, logically, the first hypothesis was false. Therefore Galileo framed a new hypothesis: that the speed attained is directly proportional to the time elapsed, not the distance traversed. From this he was able to infer that the distance traversed by a falling object is proportional to the square of the time elapsed, and this hypothesis he was able to verify experimentally by rolling balls down an inclined plane.

Such agreement of a conclusion with an actual observation does not itself prove the correctness of the hypothesis from which the conclusion is derived. It simply renders the premise that much more plausible. The ultimate test of the validity of a scientific hypothesis is its consistency with the totality of other aspects of the scientific framework. This inner consistency constitutes the basis for the concept of causality in science, according to which every effect is assumed to be linked with a cause.

Scientists, like other human beings, may individually be swayed by some prevailing worldview to look for certain experimental results rather than others, or to “intuit” some broad theory that they then seek to prove. The scientific community as a whole, however, judges the work of its members by the objectivity and rigor with which that work has been conducted; in this way the scientific method prevails.

WHAT IS  A HYPOTHESIS?

Hypothesis is a preliminary assumption or tentative explanation that accounts for a set of facts, taken to be true for the purpose of investigation and testing; a theory.

The Scientific Method is a systematic approach to research. The philosophy of this empiricist approach is described in Western Philosophy: Pragmatism. Various methods of obtaining data are used; see Research Techniques for examples.

Hypothesis formation is discussed in Psychology: Methods of Research.

Falsifiability is the most important feature of hypothesis testing. Methods of testing (falsifying) hypotheses include Dialectic, Logic,

Some famous hypotheses:

• in astronomy and cosmology: the Big Bang Theory, the Steady-State Theory, and the Copernican System
• in the life sciences: the theory of Natural Selection, Conditioning, and Behaviorism
• in earth sciences: Continental Drift, the asteroid theory of Dinosaur Extinction, and the rival theories of Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism
• in physics: the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the quest for a Unified Field Theory
• in mathematics, computer and information sciences: Theory of Equations, Automata Theory, Game Theory, and Decision Theory.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

More about Scientific Method

Why is the sea salty? Why can’t saltwater fish survive in fresh water? What do plants need to survive? How can we solve air pollution? These are just few of the endless questions we ask about the natural world. Just like us, scientists ask questions about the natural events but they do more than ask questions. They use techniques and equipment to gather all the information needed to answer these questions. In solving problems, scientists follow a set of organized steps known as the SCIENTIFIC METHOD…

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

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One day while dressing you notices a brown spot on your favorite shirt. Your problem now is how to remove the stain from the shirt without damaging it. How would you solve your problem? You think that few drops of calamansi juice will remove the stain. You put a few drops of calamansi juice but the stain remains. Then you decide to try a brand of stain remover. If the stain is removed without damaging the shirt then your problem is solved. If the stain remover doesn’t work, you will have to try another solution. We may not be aware that sometimes we solve problems in a manner similar to the scientific method.

1.  OBSERVATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM

Observation is the basis for all scientific investigations. You notice something and wonder why it happens. You see something and wonder what causes it. You want to know the “why” and or the “how” of the things that you see, smell, hear, taste, or feel. You ask questions about what you have observed. Suppose you observe that your neighbor’s plants produces more flowers while yours produce very few. Based on your observation, you state the problem to be solved. The problem is usually stated in a question form—what causes plants to produce more flowers?

2.   GATHERING INFORMATION

After identifying your problem, you gather relevant information about the problem. For example you may ask your neighbor how he cares for his plants. He may tell you that one factor that induces flowering of his plants is a regular dose of certain fertilizer (Brand X). You may have also read or watched advertisements stating that Brand X fertilizer causes plants to produce more flowers. You may have also interview people who have used the fertilizer.

3.  FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS

Based on your initial observation and gathered information, you formulate your own hypothesis. A hypothesis is a proposed solution to the problem. It is a prediction that can be tested through experiment. It may start with the word “perhaps” or “maybe”. Fort example, “perhaps plants treated with Brand X fertilizer will produce more flowers than plants without fertilizer.” A hypothesis can also be stated in an “If…then” format.  For example, “if plants are given Brand X fertilizer, then they will produce more flowers than the plants without fertilizer”.

4.  HYPOTHESIS TESTING/EXPERIMENTATION

Tests done to produce data or evidence that either supports or refutes the hypothesis are called “experiments”. An experiment has at least two variables. The “variables” refers to a factor that changes or varies. The effect of one variable is tested at a time. The condition that is manipulated is called the “independent variable or experimental variable”. The condition or factor that changes as a result of manipulating the independent variable is called the “dependent variable”. In our example, Brand X fertilizer is the independent variable and the production of flowers is the dependent variable. All other factors or conditions that kept the same during an experiment conducted are called “constant”.

5.  CONCLUSION

Analyze and interpret the data collected on your observation. From the data, draw your conclusion. Then compare your conclusion with the hypothesis. Does it prove or contradict your hypothesis? Is there evidence that plants treated with Brand X fertilizer produced more flowers? If the data supports the hypothesis or does not prove it to be false, then the hypothesis is accepted. On the other hand, if the data do not support the hypothesis, the hypothesis is then rejected.

ANALYZATION BETWEEN HYPOTHESIS,

THEORY & SCIENTIFIC LAW

A hypothesis is either supported or refuted by a single experiment. When scientists test the hypothesis over and over again, and it is not proven to be false, it may be accepted as a theory. A theory explains things or events based on many observations. For example, the theory of natural selection states that “organisms with traits that are suited to the environment have a better chance of surviving and reproducing than organisms that are not suited.” It has been accepted as a theory because many conclusions and observations from experiment support it. Theories, however, can change as scientists come up with new information. For instance, the theory of abiogenesis—life comes from nonlife– has been popular for hundreds of years until the seventeenth century. The theory was primarily based on people’s observation. Scientists began to question the idea and performed experiments to test it. New observations and conclusions did not agree with the theory of abiogenesis. As a result, this theory was dropped and a new theory was formed: the theory of biogenesis –life comes from life.

A Scientific Law explains how nature works. It is based on vast amount of information. Many scientific theories also explain a law. For example, the Law of Segregation which states that genes in a pair separate during the formation of gametes is supported by the theories, such as the Gene Theory, and the Chromosome Theory.

Reference: Phoenix Next Century

Biology

Susana Barzabal dela Cruz

Sr. Mercedes E. Salud, SFIC

Project Director

Add Something New From the Experts


ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD

by Percy W. Bridgman (From: Reflections of a Physicist, 1955)

It seems to me that there is a good deal of ballyhoo about scientific method. I venture to think that the people who talk most about it are the people who do least about it. Scientific method is what working scientists do, not what other people or even they themselves may say about it. No working scientist, when he plans an experiment in the laboratory, asks himself whether he is being properly scientific, nor is he interested in whatever method he may be using as method. When the scientist ventures to criticize the work of his fellow scientist, as is not uncommon, he does not base his criticism on such glittering generalities as failure to follow the “scientific method,” but his criticism is specific, based on some feature characteristic of the particular situation. The working scientist is always too much concerned with getting down to brass tacks to be willing to spend his time on generalities.

Scientific method is something talked about by people standing on the outside and wondering how the scientist manages to do it. These people have been able to uncover various generalities applicable to at least most of what the scientist does, but it seems to me that these generalities are not very profound, and could have been anticipated by anyone who know enough about scientists to know what is their primary objective. I think that the objectives of all scientists have this in common–that they are all trying to get the correct answer to the particular problem in hand. This may be expressed in more pretentious language as the pursuit of truth. Now if the answer to the problem is correct there must be some way of knowing and proving that it is correct–the very meaning of truth implies the possibility of checking or verification. Hence the necessity for checking his results always inheres in what the scientist does. Furthermore, this checking must be exhaustive, for the truth of a general proposition may be disproved by a single exceptional case. A long experience has shown the scientist that various things are inimical to getting the correct answer. He has found that it is not sufficient to trust the word of his neighbor, but that if he wants to be sure, he must be able to check a result for himself. Hence the scientist is the enemy of all authoritarianism. Furthermore, he finds that he often makes mistakes himself and he must learn how to guard against them. He cannot permit himself any preconception as to what sort of results he will get, nor must he allow himself to be influenced by wishful thinking or any personal bias. All these things together give that “objectivity” to science which is often thought to be the essence of the scientific method.

But to the working scientist himself all this appears obvious and trite. What appears to him as the essence of the situation is that he is not consciously following any prescribed course of action, but feels complete freedom to utilize any method or device whatever which in the particular situation before him seems likely to yield the correct answer. In his attack on his specific problem he suffers no inhibitions of precedent or authority, but is completely free to adopt any course that his ingenuity is capable of suggesting to him. No one standing on the outside can predict what the individual scientist will do or what method he will follow. In short, science is what scientists do, and there are as many scientific methods as there are individual scientists.


This document is a copy of one found on Bob Curtis’s Physics Page.

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Let us solve problems through SCIENTIFIC METHOD:

INVESTIGATE….

THE WORLD OF SCIENCE!!

Problem/ Question: How does sunlight affect the growth of plant?

Data & information:

Plants need sunlight. Houseplants lean toward the Sun, and if they do not get enough light they wither and die. Plants use sunlight to make their food. This process is called photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is a scientific word made up from Greek words. These words mean “putting things together using light.”

Inside plants’ leaves, light causes air and water to combine to make new chemicals. These chemicals are food for the plants.

In most plants, photosynthesis takes place mainly in the leaves. Like other living things, plants are made up of tiny cells. The cells in a plant’s leaves contain even smaller, disc-shaped parts called chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are the food factories where photosynthesis happens. A leaf the size of your little fingernail contains more than 10 million of them.

Chloroplasts contain chemical called chlorophyll, which is bright green. Chlorophyll gives plants their green color and makes photosynthesis work.

For photosynthesis to work, the chloroplasts need to collect three ingredients: sunlight, air, and water. Sunlight shines on the leaf, and the green chlorophyll inside the chloroplasts soaks it up. Air enters the leaf through tiny holes in the leaf’s surface, called stomata. Water is sucked from the ground by the plant’s roots. It travels through tubes in the stem or trunk to the leaves.

When all three ingredients are present inside the chloroplasts, a chemical reaction takes place. The reaction takes place between a gas in air called carbon dioxide and hydrogen, a part of water. Sunlight causes these two to combine and make new chemicals called carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are plant food. Plants use these chemicals to live and grow.

SOURCE: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Hypothesis: 1.Without the use of sunlight carbohydrates cannot be formed, thus, the reaction would not be complete and there would be no food for the plant.

2. With the absence of one main ingredient (sunlight) photosynthesis cannot takes place. There would be no sunlight that will shines on the leaf, there would be no more inside the chloroplasts to be soaked up.

3. With the absence of sunlight plants cannot grow healthy.

4. Without the enough sunlight plants mat wither and die.

Experiments: Trial & error.

We are going to have two different set-ups. Plant A would be place inside a box, with the absence of sunlight. Plant B would be place outside the house with sufficient amount of sunlight.

After a week we observed the effect of sunlight the growth and development of the plants.

Plant A, which is place inside the box wither and die. Due to the absence of the sunlight Photosynthesis never takes place. Because as photosynthesis means,”putting things together using light,” meaning without the use of sunlight other ingredients for the reaction of photosynthesis cannot takes place.

While Plant B, with sufficient amount of sunlight grow healthy because the reaction takes place between a gases in air called carbon dioxide and hydrogen, a part of water. Sunlight causes these two to combine and make new chemicals called carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are plant food. Plants use these chemicals to live and grow.

Conclusion: Therefore, it only proves that sunlight has a great effect in the reaction taking place inside the chloroplast. And without sunlight plants can’t live nor grow to the fullest.

June 11, 2009

Understanding ‘SCIENTIFIC METHOD’

Scientific Method is a term denoting the principles that guide scientific research and experimentation, and also the philosophic bases of those principles. Whereas philosophy in general is concerned with the why as well as the how of things, science occupies itself with the latter question only, but in a scrupulously rigorous manner. The era of modern science is generally considered to have begun with the Renaissance, but the rudiments of the scientific approach to knowledge can be observed throughout human history.

Definitions of scientific method use such concepts as objectivity of approach to and acceptability of the results of scientific study. Objectivity indicates the attempt to observe things as they are, without falsifying observations to accord with some preconceived world view. Acceptability is judged in terms of the degree to which observations and experimentations can be reproduced. Scientific method also involves the interplay of inductive reasoning (reasoning from specific observations and experiments to more general hypotheses and theories) and deductive reasoning (reasoning from theories to account for specific experimental results). By such reasoning processes, science attempts to develop the broad laws—such as Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation—that become part of our understanding of the natural world.

Science has tremendous scope, however, and its many separate disciplines can differ greatly in terms of subject matter and the possible ways of studying that subject matter. No single path to discovery exists in science, and no one clear-cut description can be given that accounts for all the ways in which scientific truth is pursued. One of the early writers on scientific method, the English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon, wrote in the early 17th century that a tabulation of a sufficiently large number of observations of nature would lead to theories accounting for those operations—the method of inductive reasoning. At about the same time, however, the French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes was attempting to account for observed phenomena on the basis of what he called clear and distinct ideas—the method of deductive reasoning.

A closer approach to the method commonly used by physical scientists today was that followed by Galileo in his study of falling bodies. Observing that heavy objects fall with increasing speed, he formulated the hypothesis that the speed attained is directly proportional to the distance traversed. Being unable to test this directly, he deduced from his hypothesis the conclusion that objects falling unequal distances require the same amount of elapsed time. This was a false conclusion, and hence, logically, the first hypothesis was false. Therefore Galileo framed a new hypothesis: that the speed attained is directly proportional to the time elapsed, not the distance traversed. From this he was able to infer that the distance traversed by a falling object is proportional to the square of the time elapsed, and this hypothesis he was able to verify experimentally by rolling balls down an inclined plane.

Such agreement of a conclusion with an actual observation does not itself prove the correctness of the hypothesis from which the conclusion is derived. It simply renders the premise that much more plausible. The ultimate test of the validity of a scientific hypothesis is its consistency with the totality of other aspects of the scientific framework. This inner consistency constitutes the basis for the concept of causality in science, according to which every effect is assumed to be linked with a cause.

Scientists, like other human beings, may individually be swayed by some prevailing worldview to look for certain experimental results rather than others, or to “intuit” some broad theory that they then seek to prove. The scientific community as a whole, however, judges the work of its members by the objectivity and rigor with which that work has been conducted; in this way the scientific method prevails.

Scientific Method in Action

The scientific method involves the interplay of theory and experimentation. Modern scientists use a variety of advanced technologies, such as high-powered microscopes, to perform research and test their findings.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.