The Gospel According to the Scientific Method

In the beginning

My first encounter with the scientific method was in grade 4. Purpose? Check. Hypothesis? Check. Procedure? Check. Results and possible sources of error? Check. Conclusion? Check. Congratulations!  You’ve just done science! The approach seemed elegant and had rigour. Scientific rigour, if you will. The beauty of it all was that an 8 year old can grasp it.

Flash forward to the present. I hear phrases such as, “Oh, I don’t buy the results of that study” or its equally-evil twin, “Yeah, it’s true. I read it somewhere.” Do you see what I see? Alack! A lack of understanding of the tenets of the scientific method. Or perhaps some laziness in speech — that is more forgivable.  However, it often seems as though it is the former.

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