Discovering Facts and the Truth – Experimental Evidence vs. “Science”


The term “science” is largely a journalistic shorthand term.  The idea that there is a universal set of behaviors used by scientists is a comfortable pop culture idea but mainly a strawman.  It has been reified by the so-called, “philosophers of science*” and opponents of evidence-based knowledge and those defending subjectivity, solipism and anti-science folks of all stripes.

In fact, there are a whole variety of behaviors to collect and test experiments and data.  These change along with technology.  The common behavior seems experimental work, data collection and testing.

Here is a further clarification:

“…the classic presentation of “The Scientific Method” in the classroom is misleading.  That presentation usually goes like this: concoct hypothesis—> test hypothesis —>support or reject hypothesis based on test.

But not all science is done like that. For example, facts usually precede hypotheses, at least in biology (Darwin often used that method to concoct his theories).  And much good science can be done without any hypotheses at all.

“The only thing in common among all “scientific methods” is that they use empirical tools and rationality to find out the nature of reality, and produce conclusions that can be empirically checked by others. In the case of theoretical work, that usually involves producing results that either are testable or might someday be testable by empirical methods.”

Link to source

*”…scientists do what they do, by and large, without the input from academic philosophers—especially those who analyze what the “scientific method” entails.”

If philosophy is useful, why is there no philosophy of engineering, surgery or piloting jet aircraft?



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