What is the Scientific Method?

The scientific method is used in science as a means of gaining understanding about the physical universe. There are differences of opinion on exactly what the scientific method is, but basically it consists of the following main parts.

  1. Observation--a perception, viewing of a phenomena.
  2. Hypothesis--a proposed explanation is developed to account what has been observed.
  3. Experimentation--tests are developed to validate or invalidate the hypothesis.
  4. Prediction--after tests and validation of the hypothesis, predictions are made based upon the evidence gathered in experimentation. 
  5. Theory--a theory is based upon a hypothesis, verified by testing, and is generally accepted as being an accurate explanation of  phenomena.

So, with the scientific method, people attempt to understand something sufficiently to reproduce an event and/or accurately predict an event.

The exact order of the steps is fluid, but generally the scientific method is the process used to understand phenomena through developing a hypothesis, experimentation, and learning, so that we are able to predict the phenomena again. This means the phenomena is understood.

 

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