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Unit 1 Lesson 1A The Scientific Method
1. Through research, scientists seek to explain natural phenomenon and solve
the natural mysteries of the Earth. Over the years, the scientific community
has developed and organized a logical approach to scientific reasoning and
research called the scientific method. This process of systematic reasoning
consists of a set or sequential steps that are guides to specific problem
solving.
2. The first step in the process of the scientific method is the identification of a
problem. In order to understand if a problem can be resolved through a logical
thinking process, a scientist must conduct research in order to understand al
the various aspects of that problem. In order to formulate whether a problem
can be evaluated toward a conclusion, a scientist must make a hypothesis or
an educated guess as to what the probable solution to the problem will be.
3. In order to arrive at a conclusion or solution to a problem, the hypotheses
must be tested through experimentation. An experiment is an organized
procedure used to test a hypothesis. There are two elements related to the
proper conduct of an experiment. The first element is the control. The control
is used to show that the result of an experiment is really due to the condition
being tested. The other element is the variable. This element is the factor that
changes in an experiment. The variable factor is tested under altered
conditions to see how the changing factor affects the results of the
experiment. During the course of an experiment, it is essential that precise
observations and measurements are recorded in order to test and or verify
the hypotheses with reliable data and it is absolutely imperative that the
observations and measurements be recorded faithfully and without error.
4. When enough data as been collected and analyzed, a judgment based on the
results of an experiment can be made. This judgment is called the conclusion.
If after numerous tests a major hypothesis cannot be shown to be false, it
may be accepted as a theory. A theory is a logical model for the explanation
of a problem or phenomenon, which is based upon accurate and verifiable
data. Faulty data or the falsifying of data is completely contrary to the entire
process of experimentation as it relates to the scientific method because in
order to be accepted, a scientific discovery must produce the same results
every time it is tested! This method makes science a self-correcting process,
which helps to explain phenomenon and which, gives us practical scientific
knowledge in the form of technology.