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Scientific Method

Science is the modern name for what used to be called natural philosophy. Science comprises just those ideas and concepts that can be tested by third parties. The hypothesis that objects of different weights all fall at the same speed is scientific; the idea that there is an afterlife, inaccessible to the living, is not. The many ways in which we can arrive at and evaluate scientific ideas are collectively termed the scientific method.

Scientific ideas can come from thoughtful observation or via experiment. Experiments may be designed to test a theory (hypothetico-deductive), or they may be simply exploratory “what if?” attempts to satisfy natural curiosity. Hypothetico-deductive experiment involves answering questions of the form “If I do X will I get Y?” Nonexperimental, inductive, science infers ...

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