Scientific method

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Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[1] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[3]

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable, to predict future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible, to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

Contents

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Philosophy of science
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Deism
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Creationism
Anarcho-primitivism
Psychology
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Modernism
Consciousness
Solipsism
Moral relativism
Creation science
Predestination
Cultural relativism
Transhumanism
Rhetoric
Relativism
Empiricism
Historical materialism
Mysticism
Educational psychology
Theodicy
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David Hume
Pragmatism
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Aesthetics