Scientific method

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The basic philosophy of science is that it exists to describe the physical universe. The key word is "describe." It does not exist to promulgate belief systems, support or deny any particular set of beliefs, or create technology. Its profound impact on society and technology is a side-effect, not its intended purpose.
-- Mike Wong

The scientific method is a way to establish descriptions of any given self-consistent universe. Widely lauded for its success in the real world, it is regularly applied to the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.

In general, the scientific method proceeds as follows:

  1. Make an observation.
  2. Propose a hypothesis to explain the observation.
  3. Make a prediction, based on the hypothesis.
  4. Test the hypothesis to determine whether its predictions are accurate.

A good hypothesis generates accurate predictions that can be tested repeatedly with consistent results. Note that proving a hypothesis false is just as scientifically valid as proving a hypothesis accurate. Note also that a hypothesis is never "proven true"; it is only shown to make accurate predictions.

See also

Science on