Science

From: Paul Wegner (wegner@mail.fpg.unc.edu)
Date: Fri 08 May 1998 - 23:51:10 EEST


Julian, Peter, Steve, et al.

What Steve says is correct but I think it can be said in an even simpler
manner using the ol' high school standby - "The Scientific Method".

If I remember correctly (high school was a few hundred beers ago) , the
scientific method is:

Hypothesis
Experimentation
Synthesis

I guess you could put a step before hypothesis called observation. So
in other words, you observe a phenomenon, posit a theory about the
phenomenon, experiment, and then you either have proven or disproved
your hypothesis (to some extent).

So scientists do observe (pre-hypothesis and during experimentation)
but they also predict by making hypotheses. Observation without
prediction doesn't generate much of any use, while prediction without
observation is simply guessing. So IMHO a scientist needs to be both an
observer and a predictor.

Of course, I majored in Slavic Languages so you may be better informed
than me.

Paul W. Wegner

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