Double Helixes and Double Crosses (was: Favorite NON-fiction)

Gaertk at aol.com Gaertk at aol.com
Tue Jan 28 16:57:35 PST 2003

In a message dated 1/28/2003 4:46:21 PM Eastern Standard 
Time, Chris Olson - SunPS <Chrisf.Olson at Sun.COM> writes:

> But I'm curious: are you suggesting that scientists the 
> world around use The Method as the ONLY way of research? 
> That doesn't sound right to me, even if it is.  (And if it 
> is, and it can be proved to me, I'd be tempted to change my 
> opinion and join the other side.)

Okay, just so we're talking about the same thing, this is
what I think of as the Scientific Method:

1. Gather data
2. Form hypothesis
3. Devise experiments to test hypothesis
4. Compare results
5. Revise hypothesis
6. Repeat previous three steps until confident you're right
7. Publish so other scientists can try to reproduce your
results and find holes in your assumptions and chain of 
logic, etc.

I'm pretty sure this was in fact taught to me in Jr. High
(with maybe a few simplifications, but that last step was

As to your question, no, there are "scientists" who don't
follow these steps, and for that reason I won't take them

And to answer Andrew's comments, I expect archaeologists to 
try to follow this methodology too.  Obviously, devising 
experiments is very difficult for them (and control groups
are out of the question; you get what you dig up), but that 
just places more importance on the other steps (analysing
other's data, both before and after).