Scientific method is a method that scientists use to study natural phenomena, acquire new knowledge, or modify existing knowledge. Scientific methods must be scientific, observable, inferential, measurable, and consistent with the principles of reasoning. Scientific methods are considered to be the best objective framework for constructing the material world, including theoretical research, applied research, and rules, techniques, and models in the development and promotion of science. However, scientific methods are not always reliable. The results obtained using scientific methods are sometimes unreliable due to differences in research methods, forgery of research results, conflicts between research funding and research directions, and limitations of methodologies.
The main purpose of this study is to prove that although scientific methods are so effective, they do not always produce reliable and effective knowledge.
As shown in figure 1, there are many steps in scientific method. First, scientists need to observe natural phenomena and ask meaningful questions, and then come up with hypotheses to explain the natural phenomena.
Then design experiments to test these hypotheses and check whether these hypotheses are correct. In order to prevent errors in the experiment, these steps must be repeatable.
In general, scientific methods have the following characteristics:
Determinism means that any natural phenomenon has its cause
Discoverability means that scientific methods can reveal the causes of the natural phenomenon.
Objectivity means that the research results are not affected by the researcher. Inseparable from objectivity is reproducibility, which means that others can repeat the results under the same experimental conditions.
Data-driven means that researchers hope that their research conclusions can be supported by objective data collected by systematic procedures.
Empiricism refers to the process of acquiring knowledge through direct observation or experience, which is distinguished from rational thinking based on logical reasoning rather than direct experience. In scientific methods, researchers should avoid falling into the misunderstanding of empiricism.
Objectivity refers to the nature of an independent existence in which a certain thing or natural phenomenon is not affected by the observer’s subjective consciousness. The facts that exist objectively are not affected by the subjective means of the observer’s thoughts, feelings, tools, calculations, etc., but can maintain their authenticity.
Induction, also called inductive reasoning, is the reasoning process that supports the conclusion but does not guarantee the conclusion. It is based on limited observation of a natural phenomenon and attributes the nature or relationship to a specific type.
Often, the objectivity of scientific methods can be demonstrated by effective and reliable results obtained using scientific methods. The validity and reliability of scientific methods often mean that any research conclusions about things or natural phenomena must stand up to trial and error, and the research conclusions must meet all the requirements of scientific methods. However, the validity and reliability of scientific methods conflict with some philosophical issues, such as Hume’s induction. Hume believes that when researchers study the natural phenomena that exist in the real world, inductive reasoning must be used in order to avoid being affected by any established facts that have not yet been discovered or are not perceived in past experience. Hume’s claim that inductive thinking is not entirely composed of reason, because it cannot be proved that the logical basis of inductive thinking is rational. As Hume said, if the most direct source of scientific conclusions is the observation and experience of natural phenomena, then the correctness of any scientific conclusion is unreliable, because scientists cannot guarantee that their logical basis is true rationality. objective. Therefore, Hume believes that there are only two states of scientific conclusions, namely, those that have been falsified and those that have not been falsified. Scientific conclusions that have not been falsified are unreliable because they have not yet been confirmed. The conclusion that has been falsified is also unreliable because it proves to be wrong.