A contrived situation in which it is tried to establish what
nature does in certain specific circumstances.
Galileo was the first man to insist clearly and firmly that
scientific method was based on
a combination of the axiomatic method
and systematic experimenting, namely by testing whether the logical
consequences that followed from one's
assumptions and attempts at explanation.
Proper scientific experiments are carefully contrived so as to exclude all
manner of bias and to control whatever factors are known to be
relevant, and should be repeatable by
(qualified) others: Experimental claims that cannot be repeated by impartial
qualified others are taken to be mistakes or flukes (if not frauds, that also
happen sometimes) rather than facts.
Every real science has its own methodology
geared to its own subject, of which the main aim is to arrive at a good set-up
for proper experimental testing of the theories of that science.
It is an interesting fact that the
scientific method, thought it
was practiced before Galileo, only became clearly articulated in the beginning
of the 17th Century - since when science has
progressed enormously, and taken over much of the field that before its rise
belonged to philosophy or
theology, with questions that were mostly
answered by speculation or logomachy, but without careful experimental
Though science over the last four centuries has been enormously succesful
in finding new explanations, new facts and things, new natural laws, and in
helping to surrect a tremendous technology, there still are some problems
about its methods, that can be gleaned by the reference below.
Even so, the main moral and intellectual problem for real science and real
scientists is that so many folks who are not scientists insist that they do
not need to know real science to "know" what the real truth is - for as a
cognitive and moral effort to improve the human situation no human efforts or
actions have been more succesful.