Tom Jonard's Scientific Method Page

    What is science any way?  It is not a list of facts or beliefs, but a way of knowing.

    Knowledge is one of those words of which we all are sure we know the meaning.  In fact it is is almost impossible not to write a self referential definition of knowledge (like the previous sentence).

    For many people knowledge is an absolute -- the end point in a journey.  Knowing something is synonymous with being sure of it.  This may be why it is so difficult to understand the scientific idea of knowledge as tentative and eternally subject to revision.  Scientific knowledge is a journey and not a destination.

    Add to this that scientific knowledge is not in any sense culturally relative and you complete the potential for confusion.  We expect change in scientific knowledge because we look forward to its step-wise refinement.  New scientific knowledge builds on the past and does not just supplanting it.  Science is synonymous with progress.

    Here's an essay on What is Science? that pulls together several ideas brought to my attention by others during the ongoing debate over teaching evolution in the classroom.

    For another view from an actual scientist here is an essay on what science is by way of what it is not -- Cargo Cult Science by Richard Feynman.

    Here's an essay on Intuition in Science that arose out of a discussion with a friend on the role of women in science.

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    Created March 24, 2002, 
    © 2002, Thomas A. Jonard