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The Scientific Method

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« on: November 01, 2011, 07:39:36 AM »

Would anyone have some good resources to read up on the scientific method? I understand the basics of scientific research etc but would like something that describes ideally how all research is conducted and published so that in future, when reading science articles, I can evaluate them more accurately.
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 08:13:50 AM »

That’s a tall order.  Short of doing a science degree and/or reading some heavy philosophical tomes chiefly on epistemology, I don’t know of any conveniently packaged resources that’ll provide more than an overview.  The best advice I can give you is to read as much sceptical and popular science literature by reputable authors as you can lay your hands on.  If you can find it, How to Think about Weird Things by Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn is an excellent place to start.  It devotes an entire chapter to science and its methods.

Also, check out the sticky threads (“Recommended reading”, “Recommended viewing”, “Skeptical resources”) in the “General Skepticism” sub-forum.

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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011, 08:20:13 AM »

When you read Darwin's "Origin..." you realise that he NEVER had access to a neatly packaged tome on "The Scientific Method"...he just, almost intuitively, knew what the right way of doing it was and he constantly tested his theories and findings against contemporary views; he also leaned heavily on the work of countless scientists in different disciplines and parts of the world...searching, searching, searching....and not being intimidated by possibly being wrong!
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