Before we consider the principles of scientific thinking, we must note the keywords which are scientific from the word, science, and scientific thinking. That is, to understand the principles of scientific thinking as stated, the familiarization with science and scientific thinking is important.
Science should be known as not just a study of the collection of facts, necessary ideas on the natural phenomena or concepts. Science is the investigation, a method, to aid the comprehension of the appearance of things.
At this, reliable knowledge is as important as finding a purpose in science. To however achieve reliable knowledge, a strong need for scientific thinking, which could also be regarded as critical thinking, is important.
Because reliable knowledge means knowledge that is true if checked and diagnosed in all phases. Hence, to achieve the totality of the trueness of any knowledge, scientific thinking is very important. As written above, scientific thinking is synonymous with critical thinking which goes a long way to rationality and pieces of evidence before an assertion is laid hold on to. In other words, scientific/critical thinking is important for everyone.
WHAT IS SCIENTIFIC THINKING?
While using science to investigate the universe and its nature, the principles of scientific thinking are embedded. Thus, scientific thinking involves inquisitiveness, investigation, seeking understanding and solutions to the everyday life nature that abounds man.
Scientific thinking borders on using empirical pieces of evidence to back up any investigation or claims; the application of logic in the expressing and understanding of such empirical evidence; analyzing the theories and sieving through the fact, concepts and theories among others.
These will aid the validation of scientific research.
PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC THINKING
Rule out the rival hypothesis
A hypothesis is the use of temporal conjectures in explaining an observation, nature or a scientific problem. This explanation can further be investigated and experiments can be performed to ensure the reliability of the resolution.
Before concluding, ensure that all explanations to research have been studied and the research in question can protect itself. By ensuring this, a reported explanation of a phenomenon isn’t merely an assumption of correctness but a viable explanation has been given to back it up.
Further, the research has to undergo various cross-checks, explanations and questions asked answered to ensure the validity of the claim. Because an experiment shouldn’t be easily digested by people, it must prove itself right by these numerous processes of maximum trueness.
Correlation vs. Causation
Know that correlation isn’t causation. This is also an important concept in scientific thinking. A scientist must be wary of hasty generalizations. That is the error in the assumption that because a phenomenon is associated with another phenomenon, the same cause applies to the same phenomenon.
At this, correlation is a technique for understanding a pair of variables and how they are related. We do not necessarily know what entails the relationship between the phenomena but it shows us that the phenomena exist.
However, causation is the assurance of the cause and effect of a thing. That is how and why a variable is influenced by the change in another variable.
Relating this to research, the details must be reached and a scientist must be wary of hasty generalizations and assumptions in a scientific resolution.
If a hypothesis isn’t proven false, it is not yet science. Hence, all scientific research hypotheses must first be incorrect. At this, research must be based on specificities rather than wild assumptions or guess works. Emotional intuition must be detached from such knowledge to have a valid resolution.
That is, before a meaningful claim can be seen as standard, it must be proven wrong with evidence. However, if such claims survive the prediction and the falsifiability of it, the theory is in better shape for acceptance.
Replicability and the repeatability of the claims: before the effectiveness of anything can be confirmed, it must have gone through a series of tests. For instance, before a drug must be approved to work for an illness, it must have been tested in the laboratory and sampled on living organisms.
This replicability is the foundation of research because, without it, the community isn’t safe from the subjectivity of a scientific result.
Further, a research study resolution must be found in another researcher’s resolution. That is, a field of researchers may research a similar concept and their resolution must correlate, or else, something is faulty in the research. Hence, the original endings must be reached when re-applied by others.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence: in other words, the more contradictory a claim becomes, the more persuasive the evidence supporting such a claim becomes. This is because if someone comes forward with a claim, extraordinary evidence must back it up.
However, the extent of a person’s research and the reliability of his sources influences this. However, scientists must have no biased mind and resolutions; research must be consciousness tilted towards observations, studies and empiricism or facts.
Evidence of a claim must be as strong as the claim. That gravity is only applicable to earth and not the moon, a strong evidence-based on empiricism or research must be presented.
This principle states that entities to a result must not be multiplied unnecessarily. Hence, scientists must favour the simplest means of arriving at a result of research rather than anything not perceived by the senses or anything complex. At this, the logic of using the simplest theories in an ocean of theories must be applied to an observation. At least, until more evidence comes along. This could be regarded as prima facie in history and philosophy.
A simple explanation, according to Occam’s razor theory, for a phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than the complex explanations given to such observation.
In this, explanations which require the fewest assumptions are most likely to be correct than otherwise explanations. This shows the essence of logic simplicity in scientific research.
The importance of the 6 principles of scientific principles is in their applications. As explained above, ruling out rival hypotheses ensures that multiple research is considered before resolutions are made.
Correlation isn’t causation that shows the error of assumption in the appearance of the existence of things as the detail of such things; research must also be falsifiable before it is proven correct.
Also, the replicability of research is important as the original endings of a study must remain the same even after the research is carried out by different scientists; extraordinary claims equally require extraordinary pieces of evidence; and lastly, the principle of simplicity in logic is as reflected by Occam’s razor.