The scientific method – a method of knowledge development bearing traits of process accountability which serve to transcend mere casual inquiry, mitigate bias and proscribe surreptitious agency masquerading as knowledge.
In my four decades of rather intense and results-oriented professional work, inside a variety of disciplines to include lab and research work, as well as technology and infrastructure rollout strategy – I have found a certain positive set of deliberations to constitute the actual scientific method. They are outlined as faithfully as I can philosophically reconstruct, below.
The key features which differentiate this method from the oft-touted and seldom challenged version of sciebam (Latin: I knew), is that it does not presuppose a hypothesis nor question, is robust to various states of pluralistic ignorance and regards the impact on stakeholders as paramount in the consideration of those things which we consider to be our conclusions of science. Moreover, it begins the process of knowledge development with the often neglected first steps of observation, intelligence and necessity – key steps without which, science’s chances of landing upon an invalid or only partially valid conclusion are precipitously high.
This scientific method serves to filter out the surreptitious hand of agency masquerading as science. Such activity can be found here: The Lyin’tific Method – The Ten Commandments of Fake Science.
Maintain a distinction in your mind between this strategic method of developing mankind’s knowledge, and the more tactical methodologies of experimental hypothesis testing and the experimental method itself. These valid expressions of professional science are often conflated with the process outlined below, much to our confusion and detriment as a species.
Finally, one should take note that the first five steps of the Method cited in the graphic above pertain to sponsorship of alternative ideas. The very heart and soul of science. It is the job of the skeptic to be an ally in this process, obtollent – and not an opponent. Watch for this key warning flag, as fake skeptics seldom ever grasp this principle of ethical science.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. The time of science or scientists is not wasted through
competing nor even fringe sponsored theories or observations. The ‘time’ of science is wasted
through the dogma and intransigence of those who patrol its discourse, enforcing single answers
under a pretense of ‘science communication’.
The Scientific Method
/philosophy : science : method/ : A method of knowledge development bearing traits of process accountability which serve to transcend mere casual inquiry, mitigate bias and proscribe surreptitious agency masquerading as knowledge. A strategic process, which employs direct observation, analysis, ethics, skepticism, as well as experimental methodology and hypothesis testing, as tools inside a broader more comprehensive set of diligence.
I. Observation – Domain Observation
What prior art has been developed inside this observation domain?
What do we not know about this topic?
What do we not know that we do not know about this topic?
What is the neglected or embargoed observation set?
What observation does skepticism mandate (go and look)?
Is the body of presiding study scientific, or merely academic?
II. Intelligence – Intelligence Gathering/Schema Construction
Is there structure and patterning to the domain observations and data?
Have key observations been dismissed as ‘claims’?
Does the presence of agency exist?
Does a state of Chekov’s gun exist?
Does a state of amplanecdote exist?
How can I creatively frame and reduce the data set into intelligence and not simply data?
III. Necessity – Establishment of Necessity
If we were wrong on this topic, would we even know it?
If we were wrong on this topic, would this be enabling harm to stakeholders, especially those who are innocent?
Has harm or ignorance now surpassed a critical point of inflection?
Do existing explanations feature elements of pseudo-theory?“
Is there another Necessary Alternative?
Is another alternative necessarily compelling?
Can ‘simplicity’ no longer be claimed to exist?
Does a state of necessary ethical action exist?
IV. Construct Formulation (by Sponsors)
What alternative placeholder idea (construct) can be established which could theoretically resolve this? (Apperception)
How can this idea be constructed in a Wittgenstein defined, rigorously logical form and be interrelated with prior art? (Crafting)
How can this idea be expressed in such a way that practitioners can understand and teach it, without compromise of its critical essence? (Posing)
Are sponsors being unfairly quashed or individually targeted by agency players claiming to represent science?
V. Ockham’s Razor/Peer Support (Skeptics are allies not opponents)
Does an Omega Hypothesis state exist around an existing answer/explanation?
Are skeptics obtollent or are they anchoring-biased opponents of anything novel (faking)?
Has the formulated Construct been a priori deemed an Embargo Hypothesis?
Is plurality now necessary?
Do current understandings feature cultivated ignorance?
Does the suggested/sponsored alternative feature elegance?
VI. Hypothesis Development
How do I mature this construct to a framing of epistemic strength; one which features the key Elements of Hypothesis?
What is the critical path necessary in evaluating and reducing this alternative and the complete alternative set?
VII. Inductive and Statistical Study
What types and modes of inference will help address the next critical path question in the hypothesis series structure?
How do I avoid linear induction, utile absentia and other confirmation biases?
How mature is the observed domain data and can it currently and ethically be used to answer a critical path question?
Does gathering more data improve or harm the ability to address the critical path question?
Can we do more than simply analyze data? Can we get into the field and study by direct observation and experiment?
VIII. Competitive Hypothesis Framing
How does the field of remaining explanatory hypothesis stack up?
Is there an ethical null hypothesis or does a dual-burden inferential dynamic exist?
What type and mode of inference will be necessary to resolve and reduce the hypothesis set?
IX. Deductive Testing/Inductive Consilience
What style and approach to experimental testing is necessary to resolve the next critical path question entailed?
How do I avoid methodical deescalation – ie. favor falsification over deduction, deduction over induction, induction over abduction?
What other disciplines need to examine this hypothesis in order to bring critical path constraint?
X. Hypothesis Modification/Reduction
How do I modify my hypothesis to address its weakness or address weakness in the process of hypothesis reduction?
Is it necessary that we return to Step VI – Hypothesis Development?
XI. Falsification Testing/Repeatability
How do I apply falsification in order to relieve science of having to constantly keep addressing zombie alternatives?
How do I structure and express my analyses, tests and methods so that a third party can reproduce their results?
XII. Theory Formulation/Refinement
What features of competing alternatives bear merit and/or inclusion/accommodation?
What have we learned and how must we neutralize parties desiring to codify an alternative prematurely?
What feature of the alternative can be adjusted in order to reduce entropy of understanding?
What objective next steps and replications necessary?
XIII. Peer Review
Has the sponsor fairly addressed all of the above questions?
Is the analytical and experimental inference base sound?
Is this contention mature enough to be considered as an increment in our domain knowledge base?
Have the authors framed concerns and limitations to constrain the implications around their case?
Is it necessary that we return to readdress Steps VI – XII?
Each conclusion of science, never being able to rest upon its laurels – as it must be brought into this set of plurality again and again. Not that we ‘question everything’ like a babbling idiot, rather that we regard the truth that there exists no theory or construct, which resides in perpetual state of non-questionability.
The Ethical Skeptic, “The Scientific Method”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 28 Sep 2019; Web, https://wp.me/p17q0e-anK