For instance, whenNewton said that he framed no hypothesis as to the cause of gravity he wassaying that he had no speculation about an explanation of why the law ofgravity operates as it does.
If a hypothesis is always an educatedguess as students typically assert, the question remains, "an educatedguess about what?" The best answer for this question must be, that withouta clear view of the context in which the term is used, it is impossible totell.
Scientists formulate laws and theories that are supposed to hold true inall places and for all time but the problem of induction makes such aguarantee impossible.
Myth 4: Evidence Accumulated Carefully Will Result in Sure Knowledge
All investigators, including scientists, collect and interpret empiricalevidence through the process called induction.
In an idealized view of induction, theaccumulated evidence will simply result in the production of a new law ortheory in a procedural or mechanical fashion.
The scientific method is limited to those phenomenawhich can be observed or measured. For example, what existed priorto the Big Bang and the known universe is outside of the realm of scienceto investigate.
The ten myths discussed include the common notionsthat theories become laws, that hypotheses are best characterized aseducated guesses, and that there is a commonly-applied scientific method.
High-profile cases of outright fraud are devastating to trust in the scientific community, but questionable research practices - the grey area between ideal practice and scientific misconduct - are far more common. When in doubt about a step in conducting your research, talk to your colleagues and supervisors about it.
The rules and recommendations are based on the “Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice” by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
This small booklet is a reminder of the importance of research integrity for each and every doctoral candidate.
Myth 1: Hypotheses Become Theories Which Become Laws
This myth deals with the general belief that with increased evidence thereis a developmental sequence through which scientific ideas pass on theirway to final acceptance.
president showed his misunderstanding of science by saying that he was nottroubled by the idea of evolution because it was "just a theory." Thepresident's misstatement is the essence of this myth; that an idea is notworthy of consideration until "lawness" has been bestowed upon it.
Lawsare generalizations, principles or patterns in nature and theories are theexplanations of those generalizations (Rhodes & Schaible, 1989; Homer &Rubba, 1979; Campbell, 1953).
Below is a generalized sequence of steps taken toestablish a scientific theory: The classic scientific method where a convenientlaboratory experiment may be devised and observed often cannot be donein the earth sciences. This is because most of earth and geologicalphenomena are too big (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions) or too slow (mountainbuilding, climate change) to be observed easily or replicated; the earthitself is the "laboratory." Also, because many of the eventsanalyzed by geologists occurred long ago, they often "working backwards"- that is, they start with the conclusion (a rock or fossil), and try towork out the sequence of past events that occurred over geologic time.
For instance, Newton described the relationship of mass and distance togravitational attraction between objects with such precision that we canuse the law of gravity to plan spaceflights.
Some physicistssuggest that gravity waves are the correct explanation for the law ofgravity, but with clear confirmation and consensus lacking, most feel thatthe theory of gravity still eludes science.