Science is an empirical proccess through which one attempts to arrive at general conclusions concerning the Universe. Scientific arguments develop inductively, meaning that by multiple observations of certain phenomena, variables are measured and causally linked to each other. Continuous validation of hypotheses (which, unlike many think, are derived from previous observation) leads to the formulation of a theory, which is then scrutinised so as to be accepted or falsified. Falsifiability is a key concept, as assumptions that cannot be proven wrong are not considered scientific -since after the formulation of a theory, one has general statements at their disposal which apply to specific instances; also known as "predictions" of this theory. If so much as one of them is falsified, the theory is refined, or scrapped altogether. By experimentation, mathematical relation between variables are estabilished, while the whole process is repeated ad infinitum, so that theories are accepted or cast away according to their accuracy in describing the natural world.

There are certain misconceptions about the scientific method. One of the most usually claimed is that science, too, depends on blind faith. On the contrary, the only "faith" that exists in science is that the Universe has some laws governing the reaction between matter and energy, and that we, as humans, are able to understand it. Apart from that, as stated above, any unwarranted claim is met with a demand for evidence -natural, observable, objective data. Every formally defined system -including mathematics, heavily used in science- contain some axioms, but these can be regarded as more of definitions that assumptions.

Another false impression is that scientists are a group of back-patting individuals. This is simply not true, as there is a quite high level of competition amongst them. This is, of course, not a problem with the method per se, but rather human nature, which is unrelated. In fact, it is useful, as it speeds scientific advancements, while, unfortunately, leading to some occurances of fraud. However, those are generally uncovered due to scientific rigor, peer reviews, and the like.

A gross -and, sadly, quite common- misconception has to do with the meaning of the term "theory". Some believe that it is a synonym for "assumption", while, in science jargon, it is an explanation of the facts. The facts are objective, while the theories attempt to link them and find relations between parameters. The colloquial use of the term differs, of course.

Moreover, indoctrination and conformism really have to do very little with science, since it is simply a tool to understand the world around us. Going against a well-established theory is not anti-conformisting nor intellectually meritable, unless one can provide rational or empiric warrants.

Lastly, some persons regard science and scientific laws/theories to be prescriptive, meaning that they are supposed to provide a moral framework of some sort. On the contrary, scientific laws are descriptive, dexcribing reality in the most accurate way possible. They document cold, hard facts and the causes of phenomena. While it is true that such scientific conclusions can be used to further an agenda, that is not their purpose.

Long story short: science was basically born the day a philosopher called Archimedes woke up and said, "OK, guys, stop binge-eating and philosophising; we COULD get out and see if we're correct, right?" (I love to joke about my ancestors) He did not follow his own advice, but it was a start, with Galileo, Newton and then Einstein and all the modern scientists following, adding to the definition of the scientific method.

Science is all the above. It is not a religion, an ideology, a doctrine, a belief system or a faith. It is an empirical inductive model to arrive at conclusions regarding the laws governing the Universe. Nothing more, nothing less.

And, one last thing; I implore you, never, ever confuse the scientific method with the applications of it. Never.
Religion, politics and controversial issues have nothing to do with science itself. They sometimes have to do with the scientific community.

There have been frauds, of course; how about the scientist who claimed that he transplanted black rat's skin to white rats, only for a cohort of him to discover that they were... painted? Scientists are not gods; nobody has ever claimed that -rather, some claim that scientists claim it. To play God is to alter nature, not discover its laws. Again, this is a confusion of technology and science; related, but different.

There is no indoctrination; you cannot indoctrinate someone with empirical facts, neither the description of theories. Finally -and a late thank you to anyone who bothered to read this wall of text-
religion and science are only enemies when one of them swims in the other's waters -that is, when scientists try to derive conclusions about what we should do, and when theologists claim entities that CAN be falsified, and therefore are in the realms of science. Scientists answer WHAT, WHEN, and HOW. Religious people -or philosophers, for that matter- answer WHO and WHY. Stick to your job, people. As long as you don't get in the way of the other search party, we'll all be fine.
by Anonymous Scientist October 14, 2008
41 more definitions
Top Definition
Something that works, bitches.
Bonus points if you can identify the science being used.
by moviepyro512 August 16, 2009
Knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena.
THAT'S what science is. I don't know where you people are getting the idea that it has anything to do with fascism/communism/whatever.
by Party Pooper April 02, 2005
what she blinded me with. whoever "she" could be.
she blinded me...with science!
by unusu-al May 19, 2004
An attempt to understand the world around us through observation of natural phenomenon. One of the most important concepts in science is the scientific method - a series of steps designed to allow us to learn about our surrounding efficiently and without misunderstanding.

Science is also sometimes posed in opposition to religion. While the two are not necessarily incompatible, there are several points on which they disagree, and there is also a major difference in their underlying principles: Science fits the theory to the evidence. Religion fits the evidence to the theory.
Science allows us to learn about the world.
by Daedalus January 07, 2004
A system of understanding the physical universe that is open to adapting to new information, even if that new information means that what was previously assumed to be true has to be henceforth regarded as false.

Contrary to popular belief, a scientist does not (or at least should not) attempt to prove their theories correct, but rather attempt to find any flaw in the theory, so as to gain a better understanding of the fundamental principal being studied
The difference between Astronomy and Astrology is that Astronomy has undergone numerous changes in the course of its history. Astrology, on the other hand, still suggests that someone born in, say, late October, is a "Libra" when in fact the zodiacal constallation the sun was in when they were born would in fact be Virgo.
This is an easy way of seeing why Astronomy is a science, while Astrology is now mostly relegated to the horoscopes section of the newspaper.
by 1Kain3 August 22, 2008
Subtly different from regular, or garden, science, SCIENCE! is when reality starts to break down in a haze of maniacal cackling. Any idiot can practise science. It takes a real psychotic genius to pull off SCIENCE! The capital letters and exclamation mark are important.

Newtons laws of motion are science. Frankenstein's monster was SCIENCE!

Performing SCIENCE! occasionally leads to angry mobs attacking your isolated castle, wielding pitchforks and burning torches.
"B-but that's impossible! It shouldn't work! It can't work! It doesn't make sense!

"Nothing is impossible for SCIENCE!"
by Zakrael February 02, 2008
(n)
1. knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena
Oh, how i hate physical science.

I don't understand Dr. Mroteks science class.
by krishna February 27, 2005

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