Approach to gaining increased understanding of how the works, both locally and distantly, that involves making educated guesses, formal testing, and then attempting to fit the results of such testing into existing .
A key component of the process that is science is both the to imagine that perhaps we don't already know everything and a willingness to park our at the door. Note that educated guesses more formally are known as . In addition, note that testing is not limited to conducting physical but also can involve , , and , etc.
Though successful often requires skills honed through years of practice, the possession of some reasonable working knowledge of what is already known too is a difficult aspect of doing science. Finally, a crucial step in comparing one's results to what is already known involves publication along with subsequent assessment of those results by others.
Another way of looking at science is that it represents the most sophisticated means that we know of towards avoiding wasting one's own time – along with that of others – in the course of attempting to create new . That is, it is really easy to make educated guesses but quite hard to get those guesses right and really difficult to change the thinking of others even if you are right (hence the need for great in one's testing followed by publication).
Though such difficulties might at first appear to be impediments to the progression of knowledge, in reality they are far preferable to building up a upon a "". Science, in other words, generally is pretty good at both identifying and dealing with both and , but as with many things, doesn't necessarily progress at the pace that we might prefer.
The following video is a nice introduction to the "Poetry" of science, and biology:
Sit down with an to talk about the nature of humans, and you are likely to hear this : 'Well, you have to remember that 99 percent of human history was spent on the open in small .' It's a classic of science, and it's true. Indeed, those millions of ancestral years produced many of our traits—upright walking and big brains, for instance. Of course, those wildly useful evolutionary innovations came at a price: from our ; from our large, self-contemplative . As is so often the case with evolution, there is . ¶ Compounding the challenges of those trade-offs, the world we have invented—and quite recently in the grand scheme of things—is dramatically different from the one to which our bodies and are adapted. Have your dinner come to you (thanks to the guy) instead of chasing it down on ; to to interact with your nearest and dearest instead of spending the better part of every day with them for your whole life. But this is where the utility of the anthropologist's cliché for explaining the ends. ¶ The reason for this mismatch between the setting we evolved to live in and the situations we encounter in our modern era derives from another defining characteristic of our kind, arguably the most important one: our impulse to push beyond the limitations of evolution imposed on us[,] by developing tools to make us faster, smarter, longer-lived. Science is one such tool—an invention that requires us to break out of our so that we can clear the next hurdle we encounter, be it pandemic or . You could call it the ultimate expression of humanity's singular drive to aspire to be better than we are.
The following is a (somewhat incomplete) list of terms relevant to the successful conducting of science:
Accuracy, Controlled variables, Dependent variable, Independent variable, Negative control, Positive control, Scientific method, Sensitivity,
Video (Bill Nye the Science Guy, the Earth is round!)
Video (Various discussions of what is science/biology)
Radio (The bright and not so bright state of science education in the U.S., circa March, 2012)
Radio (Origin of the word "Scientist" as well as discussion of words and scientific words more generally; hint, the word "Scientist" comes from "artist")