A faster than light, intergalactic spaceship…
from the bridge, the host of Cosmos, Neil Degrasse Tyson states…
“This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules. Test ideas by experiment and observation. Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads…and question everything.
Accept these terms and the Cosmos…is yours.”
I love that.
That’s the scientific method.
“…procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.”
I think this is where I first applied the method…
an experiment I did in 8th Grade Science.
First I formed the question.
“Why is toast harder than bread?”
Then the hypothesis…a conjecture.
“Bread has water in it…
it loses water when toasted…
drier equals harder.”
Next, the prediction – the logical consequence of the hypothesis.
“If I toast the bread, the water will evaporate as bread becomes toast…
and it will be harder, and weigh less (because of the missing water) than before.”
My toast didn’t have hearts. But look! Hearts on toast ( ˆ⌣ˆ )
Then I ran my experiment to see if the real world behaved as predicted by my hypothesis.
I weighed the piece of bread…
then I plunked it in the toaster…
it became toast – and it was harder.
I weighed it, and it weighed less.
Then came the analysis – what the results of the experiment showed…
and I began deciding the next steps. (i.e. toasting grapes, jelly beans, rocks etc…)
I wrote up the experiment with all my data so others could replicate my results.
Replication. Is. Crucial.
Now to see if Cosmos stays true its own “scientific method” principles.
You really should stay true to your own principles right?
Not a good start.
But Cosmos can do so much good…
that I’m rooting for a comeback.