A Quick Introduction to Science

Science is an empirical, predictive, and interdisciplinary enterprise which builds and operates knowledge in the form of predictions and testable predictions about the natural world. It is the study of the nature and structure of matter, the physical universe and the relationship between individuals and things in nature. By contrast, philosophy is concerned with knowing and examining the true nature and truths of life, both in nature and with reference to other people and things in society. The two enterprises are historically closely related but now they have developed different paths and goals.


Both sciences utilize various methods to advance their endeavors. Philosophy generally employs deductive reasoning to gather evidence and make arguments about the natural world. On the other hand, science employs a more a posteriori approach and relies less on argument. One example is the heliocentric solar system model favored by Ptolemy, an Italian geophysicist and mathematician. His hypothesis states that the earth is the center of the solar system, which is a heliocentric solar system. Unlike heliocentric solar systems, solar equator models do not support heliocentric predictions and are therefore eliminated.

A major division between science information and science knowledge is what are known as the different paradigms in science. Paradigm refers to the general outlook of scientists regarding a particular question or area of study. The most common of these paradigms are Physical Science, Behavioral science, Chemistry, Physics and astronomy. As science progresses through time, new paradigms emerge and gain support among scientists.

There are two major ways to formulate a hypothesis: deductive and inductive. Deductive hypotheses are well-known scientific methods used in scientific investigation. For instance, when observing any kind of phenomena, it is usually believed that there must be a cause behind that observed phenomenon. To test that hypothesis, scientists employ scientific methods such as experiment, analysis, calculation and observation. However, they also make use of inductive techniques such as statistical calculation, laws of probability, or assumptions about the parameters of the observables.

Science information on the other hand deals with how an observational system can be used to generate a hypothesis. For example, observations about an astronomical phenomenon can be used as evidence to determine if there exists a scientific method that can be used to explain that phenomenon. There are times when theories become so well-known that observation simply cannot be used anymore as a valid means of deriving scientific knowledge. In these cases, further study becomes necessary to test the theory further. For instance, if observation does not support the existence of a black hole, further research will be required to determine the existence and properties of such a black hole.

There are two main questions that arise from this. How do experts form theorems, and how can they be tested? In answering these questions, it is necessary to understand how science information and science knowledge differ from each other. Scientific methods are more focused on observation and hypothesis testing, whereas hypothesis-based knowledge is more descriptive and general in nature. Experts can more effectively test a hypothesis than trying to determine if the hypothesis is actually true.

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