## Scientific Method in PracticeAs the gateway to scientific thinking, an understanding of the scientific method is essential for success and productivity in science. This book is the first synthesis of the practice and the philosophy of the scientific method. It will enable scientists to be better scientists by offering them a deeper understanding of the underpinnings of the scientific method, thereby leading to more productive research and experimentation. It will also give scientists a more accurate perspective on the rationality of the scientific approach and its role in society. Beginning with a discussion of today's 'science wars' and science's presuppositions, the book then explores deductive and inductive logic, probability, statistics, and parsimony, and concludes with an examination of science's powers and limits, and a look at science education. Topics relevant to a variety of disciplines are treated, and clarifying figures, case studies, and chapter summaries enhance the pedagogy. This adeptly executed, comprehensive, yet pragmatic work yields a new synergy suitable for scientists and instructors, and graduate students and advanced undergraduates. |

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### Contents

INTRODUCTION | 1 |

A Controversial Idea | 3 |

The AAAS Vision of Science | 5 |

Primary and Secondary Benefits | 7 |

Beyond the Basics | 10 |

A Timely Opportunity | 13 |

Personal Experience | 15 |

Summary | 19 |

INDUCTIVE LOGIC AND STATISTICS | 217 |

Induction and Deduction | 218 |

Historical Perspective on Induction | 219 |

Presupposition of Induction | 225 |

Bayesian Example | 226 |

Bayesian Inference | 232 |

Bayesian Decision | 240 |

The Frequentist Paradigm | 245 |

SCIENCE IN PERSPECTIVE | 21 |

Four Bold Claims | 27 |

A Brief History of Truth | 40 |

Summary | 72 |

SCIENCE WARS | 74 |

Four Deadly Woes | 78 |

Reactions from Scientists | 89 |

Two Rules of Engagement | 105 |

Summary | 110 |

SCIENCES PRESUPPOSITIONS | 112 |

Historical Perspective on Presuppositions | 113 |

The PEL Model of Full Disclosure | 124 |

What Are Presuppositions? | 131 |

Disclosure of Presuppositions | 134 |

Sensible Questions | 143 |

Sciences Credibility and Audience | 147 |

Sciences Realism and Faith | 150 |

A Reflective Overview | 153 |

Summary | 154 |

DEDUCTIVE LOGIC | 156 |

Deduction and Induction | 157 |

Historical Perspective on Deduction | 160 |

Elementary Propositional Logic | 165 |

Formal Propositional Logic | 171 |

Predicate Logic | 173 |

Arithmetic | 175 |

Common Fallacies | 178 |

Material Logic Summary | 187 |

Summary | 189 |

PROBABILITY | 191 |

Probability Concepts | 192 |

Two Fundamental Requirements | 197 |

Eight General Rules | 198 |

Probability Axioms and Rules | 199 |

Probability Theorems | 204 |

Bayes Theorem | 207 |

Permutations and Combinations | 210 |

Common Blunders | 211 |

Summary | 215 |

Paradigms and Questions | 257 |

Induction Lost | 264 |

Induction Regained | 266 |

Summary | 268 |

PARSIMONY AND EFFICIENCY | 269 |

Historical Perspective on Parsimony | 270 |

Preview of Basic Principles | 277 |

Mendels Peas | 288 |

Cubic Equation | 291 |

Equivalent | 296 |

Crop Yields | 303 |

Explanation of Accuracy Gain | 312 |

Efficiency and Economics | 316 |

Philosophical Perspective on Parsimony | 318 |

Summary | 325 |

CASE STUDIES | 327 |

Parsimony and Physics | 334 |

Molecule Shape and Drug Design | 345 |

Electronics Testing | 353 |

Statistics in Medicine | 355 |

Discussion | 365 |

SCIENCES POWERS AND LIMITS | 367 |

Obvious Limitations | 368 |

Science and Its Preconditions | 369 |

Science and Worldviews | 370 |

Personal Rewards from Science | 373 |

Summary | 376 |

SCIENCE EDUCATION | 377 |

Six Benefits | 378 |

The Good the Bad and the Ugly | 387 |

Constructivism in the Third World | 396 |

A Modest Experiment | 399 |

Future Pros | 401 |

Summary | 405 |

CONCLUSIONS | 406 |

410 | |

431 | |

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### Common terms and phrases

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