(* It's fast if the current URL has a "#..." suffix, as it does with all links I've made to this page.) The rare open a new page in this window; but if you right-click on the link you can ask it to open in a new window, so this big page remains open in this window and you won't have to wait for it to reload — and in this page you'll already be where you were! Compared with my description of science in the "overview of scientific method" page, this "details of scientific method" page is intended to be more complete, but not fully complete.

Each topic in my elaboration has been studied for years (or even lifetimes) by numerous scholars.

SUPPLEMENTARY THEORIES include, but are not limited to, theories used to interpret observations. By using a model that is based on a specified experimental system and relevant theories (main supplementary), scientists can make predictions in more than one way: by logical deduction beginning with a composition-and-operation model, by making model-based calculations, by "running a model" mentally or in a computer simulation, or by inductive logic that assumes the results will be similar to those in previous experiments with similar systems.

debates on scientific dating-77

It can be useful to distinguish between descriptive and explanatory theories, even though there is no distinct line; Newton's theory explains some, and atomic theory does not explain all.

And my simple treatment here is only a summary of the more sophisticated analyses by philosophers who try to define what constitutes a satisfactory explanation in science.

A model can include a partial composition-and-operation description of a system, but this is not required as a necessary function of the theory.

An example of a descriptive theory is Newton's theory of gravitational force, which does postulate compositional entities (bodies with mass) and causal interactions (each body exerts an attractive force on the other), but does not describe a mechanism for the interactions that cause the force, even though (using its equation, F = GMm/rr) it can make predictions that are usually quite accurate.

An example of an explanatory theory is atomic theory, which postulates unobservable entities (protons, electrons,...) and interactions (nuclear, electromagnetic,...) in an effort to explain observable properties.

Questions about the legitimacy of postulating "unobservables" has been one source of conceptual constraints for the types of components used in scientific theories.

, scientists collect data (such as an x-ray photograph) that is labeled "observations" in ISM.

THEORIES are humanly constructed representations intended to describe or describe-and-explain a set of related phenomena in a specified domain of nature. Composition includes a model's parts and their organization into larger structures.

This page takes a closer look at a variety of topics that have been summarized in two introductory pages.

If you haven't done it yet, I suggest that you first read The Simplicity of Basic Scientific Method and An Overview of Scientific Method.

Due to this inconsistency, I have been forced to choose among competing alternatives.