The Scientific Method

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The following article describes the method human beings apply for discovering their environment, following interests, achieving personal goals or developing solutions.
It begins with an observation or experience that raises curiosity. Once we are curious, we begin to gather existing personal and new information about the things we are interested in. Subsequently, we create theories and develop thesis statements. Then, we try to apply our theories to experiments in order to evaluate how one of them might be of use. Experiments in turn bring new observations and the cycle goes on.

Graph of the Scientific Method

The illustration above visualizes how a human being follows an interest. We call it the Scientific Method, since this method is deliberately applied by science.

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Every human being uses the Scientific Method within her or his personal truth
in order to achieve personal goals.

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Observation – Discovery – Experience
It starts with something that catches a human being’s attention. This might be a feeling, an observation, a sound, a smell or simply a message from someone else. It starts with an experience that induces curiosity.
Example: You stand in a room, planning to enter another room. There is a door that separates both rooms. Thus, when you’ve discovered the door, it catches your attention, since it hinders your path.

Curiosity – Motivation – Interest
Once a human being is curious, inner motivation arises to find a place for the experienced event or situation within her or his own world of thoughts and feelings, within her or his personal truth. At this point the individual is interested in understanding or doing something, since she or he sees a possibility to achieve a personal goal or to solve a problem. The human being begins to think about it. The human being begins to gather information.
Example: You are motivated to open the door that hinders your path.

Thinking – Gathering Information
The first source that provides information about something is the human being’s own mind. Immediately an individual begins to consider any personal knowledge or experience that might be connected with the topic he or she is interested in. In case a human being is not satisfied with personal knowledge and experiences, she or he begins to collect more information by reading books, looking for inspiration, asking other people, or doing research (→ Education). The human being gathers information in order to develop an assumption or theory about what she or he tries to do or understand.
Example: In the past, you’ve opened several doors before by pressing down their door handle. This is one of several possibilities you may think of in order to open it.

Theory – Thesis statement – Prediction
While gathering information everybody creates a picture in their mind. Based on experience and knowledge, every human being constructs his or her own reflection on all things. The individual creates her or his personal view which shapes the personal truth. From personal theories, everyone draws thesis statements. These are concepts of how something might behave, function or react.
Example: Subconsciously, you consider your theory about doors and create a thesis statement: “If I press down the door handle, the door will open and I can enter the other room.”

Experiment – Practice
One then uses developed thesis statements as predictions to confirm personal theories. Every human being constantly experiments by observing or putting things into practice. This enables the individual to verify assumptions and theories.
If an experiment fails, one wonders why, since one expected something different. If an experiment succeeds, one enjoys the success.
Example: Does the door open when you press down the door handle? That is your experiment. If the door opens: your experiment was successful. If it does not: your experiment failed and you ask yourself “What’s wrong? Why didn’t it open?” A new event catches your attention.

Our whole life is an infinite, floating cycle of these steps. It is the method we permanently apply in order to grasp, understand and shape our environment.
Every human being uses the Scientific Method within personal truth by considering personal experiences, feelings, ideas and fears. This happens much more frequently subconsciously than consciously. Since everyone’s knowledge, experiences and biology are different, the way the method is expressed is different for everybody. However, it is that very same method every human being applies for discovering and achieving personal goals.

A further example illustrates the Scientific Method. Here, the pursue of the satisfaction of hunger is set in various situations:
The feeling of hunger catches my attention. Consequently, I want to eat something. Immediately, I begin to consider every possibility that comes into my mind about how I could satisfy my need.
Maybe I have a fridge that is filled with tasty things. Maybe my fridge is empty and I will have to go to the supermarket. Other individuals in different situations may come to other conclusions: maybe one just wants to hold out until the feeling of hunger disappears. Maybe one lives on a farm and thus all she or he has to do is pick an apple from a tree. Maybe one lives on the street and sees begging for food as her or his only option. Maybe one decides to steal a peace of bread from a bakery. However, if an individual gets food, she or he eats it, since she or he expects to satisfy her or his hunger.

The example above shows something that is important to understand:

Different human beings
often come to different conclusions.

Different conclusions furthermore lead to different personal interests. These interests may express in pursuing different paths in life, various ambitions or the individual pursue of satisfying needs. Since society is a body of people, it sometimes happens that several interests collide with each other. A conflict arises. To enable a harmonic, peaceful life on Earth, it is important to coordinate these different interests in order to satisfy everyone’s needs. Consequently, we should base societal development and organization on cooperation.
Cooperation means to endeavor to achieve a goal multiple individuals have in common. Cooperating individuals apply the Scientific Method within their shared truth. They share an interest and inform each other about their views and ambitions through communication for finding shared truth (→ Basic understandings). Additionally, they gather information by asking others or doing research. They develop theories and put them into practice. Hence, it is communication within a group of cooperating individuals which forms a basis for successful cooperation.

Satisfying exchange of perceptions, knowledge and information,
i.e. communication, is essential for successful cooperation.

Once communication addressed societal conflicts, solutions need to be found.

A solution is a situation everyone is satisfied with.

As illustrated in the Scientific Method graph, the quality of a solution results from the quality of the developed theory which in turn depends on the amount and quality of the collected information. This means that in order to create holistic, well thought through, sustainable solutions, one needs to break down a problem into small pieces of information in order to question the whole problem complexity. This requires extensive open-minded, non-violent communication for exchanging knowledge and information. Furthermore, cooperation for the sake of solution finding means exploring various perspectives by questioning the personal perception, conviction and attitude towards an issue. It means considering interrelations and -dependencies to enable the development of a well-grounded theory which enables the creation of sustainable solutions. Hence, the global society should endeavor to achieve the following:

Societal communication should be open-minded and free of prejudice. Thus, structures of organization should consider every perspective, view, idea and need they might be confronted with. The global society should establish cooperation in open-minded, non-violent communication which integrates every single human being into society.
The development of sustainable solutions for dissolving and preventing societal conflicts through coordination is the most promising method for establishing a peaceful global society.
In concrete terms, the global society should deliberately design societal structures. This means, to use humanity’s capabilities (→ Technology) for creating an environment which enables every individual to effectively communicate and coordinate their interests with others. The global society should create an environment which does not diminish motivation to cooperate. The global society should create an environment that does not provoke behavior like rivalry, greed, envy and hatred which counteract the finding for an individual’s happiness and satisfaction. The global society should utilize acquired knowledge as holistically as possible for designing a global societal system in ways that enable humanity to achieve the goal of society (→ Values) most effectively.

Question: What if the Scientific Method has resulted in multiple possible proceedings within the solution finding process? What if further proceedings require decisions?
In such cases, decision making is part of solution finding.

Extensive communication and research might be followed by decision making.

Decisions and their implementation are an investigation for the optimal way of solving a problem by trying out possible proceedings. This brings new experiences as well as observations and delivers further information within the solution finding process.
Due to societal decisions and their application, new societal conflicts may arise. Societal conflicts may lead to violence. For violent conflicts, society needs ways to protect human beings from another. These ways should guarantee an ongoing, constructive, non-violent, open-minded communication, since communication is the basis for societal cooperation and enables the consideration of every single human being’s needs and ambitions. Communication and cooperation must never cease.

In the long run, we are obliged to cooperate, since we live together on one planet, in one global society. Consequently, we need to communicate extensively for establishing successful societal cooperation. Hence, it is well coordinated communication and research which would enable the deliberate design of societal structures and thus well-being for the global society.

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—– A short comparison to our contemporary society (2012) —–

The global society is not aware of the Scientific Method and the importance of open-minded, non-violent communication, cooperation and coordination as a basis for creating a peaceful global society. Today, societal structures are well prepared for decision making. We know hierarchies, organization diagrams and leadership. We have parliaments, governments and departments. Additionally, we have concepts for processing elections and votes. Unfortunately, until now, the global society has not understood that extensive communication and research processes are the important basis for finding solutions. Decision making should be seen as only part of this process.
It is the decision making structures most human beings concentrate on. Many human beings that are supposed to make decisions, like politicians or managers, focus on elections, votes, campaigns and chances to beat competitors. Thus, nowadays the global society handles it the other way round: decision making dominates communication and research. The current way of organizing society, the current way of coordinating needs and ambitions will not lead to a global well-being.
In comparison to the established structures for decision making, the global society’s official communication structures are either insufficient or simply unavailable. Even in so called “modern industrial nations”, citizens often have only one official way to express their needs or to address societal conflicts: by electing one or a group of human beings that seem to have similar perspectives. Obviously, we are not aware of the importance of communication. This lack of communication structures gives rise to loneliness, frustration, anger, envy, hate, agony and other unpleasant feelings or states of mind and expresses in demonstrations, strikes, assaults and killing sprees.
The possibility for individual satisfying communication is indispensable for societal cooperation. Every human being needs the possibility to communicate about personal problems, imaginative thoughts and ambitions, in a way that she or he can be understood. The possibility for individual, satisfying communication means being able to communicate difficulties, needs and wishes and attain the best help that society can offer at that time. Society should consider every single individual problem, idea and perspective. This does not mean that society needs to ask every single human being for her or his opinion on every topic. But it means not hindering existing communication possibilities – for example, as they exist between a mother and her child. When a mother’s environment requires her to be away from her child, in order to earn money, the little human being loses a chance for communication with her or his closest relative. Situations like this one are not preferable. We think, they are not good for human beings and hence they are not good for society.
Unfortunately, many people avoid communication, since they see disadvantages when addressing certain problems they have. These are disadvantages they might have encountered in their past. For example, many human beings are afraid of losing their job due to speaking out about difficulties at work. Society should endeavor to create environments in which fear of communication does not exist.

Today, humanity is specialized in decision making, thus we have institutions that intervene in case of societal conflicts that express violently (e.g. police). In contrary to keeping up communication, these institutions often avoid and even deny communication. Furthermore, these institutions judge, isolate and even kill people. If society ceases its dialogue with people who might have a problem with societal structures, we ignore the most obvious way of understanding societal conflicts. Without understanding those conflicts, the global society will not be capable of working on conflict prevention and resolution thus humanity will not be able to create a peaceful global society.

It seems that even many of today’s scientists do not use the Scientific Method in awareness. From our point of view, science means collecting every piece of information possible when researching or engineering something. Any contradicting perspective on a theory is a piece of information and has to be discussed. Therefore, in our eyes, scientists are supposed to be as open-minded as possible. They should try to communicate their views and explanations as comprehensibly as possible rather than neglecting contradicting arguments.
Furthermore, the conditions for contemporary scientific work are complicating research processes. A majority of scientific work is denied by journals or congresses and consequently not integrated for societal benefit. Due to financial problems scientists even have to care for monetary support by writing a lot of project outlines. Hence, many scientists cannot concentrate on their ambitions properly.

Nevertheless, in the last few years the development of the Internet and mobile telecommunication have brought a myriad of possibilities for exchanging information. E-Mail, text messages, instant messaging, forums, social networks and blogs enable the global society to communicate on a never seen scale. It is predominantly the young generation that is used to these technologies. These technologies allow information flows to be managed much more efficiently than some years ago. However, for those who have not yet conceived of the possibilities that those communication systems offer, it is not easy to grasp and consider these possibilities in order to apply them to societal development.
However, in the majority of cases, from our point of view, the most effective and indeed most enjoyable form of communication remains that whereby both dialogue partners meet face to face.

To this end, it is not technology humanity is waiting for in order to mend societal deficits. At a basis, it is the understanding about the importance of communication, cooperation and coordination within society which would enable the sustainable development of solutions – on small and large scales. Let’s communicate with one another!

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—– Myths and Opinions —–

In our lectures and conversations about society we established a collection of Myths and Opinions that have crossed our way most frequently. Some of these statements are widely spread amongst the people in this world. We would like to give you some thought provoking impulses concerning some of the Myths and Opinions of our collection.

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“Rules and laws must be the foundation of a functioning society.”

We disagree. Rules and laws as well as rights can be guidelines to support the intent of a common direction for society. Furthermore, they can even be an orientation for the organization of society. However, rules and laws usually do not prevent the sole cause for societal deficits, which provide incentives for e.g. harming other people, from occurring. They do not necessarily provide methods in order to enable the realization of their goals. Instead, rules and laws usually work with punishments and rewards. Neither punishments, nor rewards focus on removing a problematic situation, but merely focus on stopping people’s destructive reaction on socially frustrating situations and systemic deficits. In many cases the punishments that are prosecuted once a “crime” has been committed are designed to deter people from even wanting to commit it. We think that this cannot be a solution, because in many cases the reasons for not harming other people, are not well understood by those who do “evil”. And even if those persons understood why it is bad to act the way they acted, rules and laws rarely provide alternative ways with which that person can realize her ambitions, achieve his goals, or satisfy her needs without harming others.
So the more rules we establish to prohibit people from doing “wrong”, the more we see people getting better and better at hiding their way of doing “wrong” in order to realize their ambitions.
Additionally, rules and laws are very static. Once a circumstance has changed, society needs a lot of time to adapt or erase a rule. Proceedings that might work in one situation, might be very destructive in another situation. For example, the rule “Don’t cross the street when the traffic light shows red!” tries to prevent accidents. A doctor that could help another human being on the other side while the traffic light shows red, stands in a conflict. She would break the rule, she would act illegally if she decided to help. Additional laws “repair” this conflict by considering conditions wherein human beings are allowed to break the traffic rule. Obviously, the system of laws in our contemporary global society is very confusing and frustrating, since one must permanently check if one is acting in accordance with law or not.
From our point of view, the less rules exist, the freer and more flexible a society is. Thus, the global society should endeavor to eliminate reasons for harming other people or for acting in destructive manners by enabling free education, free communication and satisfying organization and allocation of resources in order to exchange understandings and information. Understandings and open-minded communication form the basis for the functioning of society, not rules and laws.

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Further inspirational information and research material is available on our link pages (→ Links about the Scientific Method).

One thought on “The Scientific Method

  1. Since the inception of the internet in the nineties had helped tremendously in easing the difficulties people had to go through before in communication. Credit to the inventors.
    I still ponder how the world will have been without the intervention of science and technology. It`s crystal clear that in this 21st century technology has been performing wonders in the day to day affairs of people. In the run up to the uprising in Egypt, prior information were sent across about the organization of the uprising through twitter network.This appeared to me that with the efficient use of the internet, one can effect change in his or her life.
    Not long ago when scientist came out wanting to use the cells of living beings to create the duplicate. That is, the cloning technology.
    Science and technology have indeed made our world a global village.

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