A quick search of the ‘the history of the scientific method’ yielded this article in Wikipedia:
“There is was stated that the first uses of that method in Western civilization were done by the Arab physicist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) who used experimentation to obtain the results in his Book of Optics (1021).”
“The Persian scientist Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī introduced early scientific methods for several different fields of inquiry during the 1020s and 1030s. For example, in his treatise on mineralogy, Kitab al-Jawahir (Book of Precious Stones), al-Biruni is "the most exact of experimental scientists", while in the introduction to his study of India, he declares that "to execute our project, it has not been possible to follow the geometric method" and thus became one of the pioneers of comparative sociology in insisting on field experience and information He also developed an early experimental method for mechanics.
Al-Biruni's methods resembled the modern scientific method, particularly in his emphasis on repeated experimentation. Biruni was concerned with how to conceptualize and prevent both systematic errors and observational biases, such as "errors caused by the use of small instruments and errors made by human observers." He argued that if instruments produce errors because of their imperfections or idiosyncratic qualities, then multiple observations must be taken, analyzed qualitatively, and on this basis, arrive at a "common-sense single value for the constant sought", whether an arithmetic mean or a "reliable estimate." In his scientific method, "universals came out of practical, experimental work" and "theories are formulated after discoveries", as with inductivism.”
“In the On Demonstration section of The Book of Healing (1027), the Persian philosopher and scientist Avicenna (Ibn Sina) discussed philosophy of science and described an early scientific method of inquiry. He discussed Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and significantly diverged from it on several points. Avicenna discussed the issue of a proper procedure for scientific inquiry and the question of "How does one acquire the first principles of a science?" He asked how a scientist might find "the initial axioms or hypotheses of a deductive science without inferring them from some more basic premises?" He explained that the ideal situation is when one grasps that a "relation holds between the terms, which would allow for absolute, universal certainty." Avicenna added two further methods for finding a first principle: the ancient Aristotelian method of induction (istiqra), and the more recent method of examination and experimentation (tajriba). Avicenna criticized Aristotelian induction, arguing that "it does not lead to the absolute, universal, and certain premises that it purports to provide." In its place, he advocated "a method of experimentation as a means for scientific inquiry."
Earlier, in The Canon of Medicine (1025), Avicenna was also the first to describe what is essentially methods of agreement, difference and concomitant variation which are critical to inductive logic and the scientific method. However, unlike his contemporary al-Biruni's scientific method, in which "universals came out of practical, experimental work" and "theories are formulated after discoveries", Avicenna developed a scientific procedure in which "general and universal questions came first and led to experimental work." Due to the differences between their methods, al-Biruni referred to himself as a mathematical scientist and to Avicenna as a philosopher, during a debate between the two scholars.
During the European Renaissance of the 12th century, ideas on scientific methodology, including Aristotle's empiricism and the experimental approaches of Alhazen and Avicenna, were introduced to medieval Europe via Latin translations of Arabic and Greek texts and commentaries. Robert Grosseteste's commentary on the Posterior Analytics places Grosseteste among the first scholastic thinkers in Europe to understand Aristotle's vision of the dual nature of scientific reasoning. Concluding from particular observations into a universal law, and then back again, from universal laws to prediction of particulars. Grosseteste called this "resolution and composition". Further, Grosseteste said that both paths should be verified through experimentation to verify the principles.
Roger Bacon was inspired by the writings of Grosseteste. In his account of a method, Bacon described a repeating cycle of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and the need for independent verification. He recorded the way he had conducted his experiments in precise detail, perhaps with the idea that others could reproduce and independently test his results.
About 1256 he joined the Franciscan Order and became subject to the Franciscan statute forbidding Friars from publishing books or pamphlets without specific approval. After the accession of Pope Clement IV in 1265, the Pope granted Bacon a special commission to write to him on scientific matters. In eighteen months he completed three large treatises, the Opus Majus, Opus Minus, and Opus Tertium which he sent to the Pope. William Whewell has called Opus Majus at once the Encyclopaedia and Organon of the 13th century.
Part I (pp. 1–22) treats of the four causes of error: authority, custom, the opinion of the unskilled many, and the concealment of real ignorance by a pretense of knowledge.
Part VI (pp. 445–477) treats of experimental science, domina omnium scientiarum. There are two methods of knowledge: the one by argument, the other by experience. Mere argument is never sufficient; it may decide a question, but gives no satisfaction or certainty to the mind, which can only be convinced by immediate inspection or intuition, which is what experience gives.
Experimental science, which in the Opus Tertium (p. 46) is distinguished from the speculative sciences and the operative arts, is said to have three great prerogatives over all sciences:
It verifies their conclusions by direct experiment;
It discovers truths which they could never reach;
It investigates the secrets of nature, and opens to us a knowledge of past and future.
Roger Bacon illustrated his method by an investigation into the nature and cause of the rainbow, as a specimen of inductive research.”
Therefore it seems that the scholar's Ibn al-Haytham (1021), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (1020-1020), and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (1025, 1027) were the first to create the concept of this methodology and did it before Francis Bacon (1256) laid out that methodology. My old textbooks referred to Francis Bacon as the ‘first to establish the scientific methodology.
So we can now say that the scientific method is around one thousand years old, at least as far as the records for Western civilization.
Nowadays almost all of us own and use such devices as radios, televisions, computers, and smartphones. Most of us own or have ridden in an automobile or a bus, or a train, and perhaps even an airplane.
These modern-day marvels are treated as ordinary objects and are taken for granted without a moment’s hesitation. They are just accepted as part of the common stuff of the world we live in as ordinary as plants, trees, clouds, the sun in the sky, cats, and dogs.
Yet there are many people who use those technological devices without questioning them – TV, radios, cars, smartphones, and computers. Yet there are many people who don’t accept the idea of global warming.
From that essay: “Overall, about half of Americans (49%) say human activity contributes a great deal to climate change, and another 30% say human actions have some role in climate change. Two-in-ten (20%) believe human activity plays not too much or no role at all in climate change.”
So what are we to make of this? What do we say to people who doubt the reality, the truth of climate change?
We can say that they are fools. That they are ignorant of how things work.
The reason we have cars, trains, TVs, radios, computers, and smartphones is that they came about through the use of the one thousand-year-old scientific method. Hundreds, if not thousands of scientists and technicians used that method to establish how to make those devices. All of them are not dropped from the heaven by fairies or elves or angels or God. All of those things were made by people who learned how to do that by making use of that thousand-year-old scientific method.
If those doubters use a car or a computer they can only do so because of the work of scientists using the scientific method.
These doubters are ignorant fools, by definition of that term. They are someone who is ignorant of how human technology came to be made. And they are fools when they accept the one – the technology that gave us smartphones but deny the other, global warming – when the same methods were used by scientists to build and prove them both.
Only an ignorant fool would use a computer that only came into existence because of the scientific method being applied and then doubts it when that same community of scientists uses the same methods to demonstrate the reality of global warming.
A person is an ignorant fool who doesn’t understand how things came to be and denies the results of scientific studies that show how we humans are changing for the worse our climate. The very thing that gives them the lies that they read or listen to on their computer or smartphone by so-called ‘reporters’, ‘experts’ or talk show and blog posters who offer up ‘evidence’ against global warming. Those people who are offering up so-called evidence against global warming are doing it on those machines that only came about by the same methods that the scientists are using to prove global warming. If global warming wasn’t real – then there would not exist cars, trains, TV, radios, smartphones, and computers. Since those technological devices do exist that proves that the scientific method works and therefore proves that there is global warming. The same methods that gave us those technological devices give us the experimental results that prove global warming.
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Gary Jaron's musings.
In my High School Art Department someone had made an ornate sign on hung it on the wall that read: 'Ignore this sign completely.' A paradox couched in sarcasm and irony. This blog is for random musings on anything and everything that comes into my head.