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What do scientists do? Scientists test hypotheses.

What is a hypothesis?  It is a guess about why something is the way it is.  It might be right, but most hypotheses are not.

What good is a guess?  If it turns out to be a good guess, then you understand the world better.

How do you know if a guess is a good guess?  You collect some data that could possibly prove that the guess is wrong.

What if the hypothesis is shown to be wrong?  That's good, because we have one less possible explanation to consider.

What is good science?  It is the ability to carefully try to reject hypotheses using data until the best hypothesis or hypotheses are left standing.  Good scientists are critical, and that attitude weeds out the hypotheses that are not accurate.

I thought scientists accumulated facts.  That is true.  We need facts to test each hypothesis and decide if it is close to being true.

I'd like to meet a scientist.  Look in the mirror.  When you test hypotheses about albatross feeding trips using the facts from the satellites, you are a scientist.

This page last updated on January 07, 1998 12:03 AM