Succinct Summary Of The Scientific Process

There is a succinct and accurate description of science in the book

Tattersall, Ian, 2008: The World from Beginnings to 4000 BCE (New Oxford World History). Oxford University Press. 143 pp

The author writes

“Many of us look upon science as a rather absolutist system of belief. We have a vague notion that science strives to “prove” the correctness of this or that idea about nature and that scientists are all of paragons of objectivity in white coats. But the idea that some beliefs are “scientifically proven” is in many ways an oxymoron. In reality, science does not actually set out to provide positive proof of anything. Rather, it is a constantly self-correcting means of understanding the world and the universe around us. To put it in a nutshell, the vital characteristic of any scientific idea is not that it can be proven to be true but that it can, at least potentially, be shown to be false (which is not the case for all kinds of proposition).”

Since the IPCC multi-decadal climate predictions of the coming century that are given to the impacts community and policymakers cannot be shown to be false, this approach is not a proper use of the scientific method.

I have discussed this previously; e.g. see

Hypothesis Testing – A Failure In The 2007 IPCC Reports

Short Circuiting The Scientific Process – A Serious Problem In The Climate Science Community

The excellent summary by Ian Tattersall presents this veiwpoint very clearly.

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