What is science?
Did you ever ask yourself this question? If not, pause here a second, and try to answer it.
The word ‘science’ literally means ‘knowledge’. From the latin ‘scientia’, at its origins, it was the type of knowledge that people could communicate to each other and share. In the present day, we usually think about modern science, which indicates the pursuit of such knowledge.
Doing general science is not that difficult, and you probably do it more often than you realize. Here is the basic recipe for doing science, the so-called “scientific method”:
- Identify a problem
- Ask yourself a question to solve it
- Think about a possible answer
- Implement your solution
- Examine the outcome of your proposed solution
- It worked the first time
- It didn’t work
- (If 1)) Great, now repeat it 10 times. If it works 99.9999% of the time, you can be happy. You have found a solution.
- (If 2)) learn from your mistakes and try to find another possible solution based on your previous results
- Repeat step 3) 4) 5)
- (Once you have the answer) Pass on the knowledge to as many people as you can so they can try it out.
In general, science is a way of learning about nature through careful observation and trial-and-error experiments. It is very important to understand that applying the method in reverse order is NOT science. For example:
- You have a problem
- You are already convinced that you know the solution
- No matter the evidence, you keep on trying to apply the same solution and do not pay attention to the fact that other people have already found a very good solution.
Science was born when the first thinking mind walked this planet. And in a way, we have all been scientists at some point without knowing. Some of us are still scientists today. We constantly ask ourselves new questions and we keep applying the scientific method over and over again, in order to make our small contribution to the knowledge of nature.
And what is extremely important to understand is that modern science is divulged to the scientific community and to the world only once it has been vetted by several other scientists. Even more important, any scientific result that has credibility is one that can be reproduced by many scientists in different parts of the planet, always bringing the same results. Science is never given to you, to us, without careful consideration, trial, experiments, and proofs that many certified scientists agree upon.
So, in the end, it must be trusted!