SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION

Scientific Explanation: An Overview

Scientific explanation is an important component of scientific inquiry. It is the process of providing a logical account of the phenomena under investigation. Explanations are often thought of as answers to “why” questions, but they can also be used to answer “how” and “what” questions. Scientific explanations are based on the evidence available and the scientific principles that are applicable to the phenomena under investigation.

The process of scientific explanation begins with observation and description of a phenomenon. This is followed by identification of any relevant causes or factors that may be responsible for the phenomenon. These causes are then tested through experiments and other forms of empirical investigation to determine their effects on the phenomenon. If the evidence from experiments and other forms of investigation indicates that the proposed cause is indeed responsible for the phenomenon, then a logical explanation is constructed. This explanation should be consistent with scientific principles and should be able to account for all the evidence gathered.

An important aspect of scientific explanation is the ability to make predictions about the behavior of the phenomenon under investigation. This requires an understanding of the underlying principles that govern the behavior of the phenomenon. If the evidence from experiments and other forms of investigation supports the proposed explanation, then predictions about the behavior of the phenomenon should be consistent with the explanation.

Scientific explanations are not absolute, and they can be modified or discarded when the evidence suggests that the explanation is incorrect. This is an important aspect of the scientific method, as it allows for the refinement of existing explanations and the development of new explanations that are better supported by the available evidence.

Scientific explanations can be used to understand both natural and artificial phenomena. They can also be used to explain the behavior of complex systems, such as social and economic systems. By understanding the underlying principles that govern these systems, it is possible to make predictions about their behavior and to design better strategies for managing them.

In conclusion, scientific explanation is an important component of scientific inquiry. It involves the identification of the causes of a phenomenon and the testing of those causes through experiments and other forms of investigation. The evidence from these investigations is used to construct logical explanations that are consistent with scientific principles. These explanations can then be used to make predictions about the behavior of the phenomenon and to design better strategies for managing it.

References

Cherry, K. (2020). What Is Scientific Explanation? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-scientific-explanation-604317

Khan Academy. (n.d.). What is scientific explanation? Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/scientific-explanation

McMullin, E. (1984). The Inference that Makes Science. In P. D. Asquith & T. N. Nickles (Eds.), Scientific Inquiry and the Social Sciences: A Volume in Honor of Donald T. Campbell (pp. 41–78). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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