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The Most Important Part of Science

  1. Aug 3, 2010 #1
    What is the most important part of science? Math, Theories, Experiment, Etc...?

    I'll paraphrase what a friend's answer.

    "Process ... the rest of what you said changes -but the process above it all (which comes from how to think about things) is what determines the quality of reiteration and refinement."

    I thought about this question and I thought that a scientist's interpretation of experiment is the crux of science.

    Any thoughts? Comments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2010 #2
  4. Aug 3, 2010 #3
  5. Aug 4, 2010 #4
    Not getting mad when your stuff breaks or you screw up your computations.
  6. Aug 8, 2010 #5
    We wouldn't go far without it.
  7. Aug 9, 2010 #6


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    Important to who? Mankind or particular scientists?
  8. Aug 9, 2010 #7
    The most important is reproducibility. The notion is that if a result can't be reproduced it is worthless. If someone gives you a bit of scientific information you can go and test it yourself, this is the most important aspect of science.

    Then I have faith in those who do experiments and prefer theory myself, but that do not mean that I don't recognize how important they are for the whole structure. I love reading about experiments done but actually doing them is a snooze fest.
  9. Aug 9, 2010 #8


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    I'm very tempted to say ***s. After all, biology is dependent upon them, if only to make interesting posters. Were it not for them, all of the pioneers of science would have starved to death as infants. I bet that a lot of early scientists made it through school by the grace of a sheep and dreams of Marie Curie.
    Hell, I think of her now and then myself. Of course, she can evoke only "dry dreams", but at least she isn't forgotten.

    :uhh: Oh, crap... I hope that Pierre's hearing hasn't improved since he died...
  10. Aug 9, 2010 #9

    Char. Limit

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    Unbiased experimentation.
  11. Aug 9, 2010 #10
    the most important thing is a stability of culture that allows you to pass down info from one generation to the next.
  12. Aug 9, 2010 #11


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    Very good point. In a way, it's ridiculously obvious, but it never crossed my mind as an element of the process rather than merely a circumstance of it. It needn't even be a "constant stability" (if that makes any sense), nor need every generation be involved, as long as some thread of continuity exists.
  13. Aug 9, 2010 #12


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    Fixing your experiment to match your theory.

    oops did I just say that...
  14. Aug 9, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    damn birds! Where is my slingshot?

    As for the op: What is most important for survival; food, or water?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  15. Aug 9, 2010 #14
    Asking poignant questions
  16. Aug 9, 2010 #15


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    Grant money.
  17. Aug 9, 2010 #16
    I think you'd need to address which facet of science is to be analyzed.

    The most important part to mankind as a whole, or the most important aspect of how science inherently "works"?

    Based on how the rest of the responders have already replied, I'd have to agree. The way we humans interpret the experiments we set up is in my opinion the most fundamental part.
  18. Aug 9, 2010 #17


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    Feel free to herd him in my direction with your slingshot. I have a 10-gauge lying in wait.

    Although that is supposed to be a trick question, I'm going to say "water". Having water allows you more time to find food than having food provides for finding water. (I didn't quite say that properly. What I mean is that you can survive longer without food.)
  19. Aug 9, 2010 #18
    The waste paper basket. It's the difference between science and philosophy.
  20. Aug 9, 2010 #19


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    or paycheck. Other than compensation - curiosity and education.
  21. Aug 9, 2010 #20

    Char. Limit

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    A paraphrasing of a defoliation slogan:

    YOU! Because only you can prevent scientists!
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