Originally posted by epiphinehas
My basic understanding of science is that it is a method or tool used to understand how stuff works, basically. Scientists are those whom specialize in the scientific method. Hypothesis are rigorously tested through experiment and observation. Theories are developed to explain a given phenomenon. Extensive peer review is involved. The worth of any g eaning against the wall, or it can be employed - it all depends on what we do with it.
Nice post. The first bit is a reasonable description. The second bit I'm not sure I agree with entirely. There is one important slip I think you made: you said that for some people "if God hasn't been proven, then God doesn't exist.
". But the scientific method does not and cannot 'prove' anything. I think it's more "if God cannot even theoretically be disproved
then any speculation as to his/her/their/its existance or nature is pointless.
I quite like this, very basic, description of the scientific method. It's shown as a flowchart but that's too hard to draw here:
2. Get and idea
3. Perform experiment
4. Does the evidence suport the idea?
4a. No -> Bad idea -> discard idea and goto 1
4b. Yes -> Theory created
5. Use theory to better understand the universe
6. Discover new evidence
7. Can the theory be modified to explain the new evidence?
7a. No -> Revolution! Discard idea and goto 1
7b. Yes -> Improve theory and goto 5
7a, I think, is not quite right though. Taking Newtonian physics as an example, Einstein showed it to be wrong but it does not need to be discarded. It just needs to be realised that it is not accurate at very high speeds. It is fine for sending men to the moon.
Science, effectively, gives models of the universe. You choose the simplest model for your domain that provides the accuracy of predictions that you need. If there is no model which predicts accurately enough then you need a new theory.
This next bit is unashamed religion-bashing, for which I apologise but I really can't resist. Next to the Science flowchart, there's a 'Faith' one.
2. Get and idea
3. Ignore contradicting evidence
4. Keep idea forever