Evidence in Science
In scientific research evidence is accumulated through observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions. Scientific evidence usually goes towards supporting or rejecting a hypothesis.
One must always remember that the burden of proof is on the person making a contentious claim. Within science, this translates to the burden resting on presenters of a paper, in which the presenters argue for their specific findings. This paper is placed before a panel of judges where the presenter must defend the thesis against all challenges.
When evidence is contradictory to predicted expectations, the evidence and the ways of making it are often closely scrutinized (see experimenter's regress) and only at the end of this process is the hypothesis rejected: this can be referred to as 'refutation of the hypothesis'. The rules for evidence used by science are collected systematically in an attempt to avoid the bias inherent to anecdotal evidence.
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Famous quotes containing the words evidence and/or science:
“The conviction that the best way to prepare children for a harsh, rapidly changing world is to introduce formal instruction at an early age is wrong. There is simply no evidence to support it, and considerable evidence against it. Starting children early academically has not worked in the past and is not working now.”
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—Louisa Parsons Hopkins, U.S. scientist and author. As quoted in The Fair Women, ch. 16, by Jeanne Madeline Weimann (1981)