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Can science explain everything? Part 2

Common pitfalls in using the scientific method

The scientific method is indeed a powerful tool. Like any tool, however, if it is misused it can cause more harm than good.

The scientific method can only be used for testable phenomenon.

This is known as falsifiability [1].

While many things in nature can be evaluated and measured, some areas of human experience are beyond objective observation e.g. the meaning of life.

An everyday example of something not falsifiable is the statement ‘cake is always better than biscuit’ this is because it is very subjective.

Both proving and disproving the hypothesis are equally valid outcomes of testing.

It is possible to ignore the outcome or inject bias to skew the results of a test in a way that will fit the hypothesis.

Data in opposition to the hypothesis should never be discounted.

What type of questions does the scientific method best address?

It is widely accepted that the scientific method is particularly good at answering the ‘how’ questions in science e.g. how do antibiotics such as penicillin kill bacteria [2].

However when it comes to answering the ‘why’ questions as to the meaning and purpose of certain things including your life itself, the scientific method has less to contribute.

This can be best understood by posing the ‘why’ questions to your own life.

Amongst these big questions we might ask ourselves we might include the following.

1. Who am I?

2. What Is My Life Purpose?

3. What is My Life Plan?

The go-to place for life’s big ‘Why’ questions is the bible.

A good starting point with our ‘why’ questions can be found In just one bible verse:

John 3:16 KJV: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The answers we can deduce from this verse include the following:                                                

1.       There is a loving Creator God who adores his created human beings including you.

2.       The Creator God loved humankind including you enough to sacrifice the life of his Son.

3.        The Creator’s plan for us (including you) is that we believe in the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ so that we can enter eternal life with him.



[1] Falsifiability is the capacity for a proposition, statement, theory, or hypothesis to be proven wrong. The concept of falsifiability was introduced in 1935 by Austrian philosopher and scientist Karl Popper (1902-1994).

[2] The antibiotic properties of the mould Penecillium genus were identified and described in 1929 by Alexander Fleming in London. He named the active agent as penicillin.


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