What is reasoning?
I know that reasoning is something you have as a natural quality or is also something that you can develop. We use this logical way of thinking in order to form a judgement or conclusion.
But what makes it scientific?
Well I learned that applying this reasoning in either a deductive or inductive way is used for scientific understanding. Scientific reasoning, broadly defined, includes the thinking skills involved in inquiry, experimentation, evidence evaluation, inference and argumentation. The ultimate goal ‘to know’ drives the development of all science. All scientists have this drive to understand the world and how it operates.
Deductive reasoning uses the concept of premises. It takes existing information, rearranges it, and draws a conclusion. An example of deductive reasoning is saying “if A=B, and B=C, then A=C”. Using this type of reasoning ensures a more logical and accurate conclusion.
Inductive reasoning uses generalizations, making it the more risky option. It is like hypothesizing that “all lady bugs are red”. It uses general statements to arrive at the conclusion. So in this example, if an orange ladybug is found, this type of reasoning becomes incorrect. This type of reasoning is most useful when making hypotheses and theories.
But it doesn’t stop there. These two types of logical thinking are related to the two main pathways of scientific study: descriptive science and hypothesis-based science. Descriptive science, which is usually inductive, aims to observe, explore, and discover. Whereas hypothesis-based science, which is usually deductive, begins with a specific question or problem and a potential answer or solution that can be tested.
How is inductive and deductive reasoning related to the scientific method?
Back in the 1600’s, Sir Francis Bacon set up inductive methods for scientific inquiry. He is credited for being the first to define the scientific method. You start of with a problem and apply the scientific method to solve the problem. Inductive reasoning has its place in the scientific method, scientists use it to form hypotheses and theories. Deductive reasoning allows them to apply the theories to specific situations.
The reading of 1.1 taught me how the scientific method is based on the ways we apply inductive and deductive reasoning. This concept stood out to me the most as it is the foundation of all scientific discoveries, and helps us understand the world better.
This still leaves me wondering if there are other forms of scientific reasoning? And what is their role in the scientific method?