Comment by Zackmarty on Is That Your True Rejection? · 2012-01-31T09:32:29.470Z · LW · GW

This isn't related to the entire post so much as it is a response to the problem with the scientific method. The scientific method does start with a hypothesis in relation to individual experiments. The hypothesis starts with general observations made from previous experiments or just some kind of general observation.

If we assume complete ignorance about NaCl (Sodium Chloride), but previously observed that pure sodium (Na) explodes in the presence of water, we might decide to devise an experiment to see what happens when we place other compounds with sodium in water. Our hypothesis might be something like, everything that has sodium explodes in water. It is not necessary to write down this hypothesis, because the hypotheses we generally make are made in our head when we are not in some kind of laboratory setting. By that I mean we constantly make hypotheses about subjects before we observe the results of our 'experiments.'

Anyway, we toss a block of sodium chloride in a bucket of water and observe that an explosion does not immediately follow. We had previous observations from former experiments, or general observations, to suggest that stuff with sodium will explode, but our observational evidence suggests that our previously made hypothesis is not true.

We make plenty of observations before making hypotheses, but we always make some sort of hypothesis before making some sort of observation when starting an experiment of any manner.