In W. P. Hanage’s article, he discusses the importance of five key questions when interpreting scientific literature:
- Can experiments detect differences that matter?
- Does the study show causation or correlation?
- What is the mechanism?
- How much do experiments reflect reality?
- Could anything else explain the results?
Explain the significance that each of these questions have on interpreting scientific literature. Which is most helpful when discussing controversy, and why?
That’s why you experiment, no? The whole point of doing experiments is to separate by different factors so you can see different outcomes. Sometimes data is insignificant. I guess it depends on the experiment.
Causation is when one thing causes the other thing and correlation is when two things occur at the same time but not necessarily if they cause the other the occur or vice versa. If you’re performing a study, you’re trying to see how and what the outcomes are about. So it’s important to know the causation before the correlation would even matter or be significant.
Understanding the mechanism will provide answers about how to manipulate the process any any given step in the middle. The mechanism helps us to understand the method of how things comes about. It is how we learned cures for many diseases because the mechanism is where we’ve been able to insert changes or alterations in order to prevent further action.
Scientists go above and beyond to make their research emulate reality so that the results will actually be applicable to their real life subjects.
There will always be outliers. There will always be things we can’t explain. This is the anonymity and magic of science. It is incredibly complex, often beyond our comprehension.