How the Methods of Experimentation and Observation Have Changed Throughout the History of Science

The changes in scientific methods over years are owed to ancient philosophers, enlightened cultures and great scientists. Science has changed greatly, similarly are methods of observation and experimentation, thanks to great technological innovations. Modern methods of observation and experimentation are more advanced and giving more accurate results than the ancient methods, (Shuttleworth & Shuttleworth, 2014).

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In the beginning, Ancient Greek philosophers, who are credited for most scientific procedures, did not believe in empirical analysis but relied mostly on reasoning and mathematical measurements such as geometry, (Shuttleworth & Shuttleworth, 2014). However, this was soon to change thanks to Aristotle, who believed in empirical measurements. He contributed more on observation and measurements, the basis on which science is built. He applied observation to almost everything he did, from politics to poetry. He alongside other Greeks are credited for introducing measurement, a scientific method, alongside creating the first distinct subdivision of science into physics, biology, chemistry and Zoology among other areas of the discipline.

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Ibn al-Haytham is among the first Muslim scientist to introduce controlled and systematic experimentation and observation, alongside other ancient Greeks, as a way of discovering new knowledge in addition to building on new knowledge. However, there is the renaissance period, which became the turning point in the scientific methods.            In this period, the knowledge of the Muslim and ancient Greeks were taken and more added to them. Many scholars are credited for this period in science and among them is Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon and Galileo among others. This period took place between sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, widely regarded as scientific revolution era, (Pfeifer, 2012).

The twentieth century saw a shift in focus and split of science into distinct disciplines. In the past, many scientists were polymaths but the twentieth century saw scientists take a more specialist disciplines in order to cope with the changing human and scientific processes. The scientists that made great contributions in this era include Popper, Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend.

Finally, modern scientific methods of observations do not work for all the disciplines but it has to be adapted and modified, every scientific discipline has to have its own philosophy. However, the whole scientific methods draw a lot from the ancient Greeks and Muslim scientists who were the first to develop scientific methods of observation and experimentation. In modern world, there are advanced experimentation tools and techniques with greater accuracy. In addition, the developments in technology, through brilliant innovations have led to development of powerful equipment that are used to conduct observation and experiments unlike ancient times where such equipment were unavailable, (Pfeifer, 2012).

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