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To succeed in this science course and, more specifically, to answer some of the questions on the first exam, you should be familiar with a few of the concepts regarding the definition of science, scientific thinking, and the methods of science.
These three ideas or principles are universal throughout science; without them, there would be no scientific or critical thinking. Empirical evidence is evidence that one can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell; it is evidence that is susceptible to one's senses.
Empirical evidence is important because it is evidence that others besides yourself can experience, and it is repeatable, so empirical evidence can be checked by yourself and others after knowledge claims are made by an individual.
All scientists practice scientific thinking, of course, since they are actively studying nature and investigating the universe by using the scientific method.
But scientific thinking is not reserved solely for scientists.
Scientists must practice critical thinking to be successful, but the qualifications for success in other professions do not necessarily require the use of critical thinking, a fact that is the source of much confusion, discord, and unhappiness in our sociey .
The scientific method has proven to be the most reliable and successful method of thinking in human history, and it is quite possible to use scientific thinking in other human endeavors.
(Please note that I do not, as some do, make a distinction between belief and knowledge; I think that what one believes is one's knowledge.
The important distinction that should be made is whether one's knowledge or beliefs are true and, if true, are justifiably true.) Every person has knowledge or beliefs, but not all of each person's knowledge is reliably true and justified.