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Q: scientific research ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: scientific research
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: mistie-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 13 Dec 2003 12:05 PST
Expires: 12 Jan 2004 12:05 PST
Question ID: 286745
What are "first principles" when used to approach scientific experiments?
Subject: Re: scientific research
Answered By: blazius-ga on 14 Dec 2003 12:18 PST
In an online essay on scientific experiments, Rev. Ronald J. Wasowski
of the University of Portland describes the "first principles" as one
of nine major aspects of scientific experimental design.  He states
the following "first principles":

- The scientist must clearly understand the nature of the problem he
or she is trying to understand
- The scientist must also clearly understand all of the hypotheses,
theories and laws of nature that can be reasonably expected to affect
the outcome of the experiment.
- The scientist must develop a working hypothesis.

The full essay is available at and has a lot of
details that have not been quoted here.

I hope this answers your question.  If not, please request an answer
clarification before you proceed to give the answer a rating.

Search term used on Google: "first principles" "scientific experiments"

Request for Answer Clarification by mistie-ga on 14 Dec 2003 14:36 PST
thank you.  It definately improved my understanding, and its the best
thing I've seen so far, but I'm still a bit vauge on the whole

If I am to solve a problem using first principles, how is that any
different from how I would approach it otherwise?  thats still my
But seing as I only offered $5.00 for my question and I enjoyed the
essay, I think I'm ahead of the game !  If you came across anything
else you think I should see that would help in this regard, just let
me know.


Clarification of Answer by blazius-ga on 15 Dec 2003 01:02 PST
I do not believe that the "first pinciples" should be regarded as an
alternative way of approaching a scientific problem, it is rather one
way to sum up the fundamentals of doing research.  There is, of
course, a lot more a scientist needs to master before doing proper
research, I think Wasowski's essay is a good primer on this subject.

I will kee you notified is I make any further progress on this question.
There are no comments at this time.

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