On another forum I was debating with climate change denialists. Someone made the follow comment (I know a red herring, but I bit): I asked the poster to please tell me what shortcomings the scientific method has, and how those short comings effect the results on climate change science. This is the response I got. Unfortunely it uses too much philosophical jargon which I am unfamiliar with. What do you think of the following response. Is it accurate?: Discussions of methodology in science are clouded by a dreadful confusion because the phrase "the scientific method" is used in two very different ways, one appropriate and one highly misleading. The appropriate one speaks in a very general way of science as a powerful process for improving understanding. People who use the phrase in this general way may be criticizing dogmatic clinging to beliefs and prejudices, or appreciating careful and systematic reasoning about empirical evidence. Although vague, this general use of the phrase can be more or less appropriate. On the other hand, the phrase is also commonly used in a much more specific sense -- an entirely misleading sense -- which implies that there is a unique standard method which is central to scientific progress. There is no such unique standard method -- scientific progress requires many methods -- but students in introductory science courses are taught that "The Scientific Method" is a straightforward procedure, involving testing hypotheses derived from theories in order to test those theories. The "hypothetico-deductive" schema taught to students was not developed as a method at all: It was intended a logical analysis of how scientific theories derive support from evidence, and it was developed in a process that intentionally excluded consideration of the process of discovery in science. Few people learn that this notion came by a tangled route from an unreliable source (philosophical speculation), or that actual research on how science proceeds is still in its infancy. The question of how science is so successful at improving understanding is hardly ever presented as a question at all. The current situation is harmful in many ways: People in some immature scientific disciplines are actually trying to use this "method" as a guide to research practice; Others are required to pretend to have followed it when they report their results; and everyone is denied the benefit of useful, insightful analysis of how science works." Inductive reasoning is also known as hypothesis construction because any conclusions made are based on educated predictions. There are three biases that could distort the proper application of induction, thereby preventing the reasoner from forming the best, most logical conclusion based on the clues. These biases include the availability bias, the confirmation bias, and the predictable-world bias. I guess the obvious philosophical critique of the argument that "the only legitimate way to prove a statement correct/true/false is by using the scientific method", itself has yet to be proven using the scientific method. In any case, epistomology is a philosophical question, not a scientific one. So in order for him to argue it, he has to abandon it.