When I consider the question of “what is science?” I remember a poster depicting the steps of the Scientific Method that hung on the wall of my 6th grade Biology classroom. 

It listed, Observe -> Research -> Hypothesis -> Experiment -> Analysis -> Conclusion. Without going into detail on each of these steps, the poster was actually crucial in forming my early and ongoing perceptions about science. In our Monday lecture, we considered Karl Popper’s stance on the third step, Hypothesis, as he claims that a theory that cannot be refuted cannot, then, be valid.This reminds me of a certain logical fallacy known as “Argument from Ignorance”. It occurs when someone makes a claim without providing any evidence to support it, and instead challenges anyone refuting that claim to provide evidence that would prove it wrong. This is a fallacy because the scientific method (as well as rational thought) would argue that nothing is true unless it can be tested and proven to be true. However if we assume that an unbacked claim is true unless we disprove it, then we would also, illogically, be allowed to say that every other claim that can possibly be made is always true until proven otherwise. For example, one could make the claim, without any evidence, that there is currently a teapot in orbit around Jupiter. Aside from the glaring impracticality of it, the biggest problem with this statement is that it cannot, technically, be disproven as there is no way to conjure up evidence that there is not a teapot somewhere–anywhere within a three dimensional space around Jupiter. According to Popper, this argument is automatically discredited since it cannot be proven wrong. What I consider science to be is the accumulation of every refutable hypothesis and theory and the absence of logical fallacies such as “Argument from Ignorance”. Restrictions on what constitutes as scientifically valid that are based in rationality are essential to keeping the scientific field free of absurd and unreasonable “litter” that can serve to muddy the facts to ordinary observers.