The Inductive Method

The inductive method, first prescribed by Bacon, is a process of making numerous observations until one feels confident in drawing generalizations and predictions from them. What we know of anatomy is a product of the inductive method. We describe the normal structure of the body based on observations of many bodies.

This raises the issue of what is considered proof in science. We can never prove a claim beyond all possible refutation. We can, however, consider a statement as proven beyond reasonable doubt if it was arrived at by reliable methods of observation, tested and confirmed repeatedly, and not falsified by any credible observation. In science, all truth is tentative; there is no room for dogma. We must always be prepared to abandon yesterday's truth if tomorrow's facts disprove it.

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