Science is not about big words. It’s not about lab coats and safety goggles, and it’s definitely not about trying to make yourself sound fancy. Science is not an end in and of itself, but a path. It’s a method to help you discover the underlying order of the world around you and to use those discoveries to help you predict how things will behave in the future.
The scientific method is based on making observations, keeping track of those observations, coming up with hypotheses to explain those observations, and then performing tests designed to disprove those hypotheses. If, despite your hardest, most sincere efforts, you can’t manage to disprove the hypotheses, then you can say with a pretty good deal of certainty that your hypotheses are true.
That is what science is, and it can be as simple as observing that of the first three beers you had, the coldest one was the tastiest, and therefore it’s probably a good idea to chill down the fourth before you crack it open, or as complex as determining the gene that decides whether your kid’s eyes are going to be blue or brown. Most of us practice science every single day, often without even knowing it.
For instance, when I first got married, I noticed that there seemed to be a direct correlation between some of my wife’s bad moods and my propensity to leave the toilet seat up. (Observation.) I then thought to myself, perhaps if I put the toilet seat down more often, my wife’s mood and therefore my own happiness would improve. (Hypothesis.)
I tried putting down the toilet seat a few times and waiting to see how my wife reacted. (Testing.) Noticing an improvement in her moods, I started putting the seat down almost every time, only occasionally leaving it up to test the continued validity of my hypothesis. Some folks would call this just being a good roommate/husband. I call it science.