What Does scientific thinking Mean

We explain what scientific thinking is and how it came about. Also, characteristics and examples of scientific thinking.

Scientific thinking is based on reason and a critical spirit.

What is scientific thinking?

Scientific thought is a mode of reasoning inaugurated by the emergence of modern sciences . It is based on skepticism , observation and experimentation , that is, on the demonstrable verification of the interpretations we make of the world and the laws that govern it.


Scientific thought is a type of thinking alien to the methods and reasoning of religion , magic and medieval scholasticism. On the contrary, it embraces the critical and rationalist thinking of the Renaissance philosophers.

In Modernity, it manifested itself especially in the Scientific Method , formally proposed by the philosopher and writer Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) in his work De dignitate et augmentis scientarumn (“On the dignification and progress of science”). But it is above all, together with its application to techniques ( technology ), of the contemporary world as we know it.

It is highly effective in translating the observable universe into demonstrable, reproducible and measurable phenomena , with the intention that they are independent of individual subjectivities. Thus, it has made available to us methods and tools unimaginable in times prior to its emergence and formalization.

Since then, science has made great strides. The changes it provokes present society with ethical debates about responsibility for its consequences.

See also: Scientific knowledge

Origin of scientific thought

The concern to know and understand the universe , that is, the germ of scientific thought, has existed in our species since its inception. That is why there were great practitioners of what in ancient times was known as ” Philosophy “, or “Natural Philosophy” and which is the direct precursor of modern science .

Scientific thought proper appeared after the Renaissance . It was the result of the radical philosophical and cultural change that occurred after the end of the Middle Ages and the replacement of religious faith by human reason as the supreme value of humanity .

Characteristics of scientific thought

Scientific theories, such as evolution, must be demonstrated with evidence.

Scientific thinking consists of four essential characteristics:

  • Objectivity and rationality. Scientific thought must be alien to the feelings, interests and opinions of those who formulate it, since it tries to obtain conclusions regarding the laws that govern the universe, regardless of the appreciation of human beings .
  • Demonstrability and verifiability. Scientific conclusions must be universal, and for this they must be able to be demonstrated empirically, thus being valid throughout the world and being able to be verified by direct experience (experiments) or by an explanation that cannot be refuted by logical and demonstrable arguments .
  • Systematic and methodical. Scientific thought is carried out through ordered, explainable procedures that step by step form a rational, empirical and analyzable system in any of its elements. Thus, for example, an experiment must be able to be replicated as many times as necessary and always obtain the same result.
  • Accuracy and communicability. Whenever a scientific conclusion is reached, it must be precise, that is, concrete, specific, and must be able to be understood and explained to third parties, that is, communicable in its entirety.

Examples of scientific thinking

Even the most basic technologies are the fruit of scientific thinking.

On the one hand, the so-called exact or hard sciences are a manifestation of scientific thought. So are those with specific applications in technology, such as electricity , computing or astronomy , for example.

In addition, examples of scientific thought are an enormous variety of rational , empirical , testable, and communicable knowledge . These include the laws of physics , the applications of chemistry , the understanding of anatomy, and biochemistry .

We also find scientific thinking in less obvious contexts, such as mathematical and logical reasoning , sociological , psychological , economic and other social science theories . In all cases, it is necessary that they comply with the premises and requirements of the scientific method.

Follow with: Logical thinking