The Scientific Method: Importance and Limitations


The Scientific Method refers to the collection of data using experimentation and observation after which the collected information is subjected to testing to prove its viability. The tests must be repeatable for future use and the theories adopted must be objective. In addition, the tests must be available to other scientists and that is why documentation of scientific methods is of essence (Gauch, 2003). This paper outlines the scientific method, discusses its importance to the industrial revolution, and analyses its limitations.

Importance of the scientific method to the industrial revolution

The scientific method became an integral part of the industrial revolution in the seventeenth century as it offered the elite groups ways of generating profits through its new methods of exploiting resources. This presented a new way of meeting their numerous technological and industrial needs thus its wide acceptance. Galileo Galilei, an Italian Scientist for instance wowed the educated elite through his science of mechanics that saw to the building of bridges and other structures for use over water. With the development of the scientific method, commerce prospered and a huge increase in food production was experienced. People who specialized in agriculture now had access to improved fertilizers and they were able to protect their lands using dikes according to a study carried out by Spielvogel (2006).

In addition, farmers could now rear exotic livestock breeds and get a better yield through mixing different soil types. Planting was made much easier by one Jethro Tull who invented a seed drill. The Newtonian world machine made a debut in the eighteenth century and gained worldwide acceptance. In energy matters, the scientific revolution was widely felt and people were now able to use water and steam generated power, a development that made them abandon the animal power they were used to in the past. Thomas Newcomen in 1712 invented the steam engine that became prominent as a power source during the industrial revolution.

The steam power boosted many machines that included the Spinning Jenny used in making thread, steam looms, steam locomotives, and iron production that was geared at providing the required raw materials. The industrial revolution led to the creation of more employment opportunities and this greatly improved people’s livelihoods through the availability of better sanitation, sewerage, housing, and medication (Spielvogel, 2006).

Society without the Scientific Method

It is unimaginable how dull life would be if the scientific method had not been developed. Technology defines the way people live and it has improved their lives in many ways. A society without electricity, cars, airplanes, computers, internet, cell phones, proper housing, sanitation, sewerage, vaccines, and medicines would be a nightmare. The scientific method has made life safer in that various experiments carried out on products help come up with safety measures during their handling. In addition, technology has greatly advanced with the scientific method and life has been made much easier, more practical, and fun according to Dapain (2007).

Limitations of the Scientific Method

The scientific method relies on observations and experimentations that might fail due to inaccurateness. To interpret natural phenomena, scientists use cultural and personal beliefs and at times, their hypothesis fails to pass the test. This may result into the passing of false hypothesis and people will thus be misinformed on how the world works. Some of the areas where the scientific method has failed due to inaccurate findings include theories on origins, genetics, geology, and cosmology. These failures are attributed to personal biases and the fact that it is difficult to test processes that took place decades of years ago (Baumgardner, 2008).


The scientific method has greatly influenced technology in the wake of the industrial revolution as evidenced in this study. The numerous discoveries that have grown with the years have changed people’s ways of life making it easier, more practical, and productive. Imagining a society without the scientific revolution is in itself ridiculous and life would be so raw. However, the scientific method has its limitations according to this study but the bottom line is that life would be extremely hard without it.


Baumgardner, J. (2008). Exploring the limitations of the scientific method acts and facts. Institute for Creation Research, 37(3), 4.

Dapain, Z. (2007). The Importance of Science. Philosophy of Science Journal, 3(2), 2.

Gauch, H. G. (2003). Scientific method in practice. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Spielvogel, J. J. (2006). Western civilization: Since 1500. Volume II, 7th Edition. USA: Thomson Wadsworth Publishers.