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Scientific Method Applied to Forensic Science - Accurate Essays

Scientific Method Applied to Forensic Science

Scientific Method Applied to Forensic Science

The scientific method is a world acclaimed procedure that is used by scientists as an investigation technique. This technique is used by scientists in their efforts of trying to investigated the natural and physical phenomena that are existent in the word we live in. when in the process of deducing a theory, humanistic flaws are bound to corrupt the end conclusions. This is due to the setting in of the human personal and cultural beliefs that are bound to influence the ending interpretations of the set hypothesis. To curb the flawing of the developed theory, the scientific method procedures are adopted with the integration of decisive factor and standard procedures. The person entitled in carrying out the scientific methods in forensics is known as a forensic examiner. He or she is properly skilled with the knowledge on how to apply the scientific methods in order to come up with professional conclusions that are free of flaws.

This helps in curtailing the humanistic aspects of prejudice and bias during the consideration of the set theories and hypothesis. In the past, the, the scientific method was not used in forensic science. The basic argument to this was that forensic science deals with past events and the past events posses qualities that the scientific methods and its procedures could not handle. The qualities of these past events are that past events cannot be observed due to their executed nature. Past events cannot be predicted or deduced from physical evidence and could not be subjected under scientific experiments. However, under careful consideration and slight modifications, the scientific methods are now used in forensic science and incorporated into the criminal investigation science (Becker, 2009).

Scientists have fronted the following statement that it is nearly impossible to approve a stated theory, but there is the possibility of disapproving it. Theories are different from facts in the basic sense that they have to be proven as true with the support of evidence or conclusive arguments. The proof or disapproval of a theory entails a rigorous process of the examination of the known facts and experimental process to come up with conclusions that either approve or disapprove the said theory. A legal case consists of a judge, the defense and the prosecution. The prosecution and defense are entitled with the task of bringing up evidences and plausible arguments that could help in the exoneration of the client, in the case of the defense, or the prosecution of the suspect in the case of the prosecution.

The judge is given the task of finding the suspect guilty or innocent after careful consideration of the evidences and arguments brought before him by the defense and prosecution. The sole duty of collecting the evidence is given to the forensic expert who implements the scientific method in coming up with conclusive reports and evidences for the case. The scientific method is comprised of four basic steps. Which are the observation and description of a phenomenon or a group of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis or hypotheses to explain the phenomena, the use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to quantitatively predict the results of new observations and finally the performance of tests of predictions by several independent experimenters (Popper, 1963).

The first step in the scientific method is the observation and description of a phenomenon or a group of phenomena (Science buddies, 2010). The forensic examiner starts with the task of scientifically analyzing of the scene of the crime and taking careful observations on the evidences that are possibly left there. If is the case of a murder investigation, the first step would be to investigate the most probable cause of death of the victim and whether, the murder was conducted at the scene of the crime or that the victim had been murdered elsewhere and finally the body relocated to the scene of the crime. If the crime involved ballistics or the use of bullets in the subsequent murder of the victim, them the forensic examiner could make observations location of the bullet and come up with its possible trajectory before the impact. Other observations of the phenomena that are evident at the scene of the crime could help put up a strong case in a court of law. The observations made a very crucial as they could end up in determining whether the suspects are to go scot-free or be charged. This is because the legal system deals with proof and evidence, but not mere theories (Miller, 2003).

The second step in the scientific method in forensic science is the formulation of logical hypothesis or hypotheses to explain the phenomena (Science buddies, 2010). The forensic examiner now has the task of formulating logical and reasonable hypothesis that could possibly explain the phenomena. This is performed through the framing of plausible questions that would highlight or state on the current predicament. The forensic examiner could also formulate a theory that could give possible explanations about the happenings. The possible theories in a ballistics case would be to theorize the possible type of gun that could have fired the bullet, the possible location of the actual scene of crime if the victim’s body had been moved.

Unless the perpetrators were perfect criminals, they were always bound to leave evidence behind that would later lead to them. A very important theory would be possible reasons behind the victim’s murder. The hypothesis and possible theories that the forensic examiner would come up with would attempt to explain the observations that one had made in the first step and create possible explanations for the activities that took place prior to the discovery of the murder. The hypothesis tends to build up a possible cause for the dramatic effect that is experienced during the observations.

The observations stage and the building of a hypothesis or plausible theory form an intricate cause and effect connection, with the observation being the effect and the hypothesis and or theory being the most probable cause to the effect. Reality and theory are quite different when it pertains to criminal forensics. This is due to the existence of many possible answers to a given question. The forensic examiner has the task of identifying the most plausible one. Crimes are committed with a reason behind them. This could help in coming up with possible motives of the suspects to commit the crime. The identification of the ownership of the weapon used in committing the crime would highly beneficial to the case.

The next step that the forensic examiner would follow would be the use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations (Science buddies, 2010). The forensic examiner has the task of conducting a study on background information concerning the given case. Naturally, there is bound to be a research or several that is similar or related to the case in question. The forensic examiner has the task of coming up with a literature review of the on previous research that other scientists had conducted in the past that had relations with this particular case. It is not prudent for any research to start from scratch, as it would lead to a lot of time wasting. This is through the investigation and justification of facts that had already been dealt with before. Humans have a pattern when researching on human activities. The research on another related case could provide great insight on the case mentioned.

The nest step that the forensic examiner would follow would be the performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters (Science buddies, 2010). This step tends to justify or give evidences to the hypothesis or theories that had been forwarded. The results of the experiments could end up either approving or disapproving the forwarded. This phenomenon highlights the need for the setting up of several separate and independent experimenters. This is to avoid the experts’ bias and prejudice from being reflected on the results. If the forensic expert who made up the hypothesis and possible theories were left to conduct the experiments alone, then he or she would be biased into proving the set hypothesis and theories rather than disapproving them. A control group ought to be set to compare or contrast with the results obtained in the experiments. This would help in the ascertainment of the results of the experiments to be true and not prejudiced.

Forensics involves the application of scientific methodology into the legal field. Forensics involves the careful examination of a scene of crime and extracting all the relevant evidences that could be used in a court of law to either implicate or exonerate a particular suspect from a case. This highlights the importance of forensic science in the world and the legal system in particular. There is therefore the need for the establishment of a detailed procedure that is to dictate the procedures followed in the observation of crime scenes and the analysis of forensic evidence and technology. This is to ensure that the results obtained are credible and are free of bias and prejudice.

The efficiency of the system also dictates the duration of the legal case and as it goes justice delayed is justice denied. There is also the need for competent forensic experts who are able to follow the set guidelines professionally and apply intelligent reasoning. This paper examines on how the scientific method is incorporated into forensic science and criminology in order to come with factual conclusions through the careful observation of the evidence. The conclusions are mostly used in a court of law to aide in the exoneration of a suspect or his sentencing. The observations are later documented and stored for future reference purposes (Faigman, Kaye, Saks & Sanders, 1997).






Becker, R. F. (2009). Criminal Investigation. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Faigman, D., Kaye, D., Saks, M., and Sanders, J. (Eds.). (1997) Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, vol. 1. St. Paul, MN: West Publishers.

Miller, M. (2003) “Crime Scene Investigation,” in James, S., and Nordby, J. (Eds.), Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Popper, K. (1963). Conjectures and Refutations. London, UK: Routledge & Keagan Paul.

Science buddies. (2010). Free science fair ideas, answers, & tools foe serious students. Retrieved from




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