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Miscellaneous ::  Doubt, Scientific Method

House. Foreman, Chase
House (Hugh Laurie) takes Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Foreman (Omar Epps) out of the hospital on an investigation.
2005 FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY
Credit: Jaimie TruebloodFOX
Some have complained that the episodes of "House MD" follow a formula. They usually do. The plot follows typical scientific investigation (medicine is, of course, a branch of science):
University of California Department of Physics defines scientific method this way:
The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:
  1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
  2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
  3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
  4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
Note that being wrong is one of the steps toward truth ("modify the hypothesis in the light of your results"). Only after you have tested some hypotheses can you rule them out. Only by ruling them out can you narrow things down to the right answer. This is how House and his team operate and yes that does mean there is a formula to the plots since there is a formula to the method by which this team arrives at the answer. That is a way that this fictional portrait can approximate a process of moving towards truth. Nothing else would demonstrate quite as well a search for truth within a story.
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