Due to this inconsistency, I have been forced to choose among competing alternatives.
(* It's fast if the current URL has a "#..." suffix, as it does with all links I've made to this page.) The rare open a new page in this window; but if you right-click on the link you can ask it to open in a new window, so this big page remains open in this window and you won't have to wait for it to reload — and in this page you'll already be where you were! Compared with my description of science in the "overview of scientific method" page, this "details of scientific method" page is intended to be more complete, but not fully complete.
Each topic in my elaboration has been studied for years (or even lifetimes) by numerous scholars.
An example of an explanatory theory is atomic theory, which postulates unobservable entities (protons, electrons,...) and interactions (nuclear, electromagnetic,...) in an effort to explain observable properties.
Questions about the legitimacy of postulating "unobservables" has been one source of conceptual constraints for the types of components used in scientific theories.
Often, observation also involves uncertainties, such as random fluctuations; and data collection may involve subjective decisions such as assigning specimens into categories.