Nature of science - 1.8
The importance of evidence is a fundamental common understanding. Evidence can be obtained by observation or experiment. It can be gathered by human senses, primarily sight, but much modern science is carried out using instrumentation and sensors that can gather information remotely and automatically in areas that are too small, or too far away, or otherwise beyond human sense perception. Improved instrumentation and new technology have often been the drivers for new discoveries. Observations followed by analysis and deduction led to the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe and to the theory of evolution by natural selection. In these cases, no controlled experiments were possible. Disciplines such as geology and astronomy rely strongly on collecting data in the field, but all disciplines use observation to collect evidence to some extent. Experimentation in a controlled environment, generally in laboratories, is the other way of obtaining evidence in the form of data, and there are many conventions and understandings as to how this is to be achieved.