Originally Posted by Keycube
Isn't a definitive, undeniable conclusion ultimately what makes science science, though?
My biology prof back in undergrad addressed this, actually.
There's no such thing as scientific proof
because the nature of the scientific method is to either disprove or fail to disprove (i.e. your results either contradict your hypothesis or they don't), not to prove anything. The closest thing to scientific proof is to contradict all known alternatives to a hypothesis, and even then there's always the possibility of new evidence changing everything.
As a side note, in addition to the doubt built into the scientific method, results are generally analyzed by statistical methods to find out whether what happened was random chance or actually means something. Statistical analyses, though, are never completely sure about anything either, so you see things like "5% confidence level" and "1% confidence level", which mean that the statistics are 95% or 99% sure that a result actually means something. Here's a mindbender...for every 100 things we "know" based on research with a 99% confidence level, one of those things is wrong. For every 100 things we "know" based on a 95% confidence level, 5 of those things are wrong.
None of this means that we get to pick and choose which conclusions we like--just that all scientific knowledge is always subject to further testing, so nothing is "proven" or "undeniable."