When people in general discuss science, they talk about the scientific method as if it was a fixed and universally agreed upon principle. In a show I saw recently by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he explicitly states that it was invented by Ibn Al Haytham in the 10th~11th century. The colloquial definition of the scientific method seems to be something along the lines of:
- Emit a hypothesis
- Run some experiments
- Accept or reject the hypothesis based on the results of the experiments
- Improve or come up with a new hypothesis
- Repeat the hypothesis-test cycle until the phenomenon in question has been properly understood.
In philosophy of science on the other hand, the demarcation problem (how to tell science from pseudo science) is still an open question. Although there is a general consensus among the scientific community that topics like Intelligent Design or Astrology are definitely pseudo-science, there is no accepted demarcation criteria and those that have been proposed are all either too strong or too weak. String theory for example notoriously fails certain demarcation criteria. There are also border cases with practical relevance, such as alternative medicines (Acupuncture, Herbal treatments,...), or psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
Aside from the demarcation question, the problem of underdetermination of scientific theories also still stands, as well as the problem of induction, as exemplified by Hempel's paradox (I understand that demarcation, underdetermination and induction are all related to each other).
Given these open issues in philosophy of science, is it legitimate to speak of the scientific method (or methods) as if it was an established result that has been fixed once and for all?
Are laymen simply abusing language when thy speak of a the scientific method, simply because they are unaware of the complexities that arise in philosophy of science?
What is exactly the relationship between the scientific method and the demarcation problem? My understanding is that Feyerabend (and maybe Kuhn) questioned the existence of a fixed scientific method at all given the unresolved issues with demarcation?