Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley – Volume 1.
“Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) was a scientist, working on comparative anatomy, an ardent supporter of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and a promoter of education for the masses. He took part in the famous Oxford Debate held in 1860 on Darwin’s theory, where his famous put- down of Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Oxford, led to his being labeled “Darwin’s bulldog.” Huxley was also an essayist and coined the term agnosticism. The Method of Scientific Investigation was published in 1863.” http://fountainheadpress.com/expandingthearc/assets/huxleyscientificinvestigation.pdf
In the scientific method, an experiment is an empirical procedure that arbitrates competing models or hypotheses. Researchers also use experimentation to test existing theories or new hypotheses to support or disprove them.
An experiment usually tests a hypothesis, which is an expectation about how a particular process or phenomenon works. However, an experiment may also aim to answer a “what-if” question, without a specific expectation about what the experiment reveals, or to confirm prior results. If an experiment is carefully conducted, the results usually either support or disprove the hypothesis.
Knowing how scientists “do” science can help you in your everyday life, even if you aren’t a scientist. Some steps of the scientific process — such as asking questions and evaluating evidence — can be applied to answering real-life questions and solving practical problems.
In engineering and the physical sciences including biology and physiology, experiments are a primary component of the scientific method. They are used to test theories and hypotheses about how physical processes work under particular conditions (e.g., whether a particular engineering process or biological process can produce a desired chemical compound). Typically, experiments in these fields focus on replication of identical procedures in hopes of producing identical results in each replication. Random assignment is uncommon.
Dr Emile Kraepelin was also an ardent supporter of Charles Darwin and the scientific method. His measurements of vital signs [including baseline breathing rates] resulted in surprising and previously unknown observations. He replicated these measurements in thousands of unmedicated patients displaying the same syndrome. He hypothesized metabolic disfunction as the cause of this syndrome.
It is time to see if his original observations can be replicated in unmedicated seriously depressed patients today. Why seriously depressive patients especially? Because Kraepelin discovered too slow breathing or respiratory failure in patients suffering this phase of a mixed phase syndrome. The manic phase is harder to test, because the patient [without medication] is likely to be unpredictable and disinterested in following instruction.
It will be easier to prove or disprove the hypothesis of respiratory failure being responsible for the mood and mental disturbance seen in the quiet despair of depression. The euphoria and irritability of mania makes it harder to obtain resting vital signs, including breathing rate and can be studied later on.