The most fascinating thing science taught me was hypothesis-led thinking

It's the proposed explanation for a phenomenon. Comes from the Greek word hupothesis, meaning "to suppose"

One takes this hypothesis and sets out to prove it or disprove it.

If proven, you conclude. It becomes a theory or a law.

Here is the trouble with the process
Confirmation bias
The tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or hypothesis

And here is the deal about confirmation bias
Everyone knows that we fall prey to it
Or, in other words
People expect you to fall for it, because they know they have fallen for it

Now imagine people

When I meet someone, I very quickly form a hypothesis on that person
I have become faster over time, because I care for how good I am with it

My hypothesis is not yet my conclusion. It will take time – months and years – before I can safely conclude on an individual.

But I do have a hypothesis.
And I might share it with others, with the intent of proving or disproving it

People call that "being judgmental"
Because they expect confirmation bias to kick in.
They are sure that my hypothesis will end up being the conclusion, because hey, that's how it works.

Having a hypothesis is important

Having the ability to differentiate between hypothesis and conclusion, is even more important

Having the ability to have your hypothesis misunderstood as conclusion, is what eventually matters