Funny that I should find this succinct definition on scientific exploration/discussion from a Reddit thread concerning Zahi Hawass:
... It would be nice if, just for once, we could have a discussion about this social science that addresses: here's what we have observed; here is how we observed it; here's our conclusions; here's how we derived those conclusions; here's what is limited about our conclusions; here's what we don't yet know; here's what I think happened; here's what we still have to observe; here's what we should look for next time we do a study on this topic; etc.
Much like the idea that a mature mind requires that you be able to entertain others' thoughts without having to accept it, consider this:
... If you can't entertain another person's ideas and beliefs, you don't truly know the argument.