I always smile a little when I hear clicker trainers talk about the "science" of dog training.
The transparent message is that people without science degrees of any kind are now armed with the cloak of science because they went to PetCo and got a clicker, read some sensible training tips on a list-serv, and have a few cubes of cheese in hand.
Why do I smile? Simple. You see, to the extent there is a "science" to dog training (and I will let others debate the semantic edges there!), it was sparked by B.F. Skinner who used "Skinner Boxes" to teach animals to press levels, guide bombs, play tic-tac-toe, and dance in circles.
Left out of the story, however, is the fact that Skinner boxes had electric floors and could administer mild electric shocks to rats, monkeys, and other animals inside. Please notice the power cord and the electric floor grid in the "Skinner Box" diagram at top.
Of course the fact that B.F. Skinner jolted animals with electricity is hardly surprising. After all, the three core parts of operant conditioning (which were well understood by circus trainers long before B.F. Skinner named them) are rewards to encourage behavior, doing absolutely nothing to extinguish behavior, and engaging in "punishment" to discourage behavior.
So, to put a point on it, if you insist on calling yourself a "scientific" dog trainer, be sure to show me where you plug in the electric grid, or how you administer your mild aversives.
Science is not philosophy -- it is the opposite of that.
Science, like Mother Nature, is not particularly soft. In fact, it is more likely to be red in tooth and claw than warm and fuzzy. Every dog comes with teeth to instruct. Not a one carries a clicker.