facts are not science as the dictionary is not literature martin h fischer n.
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“Facts are not science – as the dictionary is not literature” –Martin H. Fischer

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“Facts are not science – as the dictionary is not literature” –Martin H. Fischer. If science is not facts, what is it?. The Nature of Science. Science is a process by which we try and understand how the natural world works. Nature of Science. Collecting or memorizing facts or observations

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facts are not science as the dictionary is not literature martin h fischer
“Facts are not science – as the dictionary is not literature”–Martin H. Fischer

If science is not facts, what is it?

science is a process

…but not necessarily one “set in stone” system of rules

  • We use the “Scientific Method” because it is the most commonly observed and used method
  • This method provides the most understanding and meaning to new scientists
Science is a process…

There is NO certainty in science

  • There ARE degrees of probability and potential for change
  • Scientific understanding can ALWAYS be challenged with new evidence
  • NOTHING in science is ever PROVEN.
modern science is based on several assumptions

The world is real and not just our imagination

  • Humans can accurately perceive and understand the physical universe
  • Natural processes are sufficient in explaining the natural world
  • Nature operates in the same way everywhere in the universe and at all times (except where we have sufficient evidence to demonstrate otherwise)
Modern science is based on several assumptions…
modern science has limitations

Observations are limited by human senses

  • Our senses are unconsciously influenced by previous experience
  • It is impossible to know if we have observed all possible aspects, controlled all possible variables, or considered every possibility of a phenomenon
Modern science has limitations…
science is contingent knowledge

It is NOT absolute

  • Based only on available evidence NOT on “proof”
  • History of science is full of changes in understanding and explanations
Science is contingent knowledge
science must follow certain rules

Scientific explanations must be based on careful observations and testing of hypotheses

  • It must be able to be disproven
  • Solutions can NOT be based on opinion, popular belief, or judgment
  • Explanations cannot be based on supernatural forces (because they cannot be disproved)
Science must follow certain rules
science must follow certain rules1

All hypotheses are not of equal value

  • The “best” hypothesis is that which best explains ALL the facts/evidence
  • Science is NOT democratic or fair
Science must follow certain rules
the scientific method

The Scientific Method

Better than other methods


What is happening?

  • Is there anything interesting?

What do you think will happen?

  • What is the most probable outcome?

What will you do to test your hypothesis?

  • This should include an explanation of how you will use the materials
  • A well designed procedure will include multiple trials
dependent variable

What are you measuring?

  • What is the outcome – what units will your data be in?
Dependent Variable

The things that do not change from one trial to the next

  • What might influence the independent variable that should be maintained?

When you did the experiment, what happened?

  • What did you see, hear, smell, measure?

What did your results mean?

  • Was your hypothesis correct or incorrect?
  • Are further experiments needed?
  • What could have been improved?
scientific theory1

A scientific theory is the best fit explanation for a phenomenon that is repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation via the scientific method

Scientific Theory
criteria for a scientific theory

A theory must be falsifiable

  • A theory must fit a phenomenon with consistent accuracy
  • A theory is well supported by many independent strands of evidence, not just one
Criteria for a scientific theory
criteria for a scientific theory1

A theory must fit previous knowledge or experimentation

  • A theory can be adapted to account for new evidence
  • A theory must be the simplest explanation – Occam’s Razor
Criteria for a scientific theory
examples of scientific theory

Quantum Theory

  • Cell Theory
  • Theory of Evolution
  • Climate Change
  • Plate Tectonics
Examples of Scientific Theory
so what s the difference between a law and a theory

A law is an obvious generalization that describes a phenomenon

  • A theory attempts to explain why a phenomenon happens
  • Both can be disproven if and when new evidence is discovered
So what’s the difference between a law and a theory?