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The Nature of Science

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  1. The Nature of Science

  2. The Nature of Science • Science - an attempt to discover order in nature and to use that knowledge to make predictions about what should happen in nature

  3. The Nature of Science • Primary goal of science? • To discover order in nature and to use that knowledge to make predictions about what should happen in nature

  4. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Involves trying to answer a set of questions: • What is the question about nature to be answered? • What relevant facts and data are already known?

  5. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Involves trying to answer a set of questions: • What new data should be collected and how? • After data are collected, can they be used to formulate a scientific law or theory?

  6. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Involves trying to answer a set of questions: • How can a hypothesis be invented that explains the data and predicts new facts? Is this the most reasonable hypothesis?

  7. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Involves trying to answer a set of questions: • What new experiments can be done to test the hypothesis (and modify it if necessary) so it can become a scientific theory?

  8. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • State the question we wish to answer • Collect data • Qualitative Data - descriptive observations • Quantitative Data - measurements

  9. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Formulate hypotheses • Hypothesis - a proposition that is put forth as an explanation for, or prediction of, an observation or a phenomenon

  10. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • An experiment evaluates alternative hypotheses • Experiments must be reproducible through controlled experiments

  11. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • Controlled Experiment • Experimental Group - a variable (e.g. temperature, concentration, etc.) is changed in a known way • Control Group - the chosen variable is not changed

  12. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • Controlled Experiment • All components of each group are as identical as possible and experience the same conditions, except for the variable being manipulated in the experimental group

  13. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • Controlled Experiment • Any differences between the two groups should result from the variable that was manipulated in the experimental group

  14. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • The best hypothesis is the one that holds under a variety of experiments and which makes predictions that can be used to test the validity of the hypothesis

  15. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • If the results of the experiment do not support the hypothesis, then revise the hypothesis

  16. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • Hypotheses can be tested using a model - an approximate representation or simulation of a system being studied

  17. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • Test hypotheses through experimentation • Types of models • Conceptual • Physical • Graphical • Mathematical

  18. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • After extensive experimentation, formulate a scientific law • Scientific Law - a description of what scientists find happening in nature over and over in the same way, without known exception

  19. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps • A scientific law only summarizes a relationship; it does not explain the relationship • Boyle’s Law: V = k/P • Law of Conservation of Matter

  20. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Steps: • If many experiments by different scientists support a particular hypothesis, then the hypothesis becomes a scientific theory

  21. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • Scientific Theory - a well-tested and widely accepted scientific hypothesis

  22. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • A scientific theory: • Represents the best explanation for the phenomenon based on current knowledge • Is tested through continuous experimentation and perhaps rejected or modified

  23. The Nature of Science • The Scientific Process • A scientific theory: • Often becomes more accurate as scientists gain more information • Is useful for its predictive value

  24. The Nature of Science • Are Scientific Laws and Theories True? • Scientists: • Can disprove things, but can never prove anything • Are more concerned with how useful a theory or law is in explaining and predicting what happens in nature

  25. The Nature of Science • Are Scientists Always Objective and Ethical? NO

  26. The Nature of Science • Is Science Good or Bad? NEITHER