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ISB 202, Section 005 . Science as a Way of knowing & Developing and Testing Hypotheses. What is Science?. Scientific method(s) & other ‘ways of knowing’. So, how do we come to “know stuff”, anyway ?.

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what is science

What is Science?

Scientific method(s) & other ‘ways of knowing’

slide5

Four basic ways that we may come to decide that something is “true”:

1) We have relevant personal experience on the topic

slide6

Four basic ways that we may come to decide that something is “true”:

2) We trust the source of the information

slide7

Four basic ways that we may come to decide that something is “true”:

3) We have a sense of intuition or inspiration about it

slide8

Four basic ways that we may come to decide that something is “true”:

4) We reach a tentative conclusion of an explanation, and seek ways to make skeptical tests of that ‘hypothesis’

slide9

Four Basic Ways of Knowing

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

AUTHORITY

INTUITION

SCIENCE

  • We have relevant personal experience on the topic
  • We trust the source of the information

3) We have a sense of intuition or inspiration about it

4) We undertake skeptical investigation of ‘hypotheses’

slide10

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

"Smart people can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view."

People have argued issues of all kinds for centuries, but arguments cannot determine whether a statement is correct.

slide11

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

Optical illusions!

slide12

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

“The Moon Illusion”

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

slide13

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

John Needham (1748)

Mice generate spontaneously from garbage

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

AUTHORITY

Aristotle:

Sun rotates around the earth

slide14

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

45 FAILED END-OF-THE-WORLD PREDICTIONS FOR 1999

http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl9.htm

Galileo and Heliocentrism, 1633

Salem Witch Trials, 1692

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

AUTHORITY

INTUITION

slide15

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

Scientific findings are refuted, or refined, continuously. This is how science progresses.

Method of:

EXPERIENCE

AUTHORITY

INTUITION

SCIENCE

Newtonian Physics vs. Relativity

slide16

Each of these ways of knowing is potentially flawed.

…but science emphasizes the need to be self-correcting.

Hypotheses as “a working model” of reality

slide17

…but science emphasizes the need to be self-correcting.

Be skeptical, devise tests of hypotheses; continually seek out exceptions to ‘rules’, and so on ….

slide18

Advantages to the Scientific Method

  • A major attempt to be:
  • Unprejudiced (unbiased - but this is not always the case b/c scientists are people)
  • Repeatable
  • Falsifiable
developing testing hypotheses

Developing & Testing Hypotheses

Science is a way of knowing that tries to get closer and closer to the truth by chipping away at what’s false.

slide20

Developing and Testing Hypotheses

Types of Questions

  • Proximate
    • “how”, “where”, “when”, “who”, “what” questions
    • largely answerable
  • Ultimate
    • “why” questions
    • largely unanswerable

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

slide21

Developing and Testing Hypotheses

Types of Questions

Proximate

How do mountains form?

What causes lung cancer?

How do clouds form?

Where does rainwater end up?

Ultimate

Why are we here?

Is Michigan’s UP beautiful?

What is considered cruel?

Was the course of evolution directed by a supernatural being?

slide22

Developing and Testing Hypotheses

Types of Questions

  • Proximate
    • often can be tested by the scientific method
  • Ultimate
    • usually not able to be tested by the scientific method

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

slide23

Two Views of How Science is Done

  • Scientists themselves:
    • - Testing hypotheses
    • Creative thinking
  • General public:
    • Collecting ‘facts’
    • Unbiased, dispassionate
slide24

What is a hypothesis?

  • idea or proposition that can be tested by observations or experiments about the natural world
  • hypotheses are subject to scientific evaluation and must be falsifiable.
  • A hypothesis can never be proven. It can be CONFIRMED (supported) or it can be FALSIFIED (rejected).
slide25

Null Hypothesis (Ho):

Observation

  • hypothesis to be tested
  • anticipates no effect or difference between/among test groups

Question

Hypothesis 1

Hypothesis 2

Hypothesis 3

Hypothesis 4

Hypothesis 5

Potential

Hypotheses

Pop. A

Pop. B

Pop. C

Ho: wing length does not differ among dragonfly populations

slide26

Alternative Hypothesis(es) (HA):

Observation

  • hypothesis to be tested after null hypothesis is rejected
  • must predict the difference between/among test groups

Question

Hypothesis 1

Hypothesis 2

Hypothesis 3

Hypothesis 4

Hypothesis 5

Potential

Hypotheses

Pop. A

Pop. B

Pop. C

HA: wing length in dragonfly population A is greater than that of populations B and C

slide27

Observation

Reject

Hypotheses

1 & 4

Question

Reject

Hypotheses

2 & 3

Experiment

Hypothesis 1

Hypothesis 2

Hypothesis 3

Hypothesis 4

Hypothesis 5

Experiment

Hypothesis 2

Hypothesis 3

Hypothesis 5

Potential

Hypotheses

Hypothesis 5

Remaining

Potential

Hypotheses

Predictions

Experiment 3

Experiment 1

Experiment 2

Experiment 4

Predictions

Confirmed

slide28

Scientific Theories and Laws

  • Scientific data
  • Natural laws
  • Experiments
  • Scientific hypotheses
  • Scientific models
  • Scientific theories

Fig. 2-2

slide29

What is a scientific theory?

earliest reptile

  • Examples:
  • Theory of evolution
  • Theory of relativity

earliest bird

http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/Theories.shtml

http://www.besse.at/ sms/evolutn.html

earliest mammal

  • A scientifictheory is a coherent explanation for a large number of facts and observations about the natural world.
      •  Internally consistent and compatible with the evidence (patterns in data!)
      •  Firmly grounded in and based upon evidence
      • Tested against a wide range of phenomena
      • Demonstrably effective in problem-solving
what is a scientific or natural law

Examples:

  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • Mendelian laws of heredity
  • Law of gravity

http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/Theories.shtml

What is a scientific or natural law?

A Scientific or Natural Law is a description of a natural phenomenon or principle that invariably holds true under specific conditions and will occur under certain circumstances.