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The Scientific Method

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# The Scientific Method - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

The Scientific Method. 2/18/1996. …lots and lots and lots of math. Goal. What is the scientific method? What does the scientific method assume? Does the scientific method work? What is not a scientific argument. Does astrology follow the scientific method?. model. test.

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### The Scientific Method

2/18/1996

…lots and lots and lots of math.

Goal
• What is the scientific method?
• What does the scientific method assume?
• Does the scientific method work?
• What is not a scientific argument.
• Does astrology follow the scientific method?

model

test

The Scientific Method
• Problem: The problem is stated as a question, and is based on your observations.
• Develop a hypothesis (an educated guess) which makes a prediction.
• A hypothesis must include both the independent and the dependant variable.
• Test the prediction.
• Experimental design
• Control group: change nothing… let everything act as it normally would.
• Experimental group: The variable that you can change or manipulate. The variable which may affect the outcome.
• Procedures
• Detailed step-by-step that makes no assumptions about the reader knowing procedures Diagrams of lab set-up can be very helpful.
• Observe the Data.
• Your data table should be:
• Organized so that it is easily understood.
• Correctly labeled with titles and units.
• Include multiple trials.
• Graphing checklist:
• Line graph – shows a change over time.
• Bar graph – compares groups to each other.
• Dependant variable is on the vertical axis.
• Independent variable is on the horizontal axis.
• Axis are labeled with units.
• Title clearly explains the graph (IV vs. DV)
• Analysis: The analysis section should be in paragraph form and should include the following:
• Detailed interpretation of your results
• Why you think you got these results. Apply scientific concepts.
• How you would do your experiment differently if you were to do it again.
• What further experiments would build upon this one.
• Conclusion: The conclusion states whether or not your hypothesis was correct or incorrect and give a supporting statement.
Food Science
• Throwing something together  Hypothesis
• Your grandmother’s time-tested recipe  Scientific Theory.
Repeatability
• A successful theory is repeatable.
• By you.
• By anyone.
• Examples:
• Cold Fusion (1989)
• Ecstasy (Science, 2003)
Requirements
• Objective reality
• We all see the same world.
• Constant Laws of Nature
• What happens here, happens there.
• What happened yesterday will happen tomorrow.
• The Cosmos is knowable.
Does it work?
• Scientific Method is a tool.
• Does this tool work?
• Life expectancy
• Mortality rates
• Are there better tools?
Theories
• So: a theory is a highly successful hypothesis.
• All hypotheses make predictions.
• All theories make predictions.
• All theories can be tested.
• Result: Any scientific theory is subject to change as our ability to make tests, or make observations of a test’s results, improves with time.
Non-scientific Theories
• Make no predictions
• Un-testable
• Can’t be falsified
Non-scientific Theories
• Car won’t work?  Aliens drained the battery.
• Spaghetti is bland?  You were meant to eat bland food.
• Car won’t work?  Gods must be angry.
• Spaghetti is bland?  At the instant of tasting, tongue is transported to alternate dimension where all flavors are rendered nullified. Happens instantaneously.

Viking Orbiter (1976)

Mars Global Surveyor (1998)

Non-scientific Theories
• The chain of events needed for life to arise is too complicated to have happened by chance, a divine intelligence must therefore have caused life to arise (Intelligent Design).
• Face on Mars.
Falsification
• A real Scientific Theory tells you what observations are necessary to falsify it.
Astrology Tests
• What test would falsify astrology?