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Unformatted text preview: BIO325 Exam 1 Modified Notes 1/16/08 Heredity is the passing of characteristics from one generation to the next. Genetics: • The scientific study of heredity. • Largely the study of genetic material and how this material affects the characteristics of life forms. Science: • A human activity and is therefore influenced by characteristics of humans such as our brain structure, politics, greed, and other human characteristics. • Rooted in philosophy, the academic branch of study devoted to the systematic examination of basic concepts such as knowledge, truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom. • Began as a branch of philosophy called natural philosophy – the study of the knowledge of the natural world. o The older definition of philosophy was the study of knowledge. • Today, the branch of philosophy that sets the boundaries on science, the branch that determines what is and is not science, is called the philosophy of science. o By the philosophy of science, science can only consider those ideas that meet two criteria. The idea must be about the physical universe. The idea must be falsifiable. • Falsifiable: An idea is falsifiable if we can imagine observations that we could make in the physical universe that could disprove the idea. Anything with mass has matter. o Mass: Measure of the amount of inertia it has. Since science can only consider a limited range of ideas, science does not define reality. It does not determine what is real and what is not real. Art is real and it has powerful effects on humans and yet by the philosophy of science it is outside of the realm of scientific investigation. Is the theory of creationism (theory of intelligent design) a scientific theory? Does it meet the two criteria? • Creationism: Meets first criteria, but not the second. Science can never prove anything true, because there is always more than one explanation for the outcome of a particular experiment, and that particular experimental outcome cannot distinguish between the alternative. (one explanation from the other alternative explanations) One reason to study philosophy is that it provides us with an opportunity to examine our fundamental assumptions. What aspects of physical reality are actually hidden from view due to the philosophy that western science is based on? Why study science from a historical perspective? Why learn old theories that have been since falsified? The history of science gives us insight as to how humans have gone about developing scientific theory and something about the typical approaches of the human brain. As we better understand the interaction of our brain with reality we might learn how to overcome some of our limitations....
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course BIO 325 taught by Professor Saxena during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Spring '08