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20_Lieb_Intro-Genetics

20_Lieb_Intro-Genetics - What is Science and Forward...

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What is Science? and Forward Genetics Feb 29, 2008 J. Lieb Image from http://bio.owu.edu/genhom.htm
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Lectures and Notes:  Lectures for the week will be posted on Sunday  Notes will be posted after each lecture (by the next Sun.)  Reading is specified in the syllabus (Blackboard) Office hours:  By appointment, 408 Fordham Hall. Problem Sets:   Posted on WEDNESDAYS, due the following week 1.) Reading and assignment posted 2/27, due week of 3/3. 2.) Problem Set Posted 3/5, due week of 3/17 3.) Problem Set Posted 3/19, due week of 3/24 EXAM #3 is Monday, April 07 Some administrative notes All previous class policies still apply.
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What is Science? What makes it different from other  disciplines of study, or other aspects of  life?
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1. Science seeks NATURAL explanations for NATURAL phenomena. 2. Science is EVIDENCE-based. 3. The SCIENTIFIC METHOD is used to test hypotheses. A good  hypothesis makes specific FALSIFIABLE predictions, which are tested by  experimentation. 4. Within the three rules above, science depends on a community of  researchers that continually, relentlessly, and objectively attempt to  INDEPENDENTLY VALIDATE or (more accurately) DISPROVE the results  and hypotheses proposed by others. Some properties of Science
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1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.  2. Formulation of a  HYPOTHESIS  to explain the phenomena.  In biology, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism, or in  more well-developed areas, a mathematical relation. 3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict  quantitatively the results of new observations. 4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent  experimenters. 5. Repeat The Scientific Method
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A hypothesis  is a limited statement regarding cause  and effect in specific situations In many cases, it refers to our state of knowledge before experimental work has  been performed and perhaps even before new phenomena have been  predicted.  Example:  "My car does not start because the battery is low." This is your first  hypothesis. You may then check whether: (1)  the lights were left on (2)  if the engine makes a particular sound when you turn the key  (3)  you might actually check the voltage across the battery terminals (1) If you discover that the battery is not low, you might attempt another  hypothesis  (1) “The starter is broken” (2) “This is not actually my car”, etc Karl Popper, following others, argues a hypothesis must be  falsifiable : A proposition or theory cannot be called scientific if it does not admit the possibility  of being shown false. It must at least in principle be possible to make an 
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