BIO_107_Lab_Manual_Chapter_1 - 1 CHAPTER 1 BIOLOGY AS A...

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1 CHAPTER 1 – BIOLOGY AS A SCIENCE Jon C. Glase LABORATORY SYNOPSIS In this chapter you will explore the basic features of science and the process by which scientists construct new knowledge. The importance of accurate observations and the roles of both inductive and deductive reasoning to science are described, and experimental and observational tests of hypotheses are discussed. You will be applying the concepts developed in this chapter throughout the year, as you participate in the laboratory activities described in this book. LABORATORY OBJECTIVES 1. Describe what an explanatory system is and identify how a scientist uses such a system in the interpretation of new observations. 2. Distinguish between the processes of inductive and deductive reasoning and show how each is used in the scientific method. 3. Describe observational and experimental tests of hypothesis, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each. 4. Distinguish between a research hypothesis, a null hypothesis (H o ), and an alternative hypothesis (H a ). 5. Differentiate between observed results and expected results and explain how a comparison of observed and expected results tests the validity of a research hypothesis. 6. Describe the role of statistical testing in the scientific process.
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2 Bio 1107 Summer Session 2008 INTRODUCTION Biology is the scientific study of the phenomenon we call life. As a science, biology is in part a process and in part a collection of the products of the process. The scientific method is the process used by biologists to formulate generalizations about life that are reported in scientific journals and eventually are included in textbooks and presented in lectures. These generalizations must frequently be modified or discarded as biologists learn more about life. Part of your effort in studying biology will involve you in activities so you become more proficient in using the scientific method to formulate new generalizations about biology. We must recognize at the outset that science can only be used to study phenomena that can be sensed. Ultimately our sense organs limit what we can learn about the world. In this regard, technology has been extremely important in developing instruments that extend what we can see, hear, or otherwise measure directly. We must also recognize a certain bias in how we, as humans, perceive the world. For example, if each of you were given a leaf and asked to describe it as completely as possible, the majority of your descriptions would probably be based on vision. Few of you would include information on how the leaf feels, or smells, or tastes because we are, by nature, a visually oriented species. How would a dog's description of the world (were we able to obtain it) be different from our own? THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
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This note was uploaded on 06/17/2008 for the course BIO 107 taught by Professor Scott during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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BIO_107_Lab_Manual_Chapter_1 - 1 CHAPTER 1 BIOLOGY AS A...

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