Biology - Week 1 Notes

Biology - Week 1 Notes - Biology 2108 Summer 2008 Dr. Davis...

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Biology 2108 – Summer 2008 – Dr. Davis Abbreviated lecture notes from the week starting 5/26/08 Corresponds with Chapters 1, 22 in Campbell (7th Edition) 1 – Some Comments about Science What is Science? Science is a way of knowing that deals with what is directly observable and leaves the rest to other ways of thinking. • At the heart of science is inquiry - A search for information and explanation, often focusing on specific questions • Biology blends two main processes of scientific inquiry… 1) Discovery Science Describes natural structures and processes as accurately as possible through careful observation and analysis of data 2) Hypothesis-Based Science In science, inquiry that asks specific questions usually involves the proposing and testing of hypothetical explanations, or hypotheses In science, a hypothesis is a tentative answer to a well-framed question, an explanation on trial! Hypotheses make predictions that can be tested The “must haves” •A scientific hypothesis must have two important qualities – It must be testable – It must be falsifiable What science is… in the real world Science is merely one way of making an extremely complex universe a bit more comprehensible and predictable. Science is based on observations that are repeatedly observable. Scientific hypotheses must be testable and falsifiable. Common sense based on normal human sensory perception often hinders (limits) our understanding of reality.
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Sometimes common sense must be abandoned in the face of overwhelming evidence (i.e. observations that are normally outside our common, everyday experiences) Theories in Science A scientific theory Is broad in scope Generates new hypotheses (has predictive power) Is supported by a large body of evidence In common usage , the word theory is often used to signify an opinion or a speculation. This usage of theory leads to the common incorrect statement "It's not a fact, it's only a theory ." Also, in this common usage, the word is synonymous with hypothesis . 22 - Descent with Modification: A Darwinian View of Life An Overview Charles Darwin Introduces a revolutionary theory in his November 24th, 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Historical Context (See Figure 22.2) What was Darwin s theory? Does the theory agree with observations of the natural world? Darwin made two major points in his book: He presented evidence that the many species of organisms presently inhabiting the Earth are descendants of ancestral species He proposed a mechanism for this evolutionary process, which he termed Natural Selection Darwin defined Evolution as descent with modification Evolution can be viewed as both a pattern and a process The pattern of evolutionary change is revealed by data from many scientific disciplines. These data are facts. The
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This note was uploaded on 07/22/2008 for the course BIOL 2108 taught by Professor Davis during the Spring '08 term at Kennesaw.

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Biology - Week 1 Notes - Biology 2108 Summer 2008 Dr. Davis...

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