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Unformatted text preview: Topic 2: Science vs. Non-science vs. Non-sense How do we investigate and understand these problems facing planet Earth? Should we care? If we do, we need to find out how the planet works, which the first part of this course will do. We will use the principles of science to conduct this investigation into the planet’s operation and its problems. I. What is science? A. The scientific method: hypothesis formation and testing, peer review 1. The scientific method · Observations vs. inferences (e.g., globe has warmed vs. globe will continue to warm) · Hypothesis : A tentative assumption, built on observations made to test its logical consequences · Theory : A plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle(s) offered to explain phenomena · Law : A statement of order and relation of phenomena found to be invariable under the same conditions (Law of Gravity, Laws of Thermodynamics) 2. “Peer” review: Scientists address (and hopefully advance) knowledge by publishing their 2....
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2009 for the course GEO 302C taught by Professor Yang during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.
- Spring '08