HW1 Scientific Method - ANT 301 Summer 2010 Name: Megan...

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ANT 301 Summer 2010 Name: Megan Emrick HOMEWORK 1 : UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC METHODS AND PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Use the attached reading, your lecture notes, and textbooks to answer the following questions: 1. Please describe the benefits and advantages of using scientific methods to study natural phenomena . Ideas about these phenomena can be tested against the natural world itself & are readily altered in response to new data. Frequent alterations allow researchers to increase the validity of scientific understanding more so than in other fields. 2. Describe any drawbacks or potential limitations of using scientific methods. Methods for gathering scientific information are limited to human senses and the tools by which these are enhanced. This is somewhat unreliable and thus can only lead to tentative scientific explanations. 3. Provide one specific example of a question that could be addressed using the scientific method (i.e., a potentially falsifiable question) using the experimental (or direct) method of analysis. Is exercise as effective as medication in treating people with depression? 4. Provide one specific example of a question that could be addressed using the scientific method (i.e., a potentially falsifiable question) using mainly the observational (or indirect) method of analysis because a controlled experiment would be difficult or impossible . Did an asteroid impact on earth bring about the extinction of the dinosaurs? 5. Provide two specific examples of questions that could not be addressed using the scientific method (i.e., non-empirical questions). Did God create the universe? 1
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Does music enhance the quality of life? 6. Explain the concept of “null hypothesis” and how it’s used in scientific methods. A null hypothesis is an alternative explanation that states that the variables being studied are not related. It is an educated guess made by the researcher that has been tested and ultimately rejected. 7. List
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HW1 Scientific Method - ANT 301 Summer 2010 Name: Megan...

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