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Exam 1 notes! - Scientific Method What is Science An...

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Scientific Method What is Science? An approach to understanding nature; Output of the process is a body of knowledge Think of it as a process What do scientists do? Make observations directly or indirectly Attempt to discern patterns Think about patterns, when you can see patterns you can get rid of all the facts Assume that the future is like the past Way things behave in the future is how they behaved in the past; ie assume law of physics are the same as in the past; ie sun rising, can make observations that the sun rises in the east everyday of the week Scientific Method: 1. Observation 2. Generalization or model 3. Predictions or hypothesis 4. Test 5. That test generates a new observation What are the basic steps of the method? What is the outcome of this process? Go around and make new observations, new observations feed back into my knowledge; better model because better supported OR observations show that the model wasn’t the best so need to make a better new model; Goal of science is to create the best models we can; remember that’s all they are; the next day one observation can cause us to change the model; not true in an absolute sense; Limitation, if you have a phenomenon that cannot be observed you cannot do science on it Very simple fact of observations, tells you the limits of science, allows us to change the questions we ask; science constantly changing because observations constantly changing Science VS truth Models get better and have more truth the more you repeat the scientific method Terminology Hypothesis—an explanation for something that has not been tests, or tested few times Theory—an explanation for something that has been tested many times and has validity, very close to the truth Law—tested more times and always supported
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Very few laws, more theories and a infinite hypothesis What is Biology? The study of life What is Life? Characteristics of living systems Organization**- tremendous amount of order and structure and organization; Energy use** -- all organisms require energy, large amounts of energy; cant have high level of organization without organization Development—organism changes, degree of growth and development in all Reproduction**-- Evolve—evolution is something that occurs on a timeline over long period of time; organisms will change over time Respond to the environment**- ** topics in 1201 What are the characteristics of Life? Scale of Nature What scales are biologists interested in? Atomic 10^-8 meters Community/ Ecosystems 10^6 meters To understand biology, need to understand everything between these two levels Approaches to Biology - Reductionist approach—take it all apart and see how it works - Wholist approach—only will understand if study in half - We will start with a reductionist approach Why is atomic structure biologically important?
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