Bio109_Lec2-slides - Prof. J. T. Lehman Biology 109 Biology...

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Prof. J. T. Lehman Biology 109 1 Biology 109 Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Problem Solving Prof J. T. Lehman The Nature of Science Why Read about Science? “…biologists can succeed in science without worrying much about the general nature of their endeavours.” Rigler and Peters Unknown Facts Known Facts Common but erroneous view Common but erroneous views Facts = observation or sense impression Theory = generalization that goes beyond the facts at hand
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Prof. J. T. Lehman Biology 109 2 Deduction = process by which we decide what predictions a theory makes Induction = process by which we create a theory (role of inspiration, intuition) Deduction is regarded as a logical process, but induction is not a logical process and it may have many outcomes. Because induction is used to create theory, there can never be certainty that it is absolutely true beyond doubt. Any statement that makes predictions can be called “theory”. Empirical theory = relationships based on observed patterns, using the assumption that future relationships will resemble those of the past. Explanatory theory = statements that both make predictions and offer comprehensible explanations of the phenomenon being predicted.
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Prof. J. T. Lehman Biology 109 3 Empirical theories make predictions only about correlated variables. They cannot generate unexpected or surprising predictions. They often stimulate the development of explanatory theory. Science is not about collecting facts or observations. Science is the process of creating, testing, and organizing theories, or generalizations, that go beyond the observed facts. Theories are created by induction – inspired guess work – but they are tested by deduction. Deduction tells us what the
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Bio109_Lec2-slides - Prof. J. T. Lehman Biology 109 Biology...

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