Scientificmethodlab - The Scientific Method We have talked...

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2 The Scientific Method We have talked in class about scientific hypotheses. A hypothesis is a prediction that a scientist makes about what will happen. In order to test a hypothesis, scientists perform experiments. In this lab, you will make predictions (hypotheses) about pillbug behavior and then perform experiments to see if you were right. A scientific hypothesis must be testable, given appropriate resources and technology. Examples of statements that are not testable are opinions and matters of religious faith. Such statements are not part of the scientific world; they belong to other aspects of the human experience. With your lab partners, discuss the following statements and decide if they qualify as hypotheses. 1. Ke$ha is a terrible singer. 2. Justin Bieber sells more songs than Justin Timberlake. 3. (TV show) “30 Rock” is funnier than “Modern Family”. 4. There is life on other planets. 5. Taking Airborne will prevent a cold. After the class discussion, you should be able to answer the first question on the worksheet for today’s lab (see page 6). Pillbugs Pillbugs are small, land-dwelling crustaceans. Other crustaceans you may be familiar with are lobsters and crabs. You can often find pillbugs when you turn over logs and rocks in the woods or in a backyard. They eat pieces of wood and bark, and prefer damp places. Pillbugs are too small to have very big brains, but they do have a simple behavior, called kinesis , that helps them to hang out in favorable environments. In kinesis, animals move around randomly. They move quickly when conditions are unfavorable, and move slowly or stop completely when conditions are favorable. The overall result of kinesis is that the animals spend more time in the favorable conditions. (Animals with larger brains, such as humans, show taxis behavior, which is moving directly toward environmental conditions that are appealing. For example, on a hot day you might look for a shady tree.) In order to test our hypotheses about pillbugs, we will use a choice chamber. This is a pair of petri dishes joined at a small opening, with damp filter paper circles in each side. At the beginning of the experiment, we will put five pillbugs on each side, for a
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2011 for the course BIOL 101l taught by Professor Huddleston,m during the Fall '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Scientificmethodlab - The Scientific Method We have talked...

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