Science2011 - 10/17/11 Science: The use of evidence...

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Unformatted text preview: 10/17/11 Science: The use of evidence to construct testable explana6ons and predic6ons of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process. Fact: In science, a "fact" typically refers to an observa6on, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scien6sts also use the term "fact" to refer to a scien6fic explana6on that has been tested and confirmed so many 6mes that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep tes6ng it or looking for addi6onal examples. hIp://www.na6onalacademies.org/evolu6on/Defini6ons.html Science is both a body of knowledge and a process. In school, science may sometimes seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook, but that's only a small part of the story. Just as importantly, science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the natural world. Science is exciting. Science is a way of discovering what's in the universe and how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they are likely to work in the future. Scientists are motivated by the thrill of seeing or figuring out something that no one has before. Hypothesis: A tenta6ve explana6on for an observa6on, phenomenon, or scien6fic problem that can be tested by further inves6ga6on. Scien6fic hypotheses must be posed in a form that allows them to be rejected. Theory: A plausible or scien6fically acceptable, well ­substan6ated explana6on of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena and predict the characteris6cs of as yet unobserved phenomena. Science is useful. The knowledge generated by science is powerful and reliable. It can be used to develop new technologies, treat diseases, and deal with many other sorts of problems. Science is ongoing. Science is continually refining and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and as it does, it leads to new questions for future investigation. Science will never be "finished." Science is a global human endeavor. People all over the world participate in the process of science. And you can too! UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) 1) Science focuses exclusively on the natural world, and does not deal with supernatural explana6ons. 2) Science is a way of learning about what is in the natural world, how the natural world works, and how the natural world got to be the way it is. It is not simply a collec6on of facts; rather it is a path to understanding. 3) Scien6sts work in many different ways, but all science relies on tes6ng ideas by figuring out what expecta6ons are generated by an idea and making observa6ons to find out whether those expecta6ons hold true. 4) Accepted scientific ideas are reliable because they have been subjected to rigorous testing, but as new evidence is acquired and new perspectives emerge these ideas can be revised. 5) Science is a community endeavor. It relies on a system of checks and balances, which helps ensure that science moves in the direction of greater accuracy and understanding. This system is facilitated by diversity within the scientific community, which offers a broad range of perspectives on scientific ideas. UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) If evidence supports a hypothesis, it is upgraded to a theory. If the theory then garners even more support, it may be upgraded to a law. This misconception may be reinforced by introductory science courses that treat hypotheses as "things we're not sure about yet" and that only explore established and accepted theories. In fact, hypotheses, theories, and laws are rather like apples, oranges, and kumquats: one cannot grow into another, no matter how much fertilizer and water are offered. Hypotheses, theories, and laws are all scientific explanations that differ in breadth — not in level of support. Hypotheses are explanations that are limited in scope, applying to fairly narrow range of phenomena. The term law is sometimes used to refer to an idea about how observable phenomena are related — but the term is also used in other ways within science. Theories are deep explanations that apply to a broad range of phenomena and that may integrate many hypotheses and laws. UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) 1 10/17/11 Worldview •  A worldview is personal insight about reality and meaning, oWen termed a "life understanding." Each of us has a worldview. It is our own discernment. It develops in part because we have sought some understanding of our own significance. •  A worldview consists of basic assump6ons and images that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world. UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (hIp://www.understandingscience.org) •  A worldview is a person’s internal mental framework of cogni6ve understanding about reality and life meaning. hIp://www.teachingaboutreligion.org/WorldviewDiversity/wvdiversity.htm Scien6sm •  Unlike the use of the scien6fic method as only one mode of reaching nowledge, scien6sm k claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scien6sm's single ­minded adherence to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scien6fc worldview. Scien6sm sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scien6fic method. In essence, scien6sm sees science as the absolute and only jus6fiable access to the truth. tandis.odihr.pl/documents/hre ­compendium/II_14_2_ENG.pd... hIp://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/sciism ­body.html 2 10/17/11 Ten Steps to Critical Thinking Critical Thinking (R. Paul, National Council for Critical Thinking) •  An ability to evaluate information and opinions in a systematic, purposeful, efficient manner. •  Although based on logic and reason, critical thinking brings context, empathy, history and values to bear in understanding and interpreting arguments and positions. •  What is the purpose of my thinking? •  What precise question am I trying to answer? •  Within what point of view am I thinking? •  What information am I using? •  How am I interpreting that information? 13 14 Personal Attitudes to Think Critically Ten Steps to Cri6cal Thinking (R. Paul, Na1onal Council for Cri1cal Thinking) •  What concepts or ideas are central to my thinking? •  What conclusions am I coming to? •  What assumptions am I making? •  If I accept the conclusions, what are the implications? •  What would the consequences be if I put my thoughts into action? 15 •  •  •  •  •  •  •  16 Applying Critical Thinking •  Identify and evaluate premises and conclusions in an argument. •  Acknowledge and clarify uncertainties vagueness, equivocations and contradictions. •  Distinguish between facts and values. 17 Skepticism and independence. Openmindedness and flexibility. Accuracy and orderliness. Persistence and relevance. Contextual sensitivity and empathy. Decisiveness and courage. Humility. Applying Critical Thinking •  Recognize and interpret assumptions. •  Distinguish the reliability or unreliability of a source. •  Recognize and understand conceptual frameworks. 18 3 10/17/11 Avoiding logical errors and fallacies 1)  Red herrings: diverting attention from the important point. 2)  Ad hominem attacks: Criticizing opponent 3)  Appeal to ignorance: Because some facts are in doubt, it is impossible to draw a conclusion. 19 4)  Appeal to authority: It s true because _______ says so. 5)  Slippery Slope: A claim that some event or action will cause some subsequent action. 6) Ad populum: the arguer tries to convince the audience to do or believe something because everyone else (supposedly) does. 20 DISTRUSTING SCIENCE Political use of science terms •  Sound science – favorable studies that back up a belief. •  Junk science - studies that do not back up a particular belief. hIp://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011 ­09 ­20/gop ­democrats ­science ­evolu6on ­vaccine/50482856/1 22 10 ­03 ­2011 hIp://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/ pediatrics/story/2011 ­10 ­03/Many ­parents ­opt ­for ­ alterna6ve ­vaccina6on ­schedule/50638452/1 hIp://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/2011 ­01 ­06 ­vaccinemyths06_ONLINE_ST06_N.htm 4 10/17/11 Vaccine Controversies Smallpox •  Smallpox is an acute contagious disease caused by variola virus, a member of the orthopoxvirus family. •  Smallpox, which is believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago in India or Egypt, is one of the most devasta6ng diseases known to humanity. • In some ancient cultures, smallpox was such a major killer of infants that custom forbade the naming of a newborn un6l the infant had caught the disease and proved it would survive. •  The disease, for which no effec6ve treatment was ever developed, killed as many as 30% of those infected. Between 65–80% of survivors were marked with deep piIed scars (pockmarks), most prominent on the face. •  Blindness was another complica6on. In 18th century Europe, a third of all reported cases of blindness was due to smallpox. In a survey conducted in Viet Nam in 1898, 95% of adolescent children were pockmarked and nine ­tenths of all blindness was ascribed to smallpox. •  As late as the 18th century, smallpox killed every 10th child born in Sweden and France. During the same century, every 7th child born in Russia died from hIp://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/smallpox/en/ smallpox. Small Pox Time Line hIp://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v2/n7/fig_tab/nri845_I1.html •  Innocula6on, hereaWer referred to as variola6on, was likely prac6ced in Africa, India, and China long before the 18th century, when it was introduced to Europe. •  In 1670, Circassian traders introduced variola6on to the Turkish “OIoman” Empire. Women from the Caucasus, who were in great demand in the Turkish sultan's harem in Istanbul because of their legendary beauty, were inoculated as children in parts of their bodies where scars would not be seen. •  It was the con6nued advocacy of the English aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montague that was responsible for the introduc6on of variola6on in England. In 1715, Lady Montague suffered from an episode of smallpox, which severely disfigured her beau6ful face. •  The regular prac6ce of variola6on reached the New World in 1721 (9). Under the guidance of the Rev. CoIon Mather (1663–1728) and Dr. Zabdiel Boylston (1679–1766), variola6on became quite popular in the colonies. •  During the great epidemic of 1721, approximately half of Boston's 12,000 ci6zens contracted smallpox. The fatality rate for the naturally contracted disease was 14%, whereas Boylston and Mather reported a mortality rate of only 2% among variolated individuals hIp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar6cles/PMC1200696/ Variola-on The word variola was commonly used for smallpox  ­ it is derived from the La6n word varius, meaning “stained,” or from varus, meaning “mark on the skin.” •  The most successful way of comba6ng smallpox before the discovery of vaccina6on was inocula6on. •  The word is derived from the La6n inoculare, meaning “to graW.” •  Inocula6on referred to the subcutaneous ins6lla6on of smallpox virus into nonimmune individuals. •  The inoculator usually used a lancet wet with fresh maIer taken from a ripe pustule of some person who suffered from smallpox. •  The material was then subcutaneously introduced on the arms or legs of the nonimmune person. •  The prac6ce of inocula6on seems to have arisen independently when people in several countries were faced with the threat of an epidemic. •  Inocula6on was not without its aIendant risks. There were concerns that recipients might develop disseminated smallpox and spread it to others. hIp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar6cles/PMC1200696/ Although 2% to 3% of variolated persons died from the disease, became the source of another epidemic, or suffered from diseases (e.g., tuberculosis and syphilis) transmiIed by the procedure itself, variola6on rapidly gained popularity among both aristocra6c and common people in Europe. The case ­fatality rate associated with variola6on was 10 6mes lower than that associated with naturally occurring smallpox. hIp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar6cles/PMC1200696/ 5 10/17/11 For many years, he had heard the tales that dairymaids were protected from smallpox naturally aWer having suffered from cowpox. Pondering this, Jenner concluded that cowpox not only protected against smallpox but also could be transmiIed from one person to another as a deliberate mechanism of protec6on. hIp://www.cosmeo.com/ viewPicture.cfm?guidImageId=5EA33A0F ­ CBC0 ­4BA0 ­8810 ­31DDC5593714&&nodei d= hIp://www.microbiologybytes.com/ tutorials/Pox/vacc.jpg Edward Jenner (1749–1823) The hand of Sarah Nelms. In May 1796, Edward Jenner found a young dairymaid, Sarah Nelms, who had fresh cowpox lesions on her hands and arms. On May 14, 1796, using maIer from Nelms' lesions, he inoculated an 8 ­year ­old boy, James Phipps. Subsequently, the boy developed mild fever and discomfort in the axillae. Nine days aWer the procedure he felt cold and had lost his appe6te, but on the next day he was much beIer. In July 1796, Jenner inoculated the boy again, this 6me with maIer from a fresh smallpox lesion. No disease developed, and Jenner concluded that protec6on was complete hIp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar6cles/PMC1200696/ hIp://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/SmallpoxEwell.html On May 14, 1796, using maIer from Nelms' lesions, he inoculated an 8 ­year ­old boy, James Phipps. Subsequently, the boy developed mild fever and discomfort in the axillae. Nine days aWer the procedure he felt cold and had lost his appe6te, but on the next day he was much beIer. In July 1796, Jenner inoculated the boy again, this 6me with maIer from a fresh smallpox lesion. No disease developed, and Jenner concluded that protec6on was complete The technique was called vaccina6on to link it with Jenner's work on cowpox (the La6n word for cow is vacca!). hIp://www.abpischools.org.uk/page/modules/infec6ousdiseases_6meline/6meline2.cfm Jenner was widely ridiculed. Cri6cs, especially the clergy, claimed it was repulsive and ungodly to inocculate someone with material from a diseased animal. Historical engraving of Edward Jenner (1749–1823) vaccina6ng a baby against smallpox. hIp://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v2/n7/fig_tab/nri845_F1.html An 1802 illustra6on depicts Edward Jenner vaccina6ng a young woman. Several former pa6ents demonstrate the effects of the vaccine—miniature cows erupt from their bodies. (Courtesy of the Na6onal Library of Medicine) hIp://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2009/10/vaccine ­week ­a ­history ­of ­vaccine ­backlash/ hIp://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/jenner_edward.shtml •  A 1853 law required all infants be vaccinated in the first three months of life and threatened parents who did not vaccinate their children with a fine or imprisonment. Riots soon broke out in several towns. In London, an An6 ­Vaccina6on League was founded. In 1867, aWer the law was extended to children up to age 14, the An6 ­ Compulsory Vaccina6on League was founded. Opposi6on now focused on the law’s threat to personal liberty. •  Despite the controversy, protests and pamphlets, the doctors, science and governments eradicated smallpox from the United States by 1950 and from the en6re world by 1980. hIp://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2009/10/vaccine ­week ­a ­history ­of ­vaccine ­backlash/ 6 10/17/11 Why would a person risk _____? hIp://www.usgwarchives.org/pa/forest/ts ­photos/lynch ­ howe.htm hIp://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/smallpox ­images/smallpox3.htm smallpox blindness  ­ destroyed corneas ­ result of hypopyon ulcer ou hIp://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/eyeforum/atlas/pages/smallpox ­blindness ­ destroyed ­corneas ­hypopyon ­ulcer ­ou.html Side effects of Vaccines •  Risk versus Reward – small pox and polio are devasta6ng diseases. When present risk of vaccine side effects small in comparison to the reward. When diseases are no longer present, is perceived risk worth the reward? •  There is no guarantee of side affects being absence with any treatment. •  Bad outcomes happen! •  And when something bad happens to a child, people demand to know what or whom is to blame. "Parents are clamoring for a cause," says David Tayloe, MD, a pediatrician in Greensboro, N.C., and president ­elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). hIp://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/Defect/maternal.htm James Herriot and the KnackerMan hIp://blogs.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2011/08/15/frasers ­phrases ­ knackered/ The origin of the word itself is very simple. A knacker’s yard is the place animals are taken for slaughter if their meat is considered unfit for human consump6on. Most commonly that means horses, whose remains have been used for dog food and in the manufacture of glue. •  Another cross which the vets had to bear was his unique giW of being able to take one look at a dead animal on a farm and pronounce immediately on the cause of death. The farmers, awe ­struck by his powers, were always asking me why I couldn't do it. •  It never failed to spoil my day if a farmer called in at the surgery and told me that, once more, Jeff Mallock had confounded my diagnosis. 'Hey, remember that cow you were trea6ng for magnesium deficiency? She never did no good and ah sent 'er into Mallocks. Well, you know what was really the maIer wi' 'er? Worm i' the tail. Jeff said if you'd nobbut cut tail off, that cow would have goIen up and walked away.' It was no good arguing or saying there was no such thing as worm in the tail. •  If only Jeff had taken his priceless opportuni6es to acquire a commonsense knowledge it wouldn't have been so bad. But instead, he had built up a weird pathology of his own and backed it up by black magic remedies gleaned from his contacts with the more primi6ve members of the farming community.Jeff knew  ­ that was all about it. •  He considered in his heart that, aWer twenty odd years of cuwng up diseased animals he knew more than any vet alive, and it made things rather awkward that the farming community unhesita6ngly agreed with him. hIp://files.mariachirokova.webnode.com/200000031 ­c0a96c1a36/James%20Herriot%20 ­%20%5BAll%20Creatures%20Great%20and%20Small%2001%5D%20 ­%20If %20Only%20They%20Could%20Talk.htm 7 10/17/11 hIp://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011 ­09 ­20/gop ­democrats ­science ­evolu6on ­vaccine/50482856/1 hIp://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011 ­09 ­20/gop ­democrats ­science ­evolu6on ­vaccine/50482856/1 Characteris6c of Science •  Although new facts can disprove existing theories, science can never provide absolute proof that a theory is correct. •  Even if there is no way to secure complete and absolute truth, increasingly accurate approximations can be made to account for the world and how it works. hIp://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011 ­09 ­20/gop ­democrats ­science ­evolu6on ­vaccine/50482856/1 hIp://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011 ­09 ­20/gop ­democrats ­science ­evolu6on ­vaccine/50482856/1 Problems •  People want absolute Answers! •  People want universal Answers! •  People want the Answers Now! •  People want the Answers to make sense in their worldview! 8 ...
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