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Unformatted text preview: 1 The Darwinian Revolution From past to present 2 Lecture Outline The nature of science Important concepts & definitions Theory of Evolution Historical context Observations & Evidence 3 Theory Hypothesis Fact In the technical language of science these terms have specific meaning which can differ from common usage These terms have a special relationship to each other in the context of scientific knowledge and inference 4 Definitions: Theory Scientific usage A coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena Einstein's theory of relativity Common usage A proposed explanation whose status is still considered conjectual My theory is that the butler is the murderer, and the crime occurred in the drawing room 5 Definitions: Hypothesis Scientific Usage: A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation Common usage is the same. Note similarity to the common definition of theory. 6 Definitions: Fact Scientific & common usage: Something that has actual existence: a matter of objective reality Measurements, observations, and data are facts. 2 7 The nature of science Facts are used to test hypotheses interpreted in the context of theory Hypotheses are used to evaluate the accuracy of a scientific theory A scientific theory is a broad and unifying conceptual framework that coherently explains diverse observations 8 9 Scientific Theory & Fact Often a scientific theory is supported by such overwhelming evidence that we consider it to be factual : Earth is round (Round Earth Theory) Earth orbits the sun (Theory of Heliocentrism) 10 Scientific Theory & Fact Such theories do not start off as factual . This requires repeated and widespread observations that are theoretically consistent. Often previous theories are rejected in the process. Earth was flat (Flat Earth Theory) Sun orbited the earth (Theory of Geocentrism) 11 Lecture Outline The nature of science Important concepts & definitions Theory of Evolution (text 2.1/2.2) Historical context Observations & Evidence 12 Evolution: Fact & Theory The modern theory of evolution is supported by countless observations and hypothesis tests. It can be considered factual . 3...
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- Fall '10