Class 3 - Power Point Slides

Class 3 - Power Point Slides - Class#3 I Reading/writing...

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Class #3 I. Reading/writing assignment #2 – Reading assignment for next week (class #4) “Wonder and Skepticism” – by Carl Sagan (available on Blackboard). No paper needed!
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II. Science vs. Pseudoscience We talked about some of the reasons that people have difficulty distinguishing science from pseudoscience. Today - some of the ways to determine if a scientific claim is legitimate. Although there is no definitive set of rules to distinguish science from pseudoscience – there are guidelines.
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III. Eight warning signs for bogus science or “The Baloney Detection Collection”
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Warning Sign #1: The research is not falsifiable One important difference between a scientific belief and a non-scientific belief is that scientific ideas can be falsified . What is falsifiability? Theories must be stated in a way that they can be disproved by evidence. A theory must be able to generate predictions that can potentially be shown to be false.
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Hypothesis/theory #1 – Women talk more than men. Can we generate a prediction that could be shown to be false if our hypothesis is false? Hypothesis #2 – Astrology - We can make predictions about people’s personalities based on their birth date and the position of the stars. Can the following be falsified? Your ability to accept differing opinions and ideas is strong, but it could be stronger. Luckily, there will be no shortage of opposing viewpoints around you today -- listen to them, and be tolerant. This is not a day for debating ideas as much as it is a day to pay attention to what other people are saying, and then figuring out whether you are in the majority or in the minority. Where you fit will dictate how much power you have to make changes in your work or school environment.
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Hypothesis #3 - Bloodletting cures yellow fever 1793 - severe epidemic of yellow fever struck Philadelphia Dr. Benjamin Rush - believed that illnesses accompanied by fever should be treated by bloodletting If patient got better – evidence that his theory was correct. If patient died – evidence that the patient had been too ill for any treatment to work.
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Hypothesis #4 - ESP exists (or parapsychology, more generally) What happens when ESP is tested in the lab?
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