While most scientific research involves hypothesis testing, not all does, and not all research is
Some studies are done to answer questions rather than test predictions.
For example: What can we learn abou
Analysis of the data collected in a scientific study provides the results of the study so that it can
be determined if the hypothesis is supported, is not supported, or the results are inconclusive.
Statistical procedures determine whic
The information collected in an experiment must be analyzed before conclusions can be drawn.
The hypothesis gives a prediction of the outcome of the experiment, and the analysis
determines if the prediction is accurate or not.
The results of an experiment can be distorted due to various forms of bias.
Sampling bias occurs when the sample is unrepresentative of the population under study.
Often, care must be taken in collecting data during an experim
When doing experiments, continued vigilance is required to minimize erroneous measurements,
which can arise in several ways.
Systematic errors are the same for all measurements.
This can be due to incorrect instrument calibrat
Many phenomena studied in science have variation within the variables being studied.
Humans, for example, vary in height and weight, behavior, income, susceptibility to disease, and
many other factors.
An experiment on one person, ther
The development of a hypothesis leads to the preparation of a plan to test it in such a way that
reliable evidence is collected and analyzed.
Since a major goal of science is to minimize the difference between our perception
Recent Developments in the Philosophy of science
It is often assumed that science is objective, in that evidence from the real world determines if a
theory is correct, and the prejudices of the scientist do not affect the results presented.
Latest Developments in the Philosophy of science
Some disciplines, like sociology, deal with such complex topics and unpredictable phenomena
that they do not have paradigms at all; they may have several competing views of their subject
Selecting a topic to study
Choosing a scientific problem to research involves many factors.
Scientific knowledge is like incomplete map with some highly reliable sections and some sections
The topic that a scientist or team of s
More Scientific Methods
A modification of the positivist approach is falsification.
There is a problem that no matter how many times a theory passes a test, scientists can
never be sure that it will pass all future tests.
The falsification appro
Ancient Greeks, like Aristotle, used reason to explain things classical approach to science
They felt that if the argument is sound, then the conclusion is trustworthy.
This method still works well in much of mathematics and l
Scientific statements are attempts to describe or explain real phenomena.
Example antibiotics are effective at fighting infections.
Some scientific statements are more reliable than others.
An important concept in science i
Basic and Applied Research
Research is basic or applied.
Basic research (pure science) is driven by the curiosity of scientist, who simply wants to learn
more about a particular phenomenon.
Applied research is done to solve a specific problem an
(The Scientific Endeavor Notes)
What is science?
Science is the acquisition of reliable but not infallible knowledge of the real word, including
explanations of the phenomena. Arthur Strahler
Science is a way of learning ab
Chapter 19 ECOSYSTEMS
All life is connected.
Living things grow in systems that process the energy and cycle the nutrients needed to support
a community of organismscomplex arrangements we call ecosystems. Scientists describe and
Chapter 16 THE CODE OF LIFE
It has become a matter of folklore that DNA is the molecule that governs heredity, and that it is
shaped like a double helix. DNA is one example of a nucleic acidthe NA of DNA (so named
because it is found in the nucleus of the
Chapter 15 THE LADDER OF LIFE
The Four Molecules of Life
Four types of molecules are essential to the working of a cell. They are:
1. Nucleic acids. These molecules (DNA and RNA) carry the blueprint that runs the cell's chemical
factories, and also are th
Chapter 14 - EARTH CYCLES
As scientists examine nature in operation, they recognize many ongoing processesnatural
actions that constantly change the surface of the globe. Rain falls, gradually washing away rocks
and soils and creating sand and silt. River
Chapter 13 THE RESTLESS EARTH
Earth's surface is constantly changing, and no feature on Earth is permanent.
The forces that drive this constant change are generated deep inside the Earth, where nuclei of
radioactive elements constantly decay. The energy o
Chapter 11 THE COSMOS
The branch of science devoted to these Big Questions is called cosmology. Modern thought in
this area derives from the fact that: The universe was born at a specific time in the past, and it
has been expanding ever since.
Chapter 10 ASTRONOMY
Stars experience a cycle of birth and death.
The life of any star is a constant battle against the force of gravity, which tries to pull the star in
Against this unremitting force, stars deploy a variety of countervailing s
Chapter 7 ATOMIC ARCHITECTURE
Studies of atomic architecture in graphite, diamond, and tens of thousands of other materials
reveal that: The way a material behaves depends on how its atoms are arranged.
There are only a few dozen different kinds of common
Chapter 5 THE WORLD OF QUANTUM
Keep two important points in mind as you think about quantum mechanics:
(1) No matter how weird it seems, it works.
(2) The world of the quantum is not anything like the familiar Newtonian world in which we live.
Two basic i
Chapter 4 THE ATOM
All matter is made of atoms.
Atoms are the building blocks of matter.
The atoms in turn are made largely from three types of smaller particles: protons and neutrons
in the atomic nucleus, and electrons that orbit the nucleus.
HOW DO WE
Understanding Science: Chapter 1 KNOWING
The Universe is regular and predictable (scientists look for patterns, just as we do)
- the universe is not random
- e.g. sun comes up every morning
- e.g. stars sweep across the sky
Ways of Knowing
Chapter 3 ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
Electricity and magnetism are familiar forces and they appear everywhere in nature
Four laws of nature, Maxwell's equations, summarize everything we know about the
phenomena of electricity and magnetism.
The most import
Chapter 2 ENERGY
Energy always follows two basic rules:
1. Energy is conserved
2. Energy always goes from more useful to less useful forms
The first rule says that energy, the ability to perform useful work, comes i