Chapter 1 Scientific Method Chapter 1.4 - The Process of Life A. Scientific Method 1. Biology is the scientific study of life. 2. The general process of science is said to be characterized by a sequence of stages. (The Scientific Method!) B. Observation
1. Scientists believe nature is orderly and measurable. 2. Science also considers that natural laws do not change with time. 3. Phenomena can therefore be understood from observations. 4. Actual science research may also involve chance (e.g., Alexander Flemings discovery of penicillin). *This principle of science is known as NATURAL CAUSALITY, by its nature it excludes supernatural
phenomenon* What are some things that are considered supernatural? C. Hypothesis 1. Inductive reasoning allows a person to combine isolated facts into a cohesive whole. 2. A hypothesis is a possible explanation for a natural event - must be testable
Examples of hypotheses, check those that are valid and can be tested _____Bluebirds sing to attract mates. _____ Bluebird songs are beautiful. _____ Only male bluebirds sing. _____ Sparrows will leave territories where they hear bluebird songs.. _____ Bluebirds hate sparrows. Practice Your Observation Skills
When the picture is revealed, you have 1 minute to make observations, and formulate a hypothesis about what
you think happened. For information about this photo, go to TimePhotos D. Experiments/Further Observations Deductive reasoning involves if, then logic that predicts what will happen based on the hypothesis or theory. Example: If cell phones cause brain cancer, then there will be a greater number of individuals with cancer who use cell
phones than those who do not. Example 2: Based on the law of gravity, I can deduce that a bowling ball and a golf ball will fall at the same speed. Inductive Reasoning - using specific observations to make generalizations. Example 1: I place a blood cell in salt water and it shrinks. I place a muscle cell in salt water and it also shrinks. I can conclude that all cells shrink in salt water.
http://www.socialresearch methods.net/kb/dedind.php One of the most common and useful forms of deductive reasoning is the syllogism. The syllogism is a specific form of argument that has three easy steps.1. Every X has the characteristic Y.2. This thing is X.3. Therefore, this thing has the characteristic Y. 1. Every vertebrate has a backbone
2. Cows are vertebrates. 3. Cows have backbones. FALSIFIABILITY It is important than any statement or hypothesis is falsifiable - if there is no evidence out there that would prove the statement wrong, then there is no point in running any tests. E. Data 1. observable and objective.
2. often displayed in a graph or table. 3. Often the data must be inspected for the probability the data could show a relationship by chance; this is a measure of significance. You roll two dice, they both turn up ONEs. This does not fit your prediction that you will only roll a ONE 1 out of 6 times. Is the data significant
enough to change your prediction? F. Conclusion 1. Whether the data support or reject the hypothesis is the basis for the conclusion. - avoid the word "prove" 2. The conclusion of one experiment can lead to the hypothesis for another experiment. 3. Science findings are reported in scientific journals so results are available to the research community (peer review).
4. The experiments and observations must be repeatable or the research is suspect. Let's Recap the Important Points 1. Hypothesis 2. Data Collection 3. Conclusions -----------------------General Logic Stuff -------------------Inductive versus Deductive Reasoning Falsifiability Syllogism
Natural Causation G. Scientific Theory The ultimate goal is to understand the natural world in scientific theories, conceptual schemes supported by a broad range of data. Say What?
Dissect that sentence....what does it really mean? 2. The terms principle and law are also used for generally accepted theories. Basic theories of biology are: a. Cell theory: all organisms are made of cells. b. Biogenesis theory: life only comes from life.
c. Evolution theory: living things have a common ancestor and are adapted to their environment d. Gene theory: Organisms contain coded information that determines their form, function, and behavior. Other Theories and Laws e. Germ Theory - proposes that microorganisms are the causes of many diseases
f. Heliocentric Theory - the sun is the center of the solar system, planets revolve around the sun g. Theory of Gravity - masses attract each other H. A Controlled Study 1. Some investigations are managed where conditions can be kept constant a. A variable is a factor that can cause an observable change b. The experimental variable is the step that is
deliberately manipulated (ex. nitrogen fertilizer). c. A dependent variable is component of an experiment that changes due to the experimental variable (growth). Example of a Controlled Study Observation: Babies are born with severe birth defects, mothers of these babies report taking the drug thalidomide during pregnancy for morning sickness. Question: Does thalidomide cause birth defects? Hypothesis: Thalidomide causes birth defects.
Experiment: Control group: Mice not given thalidomide during pregnancy Variable: Mice given thalidomide during pregnancy In this experiment, mice born from both the control and variable group will not have birth defects. This experiment was performed long before thalidomide was marketed and prescribed to pregnant women. Does these mean that
the hypothesis is not supported? A Field Study 1. Observations led the researcher to the hypothesis that male bluebirds vary their aggressiveness toward other males depending on the time during the cycle of breeding. 2. To test the hypothesis, a male bluebird model was placed by the nest while the male was gone and observations were made upon his return. 3. A control consisted of a model of a robin placed in the same position for some
nests. Control 4. Resident male bluebirds did not bother the control model but were aggressive toward the male bluebird model depending on the stage in nesting. 5. The conclusions confirmed the researchers hypothesis and were published in a science journal
Quick Review: What is a Theory? A Theory is an explanation for natural events that is based on a large number of observations. Can also be referred to as a PRINCIPLE or a LAW. Scientific Theories join together well supported and related hypotheses Theories must explain a wide range of observations Theories must be falsifiable Theories can be changed if new evidence presents
itself Generally, a THEORY explains the phenomenon (WHY) a LAW defines it, or establishes a pattern (WHAT) Why isn't creationism considered a theory? Keeping in mind that there is nothing wrong with religious beliefs, things like creationism are not considered scientific because they do not meet the criteria of a scientific theory itself.
1. Creationism -tells- us what happened, and doesn't explain how, when, why or through what mechanism 2. Creationism cannot be proven false - ie, you cannot disprove the existence of a divine creation 3. The nature of creationism means that the primary tenant (divine creation) can never be changed, much for the same reason you can't disprove it. 4. Not based on natural causes (natural causality) What is Occam's
Razor? Ockham's Razor (Occam is the latinized and more common spelling) is a principle proposed by William Ockahm in the 15th century. The original principle stated "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" which translates as "entities should
not be multiplied unnecessarily" Simply put: The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. http://sci-ence.org/comics /2012-01-09-redflags2.jpg
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