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the practices employed in science to uncover knowledge and interpret the meaning of those discoveries. Scientific knowledge evolves Science is not immune to bias and error New ideas are peer reviewed to minimize error New ideas need to be quantified We use science every day

There are many ways scientists uncover new knowledge. Show biology paper on papers We must remember that science is constantly evolving as new evidence comes to light. -Just look at the medical field or nutrition field. How often do you see new advances? Like all human endeavors, individuals have bias and make mistakes -We often get blinders on and follow one track even if the evidence suggests otherwise -Example of this is in the race to find the structure of DNA Watson and Cricks discovered the double helix, but it could have been years sooner because the other team in race could not get past the idea that it had a crystalline structure. But to reduce bias and error all new ideas and discoveries are debated and reviewed by others who know the topic. New ideas also need data to back them up, this data must be replicate-able We use science every day. Science is weighting up the alternatives and choosing the logical answer. When we go to a supermarket, we compare brands, this is often done based on nutritional information When we choose a car, we look at safety features, MPG, all of which have science discoveries to make them possible We are constantly asked to choose between two things. How do we make that choice? Who do we trust? Show discrepancy exercise

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Whats a Scientific Question?


Scientific Questions are.
Testable Definable Measurable
1. How does surface affect the travel rate of a caterpillar? 2. Which flowers are prettier, daisies or roses? 3. Can you get warts from handling toads? 4. Do cats make better pets than dogs? 5. How does smell affect taste? 6. How do different types of movement/activity affect human heart rate? 7. What conditions affect productivity while doing homework? 8. Is it more exciting to drive a motorcycle blindfolded or go skydiving? 9. Do reflexes change with age?

Once we observe something, our scientific questions must be testable, definable, measurable. 1. How does surface affect the travel rate of a caterpillar? 2. Which flowers are prettier, daisies or roses? 3. Can you get warts from handling toads? 4. Do cats make better pets than dogs? 5. How does smell affect taste? 6. How do different types of movement/activity affect human heart rate? 7. What conditions affect productivity while doing homework? 8. Is it more exciting to drive a motorcycle blindfolded or go skydiving? 9. Do reflexes change with age?

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The Process of Science: "The Scientific Method"


Observe the Natural World

Ask Questions about what you see Develop one or more testable hypotheses Test the hypothesis Communicate results

The scientific method. It all starts with observation and curiosity. Seeing something and then asking why Lets break this table down into its component parts

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Whats a Hypothesis?
Tentative, but untested explanations Ex. Tree height is limited by N availability Make predictions that can be tested Predictions written as If *hypothesis+, then statements Ex. If tree height is limited by N availability, then adding N to the soil should cause the tree to grow taller

So a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a set of observations. This leads to a prediction which can be tested. We use this method every day. For example we turn on a flashlight and it does not work. (The observation) We come up with explanations as to why (bulb, batteries). We make a prediction. If the bulb is burnt out then I can replace the bulb and it will work. Then we test the prediction.

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Scientific Method
Textbook sections 1.4 through 1.12

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4 main research methods Description Comparison Experimentation Modeling

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Description
Systematic observation and cataloging of components of a natural system

This is commonly the initial go-to method when something is being observed for the first time. For example in the 19020s and 30s the increasing number of autopsies were there was black damaged tissue in their lungs The first thing which was done was observing how common this was and describing the issue. A link was made with men who smoked and this lead to use of the next type of research, the comparison.

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Comparison
Used to determine and quantify relationships between two or more variables by observing different groups. Cannot conclusively say which variable is the cause as not controlling for all variables

Often used when the scale is two big or there are ethical reasons not to experiment (manipulate) on the groups. With a possible link between smokers and lung cancer, it would not be ethical to just sit a lot of people down and as them to chain smoke to see the outcome. So comparison was used. Here the frequency of lung cancer was compared between smokers and non smokers.

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Experimentation
Where one variable is consciously manipulated and the outcome is observed. Can be used to quantify (measure) as opposed to qualify (observe) a response. Tend to be more rigorous in their use of controls.

Later scientists working on the link between smoking and lung cancer did do experiments. Some were on human proxies, such as mice. Others were on the effect of cigarette toxins and smoke on cultured tissue. Because we want to only test 1 variable at a time, controls are there to make sure that other variables are not tested either consciously or unconsciously. eg For instance if we want to test smoking and lung cancer we dont want some other variable such as different air quality between subjects potentially causing an unknown effect. Therefore we make sure all subjects are exposed to the same air quality.

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Modeling
Developing representations of a system in question Used to replicate a system to see what happens to that system when variables change. Often done through computer-based methods.

When there has been a lot of data on a topic generated through observation, comparison, and experimentation scientists often what to project what is going to happen in the future. For instance with the smoking experiments, the scientists may want to know what is likely to happen to a man given x number of cigarettes. Initially they will Test the model against results from past studies. Then they will usually develop a number of models each of which will incorporate different assumptions for the future (these may be lifestyle, exercise, diet, ). Then they extrapolate into the future. Models serve as a best guess and can serve to help make management decisions, however it should be remembered they are based on the best data available and may change.

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Scientific Method: The Process

Once observations are done, questions always arise. Once there is a question. We develop a hypothesis to explain the problem. This is our best guess. It is easiest if phrased as an if-then statement If cigarettes are regularly smoked then there will be an increase risk of lung cancer. A hypothesis is Proposed explanation for the observation MUST BE TESTABLE MUST TEST ONLY 1 INDEPENDENT VARIABLE AT A TIME (Simple and

concise) Must propose a possible explanation Falsifiable Either accept or reject the hypothesi s At this point we then can use Comparison but preferably Experimentation to TEST the hypothesis. There is no right or wrong result of this test, its a loop

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Good experimentation

To make it rigorous and give quantifiable data we need to follow a number of rules. Draw up an experiment on board which incorporates these factors for the mice example Experimental groups these would be groups of mice being exposed to different amounts of cigarette smoke. Control group Mice not being exposed to any smoke Independent variable what is being manipulated (in this case, the smoke) Dependent variable what changes as a result of the experiment (in this case, the degree of lung cancer developed) Control variables all other variables are kept constant, so we know they are not influencing the experiment. Air quality, diet, temperature, cage size, etc Replication to avoid chance (eg: some individuals may be more tolerant than others)

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Theories
A scientific theory is very different from the regular way people use the word theory. General use (Websters dictionary)
A persons assumption An abstract thought A belief Hunch Speculation

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Theories
A scientific theory is very different from the regular way people use the word theory. Scientific use
an explanation inferred from multiple lines of evidence for some broad aspect of the natural world and is logical, testable, and predictive. Each theory has been barraged with scientific tests and still stands intact.

So a theory comes about after a lot of research, for a lot of different scientists, all points towards the same conclusion. -Big bang theory -Evolutions and natural selection -The three parts to the cell theory are as described below: -Cell Theory: All living organisms are composed of one or more cells The cell is the basic unit of structure. All cells come from preexisting cells. -Plate tectonics -Climate change theory

Just like with all science Theory is not Fact. As new evidence comes to light, or new interpretations of existing data are proposed, theories may be revised and even change; however, they are not tenuous or speculative.

How about theories that have changed or are now obsolete? Atomic theory Flat earth Centre of universe Theory differs from a hypothesis