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THE NATURE OF SCIENCE

OUTLINE
A. Definition of Terms 1. Science 2. Pseudoscience 3. Physical Science 4. Fact 5. Law 6. Theory 7. Technology B. History of Advances in Physical Science C. Mathematics & Physical Science D. Scientific Method E. Scientific Attitude G. Science, Art, & Religion H. Science & Technology

DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Science a. the product of human curiosity about how the world works b. an organized body of knowledge that describes the order within nature and the causes of that order c. the collective findings of humans about nature, and a process of gathering and organizing knowledge about nature. d. an ongoing human activity that represents the collective efforts, findings, and wisdom of the human race, an activity that is dedicated to gathering knowledge about the world and organizing and condensing it into testable laws and theories. 2. Pseudoscience fake science that does not meet scientific standards and thus pretends to be real science.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
3. Physical Science a. the study of matter and energy b. has 4 major branches: (1) Physics the branch of science concerned with the properties of matter and energy and the relationships between them. (2) Chemistry the study of matter and the transformations it can undergo. (3) Earth Science any of several sciences, such as geology, oceanography, and meteorology, that study the origin, composition, and physical features of the Earth (4) Astronomy the branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. Its various branches include: a. Astrometry concerned with the measurement of the position and motion of celestial bodies b. Astrodynamics study of the motion of natural and artificial bodies in space

DEFINITION OF TERMS
3. Physical Science (4) Astronomy c. Cosmology concerned with the evolution and structure of the universe d. Astrophysics concerned with the physical and chemical properties, origin, and evolution of the celestial bodies 4. Fact a phenomenon about which competent observers who have made a series of observations are in agreement.

5. Hypothesis an educated guess; a reasonable explanation of an observation or experimental result that is not fully accepted as factual until tested over and over again by experiment.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
6. Law a general hypothesis or statement about the relationship of natural quantities that has been tested over and over again and has not been contradicted; also known as a principle. 7. Theory a synthesis of a large body of information that encompasses well-tested and verified hypotheses about certain aspects of the natural world 8. Technology a. the application of scientific knowledge to improve the quality of human life b. all the ways that people make or do things (agriculture, medicine, energy, transportation, communication, and leisure activities)

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


1. 4th and 3rd Centuries BC Science made great headway in Greece and spread throughout the Mediterranean world. 2. 5th Century AD Scientific advance came to a near halt in Europe when the Roman Empire fell. Barbarian hordes destroyed almost everything in their paths as they overran Europe. Reason gave way to religion, which ushered in what came to be known as the Dark Ages. During this time, the Chinese and Polynesians were charting the stars and the planets. Before the advent of Islam, Arab nations developed mathematics and learned about the production of glass, paper, metals, and various chemicals.

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


Middle Ages Historians differ in their opinions of when the Middle Ages began and ended, most sources define the Middle Ages as an historical period from 500 AD to 1450 AD. While there was a suppression of knowledge and learning, the Middle Ages was a period full of discovery and inventing. 3. 10th, 11th & 12th Centuries Greek science was reintroduced to Europe by Islamic influences that penetrated into Spain. 4. 13th Century Universities emerged in Europe in the 13th century

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


5. 14th Century The introduction of gunpowder changed the social and political structure of Europe. 6. 15th Century Art and science beautifully blended by Leonardo da Vinci. Gave birth to three major events: a) The beginning of the Renaissance Era (circa 1453) with a return to research and learning after the Dark Ages. b) The birth of the Age of Discovery with increased exploration and improved naval ships and navigation methods that created new trade routes and trade partners. c) The birth of modern printing marked by 15th century master printer Johann Gutenberg's invention of movable type presses (1440) that made the inexpensive mass-printing of books possible

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


7. 16th Century This was a time of unprecedented change, the very beginning of the modern era of science, a time of great exploration, religious and political turmoil, and extraordinary literature. 1543: Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus caused great controversy when he published a book proposing that the Sun is stationary and that Earth revolves around the Sun. This ushered in what is called the Copernican Revolution, which forever changed astronomy, and ultimately changed all of science. Copernicus ideas conflicted with the popular view that Earth was the center of the universe. They also conflicted with Church teachings and were banned for 200 years. The Italian physicist Galileo Galilei was arrested for popularizing the Copernican theory and for his other contributions to scientific thought. Yet a century later, those who advocated Copernican ideas were accepted. Cycles of rejection and acceptance occur age after age.

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


8. 17th Century Before the 17th century began, science and scientists were not truly recognized. In fact, at first people like the 17th century genius Isaac Newton were called natural philosophers, since there was no concept of the word scientist for most of the 17th century. The intrusion of newly invented machines became part of the daily and economic lives of 17th century folk. The science of chemistry developed from medieval alchemy, and the 17th century science of astronomy evolved from astrology. By the end of the 17th century, a scientific revolution had occurred and science had become an established mathematical, mechanical, and empirical body of knowledge. Galileo Galilei, Ren Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, and others had become noted scientists.

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


9. 18th Century Also referred to as the 1700s, this century began the first Industrial Revolution. Modern manufacturing began with steam engines replacing animal labor. Saw the widespread replacement of manual labor by new inventions and machinery In the early 1800s, geologists met with violent condemnation because they differed with the account of creation in the book of Genesis. Later in the same century, geology was accepted, but theories of evolution were condemned and the teaching of them was forbidden.

B. HISTORY OF ADVANCES IN SCIENCE


10. 19th Century It was the age of machine tools - tools that made tools - machines that made parts for other machines, including interchangeable parts. The assembly line was invented during the 19th century, speeding up the factory production of consumer goods.

11. 20th Century Technology, science, and inventions have progressed at an accelerated rate during the hundred years of the 20th century, more so than any other century. This century with the infancy of airplanes, automobiles, and radio, when those inventions dazzled us with their novelty and wonder. Ended with spaceships, computers, cell phones, and the wireless Internet all being technologies we can take for granted.

C. MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE


Science and human conditions advanced dramatically after science and mathematics became integrated some four centuries ago. When the ideas of science are expressed in mathematical terms, they are unambiguous. The equations of science provide compact expressions of relationships between concepts. They dont have the multiple meanings that so often confuse the discussion of ideas expressed in common language. When findings in nature are expressed mathematically, they are easier to verify or to disprove by experiment. The mathematical structure of physics is evident in its many equations. The equations are guides to thinking that show the connections between concepts in nature. The methods of mathematics and experimentation led to enormous success in science.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Scientific Method refers to principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. *Specific set of steps for developing and testing a scientific idea. There is no one scientific method, but there are common features or steps in the way scientists do their work. 1. Observe. Closely observe the physical world around you. Recognize a question or a puzzlesuch as an unexplained observation. 2. Question. Make an educated or scientific guessa hypothesisto answer the question. 3. Predict. Predict consequences that can be observed if the hypothesis is correct. The consequences should be absent if the hypothesis is not correct. 4. Test predictions. Do experiments to see if the consequences you predicted are present. 5. Draw a conclusion. Formulate the simplest general rule that organizes the hypothesis, predicted effects, and experimental findings.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Although the steps of the scientific method are appealing, much progress in science has come from trial and error, experimentation without hypotheses, or just plain accidental discovery by a well-prepared mind. The success of science rests more on an attitude common to scientists than on a particular method. The attitude that is one of inquiry, experimentation, and humilitythat is, a willingness to admit error.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Limitations of the Scientific Method: 1. Existence of God Differences Between Science & Religion: a. Science is concerned with understanding the physical universe, while religion is concerned with spiritual matters, such as belief and faith in, and the worship of, a supreme being and the creation of human communitynot the practice of science. b. Scientific truth is a matter of public scrutiny while religion is a deeply personal matter. Similarities Between Science & Religion: a. Both are motivated by curiosity for the natural. b. Both have great impact on society. Science, for example, leads to useful technological innovations, while religion provides a foothold for many social services.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Limitations of the Scientific Method: 2. Beauty appreciation Differences Between Science & Art: a. ART is about creative communication of ideas and emotions while SCIENCE is about establishing truth or finding objective facts through verifiable experimentation. b. ART seeks aesthetic response while SCIENCE seeks knowledge and understanding. c. ART is subjective while SCIENCE is objective. d. ART is conceptual, while SCIENCE is theoretical e. ART needs no proof since it cannot be proved. On the other hand, SCIENCE is based upon theories and hypothesis, and every phenomenon or device can be explained through science.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Limitations of the Scientific Method: 2. Beauty appreciation Differences Between Science & Art: f. ART is the representation of human thought while SCIENCE is the representation of natural order. g. ARTISTS who express a new idea must communicate it to their audience for justification. SCIENTISTS who explain a natural phenomenon must validate it based on the body of knowledge available. h. ART values break with tradition while SCIENCE values building on tradition and adherence to standards.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Limitations of the Scientific Method: 2. Beauty appreciation Differences Between Science & Art: f. ART is the representation of human thought while SCIENCE is the representation of natural order. g. ARTISTS who express a new idea must communicate it to their audience for justification. SCIENTISTS who explain a natural phenomenon must validate it based on the body of knowledge available. h. ART values break with tradition while SCIENCE values building on tradition and adherence to standards.

D. SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Limitations of the Scientific Method: What science, philosophy, art, and religion all share is an attempt to give meaning to the world around us. Each field pursues this goal in different ways and with different results. Yet, do not necessarily contradict one another. Indeed, many of the worlds greatest scientists have been great philosophers, artists, or religious scholars. Science, art, and religion can work very well together, which is why we should never feel forced into choosing one over the other. 3. Moral issues 4. Value judgment scientists may become biased based on their beliefs

E. SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE
The theories of science are not fixed; rather, they undergo change. Scientific theories evolve as they go through stages of redefinition and refinement. a) The theory of the atom has been repeatedly refined as new evidence on atomic behavior has been gathered. b) Chemists have refined their view of the way molecules bond together. c) Biologists have refined the cell theory. The refinement of theories is a strength of science, not a weakness. Many people feel that it is a sign of weakness to change their minds. Competent scientists must be experts at changing their minds. a) They change their minds, however, only when confronted with solid experimental evidence or when a conceptually simpler hypothesis forces them to a new point of view. b) More important than defending beliefs is improving them. Better hypotheses are made by those who are honest in the face of experimental evidence.

E. SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE
A discredited scientist does not get a second chance in the community of scientists. The penalty for fraud is professional excommunication. Honesty, so important to the progress of science, thus becomes a matter of self-interest to scientists. In science, it is more important to have a means of proving an idea wrong than to have a means of proving it right. This is a major factor that distinguishes science from nonscience. Albert Einstein put it well when he stated, No number of experiments can prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

E. SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE
Consider the following hypotheses: a) The alignment of planets in the sky determines the best time for making decisions. Many people believe it, but this hypothesis is not scientific. It cannot be proven wrong, nor can it be proven right. It is speculation. b) Intelligent life exists on other planets somewhere in the universe is not scientific. Although it can be proven correct by the verification of a single instance of intelligent life existing elsewhere in the universe, there is no way to prove it wrong if no intelligent life is ever found. If one searched the far reaches of the universe for eons and found no life, then that would not prove that it doesnt exist around the next corner. A hypothesis that is capable of being proven right but not capable of being proven wrong is not a scientific hypothesis. Many such statements are quite reasonable and useful, but they lie outside the domain of science.

F. SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


Science and technology are different from each other. a) Science is concerned with gathering knowledge and organizing it. b) Technology lets humans use that knowledge for practical purposes, and it provides the instruments scientists need to conduct their investigations. Technology is a double-edged sword in that it can be both helpful and harmful. Example: We have the technology to extract fossil fuels from the ground and then burn the fossil fuels to produce energy. Positive side: Energy production from fossil fuels has benefited society in countless ways. Negative side: The burning of fossil fuels damages the environment.

F. SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


It is tempting to blame technology itself for such problems as pollution, resource depletion, and even overpopulation. It is humans who use the technology, and humans who are responsible for how it is used. Human beings already possess the technology to solve many environmental problems. The 21st century will likely see a switch from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources. Technology is our tool. What we do with this tool is up to us. The promise of technology is a cleaner and healthier world. Wise applications of technology can improve conditions on planet Earth.