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Day 2 August 28

Chapter 1
Dr. Hollingsworth
The University of Akron
Fall 2014
Science - Latin = to know
Science is

a body of knowledge.
a way of knowing - a process of
inquiry and learning.
a pathway to discover and understand
world around us.
a human endeavor.
Use research to make decisions
Pages 2 -3
Biological Knowledge
Being well-rounded is a necessity.
Health, social, medical, political,
economic, and legal issues surround
Think creatively
Communicate with others
Integrate into decision making
Are curious
Ask questions
about how the
world works
Seek answers

How is Science a
different way of knowing?
Science is empirical. Empirical knowledge
is based on experimentation and
observation. Empirical results can be
tested again and again and corrected as
needed. Scientists use the scientific
method to produce empirical results.
Other ways of knowing historical,
ethical, political, religious.
Page 7
Science is a
collection of
facts and a
process for
the world.

How do you know that is true?
The single question that
underlies scientific thinking
Pseudoscience the importance of
questioning the truth of many scientific
claims you see on merchandise packages or
read in the newspaper or on the Internet.

Scientific issues permeate the law. I believe
[that] in this age of science we must build legal
foundations that are sound in science as well as
in law. The result, in my view, will further not
only the interests of truth but also those of
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
February 1998 at the annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Why and when do people
develop superstitions?
Can animals be superstitious?
1.1 What is science?
What is biology?
Why is morning breath so stinky? And can
you do anything to prevent it?

Why is it always windy on streets with tall

Does taking aspirin before drinking alcohol
lead to faster intoxication?

Ask a question.
How do you know if the answer is
Not simply a body of knowledge or a
list of facts to be remembered

but rather an intellectual activity,
encompassing observation,
description, experimentation, and
explanation of natural phenomena.
the importance of questioning the truth of many
scientific claims you see on merchandise packages
or read in the newspaper or on the Internet.
Can we trust the packaging
claims that companies make?
clinical drug trials and evidence

CEO says: people are really not
scientifically minded enough to be
able to understand a clinical study.
You dont have to be at the mercy
of liars, frauds, marketing,
advertising, or slick packaging.

Learn exactly what it means to have
scientific proof or evidence.

Learn what it means to think
Scientific Literacy
how to think scientifically
how to use the knowledge we gain
to make wise decisions
increasingly important in our lives
literacy in matters of biology is
especially essential
Biological Literacy
The ability to:
1. use the process of scientific
inquiry to think creatively
about real-world issues,
2. communicate those thoughts
to others, and
3. integrate them into your
1.3 The scientific method is
a powerful approach to
understanding the world.
If science proves some belief of
Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism
will have to change
Dalai Lama, 2005
The Scientific Method
Observe a phenomenon

Propose an explanation for it

Test the proposed explanation
through a series of experiments

Accurate and valid,
Revised or alternative explanations
Scientific Thinking Is Empirical
based on experience and observations
that are rational, testable, and repeatable.

Which statement below is based on
empirical information?
1. Knocking on wood insures a good outcome.
2. Since most elementary school teachers are
female, females make better elementary
school teachers than males.
3. We had a really cool spring this year,
therefore climate change (global warming)
must not be happening.
4. Chicken is a healthier source of protein
because it contains less saturated fat than
1.4 - 1.10
A beginners guide:
what are the steps
of the scientific
Scientific Method
A rigid process to follow?
A recipe?
An adaptable process?
One that includes many different

The basic steps in the scientific method are:
Step 1: Make observations.
Step 2: Formulate a hypothesis.
Step 3: Devise a testable
Step 4: Conduct a critical
Step 5: Draw conclusions and make

What should you do when
something you believe in
turns out to be wrong?
This may be the most important
feature of the scientific method:

it tells us when we should
change our minds.

10 Debunked Scientific Beliefs
Of The Past
Does taking echinacea reduce the intensity or
duration of the common cold?
To be most useful, a hypothesis must
accomplish two things:
1. It must clearly establish mutually
exclusive alternative explanations for a

2. It must generate testable predictions.
Devising Testable Predictions
We can only evaluate the validity of a
hypothesis by putting it to the test.

Researchers often pose a hypothesis
as a negative statement, proposing
that there is no relationship between
two factors.
Devising a Testable Prediction
from a Hypothesis
Keep in mind any one of several possible
explanations could be true.

Devising a Testable Prediction
from a Hypothesis
The goal is to:
Propose a situation that will give a
particular outcome if your hypothesis
is true

but that will give a different outcome
if your hypothesis is not true.
Hypothesis: Eyewitness testimony is
always accurate.
Prediction: Individuals who have
witnessed a crime will correctly identify
the criminal regardless of whether
multiple suspects are presented one at a
time or all at the same time in a lineup.

Hypothesis: Echinacea reduces the duration and
severity of the symptoms of the common cold.
The Role of Experiments
What is important is that we attempt
to demonstrate that our initial
hypothesis is not supported by the

If it is not, we might then adjust our
Making Revisions
Try to further refine a hypothesis.

Make new and more specific testable

Does echinacea help prevent the common cold?
Hypothesis: Echinacea reduces the duration and
severity of the symptoms of the common cold.
1.10 When do hypotheses
become theories?
Two distinct levels of understanding
that scientists use in describing our
knowledge about natural phenomena
Hypotheses and Theories
A hypothesis is a proposed
explanation for a phenomenon.

a good hypothesis leads to testable

Hypotheses and Theories
A theory is a hypothesis for natural
phenomena that is exceptionally well-
supported by the data.

a hypothesis that has withstood the test
of time and is unlikely to be altered by
any new evidence

Theories vs. Hypotheses
Repeatedly tested

Broader in scope
Elements Common
to Most Experiments
1. Treatment
any experimental condition applied to individuals
2. Experimental group
a group of individuals who are exposed to a
particular treatment
3. Control group
a group of individuals who are treated identically
to the experimental group with the one
exception: they are not exposed to the
4. Variables
characteristics of your experimental system that
are subject to change
Controlling Variables
the most important feature of a good

the attempt to minimize any
differences between a control group
and an experimental group other
than the treatment itself
The Placebo Effect
The phenomenon in which people
respond favorably to any treatment

The placebo effect highlights the
need for comparison of treatment
effects with an appropriate control
Clever Hans
Experimental Designs
Blind experimental design
The experimental subjects do not know
which treatment (if any) they are
Double-blind experimental design
Neither the experimental subjects nor the
experimenter knows which treatment the
subject is receiving.
Hallmarks of an Extremely
Well-designed Experiment
Blind/double-blind strategies

The subjects are randomly assigned
into experimental and control groups.

1.12 Repeatable experiments
increase our confidence.
Can science be misleading?
How can we know?
1.13 Weve got to watch
out for biases.
Can scientists be sexist?
How would we know?
Scientific thinking
can help us make
wise decisions.
Independent Variables
some measurable entity that is available at
the start of a process and whose value can be
changed as required.

Dependent Variables
created by the process being observed and
whose value cannot be controlled.