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TOK science lesson

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by

Kim Yaeger

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of TOK science lesson

Some examples of pseudo-science: Activity: Pseudo-science Is this an accurate representation of what the person saying this is trying to present? "...down to a science" -Trying new techniques on an instrument to see which works better
-Cooking (adding salt and baking soda to make bread rise, using yeast, boiling, baking soda and vinegar reactions, change of state when baking)
-Growing plants (using legumes to fix nitrogen, 6CO2 + 12H2O -> C6H12O6 + 6O2)
-Using a microwave to heat up food Are these sciences? Is this science? What makes science science? The Natural Sciences -Acupuncture - inserting needles balances energy and relieves pain
-Astrology - the position of celestial bodies and date of birth determine character
-Crystology - crystals have magic healing powers
-Graphology - handwriting reflects character
-Homeopathy - what causes symptoms also cures them
-Phrenology - the structure of the skull determines mental ability Person number one is a believer in acupuncture, and person number two believes that it is a pseudo-science. Person number one must convince person number two that acupuncture is truly a science. Does what we consiter science change based on age? -Is it still science after becoming usable by every-day people? -It works because of the laws of science - does that make it science? -A child making a volcano with baking soda and vinegar as opposed to an adult.
-A science kit from the toy store making slime as opposed to an adult creating slime for a child's party Does what we consiter science change based on time? -The earth is round
-Apples fall from trees due to gravity
-Grass grows because of water, sunlight, and air
-Burning marked candles or using shadows to tell time If these are still considered science, have they at least lost some of the awe people hold for them? Definition: "Any of various methods, theories, or systems...considered as having no scientific basis." (from dictionary.com) Based on the discussion, is there a possibility that some things we call "pseudo-science" are labeled incorrectly? Why do we have science? What are the boarders between science and math? What are the boarders between science and ethics? -atomic bomb
-Darwinism v. Creationism
-cloning -technology
-theoretical physics How do we know when we're right? -What if our common sence tells us that science is wrong? (geocentric vs. heliocentric; earth is round vs. earth is flat)
-Each time the model of the atom changed, it was consitered right, so how do we know that the present model is right?
-The repetition of experiments should confirm it, but experiments don't always expose everything... (gold foil) How much is too much skepticism? -If we are not skeptical at all, we will end up with an abundance of false laws.
-If we are too skeptical, we will not move ahead at all. Perception fallibility in science Confirmation bias - we see what we expect to see Is it possible to look at the experiment from a non-biased point of view? Should scientists dismiss data points that do not agree with their conclusion? Simplistic tendencies There is often more than one hypothesis for a set of data - how do we know which is right? Most humans choose the simpler one... but would a scientist with knowledge of this tendency choose the more complicated one for that reason? From a TOK perspective The scientific method: -ask a question
-do background research
-state a hypothesis
-perform an experiment
-collect data
-analyze the data
-state a conclusion Must all sciences follow these exact steps? How do we know that hypothesis without the means to experiment are correct? Einstein's Theory of Relativity E=mc^2 The danger of inductive reasoning If a scientist were to create an experiment that, performed with a very wide range of data, would come out with an equation asymptotic to the x-axis but they used only a small range of data that happened to be on the x-axis, they would think the equation would be y=0 when it really was y=1/x, then assuming a part represents the whole would be fatally wrong. The fallibility of confidence Under-confidence:
-"My experiment disproved Newton's 2nd law - I must have been terribly wrong!" Overconfidence:
-"I'm always right." ...so we end up not finding out what may be crucial information while also receiving information that is incorrect. $$$ Scenario:
You are a scientist doing cancer research and find a revolutionary discovery about cloning. Your contract is for cancer research only and you won't be getting any grant if you switch. What research would you persue?
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