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Copy of Unit 1 prezi
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All scientific ideas must be testable and reproducible. Scientific evidence must be observable by all scientists. It must not be based on opinions or feelings.
Empirical evidence is observations, measurements, and data that scientists gather to support an explanation.
Scientists commonly use tools to collect data. Unlike science, pseudoscience does not use accepted scientific methods.
The evidence supporting pseudo scientific claims may be vague, biased, or inaccurate.
Pseudo scientific claims are often not testable. Pseudo scientists may say that any claim that has not been proven false must be true. This is faulty logic.
Scientists offer evidence for their explanations. In contrast, pseudo scientist often ask skeptics to prove their claims false. Lesson 2:
Scientific Knowledge How do scientist use their methods? Scientists plan their investigations to address a specific problem or question.
Their goal is to come up with a scientific explanation.
Each problem or question is unique and so requires a unique method and the proper tools. How do scientists choose their methods? When choosing their methods, scientists rely on the tools available.
Scientists, however, know they don’t always have the tools they need.
Some tools may be too expensive, and others may not exist. Lesson 1:
What is science? What characterizes science? What is a scientific explanation? Scientists often start developing an explanation by examining all of the data and empirical evidence they have.
Then they think logically about the evidence and develop a reasonable explanation.
Other scientists test the explanation for themselves. Scientific explanations must explain all available evidence.
If new evidence is discovered, it is compared to the explanation.
If the explanation cannot explain the new evidence, the explanation may be modified. How is a scientific explanation evaluated? First, study the empirical evidence. Decide if it supports the explanation.
Second, decide if the explanation is logical and agrees with your other observations.
Third, identify tests you can do to support the idea.
Finally, evaluate the explanation. What is involved in scientific work? Science and the people who study it are diverse. However, they have some characteristics in common.
When you show these characteristics, you are thinking like a scientist. Scientists make careful observations. They may use their senses or scientific tools to make observations.
Scientists are curious about the world and how it works.
Scientists are creative. They use their imaginations to come up with explanations, experiments, and solutions. Scientists are logical. They use evidence and careful reasoning to develop explanations.
Scientists are skeptical. They do not immediately accept claims. Instead, they ask questions and evaluate the claims.
Scientists are objective. They set aside their feelings and opinions when they evaluate ideas. How is pseudoscience similar to and different from science? Physical science is the study of energy and nonliving matter. Physical science includes physics and chemistry. How is pseudoscience similar to and different from science? Scientists also need to be creative in the ways they use their tools.
Tools are useful only if the scientists using them can interpret the data they provide.
This skill is a large part of the education of a scientist. Based on the subject under study, scientists may plan to do experiments or fieldwork.
When doing experiments, scientists control different variables under precise conditions in a laboratory.
Generally, physicists and chemists do a lot of experiments. In contrast, scientists doing fieldwork make observations of what is around them.
They watch, observe, and try to make sense of what they see.
Instead of controlling variables, they try to determine what variables are at work and how they relate to each other. A large part of doing fieldwork is coming to understand the variables that exist.
Biologists and geologists generally do a lot of fieldwork.
Sometimes, a scientist will do fieldwork and then take a specimen back to a laboratory to do more testing. How do scientific theories become accepted? Some theories are quickly accepted; others are not.
A good scientific theory is one that is supported by most of the evidence and can account for new observations as they arise.
Such a theory becomes widely accepted. At times, as new evidence is discovered, scientists may find that an earlier theory is incorrect or incomplete.
Good scientific theories often get modified but are rarely rejected. How can you know who’s right? The most reliable scientific information is found in professional science journals, but it may not be easy to understand.
You should be cautious of accepting scientific explanations from advertisers or anyone trying to sell you something.
When you assess any scientific claim, ask yourself if it makes sense logically and whether the results support it. Remember that science does not claim to prove anything.
Science attempts to provide an explanation that agrees with the results of observation and testing Lesson 3:
Scientific Investigations What are some parts that make up scientific investigations? Scientists investigate the natural world through experiments and observations.
An experiment is an organized procedure to study something under controlled conditions.
Observation is the process of obtaining information by using the senses. Scientific investigations may also involve the use of models.
A model is a representation of an object or system. A testable idea or explanation that leads to scientific investigation is called a hypothesis.
A scientist may think of a hypothesis after making observations or after reading findings from other scientists’ investigations.
Hypotheses must be carefully constructed so they can be tested in a practical and meaningful way. If an investigation does not support a hypothesis, it is still useful.
The information from the investigation can help scientists form a better hypothesis.
Scientists may go through many cycles of testing and analysis before they arrive at a hypothesis that is supported. Scientists analyze data to determine the relationship between the independent and dependent variables in an investigation.
Then they draw conclusions about whether the data support the investigation’s hypothesis. What are some scientific methods? Scientists do not always use the same steps or same order of steps in every investigation.
They may even repeat some steps. Consider one possible path that a scientist might follow while conducting an experiment.
First, the scientist clearly and precisely defines the problem or question that needs to be answered.
Next, the scientist forms a hypothesis and makes predictions about what will happen in the investigation. To test the hypothesis, the investigation must be carefully planned, taking into account the materials and equipment needed.
The scientist must also decide how the independent variable will change and identify other variables that will be controlled. The scientist must also determine how the results of the experiment will be measured.
The data collected in an investigation must be recorded and properly organized.
After the data are collected, the scientist may analyze them and draw conclusions about the results. How are scientific methods used? Science is an ongoing process, as scientific investigations provide evidence that can either support or contradict a hypothesis.
A hypothesis can be replaced by a new or modified hypothesis after further investigation.
Thus, scientists are always prepared to modify their understandings of the natural world. Scientific methods are used in physical, life, and earth sciences.
Scientists carefully choose the setting for an investigation, such as the field or a laboratory.
Scientists may use models when studying things that are very large, small, or complex. What are some characteristics of good scientific investigations? Good scientific investigations share some important characteristics.
Scientific observations should be well documented and have supporting evidence.
In an experiment, the variables should be controlled as much as possible. Experiments should be repeated multiple times by the original investigator.
All scientific investigations should be replicated by scientists not involved with the original work.
Before publishing a study, scientific journals ask other scientists to review the article. This is called peer review. How can you evaluate the quality of scientific information? The most reliable scientific information is published in scientific journals, but it is often difficult to understand.
Reliable books are written by scientists and others who are knowledgeable about a particular field.
Reliable Internet sources are government and academic web pages. Commercial web pages are often unreliable because they are trying to sell something. Lesson 4:
representing data How do scientists make sense of data? All of the different types of scientific investigations involve the collection of data.
Data are the facts, figures, and other evidence scientists gather when they conduct an investigation.
Scientists organize and record their data in data tables. Data tables often have two columns.
One column lists the independent variable, which is the variable that is deliberately manipulated in an investigation.
The other column lists the dependent variable, which is the variable that changes as a result of manipulation of the independent variable. Scientists often analyze data for patterns or trends by constructing graphs of the data.
The type of graph they construct depends upon the data they collected and what they want to show. A scatter plot is a graph with points plotted to show a possible relationship between two sets of data.
In a scatter plot, the horizontal x-axis usually represents the independent variable.
The vertical y-axis usually represents the dependent variable.
To show the general relationship between the two variables, a “line of best fit” may be used. What do graphs show? Scientists use different types of graphs to show different types of information about data.
A bar graph is used to display and compare data in a number of separate categories.
A circle graph is used to show how each group of data relates to all of the data. What kinds of patterns can be shown using graphs? When you graph data, you can identify what the pattern, or trend, of the data is.
A trend shows the relationship between the two variables studied in the experiment.
Graphs make it easy to tell if something is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. In some cases, a line can be used to show the trend of data on a graph.
If the relationship between the independent and dependent variables can be shown with a straight line, the graph is called a linear graph.
A straight line shows that the rate of change of the dependent variable with respect to the independent variable is constant. A graph in which the relationship between the variables cannot be shown with a straight line is called a nonlinear graph.
If the product of variables remains constant, the variables are said to have an inverse relationship.
A graph of an inverse relationship is a smooth curve that becomes nearly vertical and horizontal at opposite ends. How do scientists select models? Scientists use many different kinds of models.
Some are physical models, such as maps and globes.
Others are mathematical models, including equations and simulations of movement. A model is a representation of an object or a process that allows scientists to study something in greater detail.
A model that is too simple or too complicated may not be useful.
The best models are those that most closely resemble the system, process, or other entity they represent. Scientists select models based on how much the models can explain.
In addition, scientists select models based on how few limitations they have.
Today, many phenomena in science can be modeled with great sophistication. Lesson 5:
Science and Society In what areas does science help us make decisions? Science has led to lifesaving discoveries and has taught us to protect our resources, too.
Decision-makers use scientific information to help them make laws.
Rules and laws may be enforced by government agencies on the community, state, and national levels. Some decisions affect more than one country and have to be made on the international level.
In this case, nations adhere to agreed-upon rules.
Science gives a country’s representatives the data they need to talk about and make decisions about these types of matters. How can science and politics affect each other? The direction of science is affected by many things, including political, societal, and economic concerns.
Science, in turn, affects politics, society, and the economy. At times, politics or government leaders set a direction or goal for science.
Political support can increase funding for scientists studying certain areas.
Political support can also encourage scientists to work together. Some people question the value of certain scientific projects.
These people argue that our resources should be spent on solving more urgent problems.
Others point out that even these scientific projects have benefited humanity. How do science, society, and economics interact? How do science, society, and economics interact? Science is influenced by societal needs and economics.
If society sees no value in certain research, scientists may not get funding for the research.
People may not buy or use new technologies if they do not think they are useful. Scientists look for ways to meet the needs of society.
As scientists explore new things, they gain new knowledge that may improve upon or even challenge existing knowledge. Science and economics affect each other.
Science can be expensive, and priorities must be set on how to spend money on science.
Conversely, science makes improvements that allow people to live longer, make more money, and put more money back into the economy.