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Scientific Method Review Flashcards | Quizlet
"As a field biologist my favorite part of the scientific method is being in the field collecting the data," Jaime Tanner, a professor of biology at Marlboro College, told Live Science. "But what really makes that fun is knowing that you are trying to answer an interesting question, so the first step in identifying questions and generating possible answers (hypotheses) is also very important and is a creative process. Then once you collect the data you analyze it to see if your hypothesis is supported or not."
CORRECTION: "The Scientific Method" is often taught in science courses as a simple way to understand the basics of scientific testing. In fact, the Scientific Method represents how scientists usually write up the results of their studies (and how a few investigations are actually done), but it is a grossly oversimplified representation of how scientists generally build knowledge. The process of science is exciting, complex, and unpredictable. It involves many different people, engaged in many different activities, in many different orders. To review a more accurate representation of the process of science, explore our .
after the scientist makes a hypothesis they perform a
: In everyday language, generally refers to something that a fortune teller makes about the future. In science, the term generally means "what we would expect to happen or what we would expect to observe if this idea were accurate." Sometimes, these scientific predictions have nothing at all to do with the future. For example, scientists have hypothesized that a huge asteroid struck the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, flinging off debris that formed the moon. If this idea were true, we would that the moon today would have a similar composition to that of the Earth's crust 4.5 billion years ago a prediction which does seem to be accurate. This hypothesis deals with the deep history of our solar system and yet it involves predictions in the scientific sense of the word. Ironically, scientific predictions often have to do with past events. In this website, we've tried to reduce confusion by using the words and instead of and . To learn more, visit in our section on the core of science.
Following a recent computational biology meeting, a group of us got together for dinner, during which the subject of our individual research projects came up. After I described my efforts to model signaling pathways, the young scientist next to me shrugged and said that models were of no use to him because he did "discovery-driven research". He then went on to state that discovery-driven research is hypothesis-free, and thus independent of the preexisting bias of traditional biology. I listened patiently, because I have heard this argument many times before.
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CORRECTION: Especially when it comes to scientific findings about health and medicine, it can sometimes seem as though scientists are always changing their minds. One month the newspaper warns you away from chocolate's saturated fat and sugar; the next month, chocolate companies are bragging about chocolate's antioxidants and lack of trans-fats. There are several reasons for such apparent reversals. First, press coverage tends to draw particular attention to disagreements or ideas that conflict with past views. Second, ideas at the cutting edge of research (e.g., regarding new medical studies) may change rapidly as scientists test out many different possible explanations trying to figure out which are the most accurate. This is a normal and healthy part of the process of science. While it's true that all scientific ideas are subject to change if warranted by the evidence, many scientific ideas (e.g., evolutionary theory, foundational ideas in chemistry) are supported by many lines of evidence, are extremely reliable, and are unlikely to change. To learn more about provisionality in science and its portrayal by the media, visit a section from our .
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the first step of the scientific method.
This, then, Popper argues, is the reason why it is a fundamentalmistake for the historicist to take the unconditional scientificprophecies of eclipses as being typical and characteristic of thepredictions of natural science—in fact such predictions arepossible only because our solar system is a stationary and repetitivesystem which is isolated from other such systems by immense expansesof empty space. The solar system aside, there are very few suchsystems around for scientific investigation—most of the othersare confined to the field of biology, where unconditional propheciesabout the life-cycles of organisms are made possible by the existenceof precisely the same factors. Thus one of the fallacies committed bythe historicist is to take the (relatively rare) instances ofunconditional prophecies in the natural science as constituting theessence of what scientific prediction is, to fail to see that suchprophecies apply only to systems which are isolated, stationary, andrepetitive, and to seek to apply the method of scientific prophecy tohuman society and human history. The latter, of course, isnot an isolated system (in fact it’s not a system at all), itis constantly changing, and it continually undergoes rapid,non-repetitive development. In the most fundamental sense possible,every event in human history is discrete, novel, quite unique, andontologically distinct from every other historical event. For thisreason, it is impossible in principle that unconditional scientificprophecies could be made in relation to human history—the ideathat the successful unconditional prediction of eclipses provides uswith reasonable grounds for the hope of successful unconditionalprediction regarding the evolution of human history turns out to bebased upon a gross misconception, and is quite false. As Popperhimself concludes, “The fact that we predict eclipses does not,therefore, provide a valid reason for expecting that we can predictrevolutions.” (Conjectures and Refutations, 340).
What do you need to do before you can make a hypothesis
A key function in this step in the scientific method is deriving predictions from the hypotheses about the results of future experiments, and then performing those experiments to see whether they support the predictions.
What Is a Scientific Hypothesis? | Definition of Hypothesis
Earth Science The attempts to explainthe natural occurrences () of the universe by usinga logical, consistent, systematic method of investigation, information() collection, data analysis (),testing (), and refinement to arrive at a well-tested,well-documented, explanation that is well-supported by evidence, calleda . The process of establishing anew scientific theory is necessarily a grueling one; new theories mustsurvive an adverse gauntlet of skeptics who are experts in their particulararea of science; the original theory may then need to be revised to satisfythose objections. The typical way in which new scientific ideas aredebated are through refereed scientific journals, such as Nature and ScientificAmerican. (Depending upon the area of science, there are many otherjournals specific to their respective fields that act as referees.) Before a new theory can be officially proposed to the scientific community,it must be well-written, documented and submitted to an appropriate scientificjournal for publication. If the editors of these prestigious publicationsaccept a research article for publication, they are signaling that theproposed theory has enough merit to be seriously debated and scrutinizedclosely by experts in that particular field of science. Skepticsor proponents of alternative or opposing theories may then try to submittheir research and data, while the original proponents of the proposedtheory may publish new data that answers the skeptics. It may takemany years of often acrimonious debate to settle an issue, resulting inthe adoption, modification, or rejection of a new theory. For example,the Alvarez Meteorite Impact theory (a 6-mile wide meteorite struck theearth 65 million years ago, ending the Cretaceous Period and causing extinctionof the dinosaurs), was first proposed in 1979, and took about 10 yearsof debate before winning over the majority of earth scientists.
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