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What is Science?.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Science?."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Science?


3 Definition of Science “Science is the search for truth” – NO!
“Science is what scientists do” (or what is done at scientific institutions) – NO! Science is a process that relies on a strict investigative method for understanding the world around us by evaluating evidence through reason The scientific method is the process for evaluating evidence

4 The Scientific Method Observations are used to develop testable predictions called hypotheses Additional observations or experiments are used to examine the validity of a hypothesis (falsification) If necessary, hypotheses are restated in response to discrepancies after testing A hypothesis that has withstood rigorous testing is considered a theory Several related theories may constitute a scientific law

5 Tools of the Scientific Method
Logic Deductive (general observations → specific conclusions) All men are mortal (premise 1) Socrates is a man (premise 2) Socrates is mortal (conclusion) Inductive (specific observations → general conclusions) e.g., specific symptoms are used to identify an illness

6 Tools of the Scientific Method
The controlled experiment All variables, except for the one being investigated, are kept constant Falsification is a critical step where the investigator (and others) try to show that the hypothesis is false Hypotheses can be disproved but never proven (someday another observation may contradict the hypothesis)

7 Tools of the Scientific Method
Mathematical models The language of science should be very precise (no additional “interpretations” are permitted) Mathematical expressions are the most precise language

8 Peer Review Scientific discoveries should be original
The scientist should be free of bias that would influence interpretation of results Conclusions should stand on their own merit and not need support from outside factors (e.g., social, ethnic, religious, personal desires) Scientific statements are not accepted on faith and must withstand close scrutiny including falsification attempts Scientific knowledge, including methodology, should be freely available to the public The language used should be precise and unambiguous

9 Key Points Science is conducted by formulating and testing hypotheses
Scientific advancement depends on rejecting hypotheses (acceptance is always conditional) If a hypothesis cannot be tested, the scientific method cannot be employed and the hypothesis lies outside the realm of science.

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