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The Process of Science Science is the quest to understand nature.

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Presentation on theme: "The Process of Science Science is the quest to understand nature."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Process of Science Science is the quest to understand nature.

2 Discovery Science Emphasizes inquiry and observation Biology blends two main forms of scientific exploration: Discovery Science – describes nature Hypothesis Science – explaining nature Most scientist practice a combination of these two approaches.

3 Science as an Inquiry Science is way of knowing It’s a way to answer questions about the natural world. Curiosity is the starting point for exploring life through inquiry. Inquiry is a process of investigation Asking questions is a natural activity for all curious minds.

4 Penicillin Alexander Fleminds (1928) Scottish Physician Was studying bacteria Found mold in some of his cultures

5 Penicillin Flemings was going to discard the samples when he noticed bacteria was not growing near the mold. That led to the discovery of penicillin This discovery lead to what we know about antibiotics today.

6 Observations & Data The questions that drive scientific inquiry are based on observation. Observation – the use of senses; such as vision/hearing; to gather and record information about structures or process. Data - recorded observation; items of information All observations depend on human senses. Scientific instruments vastly increase the range of possible observation

7 Scientific Instruments Astronomy – telescopes reveal other solar systems, galaxies, etc. Biology – microscopes make it possible to observe life that is invisible to the unaided eye.

8 Quantitative Data – Recordable observations Is the modern form of the metric system and is generally a system of units of measurements devised around seven base units and the convenience of the number ten. It is the world's most widely used system of measurements, both in everyday commerce and in science.

9 Qualitative Data – data recorded as description instead of measurements Data can best support science when they are clearly organized, consistently recorded, and reliable.

10 Inferences In Science Inferences – a logical conclusion based on observation Can be from prior experience Inference is important in science because they help refine general questions into specific questions Not an observation; but based on previous observations

11 Inferences In Science Doorbell Ringing – An Observation Someone at the Door? – Inference Unless you can see through the door Could be a short circuit.

12 Generalization A general conclusion The example of the cell: Original discovery was in the 1600’s After many years of research it became accepted that the cell makes up all living things.

13 Hypothesis Based Science A Search for Explanation The grown up concept!

14 Forming and Testing a Hypothesis Hypothesis – a suggested answer to a well- defined scientific question. An explanation on trial Are usually concerned with natural phenomena Often based on past experience of knowledge gained from discovery science or other sources

15 An Educated Guess People normally use hypothesis to solve everyday problems. After you propose a hypothesis – you test these ideas by making additional observations or designing an experiment.

16 Hypothesis – If…. Then….. Additional observations allows you to make predictions These predictions are tested. A Hypothesis is written as an If… Then… Statement. If a particular hypothesis is correct, and you test that hypothesis with a suitable experiment, then you should expect a certain result for the experiment.

17 Hypothesis An incorrect hypothesis does not mean failure Just wrong The inquiry continues with test of alternative hypothesis. Even when an experiment supports a hypothesis curiosity can send you in a new direction. Science Generates Questions

18 A Case Study of Hypothesis – Based Science A Case Study – an in-depth examination of something that actually happened From: Observation → Question → Hypothesis Testing a Prediction of the Hypothesis

19 Designing a Controlled Experiment Variable – A condition that can differ within the experiment Controlled Experiment – An experiment that test the effect of a single variable In a controlled experiment scientist try to eliminate (or control) other variables that could affect the outcome

20 Variables Variables could include temperature, humidity (if outside), light, and other weather conditions Even in a lab total regulation of all but one variable is not practical.

21 Eliminating Unwanted Variables A Control Group Equals Cancelled out Experimental Group

22 If…. Then….. Reasoning Organizing Data and Interpreting Results Often the results of an experiment only begin to make sense after much analyze of the data

23 Evidence in Science Evidence – consists of a collected body of data, form observations and experiments. Evidence is the information upon which inferences are made.

24 Evidence in Science Evidence does NOT begin to convince scientist until observations and experiments have been repeated multiple times with similar times. Attempts to repeat independently the observations and experiments of others, is common in science Repeatability is the hallmark of scientific evidence.

25 What makes a Hypothesis Scientific? In science, the only hypothesis that count are those that meet the standards of testability. Falsifiable – there must be some observation or experiment that could reveal is such a hypothesis is false. Scientist test a hypothesis many times and in different ways.

26 What makes a Hypothesis Scientific? Even if a hypothesis that stand-up to repeated testing may later be revised or even rejected. A change can occur when new tools make new kinds of observations and experiments are possible. Virus

27 Limitations of Science Science requires repeatable observations and testable answers to hypothesis. These standards restrict science to a search for natural phenomena.

28 Limitations of Science Science can not or have an answer to the unobservable or supernatural forces. Science-based knowledge = confirmed observations/testable hypothesis

29 Theories in Science Scientist are interested in finding patterns in data Then expand on these patterns Now advances in science has allowed new theories to tie together previously unrelated facts.

30 Theory A well tested explanation that makes sense of a great variety of scientific observations Compared to hypothesis, a theory is much broader in scope.

31 Models Are physical, mental, or mathematical representations of how people understand a process or an idea.

32 Analogy A comparison that shows a likeness between two things The brain is like a computer.

33 Communication in Science Many scientist work in teams and are good communicators They share information: Cooperation and competition characterize the scientific culture.

34 Science, Technology, and Society Science and technology are related. Goals and methods are different Technology – to apply scientific understanding for specific purposes. Biologist speak of Discoveries Technologist (engineers) Speak of Inventions

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