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Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
Scientific thinking
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Scientific thinking

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  • 1. Scientific thinking Prof. Vajira Weerasinghe Professor of Physiology Department of Physiology Faculty of Medicine University of Peradeniya
  • 2. Objectives <ul><li>Define “science” </li></ul><ul><li>State the main goal of science </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate “science” from “technology” </li></ul><ul><li>Define “scientific method” </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the steps in scientific method </li></ul>
  • 3. What is science ? <ul><li>Is derived from the Latin word scientia for knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>The state of knowing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding </li></ul><ul><li>The systematic study of the natural world </li></ul><ul><li>Systematically acquired knowledge that is verifiable </li></ul><ul><li>The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>It is a method used by humans to try to make sense of the world (and universe) in which they live </li></ul>http://www.sciencedaily.com/
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  • 5. Main goal of science <ul><li>The main goal of science is to acquire knowledge about the world </li></ul><ul><li>To explain the natural world as we observe it as much as possible and to search for ways of applying such knowledge for the benefit of humanity </li></ul>
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  • 7. Different branches of science <ul><li>PURE SCIENCE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The seeking of information for its own sake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>APPLIED SCIENCE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The seeking of information that is of immediate use and benefit </li></ul></ul>
  • 8. Related terms <ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>originates from the Greek word tekhnologia and the Latin word technologia which means an approach to doing something systematically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is a branch of knowledge that study general problems pertaining to existence, knowledge, justice, truth, beauty, law, validity, mind and language </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Technology <ul><li>Compared to “science”, the term , “technology” is still new as it is only used since the 18 th century </li></ul>
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  • 13. Scientific medicine <ul><li>Medicine is the science and art of healing humans </li></ul><ul><li>Medical science or scientific basis of medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Medical technology </li></ul>
  • 14. What is scientific method ? <ul><li>Refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable , empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation , and the formulation and testing of hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>These steps must be repeatable, to predict future results </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible, to reduce biased interpretations of results </li></ul>
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  • 16. Related terms <ul><li>Empirical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the scientific method all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirical data is data that is produced by an experiment or observation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon, or a reasoned proposal predicting a causal correlation among multiple phenomena </li></ul></ul>
  • 17. Inductive vs Deductive logic <ul><li>INDUCTIVE REASONING: From a specific case to the general principle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sparrows are birds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They have wings and can fly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robins, flamingos, owls, and eagles are birds, have wings and can fly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From this you might induct that &quot;ALL BIRDS CAN FLY.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DEDUCTIVE REASONING: From the general case to the specific </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All birds have feathered wings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We know that sparrows have feathered wings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, we can deduce that &quot;Sparrows are birds.“ </li></ul></ul>
  • 18. Inductive vs Deductive logic <ul><li>The problem with this is the &quot;inductive leap“ </li></ul><ul><li>When you make the jump from many observations to saying that your observation is true in all cases, you are making a generalization that might not be correct every time </li></ul><ul><li>Although generalizations can be useful, the wise scientist is always aware that there may be EXCEPTIONS to the general rule </li></ul><ul><li>and to the possibility that the &quot;general rule“ might eventually be found to be wrong </li></ul>
  • 19. Inductive vs Deductive logic <ul><li>Let's take an example </li></ul><ul><li>You suddenly come upon an ostrich It has wings, and all the other characteristics you'd ascribe to a bird--BUT IT CANNOT FLY! </li></ul><ul><li>Or a bat, it can fly, has wings BUT NOT A BIRD </li></ul><ul><li>Does this mean that your general rule is always wrong? No </li></ul><ul><li>But it does mean that there are exceptions, and you must be ready to find them! </li></ul><ul><li>The human mind is creative in its inductive reasoning, but it is not omniscient (all-knowing) or infallible! </li></ul><ul><li>This is why scientists use deductive reasoning in their scientific endeavors. Such reasoning is less susceptible to this type of error </li></ul>
  • 20. Logic premise, inference and conclusion <ul><li>All insects have wings (premise) Woodlice are insects (premise) Therefore woodlice have wings (conclusion) </li></ul><ul><li>All fish live in the sea (premise) Dolphins are fish (premise) Therefore dolphins live in the sea (conclusion) </li></ul>
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  • 23. All basketballs are round. The Earth is round. Therefore, the Earth is a basketball.
  • 24. Hypothetic-deductive method <ul><li>The formulation of an hypothesis (a tentative answer to a question) and the execution of experiments from which one may deduce a general answer to the hypothesis </li></ul>
  • 25. Steps in scientific method <ul><li>Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Asking a critical question </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Making a prediction that can be tested </li></ul><ul><li>Performing experiments to test the prediction </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting and analyzing data </li></ul><ul><li>Making a logical conclusion based on experimental results </li></ul>
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  • 27. Scientific method <ul><li>Observing and stating a research problem </li></ul><ul><li>Forming a hypothesis: gather information about the observed phenomenon and make a hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Testing the hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Experimentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Variable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording and analysing results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forming a conclusion </li></ul></ul>
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  • 29. http://www.nobelprize.org/ http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1905/ http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1906/ http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1923/ http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1930/
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  • 32. No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. Albert Einstein

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