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The Nature of Science


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The Nature of Science

  1. 1. The Nature of Science
  2. 2. Three Questions: <ul><li>1) What Is There? </li></ul><ul><li>2) How Does It Work? </li></ul><ul><li>3) How Did It Come To Be This Way? </li></ul>Fossil image courtesy of Diane Erwin, UCMP.
  3. 3. Science Works in 4 Specific Ways : Principles, Processes, Characteristics, & through a Cultural Context Image from website.
  4. 4. 1-Science has Principles <ul><li>Explain the natural world </li></ul><ul><li>Explanations tested with evidence from the natural world </li></ul><ul><li>We can learn about the natural world by gathering evidence </li></ul>Images from website.
  5. 5. 2- Science Is A Process <ul><li>Scientific claims are based on reasoning, testing, and replication; “ falsifiable ” </li></ul><ul><li>Parsimony </li></ul><ul><li>“ THE” Scientific Method? </li></ul><ul><li>Theories are central to scientific thinking. </li></ul>Images from website.
  6. 6. 3- Characteristics of Science <ul><li>Conclusions are reliable, though tentative </li></ul><ul><li>Science is not democratic </li></ul><ul><li>Science is non-dogmatic </li></ul><ul><li>Science cannot make moral or aesthetic decisions. </li></ul>Image from website. Rosa californica , courtesy of G. L. Smith.
  7. 7. 4- Science Exists in a Cultural Context <ul><li>Science is not always a direct ascent toward the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Science corrects itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Science is a human endeavor: a) Falling in love with one’s own hypothesis b) Being drawn in by preconceptions </li></ul>Image from website.