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1 -- Part 2: .2 The Process of Science
The type of logic used in hypothesis-based science iseductive reasoning.
The pattern of thinking moves in the opposite direction when using deductive reasoning.
As long as the general principles are valid, a scientist can predict the specific results that would be valid.
If the climate is getting warmer in a region, the distribution of plants and animals should change.
Many changes that have been found are consistent with a warming climate, and have been compared between distributions in the past and present.
The climate change conclusion is valid if you find the change in distribution.
Both types of logical thinking are related to the two main pathways of scientific study.
Most scientific endeavors combine both approaches, so the boundary between these two forms of study is often blurred.
Observations lead to questions, questions lead to forming a hypothesis, and then the hypothesis is tested.
There is continuous dialogue between descriptive science and hypothesis-based science.
Biologists study the living world by posing questions.
This approach is common to other sciences and is often referred to as the scientific method.
The scientific method was used in the past, but it was first documented by England's Sir Francis Bacon.
The scientific method can be applied to almost anything as a logical problem-solving method.
The scientific method was documented by Sir Francis Bacon.
The scientific process usually begins with an observation that leads to a question.
A simple problem that starts with an observation can be solved using a scientific method.
One Monday morning, a student arrives at class and discovers that the classroom is too warm.
The classroom is too warm is an observation that also describes a problem.
A hypothesis can be tested.
Several hypotheses may be proposed to solve a problem.
Other hypotheses may be proposed because there could be other responses to the question.
Predicting can be made once a hypothesis has been selected.
The format of a prediction is similar to a hypothesis.
It is necessary to test a hypothesis to make sure it is valid.
A hypothesis that depends on what a bear thinks is not testable.
There is no experiment that will show this to be true.
One or more experiments designed to eliminate one or more hypotheses will be conducted to test a hypothesis.
A hypothesis can be disproven, but never proven.
Science does not deal with proof like mathematics does.
If an experiment fails to disprove a hypothesis, we can find support for that explanation, but we can't say that a better explanation will be found down the road.
Each experiment has variables and controls.
In the example that follows, look for the variables and controls.
An experiment might be conducted to test the hypothesis that the growth of algae in freshwater ponds is limited by the amount of phosphate in the water.
Half of the artificial ponds that are filled with water are treated withphosphate each week, while the other half are treated with a salt that is not used by algae.
There are three variables here: the amount of phosphate, the experimental or treatment cases, and the control ponds.
Adding something to the pond is a control against the possibility that it will have an effect.
We have found support for our hypothesis if the treated ponds show less growth of algae.
We reject our hypothesis if they don't.
Rejecting one hypothesis doesn't determine whether or not the other hypotheses can be accepted, it simply eliminates one hypothesis that isn't valid.
The hypotheses that are inconsistent with the data are rejected.
Experiments and careful observation are included in the scientific method.
A new hypothesis can be proposed if the previous one is not supported by data.
The scientific method is used to solve a problem.
Some alternative hypotheses should be proposed if it is not supported.
There is a problem with the electrical outlet.
The coffeemaker won't work if something is wrong with the outlet.
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