TwoOldGuys™ Study Guides

BI-122 Biology

the Science Process

# General characteristics of Science:

- state assumptions
- define terms
- fact
- = anything observable, directly or indirectly
- estimates:
- "precise" = repeatable
- "accurate" = close to actual value

- averages and Statistics

- use logical reasoning
- deductive reasoning

[Sherlock Holmes]
- inductive reasoning

[if A → B and B → C, then A → C]
- It is impossible to conclude that assumptions are true or false.

## Scientific Methods:

- 0. choose an interesting problem
- 1. ask simpler questions [according to Einstein]
- research (library & laboratory) known facts
- use deductive reasoning

to identify minimum set of assumptions necessary
to develop explanation

- 2. guess answer, "hypothesis"
- use inductive reasoning

to identify maximum set of sufficient
assumptions

and to develop the tentative explanation
- the explanation is expected to:
- predict some observable event if conditions are met
- but not event if conditions not met

- 3. conduct experiment to test hypothesis
- experimental design
- experimental group where conditions are met
- control group where conditions are not met
- statistical implications

- collect & analyze data

- 4. draw conclusions
- IF event=T in experimental, AND event=F in control
- THEN shout "Eureka! I proved my hypothesis to be true."

*or*
- IF event=F in experimental, OR event=T in control
- THEN shout "Eureka, I proved my hypothesis to be false."

- It is impossible to conclude that assumptions are true or false.

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© 2004-2006 TwoOldGuys ™

revised 19 aug 2006