NatureofScience Dr. Charles Ophardt EDU 370
Nature of Science • Interconnected and validated ideas • Successive generations have increasing comprehensive understandings • Specific and particular ways of thinking - observing, experimenting, and validating • Different from other modes of knowing.
Scientific World View • Basic beliefs and attitudes about the nature of the world and what can be learned from it. • World is Understandable • Things and events are consistant patterns that are comprehensible • Careful and systematic study
Scientific World View II • Scientific Ideas are Subject to Change • Science is a process of producing knowledge through observations • Invent theories to make sense of observations • New observations make changing theories inevitable • Can only produce "possible" to "highly probable" explanations for natural phenomena; these are never certainties.
Scientific World View III • Scientific Knowledge is Durable • Absolute truth attainment rejected • Knowledge, ideas, theories are modified • Theories become more precise and widely accepted
Scientific World View IV • Science Cannot Answer All Questions • Beliefs can not be proven or disproven • Cannot settle questions of “good or evil” • Must be able to control variables and carry out experiments.
Scientific Inquiry • Science disciplines united in reliance on observation, evidence, hypothesis, theories, logic • Science Demands Evidence • Observations, measurements, accurate data • Use own senses or instruments • Probe natural world
Scientific Inquiry II • Science Explains and Predicts • Make sense of observations • Make explanations and theories • Logically sound • Incorporate significant body of observations
Scientific Inquiry III • Science is not a process in which one solution is as good as another, or is simply a matter of opinion. • In science, there is rigorous analysis fair-test comparison of alternative explanations, using discriminate criteria • Confirm by multiple independent lines of evidence, leading to one "best” solution.
Scientific Inquiry IV • Scientists Try to Identify and Avoid Bias • Claims must be based on evidence • Evidence can be biased in interpretation, recording, or reporting of data • Which data are chosen? • Unconscious racial bias, gender bias, social status, source of funding, or political leanings can and do influence one's perceptions and interpretations.
Scientific Inquiry V • Science is not Authoritarian • Appropriate to turn to knowledgeable sources of information and opinion • Esteemed authorities may be wrong and do not define what is true • No pre-established conclusions
Scientific Enterprise • Has individual, social, and institutional dimensions • A major feature of the contemporary world • Science is a Complex Social Activity • Many individuals doing many kinds of work and study
Scientific Enterprise II • Organized by Disciplines • Generally Accepted Ethical Principles • Strongly held traditions of accurate records, data, peer review, attribution of prior work • Do not falsify data or findings or withhold information
Scientific Enterprise III • Participate in Public Affairs as Scientists and as Citizens • Bring insights and skills to bear on matters of public concern • Help to understand likely causes • Help to estimate possible effects of projected policies
Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience • Pseudoscience is indifferent to criteria of valid evidence. • Always avoids putting its claims to a meaningful test. • Pseudoscience depends on arbitrary conventions of human culture, rather than on unchanging regularities of nature. • http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pseudo.html
Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience II • Pseudoscience appeals to false authority, to emotion, sentiment, or distrust of established fact. • Pseudoscience makes extraordinary claims and advances fantastic theories that contradict what is known about nature. • Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal. • The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.
Questions I • Describe the nature of Scientific Ideas or Theories. Which statement is false? • A. A scientific theory is used to predict future events. • B. Predictions are compared to reality. • C. If the prediction does not occur exactly as the theory predicted , the entire theory is disproven. • D. Theories become more precise and widely accepted with time
Questions II • Describe the nature of science. Which statement is false? • A. Science Cannot Answer All Questions • B. Beliefs can be proven or disproven • C. Cannot settle questions of “good or evil” • D. Science is able to control variables and carry out experiments.
Questions III • Describe the nature of science. Which statement is false? • A. Science is Authoritarian • B. It is appropriate to turn to knowledgeable sources of information and opinion • C. Esteemed authorities may be wrong and do not define what is true • D. There are no pre-established conclusions
Questions IV • Describe the nature of science. Which statement is false? • A. Science is Authoritarian • B. It is appropriate to turn to knowledgeable sources of information and opinion • C. Esteemed authorities may be wrong and do not define what is true • D. There are no pre-established conclusions
Questions V • Describe the nature of science. Which statement is false? • A. Science disciplines rely on observation, evidence, hypothesis, theories, logic • B. Science demands evidence for theories • C. Pseudoscience observations are repeatable or verifiable • D. All relevant observations are considered
Questions VI • Describe the nature of science. Which statement is false? • A. Science explains and predicts • B. Science makes sense of observations • C. Makes explanations and theories • D. Science can perform controlled experiments to study phenomena of interest • E. Scientific ideas are absolutely proven
Questions VII • Describe the nature of science. Which statements are false? • A. The natural world is understandable • B. Scientific Laws are not subject to change • C. Scientific knowledge is durable • D. Science can answer all questions • E. Science demands evidence • F. Science explains and predicts • G. Scientists try to identify and avoid bias • H. Science is authoritarian
References • Science for All Americanshttp://www.project2061.org/tools/sfaaol/chap1.htm