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TAMU BIOL 112 - Chapter 1 Intro to Science

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Chapter 1 Intro to Science - Epistemology-the study of knowledge and its limits- We learn about the universe from information taken in through the senseso Limitations to our understanding Hardware - Limitations of the senses, Limitations of our brain to process the information Software - Biases of psychology (Language, Culture (Different views of reality)) We cannot directly perceive or understand all of the universeo Aids to understanding- mental tools to help us understand the universe Religion- ancient Philosophy 4th century BCE Art- ancient, at least 40th century BCE Science- 16th century CE (youngest) All are valid but have strengths and weaknesses, need a combination to get a balanced view (core curriculum)- Scientific method- a way of thinking that lets scientists build models of the universe to understand and predict its behavior- Necessary assumptions to do science:o Universe is material: only matter/energy (Nothing supernatural (you must be ableto analyze))o Universe is logical: cause/effect chains can be established (Can be analyzed)- Limitations of scienceo Cannot establish ideal behavior (what should)o Cannot prove/deny the supernatural (cannot be analyzed)- Scientific models- a mental construct, a way of thinkingo Must match the behavior of reality- basis of experimentationo Levels (no formal boundaries) Hypothesis- low level, tentative answer to a question that is tested by experimentation- Can be refined - “if, then” Theory- higher level, General, reliable tested model of some aspect of the universe- Good explanatory/predictive powers- Not usually invalidated by 1 experiment Paradigm- large scale model, encompassing theory that gives a major frame of reference- A way of looking at the world- Ex: Mendelian genetics, cell theory, evolutiono Value judgments Good data- carefully collected, verifiable, repeatable Good theory- testable, useful Bad theory- not testable, poor predictive value, don’t fit observation- Untestable theory- beyond our ability to examineo Moons of Mars satellite theory- Un-Falsifiable theory- any possible test would be meaninglesso Invisible man in the coffee pot Cannot make right or wrong


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