Es O Earth Science Reference

Name:______________________________________ Table: _____ Period:_____ Date:_______ _________
0.1 Intro
Earth Science Reference
1. Science addresses questions about the natural
and material world through the systematic study
of these events and conditions.
People are naturally curious individuals who often wonder
how and why something happens in the world around them.
Science is the processes for seeking the answers and
creating explanations for these questions.
2. Science is a way of knowing.
Science is an attempt to explain natural phenomena
through scientific explanations, which provide a description
of how processes in nature occur. Explanations must be
based on observations and data collected and are an
attempt to logically explain how the pieces of evidence fit
together. While durable, scientific knowledge has a tentative
nature and is subject to change.
3. Scientific Investigations use a variety of
There is no “one” way to do science, therefore, there is no
universal step-by-step scientific method. This requires
scientists to be curious, imaginative, creative, and careful
observers who are also logical, skeptical, and objective.
4. Scientific Knowledge is based on empirical
It includes all data that is observed and measured that
people gather to test, support, and evaluate explanations.
Scientific knowledge relies heavily, but not entirely on
observation, experimental evidence, rational arguments,
and skepticism.
5. Scientific knowledge is open to revision in light of new
Scientific ideas must be testable, reproducible and open for peer review
(data must be available for other scientists to comment on). Scientists must
collaborate, share, discuss, question and debate ideas to agree upon
scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge builds in both an evolutionary
and revolutionary way and it is subject to change if new evidence is found or
someone found a better way of explaining the evidence.
6. Scientific models, laws, mechanisms and theories explain natural
Scientific laws are descriptions of a specific relationship under a given
condition in the natural world which hold true anywhere in the universe. A
scientific theory is a well-supported explanation of nature, to help us
understand and explain the laws we observe. Theories never become laws,
even with additional evidence.
7. Science is a human Endeavor.
Scientists are people, both men and women who conduct scientific research
that affects the way we think and the way we live our lives. People from all
cultures contribute to science causing it to be both socially and culturally
embedded in traditions. Scientific ideas are affected by social and historical
settings, while technology and science also affect each other.
8. Scientific knowledge assumes an order and consistency in
natural systems.
Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate
today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. It
assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent
patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.
Science carefully considers and evaluates anomalies in data and evidence.
ES Intro: The Nature of Science
0.1 Intro
Name:______________________________________ Table: _____ Period:_____ Date:_______ _________
Earth Science Reference
1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Science begins with a question about a phenomenon, such as “Why is
the sky blue?” or “What causes cancer?” and seeks to develop theories
that can provide explanatory answers to such questions.
5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
In science, mathematics and computation are fundamental tools for
representing physical variables and their relationships. They are used for
a range of tasks, such as constructing simulations, statistically analyzing
data, and recognizing, expressing, and applying quantitative
2. Developing and Using Models
Science often involves the construction and use of a wide variety of
models and simulations to help develop explanations about natural
phenomena. Models make it possible to go beyond observables and
imagine a world not yet seen. Models enable predictions of the form “if .
. . then . . . therefore” to be made in order to test hypothetical
3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
A major practice of scientists is planning and carrying out a systematic
investigation, which requires the identification of what is to be recorded
and, if applicable, what are to be treated as the dependent and
independent variables (control of variables). Observations and data
collected from such work are used to test existing theories and
explanations or to revise and develop new ones.
4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Scientific investigations produce data that must be analyzed in order to
derive meaning. Because data usually do not speak for themselves,
scientists use a range of tools— including tabulation, graphical
interpretation, visualization, and statistical analysis—to identify the
significant features and patterns in the data.
6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:
The goal of science is the construction of theories that can provide
explanatory accounts of features of the world. The goal for students is to
construct logically coherent explanations of phenomena that incorporate
their current understanding of science, or a model that represents it, and
are consistent with the available evidence.
7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence:
In science, reasoning and argument are essential for identifying the
strengths and weaknesses of a line of reasoning and for finding the best
explanation for a natural phenomenon. Scientists must defend their
explanations, formulate evidence based on a solid foundation of data,
examine their own understanding in light of the evidence and comments
offered by others, and collaborate with peers in searching for the best
explanation for the phenomena being investigated.
8. Obtaining, Evaluating, & Communicating Info
Science cannot advance if scientists are unable to communicate their
findings clearly and persuasively or to learn about the findings of others.
A major practice of science is thus the communication of ideas and the
results of inquiry—orally, in writing, with the use of tables, diagrams,
graphs, and equations, and by engaging in extended discussions with
scientific peers.
ES Intro: The Nature of Science