The Rules of Strong Inference

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Webpage live:
past and future
class info,
First reading
assignment
soon.
This side
close your eyes
This side keep
your eyes open
Try to remember what you are about to hear.
This side
close your eyes
This side keep
your eyes open
Try to remember what you are about to hear.
… It's about a kite.
A newspaper is better than a magazine, and on
a seashore is a better place than a street. At
first it is better to run than to walk. Also you
may have to try several times. It takes some
skill but it’s easy to learn. Even young children
can enjoy it. Once successful, complications
are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. One
needs lots of room. Rain soaks in very fast.
Too many people doing the same thing can
also cause problems. If there are not
complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock
will serve as an anchor. If things break loose
from it, however, you will not get a second
Studying Biology:
•Start with a question.
–For example:
•How? Why? When? Where? Etc?
Studying Biology:
Come up with a question about
getting to class from the intersection
of Pleasant Valley and Riverside.
Studying Biology:
•Start with a question.
–For example:
How? Why? When? Where? Etc?
•How do we get answers?
–Strong Inference presents one method
(article on webpage)
Cause of Peptic
Ulcers:
Overabundance of
stomach acid due to
•Stress
•Diet
•Anxiety
Cause of Peptic
Ulcers:
Overabundance of
stomach acid due to
•Stress
•Diet
•Anxiety
Treatment:
•Antacids
U.S. bought
$4.4 billion in 1992
•Tranquilizers
Dr. Barry Marshall
the bacteria
H. pylori
H. pylori is
the cause of
80% of
peptic ulcers
The obvious or accepted answer was not the
correct answer...
Without alternative ideas, the answer would
not have been found.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy0S1Pv0eOE
Studying Biology:
•Start with a question.
–For example:
How? Why? When? Where? Etc?
•How do we get answers?
–Strong Inference presents one method
(article on webpage)
Strong Inference
Knowledge is gained by eliminating
incorrect ideas.
Disproof is more reliable than proof.
Where does the
matter come
from for plants
to grow?
Matter can not
normally be created
or destroyed, only
moved from one
place to another.
Aristotle (~2,300 y.a.):
Plants gain mass by taking it
from the soil.
Supporting Evidence:
•Plants need soil to grow.
•If roots are removed, plants die.
•After several years of cultivation, soil loses its
ability to support plant growth.
Johann Baptista van Helmont
did a simple experiment in
the early 1600’s
Concept 37.2,
1st paragraph
What is the major difference between these two
approaches to science?
Johann Baptista van Helmont
Aristotle (~2,300 y.a.):
Plants gain mass by taking it in 1600’s
from the soil…
Supporting Evidence:
• Plants need soil to grow.
• If roots are removed,
plants die.
• After several years of
cultivation, soil loses its
ability to support plant
growth.
The Rules of Strong Inference:
Strong Inference is a method for looking at scientific
problems by trying to disprove hypotheses and
accepting the hypotheses that can not be disproved.
Using Strong Inference entails following these rules
(from an article by John Platt, 1964):
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
The Rules of Strong Inference:
Strong Inference is a method for looking at scientific
problems by trying to disprove hypotheses and
accepting the hypotheses that can not be disproved.
Using Strong Inference entails following these rules
(from an article by John Platt, 1964):
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
2. Design experiment(s) to eliminate one or more of
the hypotheses.
The Rules of Strong Inference:
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
2. Design experiment(s) to eliminate one or more of
the hypotheses.
3. Carry out the experiments in a manner that gives
reliable results (data).
What experimental
errors might this
experiment have?
Johann Baptista van Helmont
did a simple experiment in
the early 1600’s
Concept 37.2,
1st paragraph
The Rules of Strong Inference:
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
2. Design experiment(s) to eliminate one or more of
the hypotheses.
3. Carry out the experiments in a manner that gives
reliable results (data).
4. Repeat. Refine hypotheses.
The Rules of Strong Inference:
Strong Inference is a method for looking at scientific problems
by trying to disprove hypotheses and accepting the hypotheses
that can not be disproved. Using Strong Inference entails
following these rules (from an article by John Platt, 1964):
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
2. Design experiment(s) to eliminate one or more of the
hypotheses.
3. Carry out the experiments in a manner that gives reliable
results (data).
4. Repeat. Refine hypotheses.
The Questions:
•Can your hypothesis be disproved?
•What experiment(s) can disprove your
hypothesis?
The Rules of Strong Inference:
Strong Inference is a method for looking at scientific problems
by trying to disprove hypotheses and accepting the hypotheses
that can not be disproved. Using Strong Inference entails
following these rules (from an article by John Platt, 1964):
1. Devise multiple hypotheses.
2. Design experiment(s) to eliminate one or more of the
hypotheses.
3. Carry out the experiments in a manner that gives reliable
results (data).
4. Repeat. Refine hypotheses.
UpcomingDiscussions,
Webpage live:
past and future
class info,
First reading
assignment
soon.
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