What is Science? CHAPTER 1 SECTION 1-1 The goal of science: is to investigate and understand the natural world, to explain events and use those explanations to make predictions. SCIENTIFIC SKILLS 1. Observation – gather info in an orderly way. 2. Collect data Quantitative – numbers Qualitative – descriptive 3. Data allows us to make inferences – interpreting our data using our prior knowledge. 4. Hypothesis – An explanation for a set of observations. “educated guess” OBSERVATION Test your observation skills… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4 1-2 HOW SCIENTISTS WORK Designing an experiment Ask a question Form a hypothesis (prediction & reason) Set up a controlled experiment manipulated – variable that is changed responding – variable that reacts to the change controlled – variables (need 2) that stay the same Record and Analyze Results Draw a conclusion Publish/Repeat experiment SCIENCE OF THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE Discuss: Design a way to experimentally find the “best” chocolate chip cookie. What are your variables? VALIDITY VS. RELIABILITY Validity: How well a test measures what it is supposed to measure. Something in the procedure you did Reliability: How well you are able to get stable & consistent results. “R” is for REPEAT. SCIENCE OF THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE Back to the chocolate chip cookie experiment. How would you make it reliable? How would you make it valid? CONSTRAINTS & LIMITATIONS Biology (and all sciences, really) seek solutions to real-world problems. A constraint is a problem your real-world solution might encounter. A limitation is why that constraint is limiting you. CONSTRAINTS & LIMITATIONS: EXAMPLE Some bears are getting into trash cans at campgrounds near the forests. The park rangers plan to trap & relocate these bears to solve the problem of these bears getting into the trash. Describe constraints (other than cost) that park rangers could encounter when trapping/relocating the bears. Describe how each constraint is a limitation. WHAT IS A THEORY? When evidence from numerous investigations builds up a hypothesis may become so well supported that we call it a theory Not as it is used colloquially “just a theory”… gravity is “just a theory” Theory – WELL TESTED explanation that unifies or explains a broad range of observations. Example: Why are marsupials (kangaroo) only found in Australia? Both the theory of plate tectonics and the theory of evolution work together to answer this question.