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Scientific Method

  1. Scientific Method (University of Arizona)"The scientific method is often divided into steps. This is helpful for putting the method into context, but keep in mind that the key element of the scientific method is testing the hypothesis. In other words, can you prove that you are wrong?"

    • Seven Reasons for Opposing Reason (New Scientist)
        "From religious fundamentalism to pseudoscience, it seems that forces are attacking the Enlightenment world view – characterised by rational, scientific thinking – from all sides. The debate seems black and white: you’re either with reason, or you’re against it. But is it so simple? In a series of special essays, our contributors look more carefully at some of the most provocative charges against reason. The results suggest that for all the Enlightenment has achieved, we still have a lot of work to do." 07-07

    • Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (National Academy Press)
        Provides a rationale for why evolution must be taught as part of teaching about science and the scientific method, despite controversy. Includes examples on how to approach the topic and presents facts used in teaching about evolution as part of scientific inquiry. 5-00

    • The "Replication Gap" in Science (New York Times)
        "One of the great strengths of science is that it can fix its own mistakes. 'There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong,' the astrophysicist Carl Sagan once said. 'That’s perfectly all right: it’s the aperture to finding out what’s right. Science is a self-correcting process.' ”

        "If only it were that simple."

        Actually, the author claims, scientists are typically slow to correct incorrect conclusions through the use of replications.

        "Why? One simple answer is that it takes a lot of time to look back over other scientists’ work and replicate their experiments. Scientists are busy people, scrambling to get grants and tenure. As a result, papers that attract harsh criticism may nonetheless escape the careful scrutiny required if they are to be refuted."

        "Even when scientists rerun an experiment, and even when they find that the original result is flawed, they still may have trouble getting their paper published. The reason is surprisingly mundane: journal editors typically prefer to publish groundbreaking new research, not dutiful replications." 06-11

    1. Scientific Method and Consumer Product Testing (TeachNet)
        Encourages students to apply the scientific method to determining the best products to use. 5-02


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