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13 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Counter-example
An example that contradicts a scientific conclusion.
Hypothesis
An educated guess that attempts to explain an observation or answer a question
Theory
A hypothesis that has been tested with a significant amount of data
Scientific law
A theory that has been tested by and is consistent with generations of data
Put the following steps of the scientific method into their proper order:
a. Theory is now a law
b. Hypothesis is now a theory
c. Make observations
d. Perform experiments to confirm the hypothesis
e. Form a hypothesis
f. Perform many experiments over several years
c. Make observations
e. Form a hypothesis
d. Perform experiments to confirm the hypothesis
b. Hypothesis is now a theory
f. Perform many experiments over several years
a. Theory is now a law
What is wrong with the following statement?
All objects, regardless of their weight, fall at the same rate
The statement does not mention air. The proper form of the statement would be:
In the absence of air, all objects, regardless of their weight, fall at the same rate.
A slightly eccentric student is standing by a pool counting his pennies. He drops a penny and
notices that it sinks to the bottom of the pool. He decides that all solid objects sink in water.
Thus, the student starts dropping objects into the pool. He drops all of his coins, some rocks,
books, a chair, and his shoes in the pool. All of them sink. He then proudly states that he has
come up with a theory: All solid objects sink in water. Another student drops a cork into the
pool and it floats. The eccentric student is crestfallen.
Did the eccentric student follow the scientific method?
Yes, he did. He made an observation, formed a hypothesis, and performed several
experiments to test his hypothesis. It doesn’t matter that his conclusion was wrong. He followed
the scientific method.
A slightly eccentric student is standing by a pool counting his pennies. He drops a penny and
notices that it sinks to the bottom of the pool. He decides that all solid objects sink in water.
Thus, the student starts dropping objects into the pool. He drops all of his coins, some rocks,
books, a chair, and his shoes in the pool. All of them sink. He then proudly states that he has
come up with a theory: All solid objects sink in water. Another student drops a cork into the
pool and it floats. The eccentric student is crestfallen.
If you answered “yes” to question 4, list the observation, hypothesis, and experiment
designed to confirm the hypothesis. If you answered “no,” explain why.
He observed that a penny sank in water. This led him to the hypothesis that all solid objects
sink in water. He performed experiments in which he threw many objects into the water, all of
which sank. Thus, the hypothesis was confirmed
A slightly eccentric student is standing by a pool counting his pennies. He drops a penny and
notices that it sinks to the bottom of the pool. He decides that all solid objects sink in water.
Thus, the student starts dropping objects into the pool. He drops all of his coins, some rocks,
books, a chair, and his shoes in the pool. All of them sink. He then proudly states that he has
come up with a theory: All solid objects sink in water. Another student drops a cork into the
pool and it floats. The eccentric student is crestfallen.
What did the other student provide to destroy the eccentric student’s theory?
The other student provided a counter-example to show that the theory was wrong
A slightly eccentric student is standing by a pool counting his pennies. He drops a penny and
notices that it sinks to the bottom of the pool. He decides that all solid objects sink in water.
Thus, the student starts dropping objects into the pool. He drops all of his coins, some rocks,
books, a chair, and his shoes in the pool. All of them sink. He then proudly states that he has
come up with a theory: All solid objects sink in water. Another student drops a cork into the
pool and it floats. The eccentric student is crestfallen.
How is this story similar to the story about the theory that there are canals on Mars?
This story is similar because the eccentric student’s theory as well as the theory that there
were canals on Mars were both produced by the scientific method but were both wrong.
A slightly eccentric student is standing by a pool counting his pennies. He drops a penny and
notices that it sinks to the bottom of the pool. He decides that all solid objects sink in water.
Thus, the student starts dropping objects into the pool. He drops all of his coins, some rocks,
books, a chair, and his shoes in the pool. All of them sink. He then proudly states that he has
come up with a theory: All solid objects sink in water. Another student drops a cork into the
pool and it floats. The eccentric student is crestfallen.
When scientists discovered high-temperature superconductors, it was quite surprising. Why?
Scientists were quite surprised because a scientific law said that they should not exist.
What are the three limitations of science?
a. It cannot prove anything.
b. It is not 100% reliable
c. It must conform to the scientific method
There is a lot of interest in how life originated on this planet. Can such a subject be studied
by science?
Yes, science can be used to study any question, as long as the scientific method is used.