• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

21 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

43. What is serendipity and how do scientists increase their chances of encountering it?

Stumbling upon a new and unexpected circumstance that takes the scientist in an entirely new direction of research. They don’t “stay on target” when new and more inviting targets present themselves during the course of their work.

44. How do scientific journals act to filter out bad scientific work?

Journals use a system in which referees review each submitted paper before it is published. If the paper makes unsupported claims or has sloppy experimental procedures, the referees recommend that the paper not be published.

45. What made the Piltdown hoax possible? What does it say about science and human nature?

Scientists of the time (portrayed in a painting at right) mistakenly accepted the skull of a modern orangutan as the one of human without much reservation, and it lasted for 40 years before finally being discovered by persistent investigators. Science is a self-correcting enterprise, but peer review sometimes doesn't work.

46. Why was the Cold Fusion Fiasco a fiasco?

A pair of scientists by-passed the journal review process by announcing their findings at a press conference instead of screening procedures.

47. What did the science of Phrenology demonstrate about bias and preconceived notions?

They had no evidence to support such claims, just the initial belief that they were right.

48. Regarding explanation-seeking experiments, be able to distinguish between: causal (not casual) questions, hypotheses, predictions, and the execution of the experiment.

- Causal questions... You seek to understand what caused the phenomenon you observed. It could have many possible answers.
- Hypotheses is an attempt to explain based on a foundation of understanding and experience.
- Prediction is an attempt to describe the behavior of a system at different points in time (future or past), or under different circumstances.
- execution of the experiment is used to check and evaluate hypotheses.

49. What is William Ockham's Law of Parsimony and how can it be useful in your everyday life? (By the way, I've got next week's winning Lotto numbers I can sell you for just $20. Hurry, they won't last long at these prices.)

An explanation of an unknown phenomenon should first be attempted in terms of what is already known. Using the simplest possible explanation, confusion can be avoided.

50. Define hypothesis.

An attempt to explain based on a foundation of understanding and experience.

51. Why must hypotheses be falsifiable in order to be legitimate?

In order for an hypothesis to be considered legitimate. If no such conditions can be imagined, the hypothesis is not testable and therefore not legitimate. Untestable/illegitimate hypotheses cannot be considered by science.

52. Consider the following hypothesis. "The sky is blue because the air is filled with blue bubbles". Why is this a legitimate hypothesis, even though it is obviously a wrong hypothesis?

Because there are no conditions under which I can show that it is false.

53. Why do explanation-seeking experiments test one factor at a time?

Because you don’t know which one caused to work right when you test both at a time.

54. What is the difference between a hypothesis and a guess. Which is more powerful?

A hypothesis is an attempt to explain some observed phenomenon. Guessing is an act of contemplating without the benefit of experience or practice. Hypothesis

55. Why does personal bias contaminate the scientific process?


56. What does a scientific theory do?

Scientific theories connect diverse hypotheses into a central theme so we can better understand all of them.

57. How can some theories be incorrect, but still be theories?

The value of theories is that they provide opportunities for scientists to think in new ways.

58. How useful are wrong theories to science?

Scientists choose theories based on how a given theory will best advance their own research as embedded theories.

59. What is meant by the term, embedded theory?

Theories that are unlikely to be proven wrong

60. How is the everyday use of the word, "theory", different from the way scientists use the word?

Everyday use of the word “theory” is a casual theory (a hypothesis by another name).

61. What is the significance of science in the existence of democracy?

Democracy is made possible by scientific thinking. Power is diffused into a system of rational laws overseen by the courts.

62. How can popular public opinion influence the behavior of natural reality?

Reality is subject to the opinion of the majority.

63. How can science be useful in your personal life?

Science in your life gives you more individual power and makes you less vulnerable to influences that want to manipulate you.