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Table of Contents
Chapter: The Nature of Science
Section 1: What is science?
Section 2: Science in Action
Section 3: Models in Science
Section 4: Evaluating Scientific
Explanation
What is science?
A. Learning About the World
1. Science is a way of learning more about
the natural world.
2. Scientists want to know
why, how, or when
something occurred.
3. Learning process usually
begins by keeping your eyes
open and asking questions
about what you see.
What is science?
B. Asking Questions
1. Science can attempt to answer many
questions about the natural world, but
some questions cannot be answered by
science.
2. Science cannot help you find
the meaning of a poem or
decide what your favorite color
is. Science can’t tell you what
is right, wrong, good, or bad.
What is science?
C. Possible Explanations
1. Science can answer a question only with
the information available at the time.
What is science?
C. Possible Explanations
2. As new information becomes available,
explanations can be modified or discarded
and new explanations can be made.
What is science?
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D. Scientific Theories
1. A scientific theory is an attempt to explain a
pattern seen repeatedly in the natural world.
2. Theories are not just
guesses or opinions.
Theories in science must be
supported by observations
and results from many
investigations. They are the
best explanations that have
been found so far.
What is science?
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D. Scientific Theories
3.Theories can change. As new data are
found, scientists evaluate how the new data
fit the theory.
4. Sometimes the new
data do not support
the theory. Then
scientists can
change theory to fit
the new data better.
What is science?
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E. Scientific Laws
1. A rule that describes a pattern in nature is a
scientific law.
2. For an observation to become a scientific law, it
must be observed repeatedly. A law helps you
predict what will happen. For example, gravity
exists or how it works.
3. A law, unlike a theory, does
not attempt to explain why
something happens. It simply
describes a pattern.
What is science?
F. Systems in Science
1. A system is a collection of structures, cycles,
and processes that relate to each other and work
together.
2. For example, your stomach
is a the structure, or one part
of, your digestive system.
What is science?
F. Systems in Science
3. You can find systems in 4. Your school is a
system with
other places besides
structures such as
science.
the school building,
the tables and
chairs, you, your
teacher, the school
bell, your pencil,
and many other
things.
What is science?
F. Systems in Science
5. Your school day
also has cycles.
Your daily class
schedule and the
calendar of holidays
are examples of
cycles.
What is science?
F. Systems in Science
6. In a system, structures, cycles, and processes
work together.
7.Your daily schedule
influences where you
go and what time you
go. The clock shows
the teacher when the
test is complete, and
you couldn’t complete
the test without a
pencil.
What is science?
G. Parts of a Whole
1. All systems are made
up of other systems.
For example, the
human body is a
system—within human
body, there are other
systems.
What is science?
G. Parts of a Whole
2. Scientists often break down problems by
studying just one part of a system.
3. A scientist might want to learn about how
construction of buildings affects the
ecosystem. Because an ecosystem has
many parts, one scientist might study a
particular animal, and another might study
the effect on plant life.
What is science?
H. The Branches of Science
1. Science often is divided into three main
categories, or branches—Biology, Earth science,
and physical science. Each branch asks
questions about different kinds of systems.
What is science?
I. Biology
1.The study of living systems and the ways
in which they interact is called Biology.
2. Biologist can
study living
organisms,
where they live,
and how they
interact.
What is science?
I. Biology
3. People who work in the health field, like a
doctors and nurses, know a lot about the
Biology. They work with systems of the human
body.
4. Some other
examples of careers
that use biology
include biologists,
zookeepers,
botanists, farmers,
and beekeepers.
What is science?
J. Earth Science
1.The study of Earth systems and the systems in
space is Earth science. It includes the study of
nonliving things such as rocks, soil, clouds,
rivers, oceans, planets, stars, meteors, and
black holes.
What is science?
Earth Science
2. Earth science also covers
the weather and climate
systems that affect Earth.
3. Meteorologists study
weather and climate.
4. Geologists study rocks and
geologic features.
5. A volcanologist is a person
who studies volcanoes.
What is science?
K. Physical Science
1. The study of matter and energy is physical
science.
2. Matter is anything that takes up space and
has mass. Energy is the ability to cause
change in matter.
3. All systems – living
and nonliving – are
made of matter.
What is science?
K. Physical Science
4. Physical science can be
divided into two general
fields—chemistry and
physics.
5. Chemistry is the study of
matter and the interactions
of matter and physics is
the study of energy and its
ability to change matter.
What is science?
L. Science and Technology
1.Technology is the practical use of science
in our everyday lives.
2. Engineers apply science
to develop technology.
3.The study of how to use
the energy of sunlight
is science. Using this
knowledge to create
solar panels is
technology.
Section Check
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Question 1
A rule that describes a pattern in nature is
known as _______.
A. a scientific theory
B. a scientific law
C. a scientific hypothesis
D. a scientific rule
Section Check
Q1. Answer
The answer is B. A scientific law only
recognizes that patterns exist in nature; it
doesn’t try to explain why they exist. When
you drop a rock, it always falls—thanks to the
law of gravity.
Section Check
1
Question 2
Studying how the sun makes energy is science.
Putting this knowledge to use in making solar
panels, however, is called _______.
A. philosophy
B. solar science
C. technology
D. the scientific method
Section Check
Q2. Answer
The correct answer is C.
The term “technology”
refers to the application of
knowledge gained through
the use of science. For
example, understanding
why natural gas burns is
science; a gas-burning
stove is technology.
Section Check
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Question 3
Which of the following questions cannot be
answered by science?
A. How old is the sun?
B. How do volcanoes erupt?
C. Should we be kind to strangers?
D. Why is the sky blue?
Section Check
Q3. Answer
The answer is C. Moral questions cannot be
answered by science. The other questions can
be answered by the careful study of nature.
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