The Nature of Science Three Questions: • 1) What Is There? • 2) How Does It Work? • 3) How Did It Come To Be This Way? Fossil image courtesy of Diane Erwin, UCMP. Science Works in 4 Specific Ways: Principles, Processes, Characteristics, & through a Cultural Context Image from evolution.berkeley.edu website. 1-Science has Principles • Explain the natural world • Explanations tested with evidence from the natural world • We can learn about the natural world by gathering evidence Images from evolution.berkeley.edu website. 2- Science Is A Process • Scientific claims are based on reasoning, testing, and replication; “falsifiable” • Parsimony • “THE” Scientific Method? • Theories are central to scientific thinking. Images from evolution.berkeley.edu website. 3- Characteristics of Science • Conclusions are reliable, though tentative • Science is not democratic • Science is non-dogmatic • Image from evolution.berkeley.edu website. Science cannot make moral or aesthetic decisions. Rosa californica, courtesy of G. L. Smith. 4- Science Exists in a Cultural Context • Science is not always a direct ascent toward the truth. • Science corrects itself. • Science is a human endeavor: a) Falling in love with one’s own hypothesis b) Being drawn in by preconceptions Image from evolution.berkeley.edu website.