Nature of science

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
Image from 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
Images from 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 website.
3- Characteristics of Science
• Conclusions are reliable, though tentative
• Science is not democratic
• Science is non-dogmatic
Image from 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 website.

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