IB 105 – Lecture 3

environmental science
An interdisciplinary area of study that includes applied and theoretical aspects of human impact on the world
environment
everything that affects an organism in its lifetime
ecology
the study of the interrelationship between organisms and their environment
science
A process used to solve problems or develop an understanding of nature that involves testing possible answers.
scientific method
Gaining information about the world by forming possible solutions to questions, followed by rigorous testing to determine if the proposed solutions are valid.
observation
recording of an event that could be made by anyone with the proper equipment.
question
Usually a “what”, “how” or “why” question about the cause of the event.
hypothesis
Logical statement that potentially explains an event, or answers a question.
observational experiment
subjects are observed to test the hypothesis.
manipulative experiment
experimental factors are varied to test hypothesis.
theory
A widely accepted, plausible generalization about fundamental scientific concepts that explain why things happen.
law
A uniform or constant fact of nature that describes what happens in nature.
statistics
A branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data.
limitations of science
Restricted to those things that can be logically tested and falsified.

Often, multiple hypotheses can explain the observed results.

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Results can be interpreted in different ways, leading to different conclusions.

Hypotheses constantly being reevaluated and modified as more results and information are gained.

characteristics of good hypothesis
take into account all known facts

be as simple as possible

be testable and falsifiable

assumptions of science
Specific causes for observed events.

Causes can be identified.

General rules can describe observations.

Repeated events have same cause.
Perceptions are not individualistic.

Fundamental rules of nature are universal.