Chapter 1 – Biology as a Science
- Biology as a Science
- What is Science?
- A type of investigation using a certain type of methodology.
- Science is not defined by the subject matter but by its method.
- At it’s simplest, science is the search for truth.
- What is Biology?
- Biology is the scientific study of living systems.
- Our gardens, our pets, ourselves.
- What Characterizes Life?
1) Definitions of Life.
- Cessation of breathing
- Cessation of brain activity
2) Characteristics of Life
- Response to Stimuli
- Metabolism & Homeostasis
- Adaptation & Variability
- Scientific Method
- Involves making a varied series of inquiries by observing, questioning, interpreting and concluding.
Formulate a Hypothesis
Design a Controlled Experiment
Prior Knowledge Collect Data
- What is a Hypothesis?
- A tentative explanation of events that occur or of how something works.
- Hypothesis are subjected to rigorous testing.
- Testing proves a hypothesis false/true.
- Hypotheses must be about the observable universe.
- Verifiable vs. Falsifiable Hypotheses
- Verifiable => Confirmable
- Falsifiable => Capable of being shown to be untrue
- What kind of statements are not hypotheses?
- Moral Judgements
- Religious Concepts
- Value Judgements
- Esthetic Judgements
- Specific vs. General Hypotheses
- Hypotheses that are easy to verify generally tell us very little.
- Scientific hypotheses are usually absolutely falsifiable but not absolutely verifiable.
- In science, you continually attempy to prove your hypothesis is incorrect. Scientific statements are tentative!
- How do you devise a hypothesis?
- Deduction => Reasoning from general to specific
- Induction => Reasoning from specific to general.
- Other ways => intuition, analogy, serendipity,
- What is a Theory?
- A cluster of related hypotheses that share a common vocabulary and a common subject matter.
- How do you test a Hypothesis?
- Naturalistic Science
- How did it get that way?
- Done when direct experimental manipulation is impossible or undesirable.
- Based on naturalistic observations rather that experimentation
- Animal Behaviorists, Astronomy, Paleontology
- Experimental Science
- How does it work?
- Controlled experimental manipulation
- Objective analysis of the results
- Comparison of an experimental situation with a control situation.
- Science in a Cultural Context
- People use scientific methods everyday.
- Science is a cross-cultural discipline
- Science must be conducted in a public forum.
- Science must be a collaborative effort.
Ethics and Social Decision Making
- Morals as guidelines for Everyday Conduct
- Moral Codes
- An elaborate set of beliefs concerning what is right or wrong, proper or improper.
- Moral rules are products of society and therefore, differ from one society to the next.
- Moral decision
- The logical or philosophical analysis of moral codes and moral systems.
- Concerned with basis for moral judgements.
- How do you resolve Moral Conflicts?
- Ethical Systems
- A set of rules for resolving ethical questions or for judging moral rules.
- Deontological Systems
- A system in which the rightness or wrongness of an act depends on the act itself and not the consequences.
- Very often based on religious tradition.
- Usually include a formulation of certain rights.
- Utilitarian Systems
- A system of ethics by which acts are judged right or wrong according to their consequences.
- Require value judgements that are hard to measure or quantify.
- Must measure the goodness and badness of a consequence.
- An ethical system whose acts are judged solely in terms of their consequences for one individual or group.
- Natural-law Ethics
- System based on the general idea that people should imitate nature.
- Ethical Relativism
- Each society may have its own system of ethical judgement, different from the rest, all such ethical systems being eqully valid.
- Ethical Decisions of a Democratic Sociey.
- It is difficult to reach a collective decision on ethical issues in a pluralistic society.
- Animal Experimentation
- Uses/ Abuses of Animals
- Justification for animal use
- Animals as test subjects
- Regulation of animal use
- Animal rights movement
- Current Debates
- Humans as Experimental Subjects