Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bio 101: 2

Well, Chapter 1 wasn't particularly challenging. And neither is Chapter 2, apparently. So, let's plow through this one too.

Chapter 2.

How the fuck do we think scientifically about life?

1. Theory: A systematically organized body of knowledge that applies to a variety of situations. Scientific theories are ideas based on observations and evidence that attempt to explain natural phenomena.

2. The Scientific Method: A systematic approach to interpreting observations, involving reasoning, predicting, testing, and drawing conclusions, and then putting them into perspective with existing knowledge. Scientific inquiry builds theories.

3. Hypothesis: An educated guess based on prior knowledge.

4. Experiment: A test of the validity of a hypothesis.

5. Experimental controls assure that only one variable is tested at a time.

6. One experimental control is a Placebo: An inert substance used as an experimental control.

7. Variable: A changeable factor in an experiment.

8. Epidemiology: The study of disease-related data from real-life situations.

9. Meta-analysis: A study that combines results of many studies.

Okay, anybody ready to commit suicide yet? We're through the first week of Freshman Biology. The next chapter introduces a few interesting things. Thankfully.


Hiromi said...

This is university-level biology? The scientific method in Chapter 3? Or are my standards too high?

Rufus said...

Well, the intro-level book has 49 chapters, so I'm thinking that they cover two or three a week. The scientific method was in chapter 2. I just figured everybody knows it.

sock puppet said...

Ug... a flashback to 'Research Methodology', second year Sociology. My professor explained to us that quantitative research was superior to qualitative... and a few sentences later he pointed out that more women than men use qualitative methods.

I was chastised when I asked for clarification as to his inference...