Biology 101 chapter 1

the study of living things
biology
the ability to use the process of scientific inquiry to think creatively about real work issues that have a biological component, communicate these thoughts to others and integrate these ideas into your decision making
biological literacy
the process of examination and discovery
scientific method
what are the steps of the scientific method
1) make observations
2) formulate a hypothesis
3) devise a testable prediction
4) conduct a critical experiment
5) draw conclusions and make revisions
knowledge that is based on experience and observations that are rational
emperical
take home message 1.1 (What is science, what is biology)
through its emphasis on objective observation, description, and experimentation, science is a pathway by which we can discover and better understand the world around us
take home message 1.2 (biological literacy is essential in the modern world)
biological issues permeate all aspects of our lives. to make wide decisions it is essential for individuals and societies to attain biological literacy
take home message 1.3 (the scientific method is a powerful approach to understanding the world)
there are numerous ways of gaining an understanding of the world. because it is empirical, rational, testable, repeatable, and self-correcting, the scientific method is a particularly effective approach
take home message 1.4 (thinking like a scientist: how do you use the scientific method)
the scientific method (observation, hypothesis, prediction, test, and conclusion) is a flexible, adaptable, and efficient pathway to understanding the world, because it tells us when we must change our beliefs
scientific studies always begin with _______: we simply look for interesting patterns or cause-and-effect relationships
observations
take home message 1.5 (make observations)
the scientific method begins by making observations about the world, noting apparent patterns or cause-and-effect relationships
based on observations, we can develop a _________
hypothesis
take home message 1.6 (formulate a hypothesis)
a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for observed phenomena
take home message 1.7 (devise a testable prediction)
for a hypothesis to be useful, it must generate a testable prediction

it must suggest that under certain conditions we will be able to observe certain outcomes

once we formulated a hypothesis that generates a testable prediction, we conduct a _________
critical experiment
take home message 1.8 (conduct a critical experiment)
a critical experiment is one that makes it possible to decisively determine whether a particular hypothesis is correct
take home message 1.9 (draw conclusion)
based on the results of experimental tests, we can revise a hypothesis and explain the observable world with increasing accuracy. a great strength of scientific thinking, therefor, is that it helps us understand when we should change our minds.
take home message 1.10 (when do hypotheses become theories, and what are theories?)
scientific theories do not represent speculation or guesses about the natural world. rather they are hypotheses— proposed explanations for natural phenomena— that have been so strongly and persuasively supported by empirical observation that the scientific community views them as very unlikely to be altered by new evidence.
an explanatory hypothesis for natural phenomena that is exceptionally well supported by the empirical data
theory
any experimental condition applied to the research subjects
treatments
a group of subjects who are exposed to a particular treatment
experimental group
a group of subjects who are treated identically t the experimental group, with one exception, they are not exposed to the treatment
control group
the characteristics of an experimental system that are subject to change
variables
take home message 1.11 (controlling variables makes experiments more powerful)
to draw clear conclusions from experiments, it is essential to hold constant all those variables we are not interested in. control and experimental groups should differ only with the respect to the treatment of interest. differences in outcomes between the groups can then be attributed to the treatment.
take home message 1.12 (repeatable experiments increase our confidence)
experiments and their outcomes must be repeatable for their conclusions to be considered valid and widely accepted.

repeatability is essential. scientific conclusions are more reliable when experiments have be repeated ( and modified is necessary)

take home message 1.13 ( we’ve got to watch out for our biases)
biases can influence our behavior, including our collection and interpretation of data. with careful controls, it is possible to minimize such biases
some measurable entity that is available at the start of a process and whose value can be changed as required
independent variable
it is created by the process being observe and whose value cannot be controlled
dependent variable
take home message 1.14 (visual displays of data can help us understand and explain phenomena)
visual displays of data, which condense large amounts of info, can aid in the presentation and exploration of the data. the effectiveness of such displays are influenced b the precision and clarity of the presentation, and it can be reduced by ambiguity, biases, bidden assumptions, and other issues that reduce a viewer’s confidence in the underlying truth of the presented phenomenon.
a set of analytical and mathematical tools designed to help researchers gain understanding from the data they gather
statistics
take home message 1.15 (statistics can help us in making decisions)
because much variation exists in the world, statistics can help us evaluate whether any differences between a treatment group and a control group can be attributed to the treatment rather than random chance.
individuals make scientific sounding claims that are not supported by trustworthy, methodical scientific studies
pseudoscience
based on just one or a few observations, people conclude that there is or is not a link between two things
anecdotal observations
take home message 1.16 (pseudoscience and misleading anecdotal evidence can obscure the truth)
pseudoscience and anecdotal observations often lead people to believe that links between two phenomena exist, when in fact there are no such links
take home message 1.17 ( there are limits to what science can do)
although the scientific method may be the mist effective path toward understanding the observable world, it cannot give us insights into the generation of value judgments and other types of non-quantifiable, subjective info
take home message 1.18 ( a few important themes tie together the diverse topics in biology)
although the diversity of life on earth is tremendous, the study of life is unified by the themes if hierarchical organization and the power of evolution
life is organized on many levels within individual organisms, including atoms, cells, tissues, and organs. and in the larger world, organisms themselves are organized into many levels: populations, communities, and ecosystems within the biosphere
hierarchical organization
evolution, the change in genetic characteristics of individuals within populations over time, accounts for the diversity of organisms, but also explains the unity among them.
the power of evolution