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EESA01 UTSC Lecture 1 Notes- The Scientific Method

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Environmental Science
Carl Mitchell

Origins of this course are in Physical Science, not Social Science  Science is driven by curiosity. Driven by scientist that is kept up and finds gaps and chases new knowledge about those gaps.  Scientific method- a set of rules that helps you move from a question to a certifiable and valid knowledge. We rarely come up with an answer.  Scientific method, can never show that a theory is correct, can only support that theory in continuum but can never prove something without a doubt. That is why the main reason why these scientific things like climate change and stuff still is argued about.  Theory is only “correct” until some vigorous scrutiny reveals it to be incomplete. All of these things used to be believed to be true until someone found knowledge that did not fit with it. It is always good to have a little doubt. Sometimes it is not easy and almost impossible to prove wrong  Doubt and questioning lead to better understanding.  Theory becomes a law when someone isn’t able to prove it wrong for a long time. But it still doesn’t mean it is correct Scientific Method  Make observations and compile it into a question.  Question is different from hypotheses- a statement on how you thing things work, a prediction.  Science is quite specific. Eg pond that looks green every spring because cows are pooping in it at that time. Is it because of the cows or Is it because the farmer switches to tea during the spring  Hypothesis- can test it seems to be real. Eg.. Bad; pond has something to do with the air.  Predictions are what you thing is going to happen, can be the same as hypothesis. Both are testable  Constantly going back to the drawing board. Once something
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