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Study Guide

[BIL 150] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (69 pages long!)


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIL 150
Professor
Sarkar Malancha
Study Guide
Final

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UM
BIL 150
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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August 24th 2016
Who is a good scientist: Someone who is devoted to the art of inquiry. Always keep the mind open. Be a good
communicator. Should publish and share informations so science can move forward (The body of knowledge).
Science is following a method: Hypothesis, Procedure, Data, Discussion.
There are always exceptions in biology. Nothing is in a set state; always changing.
Science is described as “organized skepticism” nothing is to be accepted without question.
Nothing can be proven to 100% confidence.
Science Involves: Asking good questions; Coming up with good, plausible answers (hypotheses); Testing these
hypotheses robustly, unambiguously, and honestly (unbiased).
Experimental Questions: Require explanations, prior knowledge, and are testable. Ex. If salt is added to water,
would the solution still boil at the same temperature? Or If Suntan lotion is put on ultraviolet detecting beads, will
the beads still change color? Experimental questions require a more in depth answer that requires resing. This is
what researches use.
Good Questions: One that can be answered through experiment, observation, logical inference, that is built upon
previous experimentation or observation. Questions are also judged on the worth perceived to be associated with
successfully answering that question. They are often distinguished simply in terms of the perceived degree of
effort necessary to answer the question.
Example of Good and Bad:
Does exposure to cell phones cause increased risk of brain tumors?
Good, but not easy to answer.
Are GMOs safe?
Bad. You must start with the definition of safe, and come up with means of measuring safeness.
Does good nutrition lead to increased intelligence?
Good. Hard to answer.
Too many confounding variables that can’t be well-controlled.
Human life spans are very long
Nod good modeling system to answering the question.
Hypotheses: Proposed answer to a scientific question. Hypotheses can be eliminated but not confirmed with
absolute certainty. A good hypotheses satisfies three criteria:
It supplies a testable mechanism.
It is not unnecessarily complication
It conforms with existing knowledge.
Theory: A hypothesis becomes a theory following lots of testing, all of which sail to disprove it. Testing is done by
more than one groups using more than one independent techniques. A theory is a very robust hypothesis.
Scientific Reasoning: Two general categories:
1. Inductive Reasoning
a. This wasp stung me. It is a hymenopteran.
b. This fire ant stung me. It is a hymenopteran.
c. I’m starting to see a pattern. All hymenopteran have stingers.
d. This bee stung me. It is a hymenopteran.
e. Although generalizations are useful, be aware that there are many exceptions to a general rule.
2. Deductive Reasoning.
a. Tom is a bachelor.
b. All bachelors are single.
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c. Hence Tom is single.
d. All wasps have stingers
e. This thing in my hand is a wasp.
f. Therefore it can sting me.
Difference between Inductive and Deductive:
Inductive argues from a specific to a general base, deductive is general to a specific instance.
Deductive reasoning: general promises to make specific predictions
If… Then reasoning.
Premises and deductive prediction
1. Use your experience
2. Form a hypothesis
3. Use a hypothesis to make a prediction
4. Test is: try to disprove hypothesis
5. Remember to FALSIFY.
Controlled Experiments: Compares experimental group with control group. Ideally, only variable of interest differs.
Models: Representations of a natural phenomenon. Diagrams, 3D objects, computer programs, mathematical
equations. Models never EXACTLY fit their subject, but they help us to understand the subject better.
Sally Clark: Arrested for the accusation that she killed her two children. Bad statistics were used to prosecute her.
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