Science Essay Example

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2010 Exam Questions

Q2. What is confirmation bias? What problem could it create in a scientific study?

Confirmation bias involves some propensity to investigate for some details in such methods that corroborate the preconceptions of someone, in which case it leads to statistical errors. It is among the cognitive bias, and it presents some errors of inductive presumption towards the substantiation of the proposition under the study. An example involves when an individual believes that she or he have some bad day and he or she focuses on one or two minor items that go wrong to support her theory.

Confirmation bias leads one to overconfidence in his or her personal beliefs. This will maintain or rather reinforce beliefs in the countenance of different evidence. This implies it leads to poor decisions, and that are quite unfounded. It happens especially in military, political, organization and even in social situations. In scientific study, confirmation biases make individuals repeatedly find test hypothesis in one-sided methods, and this is by searching evidence persistent with the hypothesis they hold at some given time. They just ask questions supporting their hypothesis.

Q6. Briefly outline Paley’s Watchmaker analogy.

William Paley’s watchmaker Analogy involves some theological arguments from the existence of God. It reiterates the universe is to the universe maker, and this is as the watch is to the watch maker. This means that, design implies some designer. The analogy was incorporated in using it to give support for God’s existence and for the intelligent design of the world. The inner complex workings were to demand some intelligent designer. In terms of creationism, creationists revived various arguments to dispute ideas of evolution and natural selection. His analogy involved:

  • A watch is of many small parts. Every section ought to be created and also put in some precise right place, and this is for the watch to work properly. Requires a watchmaker.

  • Universe is of many smaller parts. Every part ought to be created and be in the right place for it to function properly. God is the watchmaker.

For Darwin, the intelligent design and natural selection were quite incompatible. God designed the fixed laws governing the world including the natural selection.

Q7. What was the catastrophist perspective of natural change?

The catastrophists had to maintain that there exist some human transformations and exploitation present in the earth that cannot be transgressed without the presence of disaster. In addition that the current scale and the rate of human activity supersede the world’s carrying capacity. According to Thomas Malthus, interpreting the human environment relations history, the catastrophists had to puts some stress on the rise in the human population, extents of consumptions and the transformation of environments as evidence that puts pressure on the terrestrial environments mounting to some challenging level and intimidating the continued existence of human kind.

Cornucopian went contrary by dismissing human carrying capacity and points to increasing human numbers, extents of consumptions and life expectancy as substantiation in the management of the earth. Example involves Climate change debate, soil fertility and land exhaustion, in which case they argued regulation ensures resources were not used but exploited for full benefit of future generations.

Q9. Discuss the theory of shrinking Earth, including the concept of vertical tectonics and explain the flaws in the theory that were pointed out by Wegener.

Many of the scientists had the belief of the shrinking earth theory, and this was before the concepts of plate tectonics had to take over the thinking of modern geology. In the shrinking earth theory, there was the belief that the earth began as some molten ball of rock. Some skin of crust formed later as it cooled. As the molten ball continued cooling, the earth shrunk and this resulted the crust to buckle. The large wrinkles that formed became the ocean basins and continents while the other small wrinkles became the log mountain belts.

According to Wegener, shrinking earth theory had the prediction that mountain ranges rise from shrinking of the globe, but in the real sense, it rises and worn down over geologic times. It does not explain also the presence of fossils in various places such as Alps. The theory also falsely says the volcanoes and mountain ranges take place randomly globally.

Q10. In the scientific method, what is the relationship between the initial observations, prediction and hypothesis?

In the scientific method, observation is usually done first to know the steps to do research while the hypothesis answers what one thinks will find. Prediction is the belief about the scientific idea. Observation, hence, involve the first stage that one understands and researches in finding about the problem. It involves one collecting the information. The second stage involves one finding some possible solution to the problem basing on the research and knowledge. The problem that someone designs is done to test the hypothesis. In essence, the hypothesis is the statement that one thinks the scientific problem in question works. The prediction leads one to demonstrate the hypothesis is true. Hence, the problem designs are done to test the prediction.

2011 Exam Questions

Q2. Explain the idea of a Kuhnian paradigm and scientific revolution.

The Kuhnian paradigm ideas demonstrate how the paradigm changes. Kuhn reiterates that the replacement of one paradigm by some other constitutes the scientific revolution. In essence, the scientists employ some accepted paradigms to find the solution of problems thrown up in efforts to apply the paradigm to nature. Arriving at the solution involves norms and procedures of the paradigm (Kuhn and Ian).

The idea of scientific revolutions that Kuhn presented had such stages as the normal science, in which case it is a puzzle-solving role that one conducts under some reigning paradigm. When an anomaly arises when a puzzle cannot be solved, it opens a period of crises and approaches will be permitted. The successful approach becomes the new paradigm via paradigm shift and is popularized in textbooks.

Q6. Briefly outline the four major steps in the scientific method.

The four steps of the scientific method include:

  • Initial observation, in which case it leads to one or some more questions about the phenomena. It involves the picture of some problem, which implies observations ought to be done by aid of scientific equipment.

  • Formulation of hypothesis from the questions. This elaborates the problem in the form of causal mechanism

  • Predictions based on the hypothesis. This is by analyzing the outcomes of observations or observing and predicting the presence of new problem following the hypothesis.

  • Testing of predictions in order to ascertain whether the hypothesis is sound or whether it should be changed. Institute some theory based on persistent verification of outcomes.

Q7. What is conflict of interest? Why should it be avoided in scientific research?

Conflicts of interest involve some abuse, in which case it might be actual, potential or even apparent, of the trust that individuals have in the profession. Conflicts of interest exist whether the decisions are affected or not by the personal interest, rather it involves the potentiality for bias. In research, a conflict of interest is not regarded as misconduct in research, and this is because misconduct is constrained to plagiarism, fabrication or even falsification. An example is Doctor Wakefield reading – vaccination, in which case he had to center on fraudulent research paper in the medical journal. Such a case of problem discredits some theory that autism spectrum disorders could be caused by some combined measles, rubella vaccine, among others.

Conflicts of interests are avoided to minimize the impact of conflicts. Conflicts of interests can be avoided in scientific research by ways of disclosure, management or prohibition

Q9. What role does peer review play in research?

Peer review involves some evaluation of work done by someone or other individuals of similar competence. It occurs when one wants to determine academic works have some suitability for publication. It helps scientists make some decisions about their results that ought to be published in some scientific journals. It subjects the scientific research papers to some independent scrutiny by some other qualified scientific peers prior to making it public. Therefore, peer review plays a crucial part in being the arbiter if scientific quality and that the details concerning the status of research results are as significant as the results. In brief, peer reviewers play roles such as confidentiality, impartiality, responsiveness, productive criticism, role to science, exceptions to confidentiality amongst other roles. Peer review problems include anonymous peer reviewers, bias and suppression, criticism among others.

Q10. How are scientific models used in research?

Scientific models involve some representation of some ideas, or even objects that are utilized to depict and elaborate a problem that cannot be experienced directly. The scientific models can be used to link some theory with some research or experiment, and also it helps in guiding research by having simplified representations of some imagined reality, thus enabling the development of predictions and testing by experiments. In research, scientists use the models in explaining complex data to displaying as the hypothesis. Therefore, models are quite sued to test and predict the various things. The best example involves the climate change. In such a case, the scientists try to figure out what might happen by use of the information and understanding of how the cycles interact. Models are utilized in research in order to make some significant decisions.

Works Cited:

Martin, David J. Elementary Science Methods: A Constructivist Approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Kuhn, Thomas S, and Ian Hacking. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL [etc.: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. Print.