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4.13: Summary- The Process of Science

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    Learning Outcomes

    • Compare inductive reasoning with deductive reasoning
    • Describe the process of scientific inquiry
    • Describe the goals of basic science and applied science

    Biology is the science that studies living organisms and their interactions with one another and their environments. Science attempts to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or in part. Science has many fields; those fields related to the physical world and its phenomena are considered natural sciences.

    A hypothesis is a tentative explanation for an observation. A scientific theory is a well-tested and consistently verified explanation for a set of observations or phenomena. A scientific law is a description, often in the form of a mathematical formula, of the behavior of an aspect of nature under certain circumstances. Two types of logical reasoning are used in science. Inductive reasoning uses results to produce general scientific principles. Deductive reasoning is a form of logical thinking that predicts results by applying general principles. The common thread throughout scientific research is the use of the scientific method. Scientists present their results in peer-reviewed scientific papers published in scientific journals.

    Science can be basic or applied. The main goal of basic science is to expand knowledge without any expectation of short-term practical application of that knowledge. The primary goal of applied research, however, is to solve practical problems.

    Practice Questions

    A suggested and testable explanation for an event is called a ________.

    1. hypothesis
    2. variable
    3. theory
    4. control

    [reveal-answer q=”354047″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer]
    [hidden-answer a=”354047″]A suggested and testable explanation for an event is called a hypothesis.


    Give an example of how applied science has had a direct effect on your daily life.
    [reveal-answer q=”886421″]Show Answer[/reveal-answer]
    [hidden-answer a=”886421″]Answers will vary. One example of how applied science has had a direct effect on daily life is the presence of vaccines. Vaccines to prevent diseases such polio, measles, tetanus, and even the influenza affect daily life by contributing to individual and societal health.[/hidden-answer]

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