a) a field of study that requires certain laws of nature to be taken on faith.
b) both a body of knowledge and an intellectual activity encompassing observation, description, experimentation, and explanation of natural phenomena.
c) a process that can be applied only within the scientific
disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, and physics.
d) the only way to understand the natural world.
e) None of the above.
b) Correct! Science includes both what we know and how we gather evidence to support what we know.
All of the following are elements of biological literacy except:
a) the ability to use the process of scientific inquiry to think
creatively about real-world issues having a biological component.
b) reading the most important books in biology.
c) the ability to integrate into your decision-making a consideration of issues having a biological component.
d) the ability to communicate with others about issues
having a biological component.
e) All of the above are elements of biological literacy.
b) Correct! Biological literacy means much more than just reading books. It also includes using the scientific method, communicating with others, and integrating your conclusions into your decision-making.
a) held by many humans, but not by any non-human species.
b) just one of many possible forms of scientific thinking.
c) true beliefs that have yet to be fully understood.
d) irrational beliefs that actions not logically related to a course of events influence its outcome.
e) proof that the scientific method is not perfect.
d) Correct! Superstitions are irrational beliefs that illogically link causes with outcomes.
In a recent study, patients treated with a genetically engineered heart drug were able to walk on a treadmill 26 seconds longer than those not receiving the drug, and they
showed no side effects from taking the drug. Can we conclude that this drug is an effective treatment for heart disease?
a) No. Genetically engineered drugs cannot be tested by the scientific method; they require comparative observations.
b) No. It is not clear how many subjects were in the study.
c) No. It is not clear that the drug is not a placebo.
e) No. It is not clear that the proper controls were included.
e) Correct! There's too much we don't know about this study, including whether the proper controls were done. Also, being able to walk longer on a treadmill does not necessarily mean that the patients' heart disease was treated by the drug. Finally, walking 26 seconds longer on a treadmill is a negligible gain.
a) rely on intuition.
b) are generated by theories.
c) are based on observation.
d) cannot be replicated.
e) must support a tested hypothesis.
c) Correct! Empirical results are based on rational, testable, and repeatable observations.
In a well-designed experiment:
a) the prediction will be highly probable if the experiment shows the explanation is correct.
b) the prediction will be highly improbable if the experiment
c) the null hypothesis will not be tested.
d) the prediction will most likely be correct.
e) Both a) and b) are correct.
e) Correct! The prediction should be supported or not supported by experiments. If supported, it is probably (but not certifiably) correct. If not supported, it is probably (but not certifiably) incorrect.
Which of the following statements is correct?
a) A hypothesis that does not generate a testable prediction is not useful.
b) Common sense is usually a good substitute for the scientific method when trying to understand the world.
c) The scientific method can be used only to understand scientific phenomena.
d) It is not necessary to make observations as part of the scientific method.
e) All of the above are correct.
a) Correct! A hypothesis that is not predictive cannot be supported or rejected through experimentation. Thus, it is not useful in the scientific method.
The placebo effect:
a) is the frequently observed, poorly understood phenomenon that people tend to respond favorably to any treatment.
b) reveals that sugar pills are generally as effective as actual medications in fighting illness.
c) reveals that experimental treatments cannot be proven effective.
d) demonstrates that most scientific studies cannot be replicated.
e) is an urban legend.
a) Correct! People may feel better if they believe they are being treated to feel better.
Before experimental drugs can be brought to market, they
must undergo many rigorous trials to ensure they deliver their medical benefits effectively and safely. One method commonly used in this process is to compare the effect of a drug with that of a placebo in double-blind tests. Which of the following correctly describes a double-blind test?
a) The researchers apply two-layered blindfolds to the study participants so they cannot see whether they are receiving the drug or a placebo.
b) Neither the researchers nor the study participants know who is receiving the drug and who is receiving the placebo.
c) The researchers know who is receiving the drug and who is receiving the placebo, but do not know what the supposed effects of the drug should be.
d) The researchers do not know who receives the drug or the placebo, but the participants know and tell them later.
e) None of the above.
b) Correct! Double-blind means both parties are in the dark on who is receiving what. The researchers can later match up which person got a placebo or the real drug.
In controlled experiments:
a) one variable is manipulated while others are held constant.
b) all variables are dependent on each other.
c) all variables are held constant.
d) all variables are independent of each other.
e) all critical variables are manipulated.
a) Correct! Only one variable is manipulated at a time in a controlled experiment.
If a researcher collects data by using the same experimental setup as in another study, but using different research subjects, the process is considered:
a) an uncontrolled experiment.
b) intuitive reasoning.
d) Correct! Repeating an experiment using the same setup but different test subjects is replication.
Statistical methods make it possible to:
a) prove any hypothesis is true.
b) determine how likely it is that certain results have occurred by chance.
c) unambiguously learn the truth.
d) reject any hypothesis.
e) test non-falsifiable hypotheses.
b) Correct! Statistics make it possible to tell whether the results are significant or merely the result of random chance.
a) is a more efficient method for understanding the world than the scientific method.
b) tends to be more reliable than data based on observations of large numbers of diverse individuals.
c) is a necessary part of the scientific method.
d) is often the only way to prove important causal links between two phenomena.
e) can seem to reveal links between two phenomena, but the links may not actually exist.
e) Correct! Anecdotal evidence seems to link observations together, but these links may not actually exist.
A relationship between phenomena that has been established based on large amounts of observational and experimental data is referred to as:
a) a theory.
b) a fact.
c) an assumption.
d) a conjecture.
e) a hypothesis.
a) Correct! A well-established relationship between two events based on lots of experimentation is a theory.
Which of the following issues would be least helped by
application of the scientific method?
a) developing more effective high school curricula.
b) evaluating the relationship between violence in video games and criminal behavior in teens.
c) determining the most effective safety products for automobiles.
d) formulating public policy on euthanasia.
e) comparing the effectiveness of two potential antibiotics.
d) Correct! Public policy, which is based on subjective ideas of rightness or wrongness, cannot be evaluated by science.
What is the meaning of the statement "correlation does not imply causation"?
a) Just because two variables vary in a similar pattern does not mean that changing one variable causes a change in the other.
b) It is not possible to demonstrate a correlation between two variables.
c) When a change in one variable causes a change in another variable, the two variables are not necessarily related to each other in any way.
d) It is not possible to prove the cause of any naturally occurring phenomenon.
e) Just because two variables vary in a similar pattern does not mean that they have any relationship to each other.