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The Gathering of scientific information by watching a phenomenon


A conclusion that follows logically from a set of observations.


A preliminary explanation of a phenomenon. Hypothesis formation is the first step of the scientific method.


The testing of a hypothesis.


The scientific evidence produced by an experiment or by observation, from which scientific conclusions are made.

Scientific Method

Standard scientific research procedure in which a hypothesis is stated, data are collected to test it, and the hypothesis is either supported or refuted.


Able to be shown to be false.


A conceptual framework useful for understanding a body of evidence.

Immutability (or Fixity)

Stasis, lack of change.


Ancient belief that people are derived from a single creation.


Ancient belief that all people are derived from a single creation.


The science of biological classification, invented by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus

Binomial nomenclature

Linnaen naming system for all organisms, consisting of a genus and species label.


A group of organisms assigned to a particular category.


Theory that there have been multiple creations interspersed by great natural disasters such as Noah's flood.

Theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics

Discredited theory of evolutionary change proposing that changes that occur during the lifetime of an individual, through use or disuse, can be passed on to the next generation, first put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.


Soviet-era research program that tried to apply Lamarckian thinking to the agricultural production.


Theory that the same gradual geological process we observe today was operating in the past.


The distribution of animals and plants on the Earth

Adaptive Radiation

The diversification of one founding species into multiple species and niches.

Natural Selection

Differential reproductive success over multiple generations.

Vestigial Organs

Body parts that seem to serve no modern purpose and have, therefore, atrophied.


Reproductive success.


An interbreeding group of organisms.


An alteration in the DNA, which may or may not alter the function of a cell. If it occurs in a gamete, it may be passed from one generation to the next.

Creation Science

A creationist attempt to refute the evidence of evolution.

Intelligent Design

A creationist school of thought that proposes that natural selection cannot account for the diversity and complexity of form and function seen in nature.

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