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CherrySempai's avatar

What's a good question to use the scientific method on?

Asked by CherrySempai (1137points) September 9th, 2010

I never thought I would use Fluther for homework help, but I have no idea what question to use to go through the scientific method.

These are my directions:

1) Propose a question of some subject that involves Biology.
2) Create a hypothesis.
3) What experiments would you use to answer that/those questions?

And then I have to go through the scientific method using my question.

So, my question is, what is a good topic or question that you would use when using the scientific method? :)

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9 Answers

fundevogel's avatar

Anything that is measurable can be tested by the scientific method. Boobquake is a good example. You might look into popular claims and figure out how you could test their validity.

Zyx's avatar

How long can a plant live without water for example. Since you need a hypothesis you just guess how long that would be. Then you take twenty plants and stop watering eighteen, then restart them two by two over the next couple of days/weeks. Half of your twenty plants are the control group. Check out which plants survive and draw a reasonable conclusion.

You just need to do something to a lifeform (this is biology) and monitor the results, the question is almost always “how much something does something something when I something or something”. If you know the scientific method you just need to ask anything about any lifeform. I suggested plants since this is for school.

talljasperman's avatar

do cars evolve or is it intelligent design

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Any hypothesis for which there exists, at least in principle, a way to show it is false is something that can be studied using the scientific method.

If something cannot be tested and potentially shown to be false, it is a belief but not an issue for science.

Example:

Heating any blue rock causes it to turn red and stay red. (This can be tested and found false) It happens to be false.

Heating egg white to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes permanently transforms that clear liquid to a white solid. (This can be tested and found false) It happens to be true.

Praying over the sick with always result in their cure from illness. (This can be tested and found false)

Regular prayer guarantees that a person will go to heaven when they die. (This cannot be tested and found false) We can not determine the outcome!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence “Heating egg white to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes permanently transforms that clear liquid to a white solid. (This can be tested and found false) It happens to be true.”

I thought I understood the process of falsification pretty good until now. Please explain how the test may be conducted as stated, found to be false, and happen to be true.

As I understand it, falsification is a logical potential. It does not necessarily mean that an outcome is found false, but rather it has the potential of being shown as false.

Am I missing something or did I misread you?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

All I meant is that it can be tested and theoretically be be found to be true or false.
I know of no instance where the test falsifies the hypothesis!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

OK, I get that. A particular test in action may confirm or deny any particular hypothesis. If the test fails, then so does the hypothesis. If the test succeeds, the we may form a Universal Statement from the test results.

Yet another test still has the potential for falsifying the hypothesis, regardless of the first test results.

From many different falsifiable, yet positive test results, a theory is formed. And thus laws are formed when all falsifiable positive test results have been accounted for. A rare thing indeed.

So to the OP, “What’s a good question to use the scientific method on?”

How about my favorite, “Is life designed”?

So from your specific instructions in your details:

1) Propose a question of some subject that involves Biology.

Is the genetic code a product of sentient authorship?

2) Create a hypothesis.

Sentient authorship is the only mechanism that can create code.

3) What experiments would you use to answer that/those questions?

Assemble a group of random objects together that have code clearly written upon them. Examples of such objects would be a bottle cap, a watch, a business card, a drivers license, student I.D., a gift card, a random note, music sheet, and you could even go so far as to record whale song, wolf howls, and a video of the figure 8 bee waggle dance.

Pursue determining the origins of the codes you have assembled.

Many of these examples have no obvious authors, like the bottle cap, or a book with its cover ripped away, or the numbering on a watch. The supposed authors would be anonymous. So you may have some difficulty tracking down their origins.

But as long as you could attribute some of the codes to sentient authors, then you can confidently infer that all codes, including the genetic code, does in fact have a sentient author.

Is this hypothesis falsifiable? Absolutely yes. Anyone can falsify the hypothesis: Sentient authorship is the only mechanism that can create code. Just demonstrate another mechanism that can create code other than sentient authorship. That possibility is always out there. But until another mechanism is demonstrated, the original hypothesis will stand.

Therefor, The genetic code is a product of sentient authorship, if and only if, all codes have sentient authors.

browneyes69's avatar

The most common initial questions are answered below. Be sure to utilize this information when formulating your new questions and hypotheses.

Can height: 4.5”

Can diameter: 3”

Can circumference = diameter x pi

Weight: about 16 ounces

The can was found without a label on the floor of the stockroom. A picture of the can has been attached. The only marking on the can is APR2013. Otherwise, it appears to be a regular tin can, not aluminum. The can has no dents or other distinguishing characteristics.

There is some liquid inside the can. When I shake or roll the can it seems like there is one mass of stuff moving together inside, but it seems like it could be a bunch of pieces moving together inside the can. Hard to tell.

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