Class Prep for Sept. 26th: Kool-Aid Man, Life on Mars & Invasive Fish

Now that we’ve gotten some practice thinking about scientific inquiry and the properties of life, you should be in good shape to tackle the two exercises below. Please come in ready to discuss them in class on Tuesday, Sept. 27th. I’ve also included reading assignments below.

  • Oh yeah. The Verge calls this is “proof” that Kool-Aid Man can bust through brick, but what do you think? What kind of reasoning did VSauce use to come to its conclusion? Is inductive or deductive reasoning at work here? Is this an example of scientific inquiry?

Lionfish, npr

  1. What’s the hypothesis? Is it falsifiable?

  2. What are or should be the controls?

  3. What are the independent and dependent variables?

  • Watch Carl Sagan discuss the Viking lander biological experiments in episode 5 of Cosmos at 32 minutes in. What properties of life did these experiments test for? What did they find?
  • If you haven’t already, finish reading chapter 1 in the textbook you’ve chosen for this course.
  • Read chapter 2 of your textbook. There may be a quiz on Tuesday; if there is, you will be able to use your handwritten notes, as always.

Please bear in mind that during class time, we’ll cover as many important topics as we can from the reading, but we won’t cover everything. As mentioned in the syllabus, anything in the reading could show up on an exam or homework assignment, so please ask any questions during class time that will help you get more out of the reading, even if it’s something we don’t cover.


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