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 SyllabusSCIENCE 110
Introduction to Scientific Thought
Section:8478, F 9:30am to 11:50 am,
m
38E102Section:8481, TTh 9:30am to 10:45 am,
m
38F101
Spring 2010
Instructor:
Dr.
 
Richard Albert e-mail:kalium@cox.net 
Office: Bldg.30
m
.
3226. Office hours, by appointment.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD:
Science employs the scientific method. No, there's no such method: Doing science is not like baking a cake.Science can be proved on the basis of observable data. No, general theories about the natural world can't be proved at all. Our theories make claims that go beyond the finite amount of data that we've collected.There's no way such extrapolations from the evidence can be proved to be correct. Science can bedisproved, or falsified, on the basis of observable data. No, for it's always possible to protect a theory froman apparently confuting observation. Theories are never tested in isolation but only in conjunction withmany other extra-theoretical assumptions (about the equipment being used, about ambient conditions, aboutexperimenter error, etc.). It's always possible to lay the blame for the confutation at the door of one of theseassumptions, thereby leaving one's theory in the clear. And so forth.
COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Science 110 is a three credit, non-laboratory course fulfilling general education science requirement. Thecourse presents the history, philosophy and methodology of science as well as the ethics of scientificresearch.Science 110 presents specific examples science such as physics, genetics cosmology to illustrate howscience works today and changes over time. The course covers also such areas of pseudo-science asastrology and magnetic therapy to help the students apply critical thinking in order to tell the difference between knowledge confirmed by scientific investigation from that which uses a thin veneer of science to promote unconfirmed claims.To understand the nature of science the course presents information in five ways: classroom lectures, takehome experiments, classroom discussions, reading assignments from the class text, and essays.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLO):
1. Acquiring critical thinking skills.2. Comprehending how scientists discover basic laws of nature.3. Obtaining knowledge of the history and philosophy of science.4. Gaining ability to distinguish real science from pseudo-sciences.5. Adding skepticism to your intellectual kit.
SLO performance
Determined by means of Tests, Presentations, Projects,Hands-On-Experiments, Classroom Discussions, & Contests.
REQUIRED MATERIALS:
The Scientists (S), John Gribbin, Random House, New York, 2003The Borderlands OF Science, Michael Shermer. Oxford University Press, 2001
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
For accommodations required due to a disability, I would be happy to help. Please let meknow about this during the first week of the semester.
GRADING CRITERIA:
Your final grade will be based on the total points earned on quizzes, exams, final project, experiments andessays. If at any point in the semester you have any question about how you are doing, please see me toinform you of your current grade.
The final grade will be based on maximum of 1000 points earned from following assignments:1. Four exams based on lecture notes and text are worth 400 points.2. A project, project report and project presentation illustrating the scientific method worth 200 points.3. All homework assignments which include essay and done-at-home experiments are worth 200 points.4. Eight Quizzes based on text reading assignments worth 200 points .
 
Academic Integrity:
Cheating and plagiarism (using as one's own ideas writings, materials, orimages of someone else without acknowledgement or permission) can resultin any one of a variety of sanctions. Such penalties may range from anadjusted grade on the particular exam, paper, project, or assignment, all of which may lead to a failing grade in the course, and under certain conditions,suspension or expulsion from a class, program or the college. For furtherclarification and information on these issues, please consult with yourinstructor or contact the office of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
POLICIES:
1.No dropping the lowest exam grade. No make-up exams.2.Class attendance is mandatory. Students who miss 3 consecutive classesor who are excessively tardy students risk being dropped from the class roster.
3.
Take-home exams are due five days after assignment. Take-home quizzes are due the second day after assignment. Late exams and quizzes are not accepted.
4.
Homework is due the second day or at the subsequent class session if assignment is on a Thursday
.5.Late homework is not accepted.
6.
The syllabus schedule is fungible, flexible, and subject to change.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS:Experiments:
Paper plane, Match Jet, Bathroom, cabbage, number series, Mobius, garbage bag,sunset color, clouds, color additivityEin and Stein. slime, interference, Sky in a Bottle, spoon chimes, flip page movies. Weekly science report
Essays:
Shroud, Discoveries, Logical fallacies, Flat Earth, Hollow Earth, Leonard Horowitz,Bipedalism, Newton, pseudoscience, Jabberwocky, own legend, steel ships, ethics, What’s-In-It?, Nun’s story, hidden assumptions, connections, “Doubt”Shermer and Hovind. debate, challenge advertisements, cell phone safety,
Contests:
match jet, paper planes, brainteasers, and empty the bottle.
COURSE TOPICS:
The nature of EvidenceHistory of ScienceWhat is science?The Art of Observation – Optical Illusions, Modern Art and Gestalt FormationPhilosophical foundations of scienceGood Science, Bad Science and Pseudo-ScienceGreat Ideas in ScienceAlternative medicine, medical quackery, and hoaxesScientific literacyThe Precautionary PrincipleReligion and ScienceEthics and science- Tolerance and intoleranceObservation – art and illusionsScience and artTechnology - applied science
 
Limitation of ScienceSerendipity in Science
SUPERVISED TUTORING TECH MALL:
Grossmont College students must enroll in a supervised tutoring noncredit section to use this general lab.The Tech Mall provides open computer access to students enrolled at Grossmont College. Students haveaccess to computer software, Internet, MS Office applications, tutorials and technical assistance.Additionally, computer-assisted and classroom-assisted instruction products are available as required byinstructors for specific courses. These courses require an add code obtained at the Information/Registrationdesk in the Tech mall. Students refer to the following for non-credit non-fee tutorial services:IDS 198, supervised tutoring in general computer applications in the Tech MallEnglish 198W, supervised tutoring in the English Writing Center (room 70-119).
 
IDS 198T, for one-on-one supervised tutoring in academic subjects (room 70-229, Tel. 644 7387.
CLASS SCHEDULE:
LectureReading AssignmentWeek of
Discuss Syllabus and Science Project.Introductory LectureShroud of TurinCopernicus pp 1to 32Kepler 33 to 67
1/25First day of class
The universe and the Standard ModelGalileo/Descartes pp 68 to 148
2/01Quiz 1
History of scienceIndependent, dependent, and controlvariables. Pendulum. Newton pp 149 to 241
2/08Quiz 2
History of SciencePeriodic Table pp 241 to 318Rent Movie “Doubt”
2/15Exam 1Rocket Contest
Philosophical foundations of science
2/22Quiz 3
What is science? Induction/deductionconnection between observation andTheoryThe origin life -What is man?What is Death?Geology/Darwin pp 319 to 358
3/01Quiz 4
Philosophers of Science-Scientific Method
3/08Quiz 5Empty Bottle Contest
Observation – art and illusionsGestalt FormationAtoms/ molecules pp 359 to 399
3/15Exam 2
Science and art
3/22Quiz 6
Bad science:1.Polywater 2.Cold FusionBOS 1 - 36
4//5Quiz 7
Scientific LiteracyApplied scienceLimitation of Science
4/12Exam 3Paper AirplaneContest
Pseudoscience& alternative medicine,& medical quackery, hoaxes, ESPPlate tectonics pp 442 to 486BOS 37 - 97
4/19Quiz 7
Pseudoscience&Logical deceptionsUrban LegendsBOS 53- 56BOS 64 – 65BOS 229 - 232
4/26Exam 4Competition 1
SkepticismEthics and sciencePlanck, Bohr, Einstein pp 487 to 528
5/3Quiz 8Competition 2.
The Precautionary PrincipleLimitation of ScienceSerendipity
5/10Science Projectreview
Religion and ScienceAnthropic PrincipleTolerance and intoleranceLife pp 529 to 572
5/175/24Science ProjectPresented

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