Fossil Footprints: Nature of Science

Students should be able to:

  1. Differentiate between terms ‘fact’ and ‘inference’
  2. propose explanations and make predictions based on evidence,
  3. recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions,
  4. understand that scientific explanations are subject to change as new evidence becomes available,
  5. understand that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria.  First and foremost, they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about systems being studied. They should also be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public. Explanations of how the natural world changes based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific.