At the beginning of this course, I asked you to respond to a science misconceptions poll. The question on that poll were based on very commonly held science misconceptions. What I'm going to do now is walk you through each of these misconceptions one at a time and where previous students of mine fell along these various misconceptions. Then you're welcome at the end of this video, there'll be a link to take you to the results of that poll specifically for this specialization that you can then compare. For our first misconception, science follows a simple, linear, unvarying scientific method. This is something that my previous students, they didn't really agree or disagree with. This represents the method of scientific method. There isn't a single universal scientific method. Methods vary quite a bit depending on the question being asked and the discipline, and this is something that we'll be getting into quite a bit in the specialization, giving a lot of different examples of how scientific methods can vary. Science is done by individual scientists. So this is a misconception that my students recognized as a misconception in the past. Science is actually done by groups of scientists, and not necessarily even scientists all alive at the same time. It can be done over generations as well and the peer review process is also very important aspect of science as well. Being able to review each other's work, critique each other's work, and respond to each other. Collaboration is very, very important as part of the scientific enterprise. Our next misconception, scientists are unbiased and not influenced by their culture. Science is a universal process and transcends cultural boundaries. The students realized that this was a misconception, but they're a little bit more neutral about this one. Science is often presented as this process that's above human nature. It's really not because we are all biased at some level or another. A good scientist is someone who recognize and try and control for it. Our biases influence how we interpret results, what experiments we do, what methods that we do. Culture. One of my favorite examples of how culture influence the practice of science is trying the development of the first birth control pills. The scientists at the time had come up with three candidate birth control pills. They had to eliminate one of those candidates immediately because the company that made that drug compound, their religious beliefs didn't agree with birth control. So they refused to sell the compound to the scientists. That compound got immediately removed from consideration as a birth control pill, not for any scientific reason, not for a cultural one. Another common misconception that most of my previous students think they realized that this is a misconception, is that creativity is reserved for other disciplines and not for science. This is not true. Science is inherently just as creative as the arts disciplines. We need creativity to be able to interpret results. We need creativity to be able to innovate and design experiments and come up with solutions. I would argue that creativity is foundational to the study of biology. That's something we'll explore in detail in course form. Our next misconception. There are right answers in science. Scientists are trying to find correct answers and once scientists know something, our understanding never changes. So students generally realized, this is also a misconception. There are no right or wrong answers. Science is based on what's evidence-based at the time. This is one of the most powerful parts of science, is that what we know is subject to revision and light of new evidence. So there aren't ever any final correct answers because new information may come along, which will then lose all in revising what we knew. This is also important for a pedagogy perspective as well. Because some people have gone so far as to say that words like right and correct and proves to be considered dead words are words that we don't say in science classes because they give the wrong idea about science. That science is more about fact-finding than it is about innovation and discovery. That's something we'll come back to in a few slides. Hypotheses become theories, theories become laws. So this is a very, very common misconception. You can see that the majority of students thought that this was correct, and this is incorrect at all. It's thought that this ended up in textbooks at some point, and that's why it became pervasive. But hypotheses don't become theories, and theories don't become laws. We're not trying to get everything to a law state because that's the best, they're talking about different ways of thinking about nature. So if you think about this in terms of your pets and say that a cat is a hypothesis and a dog is a theory. They are both pets, just like both hypotheses and theories are ways of thinking about scientific information. But a cat does not become a dog and a cat or a dog isn't necessarily better than one another. They are both pets. Hypotheses are proposed answers to questions as usually how I like to think about them. We see some problem in the world and we need to propose a possible answer for that. Theories, on the other hand, are very wide reaching explanations for phenomenon at hand. So it's many hypotheses, it's many different strings of evidence, and it's all geared towards explaining something that we see. Laws, on the other hand, represents physical relationship. It's not possible for a theory to become a law because there are two very different things. Laws are something like m_1v_1 is equal to m_2v_2 or other laws that you may have had to learn about in school. Science is a collection of facts and concepts about the natural world. Another very common misconception among my previous students, and I think this comes from that a lot of science classes are about having students memorize things, and we have these big textbooks, and it gives us this idea that science is just about all the stuff that we know. Biology is particularly guilty of this, because there's research that suggests that students learn more vocabulary in an introductory one-semester biology course and an equivalent introductory level language course. It gives you the wrong idea about science, and presents science, again, as just about being facts that we have to learn. From an education standpoint, from a pedagogy standpoint, this is really important to keep in mind because if we want to keep education relevant, and people think that they're just going to science class to memorize facts when we can just easily Google this information, how do we keep science relevant? That's why part of the biology of our philosophy is about relating these things to our real lives, making education be about value added experiences, and focusing on empowerment and building confidence instead of just memorizing stuff. Science proves ideas. It's just very well and with what I saw on the last slide. Again, my students are very consistent. My previous students are very consistent, thinking that this is true when it's not. We can't prove anything because everything is subject to revision in the light of new evidence. Science isn't about proving facts or finding facts, it's a much more iterative, and creative, and complex, and interesting process than that. Scientists are judged on the basis of how many correct hypothesis they propose. So good scientists, rather, are the ones who are right the most often. My previous students were pretty good at recognizing that this is a misconception. Again, it goes back to a theme that you're hearing again and again throughout this talk, and that's that we don't know anything for sure, we can't prove anything for sure. There's never going to be a correct thing because everything we know is subject to revision in light of new evidence. The good scientists, the ones that we really remember, those Nobel Prize winners are the ones who are creative, ones who come up with creative solutions for problems. One of my favorite examples is Osamu Shimomura who won the Nobel Prize a few years ago for his work on GFP or green fluorescent protein. Here's the first person to take a protein that allows jellyfish to glow in the dark. He took that protein and he was able to hook it up to proteins inside of cells and be able to see those proteins in the cell or see how they're moving. They completely revolutionized molecular biology. But there was a certain jump between jellyfish and cell biology that had to happen. This is very creative, this is very innovative, and that's why he won the Nobel Prize. Our final misconception that we're going to touch on is that science contradicts the existence of God. Generally speaking, my previous students didn't have a strong opinion of this. The reason I think this is important to bring up is because when people feel that their religious beliefs or any other belief is in conflict with what's being taught in a science course, we immediately have a real barrier to good instruction, and it's going to be much harder for students to engage in class and for teachers to engage with the students. The interesting thing about this is that this represents uncertainty, and a lot of science is about uncertainty because we really don't know. What we know now is subject to revision in the future. Interesting people who are of religious backgrounds usually tend to be okay with that uncertainty too. So it's an interesting parallel between the two. But science really, it's a man-made or human-made process rather that exists in this world, and God or gods are the flying spaghetti monster or however you want to think about it. They're supernatural, super meaning above the natural world. As we've defined science now, it can't really explore that world and make a claim on Him. Alternatively, it could be that we just don't know how to test, or find evidence, or capture evidence for the existence of supernatural entity. Maybe we will in the future. I don't know. But right now, the process of science as it's currently defined, makes no statement on neither the existence or non-existence of any supernatural entity.