What was your observation? (Your observation can be anything you saw or heard in the video, except for the following example. “The monkeys are brown.”



Unit 1: Genetics

Learning Objectives:

What is genetic variation? How can we use it to answer questions about ourselves?

Part 1: Scientific Method and the Nature of Science

The goal of this section is to provide an understanding about what science is and how the scientific method can explain the world around us.  Science is more than just knowledge about the natural world; it is how people can determine facts and explanations about the natural phenomenon we observe, even in our daily lives. Science relies on empirical evidence to provide that information, which is then verified through observation and experimentation. It is also important to recognize that science is a process by which our knowledge is continually questioned.

Part 1: Exercise 1                                                                                                                            Is it Scientific?

Think about the following topics. Identify which would be considered scientific and which would not. Briefly explain your answer.




 (Yes or No)














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Part 1: Exercise 2                                                                                          The Scientific Method

Scientists in all disciplines, including social sciences such as anthropology, utilize a process called the scientific method.  The steps are outlined below.

Step 1

Make an Observation

Step 2

Form a Testable Hypothesis

Step 3

Test Hypothesis – Conduct Experiments

Step 4

Collect and Analyze Data

Step 5

Report Results –  return to Step 2 if  hypothesis was not supported

Supported results are continually tested to confirm the outcomes of an experiment. In order for a theory to be formed, a tested hypothesis must be reaffirmed on multiple occurrences by independent researchers and it must be generally accepted by the scientific community.


Watch the video at the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icd_ob8UWgQ

Based on this video answer the following questions based on the scientific method


1. What was your observation? (Your observation can be anything you saw or heard in the video, except for the following example.  “The monkeys are brown.”



2. What was your question? (Remember that the question has to address the observation. Do not use the following question. “Why are the monkeys brown?”



 3. What your hypothesis? (Remember that the hypothesis has to answer the question. Do not use the following.  “The monkeys are brown in order to blend into their environment.”



4.  What was your experiment or observation? (You experiment or observation does not need to be overly complex. Do not use the following observation. “I would observe the monkeys in their natural habitat and see if they utilize camouflage when a predator enters their territory.”



Part 1: Exercise 3                                                                              Variables in Scientific Study


Understanding the variables in a scientific experiment is important to understanding the goal of that study. Variables are significant components within an experiment and are the factors that may be controlled for or change while the experiment is being conducted. This usually results in the isolation of one factor that will be evaluated. There are two types of variables, independent variables and dependent variables.


Scientists seek to identify cause and effect relationships, or the relationship between the two types of variables. An independent variable is the factor within the experiment that is changed as a part of the initial design of the test. The dependent variable(s) may change as a result of the effects of the independent variable(s). For example, a scientist may want to study the effects that sports drinks have on swimming performance. The scientist has identified two variables: 1) the amount of sports drink that the swimmer drinks, and 2) the amount of time it takes to complete a lap. In this example, the independent variable would be the amount of sports drink a swimmer has consumed before swimming, and the dependent variable would be how fast the swimmer completes the lap. 


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