Diane Hostetler | Tom Kerns | Brian Saunders

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Derry - Chapter 11-15

Study Questions

  1. Why is the relationship between science and values not simple?
  2. Why is keeping scientific results secret detrimental to the values of science?
  3. When discussing risk assessment in science (155), Derry uses the quote, "Facts are facts, and the results of properly made measurements don't depend on our values." How do you interpret this quote and what is your opinion about it?
  4. What is pseudoscience and what does Derry mean when he says pseudoscience makes "...no discernible progress" (p.159)?
  5. Why is true science usually presumed wrong until shown to be right?
  6. Pick one of the case examples (either Velikovsky, perpetual motion or creation science) and briefly list the main reasons why Derry thinks they are pseudoscience.
  7. Why doesn't Derry think cold fusion and parapsychology is a pseudoscience? Briefly explain.
  8. On page 90 (I know, this was not a chapter in the assigned reading), Derry describes the differences between deductive and inductive reasoning. What are the differences and how does deductive and inductive reasoning relate to the concepts of Chapter 14?
  9. What problems are associated with deductive and inductive reasoning in terms of the philosophy of science?
  10. Chapter 15 asks whether science delivers a correct understanding of nature? What does this question mean and why might critics argue that science does not deliver a correct understanding of nature?

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© Diane Hostetler, Tom Kerns, Brian Saunders