The URL of this page is http://www.physics.smu.edu/scalise/P3333sp08/
Physics 3333 / CFB 3333
The Scientific Method - Critical and Creative Thinking
© Professor John L. Cotton and Professor Randall J. Scalise
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (c.1475-1530)
"Science is bound, by the everlasting vow of honour, to face fearlessly every
problem which can be fairly presented to it."
--Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)
PHYS 3333 satisfies a Physics elective requirement.
CFB 3333 satisfies a General Education Curriculum Cultural Formations
requirement. Students can appeal for honors or diversity credit at the
General Education Office after making arrangements with the lecturers.
This course will provide you with an understanding
of the scientific method sufficient to detect pseudoscience in its
many guises: paranormal phenomena; free-energy devices; alternative
medicine; intelligent-design creationism; and many others. You will
learn to think critically and to question outlandish claims, hype, and
outright BS. Expect to do a lot of reading, writing, and, most of all,
Lecture Times and Place: MWF 11:00-11:50am in room
153 Fondren Science
Randall J. Scalise and Professor John Cotton
- Scalise: Monday after lecture and by appointment in room 107
Fondren Science (see also lab 32 any afternoon)
- Cotton: Wednesday and Friday after lecture and 2:00-3:00pm in room
203 Fondren Science
- Call or leave a message at
- Scalise: (214)768-2504
- Cotton: (214)768-4096 or (214)428-5555 x1388
- Leave a note in the Physics Department Office - 102 Fondren Science, or
- send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check to see if we received your papers, book
reviews, or homework -- it is YOUR responsibility to check!
- Weekly reading, reading quizzes, discussion,
homework, in-class writing assignments
- Two 3-page book reviews from the
Auxiliary Reading list (feel free to
suggest other titles subject to instructor approval)
- One 7-page (minimum) research paper due
- One 15-page (minimum) research paper due
at the end of the semester
- Physics 3333 and Honors CFB 3333 students will present orally the last
week of class
- Written final examination
The book reviews and research papers must be turned in
electronically. We will not accept paper copies.
Mail your assignment to
or turn in a PC floppy disk
or a CD. Ascii text, RTF, or MS Word format (.doc not .docx):
double-spaced, 12-point type, Times New Roman (nonbold) font,
1-inch margins. We can not read WordPerfect or Macintosh files.
Required Course Texts:
Fighting ignorance since 2003 - pace Cecil Adams (he's not a real person, anyway)
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