The Scientific Method
Syllabus - Spring 2011
Items of interest:
- Texas Birther Rep.: More Study Needed
- "Creatures in the Classroom: Preservice Teacher
Beliefs About Fantastic Beasts, Magic, Extraterrestrials, Evolution and
Creationism" by Susan Carol Losh, Brandon Nzekwe
- "The Influence of Education Major: How Diverse
Preservice Teachers View Pseudoscience Topics" by Susan Carol Losh, Brandon
- Homeopathy is NOT Medicine
- Secret FBI File Exposes Roswell UFO -- Or Not?
- Secondhand Smoke May Cause Mental Disorders among Kids - was this study blinded?
- The Truth, Still Inconvenient
- Lead Codices Silliness
- UFO Mystery Video: E.T., Black Ops, or Something Else?
- Texas Lawmakers use "ghost votes" to pass Voter ID Law
- Irving to pay settlement to DNA-cleared man
- Acupuncture for Pain No Better Than Placebo -- And Not Without Harm, Study Finds
- BBC News - Viewpoint: We should stop running away from radiation
- Ann Coulter says: Radiation is good for you!
- Radiation from xkcd
- Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart Ehrman - coming 22 March 2011
- The new, New Testament
- Virology: Fighting for a cause - is chronic fatigue syndrome caused by a virus?
- The 'supermoon' did not cause Japanese quake
- Indiana Bill Would Force Doctors To Tell Women That Having An Abortion May Lead To Breast Cancer
- Illinois governor finally abolishes death penalty that makes 16 states
- Mennonite Fire Not Religiously Connected - Still A Preventable Tragedy
- Judge rejects Pat Robertson's faith-healing suit against healthcare law
- Followup thoughts on the meteorite fossils claim - Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy blog
- Did scientists discover bacteria in meteorites? No!
- The tale of the magnetic boy: Truth or friction?
- Bill targets faulty witness testimony
- Hiding Details of Dubious Deal, U.S. Invokes National Security
- Kayakers snap photo of England's version of the 'Loch Ness Monster'
- "Monsters in Texas?" Meet the man who wrote the book
- The Jerusalem UFO Hoax:
- Bible writers intended to deceive, Ehrman says
- On Evolution, Biology Teachers Stray From Lesson Plan
- Flawed Autopsies Send Two Innocent Men To Jail
- Philly couple who prayed over dying tot sentenced
- Taco Bell's 'Beef': Just 36% Actual Beef
- Jack Kingston (R-GA): 'I Came From God Not From A Monkey'
- FDA sees possible cancer risk with breast implants
- The Voter ID Tap Dance
- Dallas man imprisoned decades for rape released be freed after DNA evidence casts doubt on guilt
- Police Don't See Artful, or Funny, Side of Crop-Circle `Vandalism'
- Cold Fusion Claims Resurface
- CSI and CFI Urge Walmart to Stop Marketing Homeopathic Remedies
- Send in the Creationist Clowns and Watch Science Education Suffer by Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D., Founder, The Clergy Letter Project
- Study: Students slog through college, but don't gain much critical thinking
- End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch
- We'll fill in more news items as they appear.
Jan 19 W Lecture # 1 Introduction; Start reading Sagan
21 F Lecture # 2 The Scientific Method; Continue reading Sagan; Survey due in class
24 M Lecture # 3 Induction and Deduction; Magic; Quiz on preface, chapters 1 and 2 of Sagan
26 W Lecture # 4 DNA, Art Fraud, Shroud of Turin; Quiz on chapters 3 and 4 of Sagan
28 F Lecture # 5 Observation and Perception; Observation Exercise; Homework #1 due by 11:00am
31 M Lecture # 6 UFOs and Roswell; Quiz on chapters 5 and 6 of Sagan
Feb 2 W Lecture # 7 Class canceled due to weather.
4 F Lecture # 8 Class canceled due to weather.
7 M Lecture # 9 UFOs and Roswell continued; Memory exercise; Quiz on chapters 9 and 10 of Sagan; Homework #2 due by 11:00am
9 W Lecture #10 Bermuda Triangle; Memory exercise results; Headlines; Quiz on chapters 11 and 12 of Sagan
11 F Lecture #11 Guest Lecture: Pat Van Zandt, Central University Libraries;
Midterm paper's title, abstract, outline, and sources due by 11:00am
14 M Lecture #12 What is Evidence?; Quiz on preface, chapters 1 and 2 of Browne & Keeley
16 W Lecture #13 Eyewitness Testimony; Quiz on chapters 3 and 4 of Browne & Keeley
18 F Lecture #14 Eyewitness Testimony continued; Homework #3 due by 11:00am
21 M Lecture #15 Death Penalty - guest lecture by Professor Rick Halperin (SMU History and Amnesty International USA);
Quiz on chapters 5 and 6 of Browne & Keeley
23 W Lecture #16 Astrology; Quiz on chapter 7 of Browne & Keeley
25 F Lecture #17 Psychics; 3-page Book review #1 due by 11:00am
28 M Lecture #18 Psychics continued; Quiz on chapter 8 of Browne & Keeley
Mar 2 W Lecture #19 Experiment Design; Quiz on chapter 9 of Browne & Keeley
4 F Lecture #20 Experiment Design; Homework #4 due by 11:00am
7 M Lecture #21 Probability; Quiz on chapter 10 of Browne & Keeley
9 W Lecture #22 Probability continued; Quiz on chapter 11 of Browne & Keeley
11 F Lecture #23 How to Lie with Statistics; Midterm paper due by 11:00am
14 M Spring Break
16 W Spring Break
18 F Spring Break
21 M Lecture #24 Radiation Myths; Quiz on They See Dead People, Or Do They?
23 W Lecture #25 Cold Reading; Talking to the Dead; Quiz on chapter 12 of Browne & Keeley
25 F Lecture #26 Cold Reading; Talking to the Dead continued; Homework #5 due by 11:00am
28 M Lecture #27 Cold Reading; Talking to the Dead continued; Quiz on chapter 13 of Browne & Keeley
30 W Lecture #28 Hoaxes; Quiz on chapter 14 of Browne & Keeley
Apr 1 F Lecture #29 Hoaxes continued; Final paper's title, abstract, outline, and sources due by 11:00am
4 M Lecture #30 Threshold Phenomena; Quiz on chapters 13 and 14 of Sagan
6 W Lecture #31 Threshold Phenomena continued; Quiz on chapters 15 and 16 of Sagan
8 F Lecture #32 Evolution - guest lecture by Professor Louis Jacobs (SMU Earth Sciences); 3-page book review #2 due by 11:00am
11 M Lecture #33 Intelligent Design Creationism Preparation; Quiz on foreword through chapter 2 of Schick and Vaughn
13 W Lecture #34 Intelligent Design is not Science - Guest lecture by Professor John Wise (SMU Biology);
Quiz on chapter 3 of Schick and Vaughn
15 F Lecture #35 Alternative Medicine; Midterm rewrites due by 11:00am
18 M Lecture #36 Alternative Medicine continued; Quiz on chapter 4 of Schick and Vaughn
20 W Lecture #37 Propaganda; Quiz on chapter 5 of Schick and Vaughn
22 F University Holiday
25 M Lecture #38 Modern Scams; Quiz on chapter 6 of Schick and Vaughn
27 W Lecture #39 Scams, Guest Speaker: Agent Paul Ahner, US Secret Service; Quiz on chapter 7 of Schick and Vaughn
29 F Lecture #40 Dr. Snow and Cholera; Barry Marshall and Ulcers; Final paper due by 11:00am;
May 2 M Lecture #41 Searching for the Star; Quiz on chapter 8 of Schick and Vaughn
3 T Lecture #42 2012; Homework #6 due by 11:00am; Follows a Friday class schedule
7 S Final Examination: 08:00-11:00am in 153 Fondren Science
Cold Reading; Talking to the Dead;
DNA, Art Fraud;
Second-hand Smoke (ETS);
What is Evidence?;
Intelligent Design Creationism;
Induction and Deduction;
Law of Unintended Consequences;
How to Lie with Statistics;
Observation and Perception;
Conceptions about Risk;
Scams, Frauds, and ID Theft;
The Scientific Method;
Science and Religion;
Shroud of Turin;
Skeletons in the Physics Closet;
Dr. Snow and Cholera; Barry Marshall and Ulcers;
Searching for the Star;
Vaccines do not Cause Autism;
They See Dead People, Or Do They?
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