The Scientific Method

Syllabus - Fall 2005


Don't forget to submit your research papers to Discourse - An Online Journal by the students of Southern Methodist University

Items of interest:

We'll fill these items in during the term.


Aug 19 F Lecture # 1: Introduction; Start reading Sagan
    22 M Lecture # 2: The Scientific Method; Continue reading Sagan
    24 W Lecture # 3: Induction and Deduction; Quiz on preface, chapters 1 and 2 of Sagan
    26 F Lecture # 4: Observation and Perception; Homework #1 due by 11:00am
    29 M Lecture # 5: What is Evidence?; Quiz on chapters 3 and 4 of Sagan
    31 W Lecture # 6: Threshold Phenomena; Quiz on chapters 5 and 6 of Sagan
Sep 02 F Lecture # 7: More Threshold Phenomena; Homework #2 due by 11:00am
    05 M University holiday
    07 W Lecture # 8: Still More Threshold Phenomena; Quiz on chapters 7 and 8 of Sagan
    09 F Lecture # 9: Hoaxes; Homework #3 due by 11:00am
    12 M Lecture #10: More Hoaxes; Quiz on chapters 9 and 10 of Sagan
    14 W Lecture #11: More Hoaxes; Quiz on chapters 11 and 12 of Sagan
    16 F Lecture #12: Introduction to Probability; Midterm paper's title, abstract, and outline due by 11:00am
    19 M Lecture #13: More Probability; Quiz on chapters 13 and 14 of Sagan
    21 W Lecture #14: Risk; Quiz on chapters 15 and 16 of Sagan
    23 F Lecture #15: Risk, continued; 3-page Book review #1 due by 11:00am
    26 M Lecture #16: How to Lie With Statistics; Quiz on chapters 17 and 18 of Sagan
    28 W Lecture #17: More Statistics and Polling; Quiz on Chapter 19 of Sagan
    30 F Lecture #18: Astrology; Homework #4 due by 11:00am
Oct 03 M Lecture #19: More Astrology
    05 W Lecture #20: Psychics video; Quiz on chapters 22 and 23 of Sagan.
    07 F Lecture #21: More psychics, etc.; Midterm paper due by 11:00am
    10 M Fall break
    12 W Lecture #22: Pseudoscience; Quiz on chapters 1 and 2 of Schick & Vaughn
    14 F Lecture #23: ESP Phenomena; Homework #5 due by 11:00 AM
    17 M Lecture #24: More ESP; Quiz on chapter 3 of Schick & Vaughn
    19 W Lecture #25: Experiments; Quiz on chapter 4 of Schick & Vaughn
    21 F Lecture #26: More experiments; Homework #6 due by 11:00 AM.
    24 M Lecture #27: Talking to the Dead?; Quiz on chapter 5 of Schick & Vaughn
    26 W Lecture #28: Psychics; Quiz on They See Dead People, Or Do They? from the coursepack.
    28 F Lecture #29: More Psychics; Homework #7 due by 11:00 AM.
    31 M Lecture #30: Still more Psychics; Quiz on chapter 6 of Schick & Vaughn
Nov 02 W Lecture #31: The Bermuda Triangle?; Quiz on chapter 7 of Schick & Vaughn
    04 F Lecture #32: UFOs - Roswell; Quiz on chapter 8 of Schick & Vaughn
    07 M Lecture #33: Dr. Snow; Frank Scully and the Flying Saucers;Quiz on Dr. Snow webpage
    09 W Lecture #34: Modern Scams; Quiz on Chapter 9 of Schick & Vaughn
    11 F Lecture #35: Alternative Medicine; 3-page book review #2 due.
    14 M Lecture #36: Flat Earth; Quiz on Chapters 1 & 2 of Shermer
    16 W Lecture #37: Science and Religion; Quiz on Chapters 3 & 4 of Shermer
    18 F Lecture #38: Evolution; Homework #8 due by 11:00 AM.
    21 M Lecture #39: Skeletons in the Physics Closet; Quiz on Chapters 5 & 6 of Shermer
    23 W Holiday
    25 F Holiday
    28 M Lecture #40: Scientific Study of The Star; Quiz on Chapters 7 & 8 of Shermer
    30 W Lecture #41: Student Presentations: Jagannathan; Patents; Quiz on Chapters 9 & 10 of Shermer
Dec  1 R Lecture #42: Student Presentations: Molavi; Survey; 15-page paper due by 11:00am
    10 S Final Examination: 3:00-6:00pm in 124 Fondren Science











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