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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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SESSION 1: What Is the Nature of Science?

Elaborate Part B: Choosing the Best Explanation

Scientists have been perplexed about the extinction of dinosaurs. Many hypotheses have been developed to explain their demise. As you explore "What Killed the Dinosaurs?," a Web activity, think about how scientists choose the best explanation.

Screen shot of the What Killed the Dinosaurs web activity.

What Killed the Dinosaurs?

When you are finished with this activity, consider:

How does this activity demonstrate the nature of science?

Which hypothesis has the strongest evidence to support it? Explain.

Does any of the evidence refute this hypothesis? If so, how?

How might scientists determine the best hypothesis to explain the disappearance of dinosaurs?

After answering these questions yourself, visit the ENSI Web site to learn about how scientists employ the model of fair tests. (A "fair test" is one that doesn't have the same basis as any of the alternative solutions that are being considered and one which could support two or more of the alternatives being considered.)


Facilitator Note 7


Next: Elaborate Part C: Making Observations

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