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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

About this Course 


SESSION 1: What Is the Nature of Science?

Explore Part A: The Check Mystery

Scientists often need to make inferences from available evidence to create explanations. They constantly search out new evidence and revise their hypotheses and explanations as new information becomes available. Yet, scientific explanations can never be proven or disproven with certainty. As you work through the following Check Mystery, think about the evidence as you make inferences along the way.

1. Look at the following evidence:

check icon: click on image to view evidence

(click on image to
view evidence)

What possible hypothesis (or story line) do you see represented by this evidence?

2. Now look at some additional pieces of evidence:

check icon: click on image to view evidence

(click on image to
view additional evidence)

What possible hypothesis seems plausible now?

3. Summarize what you've learned by answering these questions:

How does this exercise reflect a process of science?

What is the difference between evidence and inference in this activity?

What is "enough" evidence to sufficiently accept or reject a hypothesis?

What other lines of evidence would you want to collect to test your hypothesis?

What new evidence might negate your hypothesis?


Taking it back to your classroom.

To use this activity with your students, see the ENSI Web site.


Next: Explore Part B: Biology Textbook Review

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