*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

What is Science?: Evaluating Science

Whether it is evolution, global warming, or the anti-vaccine movement, questioning the validity of science and scientific method has become rather common. A clearer understanding of the fundamentals of science would enable adults to make better personal and political decisions. In this course we will begin with a historical introduction of the transformation from Natural Philosophy of the ancient Greeks to “real science” as developed by Galileo, Kepler, and Newton. We will then explore the modern purpose of science and how scientific method is understood and manipulated. We will also consider the meaning and uses of theories, data, and explore how a well-verified theory is even more reliable than data. Included in this will be a guide to evaluating studies in the news, to see if they are definitive or consistent with statistical noise.

Instructor Bio:

Born and raised in Minnesota, Dr. Minette double majored in physics and philosophy at St. John’s University. In 1982, he finished a PhD in elementary particular (high energy) physics. Since then Dr. Minette has been working in nuclear petrophysics and holds nine patents –two of which form the foundation for modern oil exploration techniques. He has long been interested in the foundation of science and has participated in professional discussion groups with a wide variety of scientists, social scientists, and philosophers, including an economics/business group at Harvard Business School. This year Dr. Minette moved to the Shenandoah Valley, where his wife is a minister.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B62 Daniel Minette Apr 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23 Tu 1:00-2:30 p.m. The R. R. Smith Center A

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