What are the fundamental differences between the traditional version of the scientific method and the iterative process of scientific inquiry?

GEOL 111 Week 1 Discussion
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The purpose of this activity is for you to deal with the content of this week’s material and become more familiar with it.

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Time Estimate

You should spend approximately 1 hour to prepare, formulate your thoughts, submit your initial post, and read and respond to your classmates’ posts.


Address 1 of the following questions that has not yet been answered by one of your peers (limit 1 student per question). You may “claim” your desired question early in the week by posting the question number with your name in the forum, then follow-up later in the week with your full post. Once you have provided your original argument to a question presented, you must respond to the arguments of 2 other students. This is 3 total arguments written each week.

Note: When responding to your classmates, judge the work solely based upon how fully it satisfies the rubric, not based upon your personal views of the “right answer.” Be sure to review the Netiquette guidelines as discussed in the Policies section within the Syllabus. Remember that in this course we encourage the Socratic method which means we must “play devil’s advocate.”

Which approach?
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
The Golden Record
Ask a scientist
The Big Bang theory
1. Which approach?
What are the fundamental differences between the traditional version of the scientific method and the iterative process of scientific inquiry? How do you think scientific inquiry might improve the future of scientific research?

2. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
The reductionist and holistic approaches are combined to understand how complex natural systems work. How do you think the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” can be applied to the study of the emergence of life?

3. The Golden Record
A new version of the Golden Record is part of ongoing NASA missions such as New Horizons. Given the advancements in technology and science since the Voyager Mission, what would you include in a modern day version of the Golden Record to the cosmos? What format and materials would it be composed of?

5. Ask a scientist
Choose any scientist in history (e.g., Newton, Sagan, Darwin, Woese, etc.) and use the Socratic method to develop 2 key questions you would ask about how they would have incorporated the concept of Powers of Ten into their research.

6. The Big Bang theory
What part of the Big Bang theory is the most confusing to you and the hardest for you to accept?

7. Extinctions
Mass extinctions have been a critical and recurring event during Earth’s history. Why do you think this is the case? How have these processes shaped the emergence of life?


Compose an initial post and at least 2 response posts that meet the following requirements:

Initial post includes 300-500 words and succinctly summarizes your thoughts.
Initial post uses your name and a brief summary as the subject of your post. For example, Robert Smith: The Big Bang.
Initial post answers the discussion question.
Initial post demonstrates knowledge of the material.
Initial post is supported by logical and defensible reasoning.
Initial post considers spatial (length) and/or temporal (time) scales.
Response post contributes meaningfully to the discussion.
Initial post AND response post both include at least 1 citation. For example, Fouke 2013, or for web pages: Article Title, Website Name.
Initial post AND response post both critically assess the topic.
Initial post AND response post both are well written and easy to understand. All posts use accepted standard American or British English (e.g., capitalization, punctuation, spelling).

All participants submit an initial post in the forum for this activity. Click the Add a new discussion topic button below to begin a new thread.
All participants should copy and paste the question they are answering into the post for easy reference. This text does not count toward the stated word goal.
All participants should also review the posts of their classmates. Click the title of any post to review it and any replies already submitted.
All participants should respond to at least 2 posts of their classmates. Open the post you want to respond to and click the Reply link to the right underneath the post to compose a reply. When replying, unless otherwise specified in the question, provide an argument in opposition to the original argument, even if you don’t agree with that opposing view.
You can include your initial post and/or a response post from this assignment as part of your Week 2 Discussion Sample Submission graded assignment. See the How Graded Discussions Work page for more information.


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