Lesson Worksheet: The Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge Philosophy
In this worksheet, we will practice identifying several important characteristics of scientific knowledge.
Studies of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine did not show that it was able to prevent all COVID-19 infections but that it was effective at preventing severe cases. Which characteristic of scientific knowledge explains this limitation?
- AIts humanitarian character
- BIts cumulative character
- CIts self-critical character
- DIts probabilistic character
- EIts social character
What is the function of a hypothesis?
- AA hypothesis is a fundamental assumption used in scientific reasoning.
- BA hypothesis is a tested and broadly accepted explanation of a phenomenon.
- CA hypothesis is an article of faith that cannot be tested.
- DA hypothesis is a claim explaining some phenomenon that is to be tested in an experiment.
Which of the following statements describes the social character of scientific knowledge?
- AThe production of scientific knowledge is a largely solitary and independent activity.
- BThe production of scientific knowledge depends on cooperation between members of the scientific community.
- CThe production of scientific knowledge is only possible when scientists do not interfere with each other’s work.
- DThe production of scientific knowledge requires the complete independence of scientists.
Which of the following is an example of the humanitarian character of scientific knowledge?
- AEinstein’s theory of relativity was crucial to the development of the global positioning system.
- BThrough COVAX, 507 million vaccines have been distributed in low- and middle-income countries.
- CRadiocarbon dating allows paleontologists to determine the age of dinosaur fossils.
- DThe Large Hadron Collider allowed physicists to discover the Higgs boson particle.
Which of the following are included in the kinds of social support needed to produce scientific knowledge?
- ACooperation in the scientific community
- BGovernment funding
- DAcademic publishers
- EAll of the answers are correct.
Which of the following describes the cumulative character of scientific knowledge?
- AProgress in scientific knowledge is often achieved by overturning older beliefs.
- BScientists acknowledge the limits of scientific knowledge.
- CNew research furthers our understanding of the universe by building on established scientific knowledge.
- DScientific knowledge employs controlled experiments to confirm or disconfirm hypotheses.
- EScientific research is performed according to rigorous methodology designed to ensure its reliability.
Which of the following statements is about probabilities?
- AIf you are not vaccinated, you will catch COVID-19.
- BI have not caught COVID-19 because I am vaccinated.
- CVaccines reduce the likelihood of catching COVID-19.
- DIf you are vaccinated, you will not catch COVID-19.
Which of the following facts provides an example of the limits of scientific knowledge?
- AChemists have identified all 98 naturally occurring elements.
- BGeneticists have mapped the entire human genome.
- CGeologists have shown that Earth is at least 4.49 billion years old.
- DBiologists have identified 1.9 million species and estimate that a further 8.7 million species exist.
What is the basis of scientific knowledge?
- DClose reading
- ETraditional beliefs
Which of the following describes the rationality of scientific knowledge?
- AA scientist must provide reasons for what they claim to know.
- BAnyone can understand scientific knowledge without special education or training.
- CA scientist must always ignore their emotions.
- DA scientist should trust their ideas over their experiences.