Introduction to Science Methodology


  1. Metacognition – Thinking about thinking…
  1. It is the study of thought. It involves reasoning and logic.
  2. Our cerebrum is larger than other animals.
  3. We can develop our thinking abilities. (Dogs, cats, roaches, snails think.)
    1. Jellyfish – synapses and changes of chemical composition of neurons cause them to "think"…
    2. Worms begin to have a neural-ganglion "brain".
    3. Is a dog aware of what thought is? No, they are not aware in the way we think.
    4. Is a dog aware that another dog is thinking?
    5. Whales’ brains are very highly evolved.

At what point can you say that they think?

  1. Language is the key to metacognition and social evolution.
  2. Metacognition can go on forever. The Greeks were kings of metacognition (Phadreus)
  1. Sentience: The awareness of your own existence.
  1. Are other types of primates aware of thought?
  2. Chimps are closest to humans in ways we can observe. (The New Primates)
  3. It has been discovered that humans and pigmy chimps have similar behavior.
  1. a) Women actually go in between a male fight and ‘offer’ themselves for intercourse.
  1. Sentience and Sex: Humans are the only ones that are actually aware that sex produces offspring.
  1. Reproduction is the Key to Life.
  2. Some animals have sexual intercourse because it is instinctive. Others use it as a form of gratification when the act becomes adaptive.

3. Humans are the ONLY living things who have another purpose other than reproduction.

  1. a) Birds sing merely for territorial aggression.
  2. b) Other animals do not ‘listen to music’ as we do…
  1. Homo neanderthalis – robust, bigger, and stronger than us…and their brain was equal to ours!

1. What drove them to extinction? Why did they disappear?

    1. We had better weapons…

2. We may have taken some of their resources; our territories overlap.

    1. ANSWER
    1. They did not live long enough. (Up to 20 some years old.)

2. They had no time to educate their young. Many of the parents were preoccupied with hunting, gathering and defense.

3. Education was the key factor why they died.

4. They had a lack of social communication and social hierarchy.



Teleology – An answer using the question…Cyclical logic…God and the boulder…
  1. EX: Organisms that reproduce more, produce more offspring.
    1. Being ‘horny’ is very adaptive.
    2. The gene that makes you ‘horny’ then becomes prevalent.
  1. The next generation will have more of that ‘horny’ person’s genes to being
  2. horny. The gene will increase in frequency
  1. It’s how evolution works. Sex wouldn’t be pleasurable if it’s not rewarded.
  2. Teleology is a converse logical error (A follows B, so B follows A)
  3. 3rd Chimpanzee by: Jared Diamond. People choose other mates during mate selection. i.e. -because of the distance between the eyes (inter-ocular distance.) It is a common trait in married couples.
Experimental Design: all about critical thinking, reasoning, and logic.
  1. Homo sapiens – Great leap (40,000 year ago).
    2. How we ruled the earth: We educated the young and competed more heavily than the Neanderthals. We are beginning to out-evolve evolution.

.   3. Temperate Technology Theory - Areas with better climates have contributed to much of technology. True?

  1. EX: Chinese, Romans, Greeks were examples. ALSO: Philippine terraces.

                    8th Wonder of the Ancient World…What about the Incas, Mayans…?

    4.  "History is written by men who bury heroes" – Braveheart


(See Albert Einstein & Isaac Newton)