QUESTION TEXT: Lecturer: Given our current state of knowledge…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Strengthen
CONCLUSION: The generalization is a scientific law.
REASONING: The generalization has never been falsified. It hasn’t been conclusively verified either.
ANALYSIS: Technically we can’t prove whether any theory is true. We can only prove a theory false. But we still need to accept some theories in order to work with them.
So we use the standard the lecturer described. If a theory hasn’t been disproved and often has made successful predictions then we call it a law. But we must remember that some laws could be disproved.
The correct answer tells us when to conclude that something is a law. A and B only let us say when something isn’t a law. C and E are too broad.
- This tells us a necessary condition for a scientific law. We need a sufficient condition.
- This tells us when not to say something is a scientific law. We need to conclude that something is a scientific law.
- We don’t actually know if the second law of thermodynamics is true universally.
- CORRECT. We have tested this law as far as current science allows. That lets us correctly conclude that it is a law.
- This goes too far. It says that anything that we think is a law will be a law. But the lecturer implies that some laws could be proven false.
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