Science Asks Three Basic Questions

John Hutchinson takes measurements on T. rex
Measuring T. rex to investigate locomotion.
  1. What’s there?
    The astronaut picking up rocks on the moon, the nuclear physicist bombarding atoms, the marine biologist describing a newly discovered species, the paleontologist digging in promising strata, are all seeking to find out, “What’s there?”

  2. How does it work?
    A geologist comparing the effects of time on moon rocks to the effects of time on earth rocks, the nuclear physicist observing the behavior of particles, the marine biologist observing whales swimming, and the paleontologist studying the locomotion of an extinct dinosaur, “How does it work?”

  3. How did it come to be this way?
    Each of these scientists tries to reconstruct the histories of their objects of study. Whether these objects are rocks, elementary particles, marine organisms, or fossils, scientists are asking, “How did it come to be this way?”

 
  T. rex image courtesy of UC Museum of Paleontology. Next Section:
Science Works in Specific Ways


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Spanish translation of Understanding Evolution For Teachers from the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology.