Characteristics of Science (1 of 2)

Conclusions of science are reliable, though tentative.
Science is always a work in progress, and its conclusions are always tentative. But just as the word “theory” means something special to the scientist, so too does the word “tentative.” Science’s conclusions are not tentative in the sense that they are temporary until the real answer comes along. Scientific conclusions are well founded in their factual content and thinking and are tentative only in the sense that all ideas are open to scrutiny. In science, the tentativeness of ideas such as the nature of atoms, cells, stars or the history of the Earth refers to the willingness of scientists to modify their ideas as new evidence appears.

blackboard vote
Science is based on evidence, not votes.

Science is not democratic.
Scientific ideas are subject to scrutiny from near and far, but nobody ever takes a vote. If the question of plate tectonics had been decided democratically when it was first presented in the early twentieth century, we would, today, have no explanation for the origins of much of Earth’s terrain. Scientific ideas are accepted or rejected instead on the basis of evidence.

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