Describe instances in which scientists' varied backgrounds, talents, interests, and goals influence the inferences and thus the explanations that they make about observations of natural phenomena and describe that competing interpretations (explanations) of scientists are a strength of science as they are a source of new, testable ideas that have the potential to add new evidence to support one or another of the explanations.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science
Standard: The Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge -

A: Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and is appropriate for understanding the natural world, but it provides only a limited understanding of the supernatural, aesthetic, or other ways of knowing, such as art, philosophy, or religion.

B: Scientific knowledge is durable and robust, but open to change.

C: Because science is based on empirical evidence it strives for objectivity, but as it is a human endeavor the processes, methods, and knowledge of science include subjectivity, as well as creativity and discovery.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved


Recognize that scientific questions, observations, and conclusions may be influenced by the existing state of scientific knowledge, the social and cultural context of the researcher, and the observer's experiences and expectations. Identify possible bias in qualitative and quantitative data analysis.