Welcome to the Course!
  • Question: Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or Both?
  • Why Am I Qualified to Teach This Course?
  • Overview of the Course
  • Update: Additional Videos on Science Literacy and Science Education
  • Section 1
An Important Distinction for the Whole Course
  • An Important Distinction: Epistemically Loaded versus Neutral Language
  • Section 2
What is a Theory?
  • "It's Just a Theory": "Theory" as Down-Player
  • "Theories are the Pinnacles of Science": "Theory" as Up-Player
  • Why We Need a Neutral Definition of "Theory"
  • A Neutral Definition of "Theory": A Classical (But Incomplete) Story
  • A Neutral Definition of "Theory": A More Sophisticated Story
  • Section 3
What is a Fact?
  • "You Can't Deny the Facts": A Loaded Definition of "Fact"
  • "I Had the Facts Wrong": A Neutral Definition of "Fact"
  • Can There Be Theoretical Facts?
  • Section 4
What is a Law?
  • Loaded Definitions of "Law"
  • Examples of Laws in Biology and Psychology
  • Examples of Laws in Astronomy and Physics
  • Unpacking the Neutral Concept of "Law"
  • But Are There Any Laws?
  • A Quick Word: Are Laws Explanatory?
  • Section 5
What is a Hypothesis?
  • "That's Just a Hypothesis": A Loaded Definition of "Hypothesis"
  • A Neutral Definition of "Hypothesis"
  • Section 6
What is a Model?
  • Introduction: What is a Model?
  • Maps and Models
  • Models as Tools for Reasoning About the World
  • How Equations Can Be Models
  • Is There a Difference Between a Model and a Theory?
  • Section 7
Theories, Models, Truth and Reality
  • Introduction: Theories, Models, Truth and Reality
  • The Challenge of Interpreting Scientific Theories
  • Prediction and Truth: Lessons from Ptolemy
  • Prediction and Truth: Lessons from the Kinetic Theory of Gases
  • Section 8
Test Yourself: "Fact vs. Theory vs. Hypothesis vs. Law ... Explained!"
  • Assignment: Critique a 7 Minute Video on the Vocabulary of Science
  • Part 1: The Motivation for the Video
  • Part 2: "Scales of Truthiness"
  • Part 3: The Fundamental Error
  • Part 4: Problems With Defining Facts in Terms of Observations
  • Part 5: Problems With Defining Hypotheses as Starting Points for Inquiry
  • Part 6: Problems With Defining Theories as Well-Supported
  • Part 7: Problems with Defining Evolution as an Observable Fact
  • Part 8: Problems with Defining Laws in Terms of Observations
  • Part 9: Can Laws Explain, or Do They Just Describe? Kepler, Newton and Einstein
  • Part 10: Analyzing the Last Slide
  • Part 11: Who is to Blame?
  • Section 9
Why is Science Literacy Important, and How Should We Teach It?
  • Introduction to the Videos in This Section
  • Should We Expect Our Politicians To Be Science Literate?
  • Why Most People (Even Science Phds) are Scientifically Illiterate
  • A Curriculum For Teaching Genuine Science Literacy: Overview
  • The Logic of Science
  • The Methods of Science
  • The Landscape of Science
  • The Ethics of Science
Wrapping Up
  • What's Next?
  • Bonus Lecture: Coupon Codes and Other Resources