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Philosophy 203: Scientific Reasoning
Suggested Project Ideas

Topics for Scientific Reasoning Projects:

I.  Fallacies (2) examples with analysis--see syllabus example

II.  Definitions (3) examples with analysis--see syllabus example

III. Translation of an article on inductive logic or science--see syllabus requirements

IV.  Commentary on Pseudo-Science, .e.g., an analysis of one of these articles from Scientific American (see syllabus example):

Note: Only one topic per person--if you see a topic you like, email as soon as possible.



ISSUE: September 2002   
Times of Our Lives
By Karen Wright
Biological clocks help to keep our brains and bodies running on schedule
How to Build a Time Machine 
By Paul Davies
It wouldn't be easy, but it might be possible
That Mysterious Flow
By Paul Davies
It feels as though time flows inexorably on. But that is an illusion
ISSUE: August 2002  
Does Dark Matter Really Exist?
By Mordehai Milgrom
Cosmologists have looked in vain for sources of mass that might make up 95 percent of the universe. Maybe it's time to stop looking.
ISSUE: July 2002   
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense 
By John Rennie
Opponents of evolution want to tear down real science, but their arguments don't hold up

Gary Winchester 03.05.03

ISSUE: June 2002   
Essay: No Truth to the Fountain of Youth
By Bruce A. Carnes, Leonard Hayflick , S. Jay Olshansky
ISSUE: April 2002  
The Social Psychology of Modern Slavery 
By Kevin Bales
Contrary to conventional wisdom, slavery has not disappeared from the world. Social scientists are trying to explain its persistence
Ripples in Spacetime
By W. Wayt Gibbs
LIGO, a controversial observatory for detecting gravity waves, is coming online after eight years and $365 million
Beware of products claiming scientific proof that they can slow aging
ISSUE: March 2002   
How Should Reading Be Taught?
By Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky and Mark S. Seidenberg
A highly popular method of teaching reading to children is inadequate on its own
ISSUE: January 2002   
The Economics of Fair Play
By Karl Sigmund, Ernst Fehr and Martin A. Nowak
Biology and economics may explain why we value fairness over rational selfishness
ISSUE: July 2001   
The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis 
By Michael R. Nash
Though often denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking, hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses -- especially in controlling pain

Caroline Gunter 02.26.03

ISSUE: January 2001   
Making Sense of Modern Cosmology 
By P. James E. Peebles
Confused by all those theories? Good

Elizabeth Robinson 03.06.03

ISSUE: September 2000   
Who Were the First Americans? 
By Sasha Nemecek

Kalyn Chumley 03.06.03

ISSUE: July 2000   
Where Are They? 
By Ian Crawford
Maybe we are alone in the galaxy after all
ISSUE: December 1999   
The Unexpected Science to Come... 
By Sir John Maddox
The most important discoveries of the next 50 years are likely to be ones of which we cannot now even conceive
ISSUE: April 1999   
Is Space Finite? 
By Glenn D. Starkman , Jean-Pierre Luminet, Jeffrey R. Weeks
Conventional wisdom says the universe is infinite. But it could be finite, merely giving the illusion of infinity. Upcoming measurements may finally answer this ancient question

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