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Scientific investigation involves a series of logical steps to arrive at explanations for various biological phenomena. This technique, called the scientific method, is used in all disciplines of science. It allows scientists to draw logical and reliable conclusions about phenomena.
The scientific method begins with observations related to the topic under investigation. This step commonly involves the accumulation of previously acquired information and/or your own observations of the phenomenon. These observations are used to formulate a tentative explanation known as the hypothesis. An important attribute of an hypothesis is that it must be testable. The testing of the hypothesis involves performing a carefully controlled experiment to obtain data that can be used to support, disprove, or modify the hypothesis. An analysis of data is conducted using all of the information collected during the experiment. Data analysis includes organization and presentation of data as tables, graphs, and drawings. From the interpretation of the data analysis, conclusions are drawn. The final presentation of the information is made from the conclusions. Results and conclusions are presented to the scientific community for evaluation through peer-reviews, presentations at professional meetings, and published articles. If numerous investigators working independently can validate the hypothesis by arriving at the same conclusions, the explanation becomes a theory. A theory that is verified continuously over a period of time and accepted by the scientific community becomes known as a scientific law or principle. A scientific law serves as the standard explanation for an observation unless it is disproved by later information. The five components of the scientific method are summarized as:
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.