26 THE INTELLIGENT SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS 24. How shall I select an auto mechanic? 25. How shall I buy insurance? 26. How may I learn to vote intelligently? 27. What shall I do with my vacation time? 28. How shall I keep out of debt? 29. How shall I select a dentist? 30. How shall I select a lawyer? 31. How shall I select a new car? 32. What soap, dentifrice, shaving cream, or cosmetics shall I buy? STUDY QUESTIONS 1. What are the two types of observations? Would it be correct to say that either type is unscientific? 2. Why are scientists often accused of being absent-minded? 3. What are the three contributions of a theory to the scientific method? 4. Why is it better to say that generalizations are based on "data" rather than "facts"? 5. Criticize the statement, "Scientific laws are unreliable because they are subject to revision." 6. W hat are the different steps in the scientific method? 7. Does it make any difference whether you "believe" in a theory or not? Use the theory of evolution as an example. 8. How does the scientific pursuit of knowledge differ from the pursuit of knowledge as commonly illustrated in law courts? How is it the same? 9. What determines the usefulness of scientific theories? 10. Does every scientist test all of the conclusions in his field? 11. Criticize the statement, "A hypothesis becomes a scientific theory when the majority of the people agree with it." 12. How does the scientist treat evidence which disagrees with accepted theories? 13. Do scientific hypotheses ever conflict with each other? 14. The first step in choosing a vocation, as in all other problems, is the location and definition of the problem. How would you change the following attempt to define this problem as worked out by a student? (1) The vocation must fit in with my ideals, i.e., what I expect to get out of life. (2) It must be something that I can learn to do well. (3) It must be selected from several possible alternatives on the basis of the opp>ortunities afforded and the needs of humanity which it satisfies. (4) It must require my best efforts and stimulate continuous growth. (5) It must be something that I like. 15. Why should a teacher be scientific? 16. In what respects can the housewife use the scientific method? 17. Why should the scientific attitude and method be learned early in life? 18. What problems does a student have which can best be approached scientifically? 19. Why should a physician use the scientific method? 20. Would the scientific attitude and method be of any value to an artist, a musician, or a poet?
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD 27 21. What problems are involved in building and furnishing a new home? In what respects would the scientific method be of value in solving these problems? 22. A student in a typical college in the United States interviewed twenty-one of his classmates selected at random, asking: (1) What is the scientific method? (2) Have you studied any Science courses? (3) Do you apply the scientific method to the problems of daily living? Out of twelve who "had heard of the scientific method," only two could see how it could be applied to daily living. The other ten students did not know what the scientific method was. Two thirds of these twenty-one students were then taking "Science" courses. One student who was doing premedical work stated that the scientific method had no particular significance to him outside of scientific and laboratory studies! Discuss the above data. If you are interested, try making a similar survey of some of your classmates.