Establishing Scientific Proof

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Establishing Scientific Proof

Which of the theories below do you think are supported by scientific evidence? Which are based on faith and supported only by popular tradition or imagination? How do you tell the difference?

Remember, just because something is scientific does not mean that it is real! Theories can be wrong and change! And, just because something is NOT scientific does not mean that it is NOT real! There just may be no way to test it and be 100% sure!

Is your topic scientific? Does it have a control?

Do not quote Mr. Spencer!
Pick one of the theories on the list below, one you at least mostly believe is real or true or one you don’t believe in. Take a position! This is a persuasion essay! The topics below are supported only by indirect or circumstantial evidence. Investigate the theories and explanations for the topics you choose. If the topic is clearly observable, then research the most popular theory as to how it happens. Write an essay that is about 1½ pages long (minimum for a C). Content and following directions are very important, but length is not! Some topics will be longer than others. Follow the rubric on the other side for specific directions about each essay. Staple one of these papers to the top of your essay with the rubric face up with your name visible. This is an essay not an outline so it should be in paragraph form. Include the items on the rubric and try to follow the order given, but do not write in bullet () or question/answer form - No headers except for the Bibliography page.

Below are possible topic theories.

If you have ideas for another topic please ask the instructor first.

life cycle of a star
Big Bang theory / universe origins

GW - difficult topic because of the length; must take a side; is it real?
global warming issues - what causes it?

lots of info here – include Ohio glacier map
glaciers covered Ohio in the past
plate tectonics / Pangea / Earth’s

Interior – this topic better be long!

No Evolution! No ghosts, hauntings, occult, etc.!

No vampires or werewolves

Why did they go extinct?
dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact
acupuncture or eastern medicine or

Magic tricks? Very hard topic! Pick a specific trick – how does it work?
energy remedies or chakras, chi
hypnosis remedies
dreams have meaning; DeJaVu?

dowsing rods or unusual technology

herbal remedies- how do they work?
Stonehenge or great pyramids - how

were they built?
Bermuda Triangle or lost city of Atlantis
Cryptozoology: Bigfoot or Loch Ness

monster or Chupacabra
Mothman or leprechauns or mermaids
extra-sensory perception (ESP),


2012 Mayan Calendar

simple life forms in outer space – NO ET




Total Points Earned:__________ out of 33. This score will be doubled!

Establishing Scientific Proof

Pseudoscience Essay

Essay Title ___________________ Believe (Y/N) ____

0 to 8: __________

This assignment is NOT just a REPORT about your topic! This is a persuasive essay. You should research the theory behind each topic and then attempt to prove or disprove your theory using the scientific proofs we discussed in class!

Items in Essay

Watch out for plagiarism! Do not just cut and paste text! You may re-word short sections of an author’s written text (paraphrase) if you quote them. This essay must be in YOUR OWN WORDS!

suggested minimum lengths

At least 1 page

Place the web site address beside any quotes or pictures in your essay!
(1) Facts: Start by describing the history, knowledge, and explanations of the topic / theory with specific details and examples. Get the FACTS here. What is the theory that explains how or why the topic works or is real? Include enough details to allow you to answer the scientific proofs below. Print lots of maps, diagrams, and pictures to prove your opinion. Place them in the text.

0 to 2: __________

1 paragraph
(2) Limitations of Science: Describe why science cannot totally prove or disprove your topic’s theory or explanation. Explain how science is limited here (present time and direct observation).

0 to 2: __________

(3) Scientific Proofs: Describe in detail how the topic specifically meets each of the scientific proofs.

Observable because it is observable? Don’t say this! What is observable?

1 paragraph
(A) Is it observable? Maybe a slight repetition of the facts above, but also include: Who, what, when, how, where? Is the observation direct or indirect? Was the observation in the present time or past? Who did the observation? Are there biases?

0 to 6: __________

2 paragraphs or more
(B) Is it testable? Can it actually be tested or proven at all? If no, why not? If yes, what kind of experiments have been done? WHAT WERE THE CONTROLS? What can be measured or compared to nature today? Were the experiments valid and conducted by scientists with no biases?

0 to 2: __________

1 paragraph

NOT the same as observable. How many tests or how many times has a test been repeated?
(C) Is it repeatable? Can the exact conditions of the experiment or observations be reproduced? How many times?

0 to 4: __________

1 paragraph
(4) Fact or Faith Based: Conclude by offering your final opinion. Is the theory / explanation supported more by real science (fact based) or more by pseudoscience (faith based)? Why do you believe or not believe? Be persuasive and honest here.

0 to 3: __________

1 to 6: __________

(5) Bibliography: Place this on a separate bibliography page with a header. Find at least three internet sources (no WIKIPEDIA!). Include the source title, author, and date. When using internet sites, you must include more than just the web address. Find the date the page was last updated. No date=no source Bonus for more than five sources.

(6) Following directions / Neatness: Staple this paper with your name face up on top of the essay.

up to 4: __________

Follow all directions given on this paper. Include a title, your name, date, and class. You may use a title page, but do not need one.

Bonus: Typing (+2); (a lot of extra sources, and pictures stapled behind essay)

DON’T DO THIS!!!!!!!

This is an essay!

  • (1) Facts


  • (2) Limitations of Science

(3) Scientific Proofs


Scientific Proofs

  • (B) Testable


  • (C) Repeatable


  • (4) Fact or Faith Based




Put the bibliography on a separate piece of paper with a header!

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