• 24 AUG 18
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    strengths and limitations of scientific knowledge

    make observations and discriminate between scientific and pseudoscientific explanations  weigh evidence and make decisions based on strengths and limitations of scientific knowledge and the scientific method  use knowledge of biological principles, the scientific method, and appropriate technologies to ask relevant questions, develop hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret results, and draw conclusions Directions: 1. Select one of the following topics: A. Genetically modified food. Humans are now capable of manipulating the genetic codes of certain plants and animals in our own food chain. What are some of the foods in your supermarket that have been genetic altered? How have they been altered and why? What does sound science have to say about potential risks to the environment and human health, associated with GMOs (genetically modified organisms)? Be careful to search for the science in scientific journals rather than GMO industry’s own websites and reports! Based upon your research, do you think there is a clear answer as to how safe these foods might be to humans and the environment? Clearly explain your reasoning. Note that this should be a discussion of genetic alteration of organisms by laboratory methods (such as gene insertions, etc.) and not by selective breeding (breeding one animal or plant with another for desired traits).

    Find 3 scholarly, scientific articles related to your topic and the questions described in 1. While you are definitely encouraged to use web sites, books, and other materials as resources to help you learn about your subject, note that the assignment is to find three published scholarly articles; This means articles in professional scientific journals. Encyclopedias, Q&A or “How-To” web sites may NOT be used as references in any collegiate research paper (you should also be critical of the information they supply as most of these sites are open-sourced – i.e., not verified). Assistance with evaluating web resources can be found at http://sites.umuc.edu/library/libhow/scholarlyjournals.cfm. For more on what constitutes “scholarly” see the UMUC library page on searching for scholarly articles at http://libguides.umuc.edu/science and my Guide to References and Citations under Course Resources > Profs Helpful Docs. Lastly, note that any resources I have given you in the above descriptions do not count toward the required three articles. 3. Write a paper of 1000-2000 words (not including your references), double spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman font. Note that I am happy to approve a larger word allowance if you feel you need it. Your paper’s format should be as follows: First, clearly summarize each of the three articles, making it very clear to me which is which. I strongly suggest you use headers or at least phrases like, “According to the article by so-andso”… so that I know when you are summarizing an article as directed. If I have to struggle to determine when and/or which article you are summaring you will lose points! Next, use what you’ve learned from your research to answer each of the questions asked in the topic description (any that have not already been answered in your article summaries). Be sure to give credit to your sources as you do this by using in-text citations, and strive to incorporate the concepts and principles of BIOL103 in your answers. Lastly, express your own ideas on your topic. For the best grade, you are strongly encouraged to use subject headers in your paper. Remember to limit your use of direct quotes when writing. Collegiate Writing Standards dictate that quotes should account for no more than 5% of the total text. If you do use quotes, you must include a specialized in-text citation including the page or paragraph number (Adams, 2014, para.12).

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