SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES IN BIOLOGYY
THE USE OF SENSE ORGANS TO MAKE CORRECT OBSERVATION
Sense organ this is an organ of the body that responds to external stimuli by conveying impulses to the sensory nervous system. There are about five sense organs such as eye, ear, skin, tongue and nose.
Each sense organ has specialized receptor cells to detect the appropriate type of physical energy or stimulation, such as follows:-
i.Eye for sight/vision.
ii.Ear for hearing/listening.
iii.Skin for touch.
iv.Tongue for taste.
v.Nose for smell.
NOTE: Students should be able to use own sense organs to make correct observations about living things on how they interact in their real life situation.
TO TAKE THE MEASUREMENTS OF MASS, LENGTH, TEMPERATURE AND PULSE RATE
The scientific processes involved in the study of biology include observation, measurement and experimentation.
Observation this is the action or process of seeing something or someone carefully in order to gain information. Observation is made by using our sense organs. Through observation we can learn many scientific phenomena.
Measurement this is the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event, which can be compared with other objects or events.
Measurement of mass; mass is the amount of matter in an object. Beam balance is a special instrument for measuring mass of a substance, which measured in grams (g) or kilograms (kg). Our sense organs cannot give us the true value of mass of a substance.
Picture of beam balance
Measurement of length; length is the distance from one end of something to the other end. Tape measure is one of the common instruments used for measuring length of an object. Our sense organs can just tell us which object is longer than the other, but cannot tell us to what exact length of each object is.
Picture of tape measure
Measurement of temperature; temperature is the degree or intensity of heat present in a substance or object. Thermometer is a special instrument designed for measuring the temperature of something or somebody. Our sense organs can detect the temperature of something or somebody, but cannot tell us exact temperature of an object.
Picture of thermometer
Measurement of pulse rate; pulse rate is the rate at which the heart beats, usually measured to obtain a quick evaluation of a person’s health. Stethoscope is a special instrument designed for measuring the pulse rate/heart beats of an organism. Our sense organs can measure the average pulse rate, for example, by using fingers you can count the number of heart beats per minute, but not correct way than that of stethoscope.
Picture of stethoscope
Experimentation this is the process of performing a scientific procedure, especially in a laboratory, to determine something. Experiment is a scientific procedure undertaken to a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.
The following are the seven (7) procedures/steps to be followed when conducting any scientific investigation:-
i.Identification of a problem/problem statement; problem statement provides the platform for investigating a broad range of interventions and generating options. The phenomena could be for example, “Many young people migrate from rural areas to urban despites there are a lot of economic activities in rural areas”. So what were the problems in rural areas? This is the problem to be investigated by the researcher in order to come up with the answers.
ii.Hypothesis formulation; hypothesis is a tentative or suggested answer, an assumption or a proposed solution to the problems under investigation. It can be stated as either negative or positive. For example, by using the problem statement above you can suggest that “Many young people migrate from rural areas to urban due to an outbreak of communicable diseases such as cholera”. This hypothesis must therefore be tested by experiment.
iii.Experimentation; so after making the hypothesis, Researcher must performing a scientific procedures so as to know the reality of the hypothesis which has been formed. For example, due to the problem above, a Researcher must go to the rural areas and conducting the experiment in relation to the problem.
iv.Observation; these done by using sense organs such as eyes, ears, etc. so as to determine the reality of the problem.
v.Data recording; the Researcher must record the data whatever she/he observes in His/hers experiment so as to determine the reality of the problem.
vi.Data interpretation; once a Researcher has collected data in the field, she/he should try to explain the meaning of data in relation to the purpose of the experiment. In this step, a Researcher can find whether the hypothesis is correct or not correct.
vii.Conclusion; the conclusion is based on the collected data. The conclusion is either confirmation or rejection of the hypothesis under investigation.