The culture’s killing implements abruptly appeared in the archeological record and disappeared just as fast, after the easily killable megafauna went extinct. Today’s North American megafauna are , not North American megafauna that learned to avoid humans. Bison are the only significant exception, although they came from Asia, too, and explaining their survival remains a minor curiosity, but is about the only circumstance not neatly aligned with the overkill scenario. The “” paper concluded that although the South American extinction was the greatest of all, it is the most poorly investigated and that the overkill hypothesis cannot yet be attached to South American extinctions. That may be a prudent position for a specialist who pronounces judgment only when all the evidence is in, but I will be among the most surprised people on Earth if the pattern of 50 thousand years did not continue there, especially since it had no ice sheets. There can be no more pertinent example than comparing Africa to South America. They inhabited the same latitudes and have similar climates, separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Africa was the home of humanity, where its animals had millions of years to adapt to the human presence, and Africa only lost about 10% of its megafauna (probably to human hunters with their advanced weaponry) while South America lost nearly all of its megafauna, and quickly. Climate change did it? How could it have even contributed?
CORRECTION: This misconception may be reinforced by introductory science courses that treat hypotheses as "things we're not sure about yet" and that only explore established and accepted theories. In fact, hypotheses, theories, and laws are rather like apples, oranges, and kumquats: one cannot grow into another, no matter how much fertilizer and water are offered. Hypotheses, theories, and laws are all scientific explanations that differ in breadth not in level of support. Hypotheses are explanations that are limited in scope, applying to fairly narrow range of phenomena. The term is sometimes used to refer to an idea about how observable phenomena are related but the term is also used in other ways within science. Theories are deep explanations that apply to a broad range of phenomena and that may integrate many hypotheses and laws. To learn more about this, visit our page on .
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The Role of Hypothesis, Theory and Method in the Field of Psychology
The history of science is deeply entwined with the state of technology. Improving technology allowed for increasingly sophisticated experiments, and advances in science spurred technological innovation. While many scientific practices and outcomes have been evil, such as and , many others have not been destructive to humans or other organisms. The 20th century saw great leaps in technological and scientific advancement. My , his son , and his grandson and still does. and ended the era of and, with their increasingly sophisticated toolset, scientists began to investigate phenomena at galactic and subatomic scales. , , , , , computers, robots that land on distant moons and planets, and other tools allowed for explorations and experiments that were not possible in earlier times.
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Journal of Behavioral Profiling; Vol 1, No 3 / © 2000
: In everyday language, the word usually refers to an educated guess or an idea that we are quite uncertain about. Scientific hypotheses, however, are much more informed than any guess and are usually based on prior experience, scientific background knowledge, preliminary observations, and logic. In addition, hypotheses are often supported by many different lines of evidence in which case, scientists are more confident in them than they would be in any mere "guess." To further complicate matters, science textbooks frequently misuse the term in a slightly different way. They may ask students to make a about the outcome of an experiment (e.g., table salt will dissolve in water more quickly than rock salt will). This is simply a prediction or a guess (even if a well-informed one) about the outcome of an experiment. Scientific hypotheses, on the other hand, have explanatory power they are explanations for phenomena. The idea that table salt dissolves faster than rock salt is not very hypothesis-like because it is not very explanatory. A more scientific (i.e., more explanatory) hypothesis might be "The amount of surface area a substance has affects how quickly it can dissolve. More surface area means a faster rate of dissolution." This hypothesis has some explanatory power it gives us an idea of a particular phenomenon occurs and it is testable because it generates expectations about what we should observe in different situations. If the hypothesis is accurate, then we'd expect that, for example, sugar processed to a powder should dissolve more quickly than granular sugar. Students could examine rates of dissolution of many different substances in powdered, granular, and pellet form to further test the idea. The statement "Table salt will dissolve in water more quickly than rock salt" is not a hypothesis, but an expectation generated by a hypothesis. Textbooks and science labs can lead to confusions about the difference between a hypothesis and an expectation regarding the outcome of a scientific test. To learn more about scientific hypotheses, visit in our section on how science works.