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UNO / Natural science / NSCI 1050 / Why are statistics important to science?

Why are statistics important to science?

Why are statistics important to science?


School: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Department: Natural science
Course: Science and Critical Thinking
Professor: James wilson
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: ghosts, Psychics, and Science
Cost: 50
Name: Exam 2 Study Guide
Description: This study guide covers the material that will be on the 2nd exam.
Uploaded: 10/14/2016
11 Pages 4 Views 14 Unlocks

Study Guide for Exam 2

Why are statistics important to science?

• Why are statistics important to science?

• How do you calculate the probability of an event?

o The probability of an outcome is the event divided by the total number of  possible outcomes.  

• What is the probability of an impossible event?

o ZERO. To change a probability to chance, multiply by 100. The probabilities of  all possible outcomes must add up to one.  

• What is the probability of an event that is certain to happen? o ONE

• What does probability theory say about coincidences, even rare  coincidences?

• What is the lunar effect?  Does it really happen?

• What is subjective validation?

• What is the Forer Effect?

• What is Occam’s Razor?

o The explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as  possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions  of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The simplest explanation is the most  likely the correct one.  

what is motion effect?

Lecture 1.5 – Photographic Evidence

• Be able to identify and tell the difference between the early images of people: o Silhouette: rich people had their pictures painted. A silhouette was a bit  cheaper. 1700s

o Camera obscura: Pinhole camera, 1800. Creates upside down image. o Heliograph: 1827 Took first picture ever. It took 8 hours of exposure to create  the image.  

o Daguerrotype: 1839, Coat metal plate with chemical that is photo reactive. It  took 30 minutes of exposure. People looked angry because it took so long. Used  toxic dangerous chemicals.

o Ambrotype: Used glass instead of metal plate. 1855. Glass was cheaper so  more people were able to get their pictures taken.

o Carte photograph: 1861. Switched from glass to paper. Became portable.  Could go out into the battlefields. Paper very affordable.

o Detective Camera: 1881. Had a shutter that opens and closes. Could take stop motion type pictures. Very compact, basic citizen could buy this.  

What is Kirlian photography?

Don't forget about the age old question of what is the difference between the difference in Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims?

o George Eastman’s advancements: 1888, Brownie Kodak Camera. Used a  roll of paper, so you can take multiple images on the roll. Sent in to get  

developed. Called it Kodak so it sounded “cool”.

• Know the major methods of making trick photography

o Combining images: Take a double exposure-harder now with digital cameras can make it look “ghost-y.  

o Perspective tricks: Have people at different distances. Ex: Person “holding”  another person. One person is farther away, one person is super close to the  camera. We also discuss several other topics like What is heuristic thinking?

o Motion effects: Leaving the camera open, and walk in front of it, it will leave a  blurry trail. Looks ghostlike.  

o Cropping: You can crop things to make it look different. EX: UFO? --> Flying  pie pan.  

o Digital effects: Photoshop can do anything in today’s age

• What is Kirlian photography?

Accidentally discovered in 1939 by Semour Kilner. Takes pictures of “life  energy” coming out of a body. Supported by Dr. Walter Kilner.  

• How is the Kirlian effect actually made?

Corona discharge, not life energy. Also was seen in a quarter. Caused by high  voltage, develops a film. Coronal discharge is actually static electricity sparks.  • What is aura photography? Don't forget about the age old question of What is the relationship between the intensity of a stimulus and habituation?

• Know the history of the Cottingley Fairy Images:

o What are these images?: “Fairy ring” ring of mushrooms. Said to have been  created by fairies, they come out at night. Two girls in England took pictures of  what they said were fairies.  

o What are fairy rings caused by? Caused by mushrooms, spores land on the  ground and the mushrooms grow around the spore in a circle.  

o Where did the fairy images actually come from?: Elsie, one of the girls, drew them and cut them out and took pictures with the fairies in them. This lead  to her mother showing other people and it blew up after that.

• Know the prominent points that are associated with the paranormal, and  why these do not constitute good support for the paranormal If you want to learn more check out What are Direct Costs?

o Witnesss does not want money or fame, so what is the point of lying?  o Lack of sophistication precludes deception.

o If a new story is similar to older stories, it is more likely to be true.  

o Prominent personalities lend support to the event.

o Supportive “experts” are not unbiased.  

o Subject’s ability to perform trickery is downplayed.

o Paranormal event cannot be produced at will, it is sporadic.  

Lecture 1.6 – Rules of the Universe I

• What are the important aspects of scientific laws?

o They are true

o They are universal

o They are simple

o They are absolute

o They are omnipotent

o They are conservative

• What is Newton’s first law of motion?

o In order for an object to change its motion, a force must act upon that object.  • What forces act upon objects?

o Contact forces and Distance forces.

• What is Newton’s second law of motion and how is force, acceleration, and  mass related?

o The force applied by an object is equal to the mass and acceleration of that  object. The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the magnitude of  the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the sudden uncontrollabe sleep attacks?

o a=F/m a=Acceleration F=Force m=Mass We also discuss several other topics like Laws, theories, observations, and measurements

o Big object=big force

o Fast object=big force

• What is newton’s third law of motion?

o For every force action upon an object, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  • What is newton’s law of gravity and how does the mass of the objects and the  distance between them affect gravity?

o Every object that has mass, creates an attractive force to all other objects.  F=Gravity m1 & m2= the mass of the objects  

o F=G(m1m2)/d2

o Exception to the rule

• What is the conservation of momentum?

o The total momentum of a closed system remains constant. During a collision  between 2 objects the total momentum must be the same before AND after the  collision.  

• What is the first law of thermodynamics?

o The change in a system’s internal energy is equal to the difference between heat  added to the system from its surroundings and work done by the system on its  surroundings. Has to be the same amount of energy after the fact, but it can be  different energy than it was at the beginning. (James Joule & Hermann von  Helmholz)

What is the second law of thermodynamics and why is the phrase “in a closed  system” so important?

A closed system is important because it is a way to set a boundary to  

 understand how energy and matter behave. The second law is to move from a less   ordered state to a more ordered state there must be an addition of energy into the system.  

In a closed system, entropy will either remain constant or will increase. Entropy is a  measure of disorder, heat is the most disordered energy state. (Rudolph Clausius) • What is the third law of thermodynamics?

o Every process in the Universe will generate heat as a byproduct. Heat is the  connection between the first and second laws.  

o At absolute zero, there is no heat or atomic movement. (Walther Nernst) • What is the Special Theory of Relativity?

o Two Major Themes:

▪ There is no absolute time or length in the universe, these both depend on  the frame of reference.

▪ There is no universal “now.” Only exists in our frame of reference.  

The speed of light is constant, regardless of the frame of reference.  

• What is time dilation?

o Time slows down as you approach the speed of light.  

• What is the conservation of mass-energy?

o The total energy (or mass) in a closed system remains constant.  

▪ E=MC(squared)

▪ Mass (M) and energy (E) can be converted back and forth into each  

other. C(Speed of light)

A small amount of mass can generate a tremendous amount of energy.

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make a small mass.  

• What is space-time and how many dimensions is it?

o The Universe has a 4 dimension coordinate system.

▪ 3 dimensions of space:

▪ Up/Down

▪ Left/Right

▪ Forward/Backward

▪ 1 dimension of time

• What is the law of definite composition?

o Chemical compounds are composed of a fixed ratio of elements as defined by  mass.  

▪ All substances in the Universe are composed of some combination of  


▪ Because each atom has a defined mass, (# of protons, neutrons,  

electrons) then every element has a known mass.  

• What is the ideal Gas Law?

o Describes how a gas behaves with respect to different things like:  

▪ Temperature (T)

▪ Pressure (P)

▪ Amount of gas present (n)

▪ Volume of gas (V)

Lecture 1.7 – Rules of the Universe II

• What were Darwin’s Observations, and what inferences did he draw? • What is Natural Selection? And what are the five important components to  Natural Selection

o Natural Selection is a mechanism that species adapt to the environment.  ▪ Reproductive Potential is High

▪ Population size relatively constant

▪ Resources are limited

▪ Not every individual born survives

▪ There is a struggle for existence

• What is Evolution?

o Process of change over time. Evolution is only evident in populations, need  accumulation of differences.  

• Why is evolution so important?

• What is the modern synthesis?

o Linked genetics with natural selection.

• What is Microevolution?

o Changes in gene frequency. Changes the frequency of alleles in a population over  time.  

▪ Mutation

▪ Gene Flow  

▪ Genetic Drift

▪ Sexual Selection

▪ Natural Selection

• What is Macroevolution?

o Origins of new structures, evolutionary trends, adaptive radiation, and speciation  and extinction events.  

• Is microevolution and macroevolution a different process?

• What is it that Evolves?

• What are mutations and what types of mutations occur?

o Changes in the DNA code. Mistakes that occur during DNA replication. Point  mutations occur when one nucleotide is traded for another. Point mutations are  rare and typically don’t lead to pronounced changes. Some point mutations can  be powerful, for example, Malaria Resistance.  

o Deletion of nucleotides can also occur.  

• What is Gene Flow:

o Movement of genes from one population to another. Genes only move when  individuals with that genetic makeup move to another population.

• What is Gene Drift:

o Random or accidental shift in gene frequency. It is purely a random event, and it  is more likely in small populations. Ex: Flipping coin twice and getting 2 heads.  • What is a genetic bottleneck?

o Special version of genetic drift. Process where a population is reduced to very  low numbers of individuals. Then the population returns to larger numbers;  however, the only genes that were found in the individuals living at the low  population size will be found in the larger population after recovery.  

• Is a genetic bottleneck always a bad situation?

• What is Sexual Selection and what can happen to traits that are sexually  selected for?

o Mating based on phenotype. Males/Females prefer a certain look and choose to  breed with only those with that look. If only one type of “look” is allowed to  breed then only its traits will be passed on and the population will all tend to look  like that.  

• What is Natural Selection:

o Environmental pressure that provides selection for certain traits. Individuals with  traits that do well in that pressure are favored. Over time, the traits increase in the  population.  

• What are the three possible outcomes of natural selective forces? o Stabilizing selection: forces individuals to have a very narrow range of variation  in the trait.  

o Directional selection: favors on a particular trait and the population changes to be  more like the favored trait.  

o Disruptive selection: favors both extremes in the trait, but not the average.  

Lecture 2.1 – Near Death Experience

• What are some of the early studies conducted on NDEs?  Which one of the  following people is responsible for the modern NDE movement? o Albert Heim

o William Barrett

o Raymond Moody

• The occurrence of NDEs seem to be related to the expectations of people  rather than a single, death vision.  What differences, if any, are found with the  following categories of NDE and what might that mean for the NDE?

o Actually near death vs not near death: Can happen to people who are not  close to death. Does not differ between close to death and those who aren’t. o Different Religions: People see their appropriate god during NDE.

o Suicide: Suicide attempts are not different than other NDEs.

• What are the classic symptoms or experiences associated with a NDE? o The impression of being outside the body.  

o Floating feelings

o Seeing deceased relatives

o Tunnel vision

o Powerful light

o Feeling on peace

• What are the typical assumptions that most people have about the NDE? • What is Cotard’s Syndrome? (Walking Dead) Patients believe they are dead • What is sleep paralysis?

• What is hypotensive syncopy (low blood pressure fainting) and what effect  does it cause?

o Tunnel effect that occurs during G-force simulations in pilots and  astronauts.  

o Also common in people who faint a lot.  

• What is retinal ischemia (reduced blood flow to the eye) and what effect does  it cause?

o It causes the loss of peripheral vision, (tunnel). Increased visual activity in center  (light).

• How can light be created in the rod and cone cells during times when blood  flow is reduced to the eyes?

o When you faint the blood leaves the molecules in the eyes looking for electrons.  When the blood comes back there are fatty acids giving electrons, but they are in  a higher energy state. When the electrons go to where they are supposed to be, it  gives off a photon of light. Makes you see a light that is in front of you when it is  actually coming from your eyeball.

• How does Pallidotomy (burning brain tissue) cause ghost hallucinations?  • How does macular degeneration cause people to see fairy tale creatures? • Why do certain drugs produce very happy feelings?  

o NMDA Receptor: releases chemicals when you get a reward. Makes you want to  replicate behavior.

• German study of NDEs:

o What/who did they study?

▪ Studied NDE differences between East and West Berlin. Does the NDE  change based on the city you grew up in?

o What were the results?

▪ 4% reported having near death experiences and 2% were not sure if they  had a NDE or not. There was no difference between east and west. And  no difference between men and women.  

o What conclusions can be made?

▪ NDE is not really related to being actually dead. Found there were no  specific patterns. Only general themes were common. The specifics  

varied tremendously and lacked details. There is a strong cultural  

influence on NDEs.  

• Near Death Heart Attack Experience Study:

o What/who did they study?

▪ 1,595 patients admitted to the hospital for cardiac failure. They measured  cognitive function, quality of life, attitude toward death, belief scale, and  severity of cardiac arrest.  

o What were the results?

▪ People who had NDE were younger, had cardiac arrest. There was no difference in any other demographic. No difference in quality of life,  

reported being near death more, but when objectively placed in closeness  to death were not different. Viewed death as a passage to a pleasant state.  Did not differ in their fear of death.  

o What conclusions can be made?

▪ These experiencers were more likely to have reported paranormal  

experiences in their life and were more likely to experience paranormal  activity.  

• What hypotheses have been made to account for the NDE? • H1 – the soul actually leaves:

o What problems might exist for this hypothesis?

▪ It is untestable so no conclusion can be made about this.  

• H2 – It’s a drug induced hallucination:

o What is a major problem with the drug hypothesis?

▪ Most people who have near death experience are clearly not on drugs,  just have medical condition.  

o What is a possible natural alternative to the drug hypothesis? • H3 – It’s psychological

o What is depersonalization and how might this account for the NDE? ▪ When you are in trouble, your brain releases chemicals to dissociate your  brain from reality.  

o What happens when the NMDA receptor is deactivated?

• H4 – Temporal Lobe Epilepsy:

o What happens when the glutamate pathway is overstimulated? ▪ Causes nerve cell death. Which will cause you to have epilepsy.

• H5 – Abnormalities in Blood Gasses

o What effects do low oxygen and high carbon dioxide cause? o What factors of heart attacks are associated with NDEs?

• H6- Endorphins

o What is the function of serotonin and what does this have to do with  NDEs?

▪ Only gives the happy feeling, no other things.  

• Glutamate receptor Theory:

o What is the glutamate receptor theory?

▪ By administering ketamine, you can cause a person to go through all of  the features of a near death experience and give a potential out of body  experience.  

o What happens when enough ketamine is administered?

▪ Can produce NDE and side effects like tunnel effect, light,  

communication with an entity, calm/peace, clarity of thought, conviction  of death, out of body feeling.  

o What is the function of the hippocampus?

▪ Consolidates information from sensory inputs and is responsible for  

determining short and long term memory, spatial navigation, and it  

interfaces with the cerebral cortex.  

o How does the glutamate (NMDA) receptor function normally and  what happens when you block this receptor?

▪ It releases an antagonist molecule that will bind at the dizocilpine site  and prevent Calcium from moving through the receptor. Causes nerves to  misfire. Can manufacture symptoms of NDE.  

• NDEs and Memory Study

o What/who did they study?

▪ Coma patients were studied to compare the memory of NDEs to normal  memory.  

▪ Four groups were studied, Coma+NDE, Coma without NDE, Coma with  no memory, and regular people.  

o What were the results?

▪ Recalled 5 events: Recent Real Event, Old Real Event, Recent Imagined  Event, Old Imagined Event, Target Memories.  

▪ Target memories in NDE coma people were more detailed than any other  type of memory in the NDE coma people. There is no difference in the  

qualities of memories in the others.

▪ NDE memory is very vivid, sensory, emotional. Different than a regular  memory.  

o What conclusions can be made?

▪ NDE is not your typical imagined event

▪ High Emotions and more references of yourself.  

• What is a flashbulb memory?

o Special memory of something unusual and emotionally charged. Comes out of  the blue, not prepared for and sticks in your mind vividly. Ex: 9/11 terrorist  attacks.

• What is a memory?

• What is nerve competition and synapse elimination?

• What is the Neurophysiology (nerves and body physiology) model of NDE?

Lecture 2.2 – Ghosts I

• What are some early descriptions of ghosts in history?

o Neanderthals

o Egyptian Book of the Dead

o Bible

o Ancient Greece

o Medieval Europe

o First Ghost Skeptic

o Shakespeare

o Enlightenment

o Victorian Era

o Spiritualism

o Movies

• What patterns have evolved about ghosts through time?

• What is a ghost made of?  What exactly is “energy”?  

o Life Energy(infared photography, aura cameras) life energy has not been shown  to exist. Matter and Energy and interconvertible.  

• What are some problems with ghosts and the second law of thermodynamics  and the law of conservation

o You cannot go from a less ordered state (dead body) to a higher ordered state  (ghost) without adding energy. The universe cannot gain or lose energy. • Why does ATP allow the temporary reversal of the second law of  thermodynamics?

• What are the different types of actual energy in the universe? • What are the major ghost types?

o Empathic Trace/ Echo: where a strange feelings occur-haunting.  

o Ghost Loops: places that have an imprint of an event and scene that replays over  and over.  

o Spirits of the Dead, Stuck: Stuck in between living world and dead world.  o Crisis Apparition: person who just died and their apparition will visit a loved one  and usually tells them that they are okay.

o Poltegeist: most destructive and not actually seen. Moves things across the room. • Why is ghost clothing a problem?

o When a person is manifested into a ghost, the only thing that would transfer to  the afterlife would be the person, not the clothing and they should be naked.  • What is apparitional drama?

• Why is bodily damage a problem with ghosts?

• Why are ghost vehicles a problem?

• What is a superior mirage?

o Occurs when there is a temperature inversion, (warm air on top of cold). The  light coming to your eyes from an object far away bends because of the  difference in the denisty of the two layers of air. It makes the image appear to be  floating in the sky.  

• What is an inferior mirage?

o A common phenomenon and is the opposite of the superior mirage. The hot air is  close to the ground and the cooler air is above it. This makes light bend in a  concave curve reflecting the color of the sky and making it appear as it water is  shimmering in the distance.  

• What is the duality of ghosts and why is this a problem?

o Immaterial: Walk through walls, “see- through”

o Physical: Seeing, Speaking, Moving Objects.  

• What is an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)?

o Electronically generated noises that are supposed to be the voices of the dead.  Two basic Methods:  

▪ White noise machines, Enhanced Audio Recordings

▪ There is no evidence it actually works.  

• History of Spirit Contact:

o Spiritualism and recording technology: New technlology was implicated as  better for contacting the dead, like phonographs and then tape recordings. o Seances: A medium along with people who wanted to contact the dead would sit  aroung a table in a darkened room and hold hands in a ring. They would wait to  make contact. The “contact” was proven to be stage magic.

o Fox Sisters: The earliest and most successful of the séance mediums. They were  famous and then they confessed their methods were a hoax. Spiritualism  

continued as if their confessions never happened.  

o Frederich Jurgenson: recorded birds sounds in the woods and when he  listened to it, he heard voices talking about birds songs at night. He had false  recordings of numerous other “voices” seeming to call him by name.  

o Konstantin Raudive: Worked with Jurgenson. He listened in static for voices  or other types of communication. He thought mechanical devices provided  empirical evidence.

o Spitritcom: William O’Neill claimed he could use it to hold two way  conversations with spirits. Could not be replicated, so false.

o Ghost Box: Frank Sumption in 2002 as a two way communication with the  dead. He claims he received information on how to build this device from the  spirit world. It relies on the innate patternicity and agenticity that the human  brain is known for.

• What is the Verbal transformation effect?

• What is an electromagnetic field (EMF)?

o A condition at each point in space created by some force. Produced by  electrically charged particles, and affects the behavior of charged objects within  the field. Combo of electric and magnetic fields.  

• What things produce EMFs?

o Anything that has moving electricity creates and EMF. The intensity of the EMF  can change through time as it is used more or less frequently.  

• To properly use equipment for scientific studies what must you do first? o You must verify that it actually works for what it is intended. There must be a  known theoretical connection between the device and the thing being measured.  Calibration of the device under known conditions, and determination of how the  environment affects the device.  

Lecture 2.3 – Ghosts II

• What did Aristotle believe about the Soul and making a human during  reproduction?  -Thought soul was carried through the semen.

• What did William Harvey believe about the soul and reproduction? • What did Leeuwenoek discover about reproduction?  -Preformation. Thought  preformed human was in sperm.

• What did the following people believe about the soul as they physically  searched for the soul in the human body?

o Herophilus: 300 BC-First person known to dissect a human

o Galen: Moved the soul to the head. Personality changes after head injury. o Leonardo da Vinci

o Descarte: Also in the head. Killing someone by severing vertebre.

o Gigot de La Peyronie: Dissected cadavers looking for the soul.

o Gall: described 27 different “organs” in the brain

• How did the 21 grams myth get started and how much evidence is there for  this myth?

o Originated in Consumptives Home in Dorchester, MA. Building was trade center  with China. DunCan Macdougall was the physician wanting to do research. He  weighed people who were about to die and tried to measure the weight of the  soul.

• What are some of the problems that are associated with McDougall’s  measurement of the soul as being 21 grams?

o The scale used could not measure tiny movements of the scale. The  

measurements of the first 3 patients who died were all different. Conditions were  not ideal, there were problems with the scale. Patient 1

• The Spiritualism Movement (late 1800s to early 1900s)

o What is spiritualism?

o What did the Fox sisters do for the spiritualist movement?

▪ They disproved the séance movement, but people still continued as it  never happened.  

o What is ectoplasm?  How did mediums use or present ectoplasm? ▪ Physical remains of ghostly encounters. Seances used cheesecloth and  egg whites. Supposed to be a link between life and afterlife.

• What is spirit photography?

o A picture where ghosts appeared in the pictures with the subject of the photo. • What is William Mumler famous for?

o He discovered the technique for double exposure. He cleaned and recoated glass  plates. It made ghosts appear behind them in pictures.  

• What are some common photographic mistakes that people believe are  ghosts?

o Camera straps, breath, fingers, dust.


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