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Conflicting Theories for the Origin of the Moon
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Conflicting Theories for the Origin of the Moon

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Short Description: There are different views on the origin of the moon. Investigation results can be interpreted in different ways which are sometimes conflicting. Critical thinking and matching evidence with theories are skills that are highly valued in science.

Topic: Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System

Grade Level: 5-8

Body: Earth's Moon

Mission:

Science Education Standards:

Benchmarks

By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that

  • Science is a process of trying to figure out how the world works by making careful observations and trying to make sense of those observations. 1A/E2**
  • Scientists' explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, partly from what they think. 1B/E3a
  • Sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations. That usually leads to their making more observations to resolve the differences. 1B/E3bc

By the end of 8th grade, students should know that

  • Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. 1A/M2
  • Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data. 1B/M1b*

National Science Education Standards

Grades 5-8
SCIENCE AS INQUIRY -- CONTENT STANDARD A
Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific Inquiry
Understandings about Scientific Inquiry

  • Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments and use scientific principles, models and theories. The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances.
  • Science advances through legitimate skepticism. Asking questions and querying other scientists' explanations is part of scientific inquiry. Scientists evaluate the explanations proposed by other scientists by examining evidence, comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations.

HISTORY AND NATURE OF SCIENCE -- CONTENT STANDARD G
Nature of Science

  • Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations.
  • In areas where active research is being pursued and in which there is not a great deal of experimental or observational evidence and understanding, it is normal for scientists to differ with one another about the interpretation of the evidence or theory being considered. Different scientists might publish conflicting experimental results or might draw different conclusions from the same data. Ideally, scientists acknowledge such conflict and work towards finding evidence that will resolve their disagreement.

Source: Science Online


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Last Updated: 1 Jul 2014