Gould begins the article by defining science. It is stated that science allows human beings to know and gain knowledge. To illustrate the difference between real science and pseudoscience Gould presents the question of how the extinction of dinosaurs occurred.
The first proposal that individuals have developed is the sex hypothesis. This proposal states that dinosaurs became extinct because testes can only function in certain temperatures. Therefore, when the global temperature increased during the Cretaceous period dinosaurs testes stopped working and became sterile. It says that flowering plants developed close to when the dinosaurs died.
Some of these plants have psychoactive chemicals in them. As a result, dinosaurs became extinct because of massive overdoses. The last proposal for their extinction is because of disasters. This hypothesis states that a comet or asteroid struck the earth at the time of the dinosaurs and created a cloud of dust that blocked sunlight.
Accordingly, dinosaurs as well as other creatures became extinct. Each of these proposals for the extinction of dinosaurs fascinates people.
In this article the author, Stephen Gould, then expands on each of these proposals. He explains who developed each of these theories and explains in depth the reasoning behind them. Although all these theories evoke excitement in the public only one is real science. The first theory of testicular failure is only speculation. There is no way to test this hypothesis. As a result, this proposal is unusable.
The second theory of overdosing is also speculation. It does not make sense and also has an untestable hypothesis. The theory that dinosaur extinction was a result of a disaster is the epitome of real science. It can be tested and can be furthered. To test this hypothesis individuals measured levels of iridium in rocks at the time of dinosaurs extinction.
Testable evidence is what creates the difference between science and speculation. The testing or iridium evoked many other scientists around the globe to test levels in the rocks at their locations. This extended the hypothesis and made in last in the public.
The other two theories faded away and are not still popular in the public. Gould then shows how the theory that the extinction of dinosaurs occurred because of a disaster has led to other important findings. He states, that because of this theory the scientist, Carl Sagan, studied the climate and nuclear warfare. He found that a nuclear holocaust would create the same dust cloud that caused the mass deaths of dinosaurs. Thus, nuclear war should be avoided at all cost among other reasons.
It is a coincidence that the class was assigned this reading given what is happening in North Korea. Today I heard on the news that North Korea directly said on their YouTube channel that they have a nuclear missile aimed at the White House. Nuclear war is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard and I cannot believe that this is going on.
The structure of this essay is similar and different to the structure that we used in Major Paper 1. It is similar because it offers an argument and gives claims. Gould then develops the body of the article by examining each proposal for the extinction of dinosaurs. He then states what is science and backs up the reason why. Gould concludes by displaying what the theory that disasters caused dinosaurs extinction has done for the public and what other research has been done because of it.
It is different because Gould does offer a refutation as we did in Major Paper 1. As we learned, a refutation is stating another persons opposing point of view and then giving a rebuttal. It can be said that this theory is what good science is. This explains science is a way to gain knowledge and the methods of the scientists has to be clear.