In Research We Trust

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”
Mark Twain

Anyone that knows me knows I believe in research and data backed decisions in education.  Successful research is a balancing act between skepticism and an openness to new sometimes radical ideas.  To avoid the possibility of bias, we have developed methodologies and techniques to determine the validity of an experiment.  Experimental validity falls into two categories: internal, experimental design, data collection, and data analysis. The second is external, the progression from hypothesis to theory, and finally to the fact.  Research drives the progression from hypothesis to fact with supporting evidence and replication.

Considering how vital replication is to research, there appears to be very little direct replication.  Makel and Plucker showed that only 0.13% of educational research is replicated (Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences).  Compared to a rate of 1.07% in psychology and 1.2% for marketing research.  However, the rate of replication does not tell the whole story.  After all, to publish research, you need to conduct an experiment, submit it for peer review, make changes, and then have your article published.  Perhaps we can accept published results.

Looking at actual replication studies suggests that publication is not enough.  One study in psychology, Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science, was only able to replicate 63% of the studies they examined.  Replications of clinical research are even worse.  A group from Amgen attempted to replicate 53 research studies in cancer research they only replicated 6 of them.  Additionally, a group with Bayer Health could only replicate 25% of the preclinical studies they tested (Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research). 

So how do we resolve the replication crisis?  We need to reproduce previous research and publish the results.  The problem is that professors, postdocs, and graduate students don’t benefit from replication studies.  Even if researchers get the articles published, they don’t carry the same weight as original research.  One possibility would be to have graduate students replicate experiments at the beginning of their graduate study as part of their training.  However, this is probably not a workable solution as it would likely lengthen the time to degree. 

So, who would benefit from reproducing research?  The answer is undergraduates.  Conducting replication studies would more effectively train students in research methodologies than any amount of reading.  Why would conducting replication studies help students with research design?  The reason is that if you replicate a study perfectly (exactly as undertaken previously), you might have the same problems the original researchers had.  After all, most of the issues in research are not intentional but unintentional and probably unidentifiable problems with data collection or analysis.

Statistical analysis of most data involves a null hypothesis.  When the data is analyzed, the null hypothesis is either accepted or rejected.  Errors analyzing a null hypothesis, are classified as Type I (rejecting a correct null hypothesis) or Type II (accepting a false null hypothesis).  The critical thing to keep in mind is that it is impossible to eliminate Type I and II errors.  Why can’t researchers eliminate Type I and II errors? Think about a P value, P < 0.001, what does the number mean.  Written in sentence form as P value < 0.001 means: the likely hood that these results are the product of random chance is less than 1 in 1000.  While this is a small number, it is not zero, so there is still a tiny chance that the results are due to random chance. Since P values never become P < 0, there is always a chance (sometimes ridiculously small) that results are due to random chance.

In addition to Type I and II errors, there could be problems with sample selection or size. Especially early in the research were influencing and masking factors might not be known.  Alternatively, limited availability of subjects could lead to sample size or selection bias.  All these factors mean that a useful replication study looks at the same hypothesis and null hypotheses but uses similar but not identical research methods.

Beyond the benefits students would gain in experimental design, they would also learn from hands-on research something that many groups say is important for proper education.  Additionally, replication research is not limited to biology, chemistry, and physics.  Any field that publishes research (i.e., most areas of study) can take part in undergraduate replication research.

Of course, these replication studies will only benefit research if they are published.  We need journals to publish replication studies, how do we do that.  Should a portion of all journals be devoted to replication studies?  The Journal Nature says it wants to publish replication studies; “We welcome, and will be glad to help disseminate, results that explore the validity of key publications, including our own.” (Go forth and replicate!).  Hay Nature how about really getting behind replication studies! How about adding a new Journal to your stable, Nature: Replication?

However, if we want to disseminate undergraduate replication studies, it may be necessary to create a new Journal, The Journal of Replication Studies?  With all the tools for web publishing and e-Magazines, it should be straight forward (I didn’t say free or cheap) to create a fully online peer-reviewed journal devoted to replication.  Like so many issues, the replication crisis is not a problem but an opportunity.  Investing in a framework that allows undergraduate to conduct and publish replication research will help everyone.

Thanks for Listing to My Musings
The Teaching Cyborg

Common Core Math Does it Work?

“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”
Albert Einstein

A friend of mine sent me a YouTube video comparing common core math with “old math.”

My first thought was this is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. Now let’s be clear my reaction was not because the old math was so much faster. After all, the person doing the old math is merely solving an equation. The teacher is instructing the students in a common core mathematics process which takes longer. So it was not the length, it seems to me that the process is complicated, off track, and fails in several cognitive theories.

However, I believe in letting the research speak for itself, which means double checking your opinions with the literature. Most of my work is at the college and university level with a focus on STEM education. So what effect has the common core had on college students, primarily STEM students?

Before we look at the effect of the common core standards lets review what the common core is. The common core standers are a guideline of what students should learn each year of K-12 education. The standards are meant to be rigorous and meet the need of colleges and employers. According to the criteria for the working group, each standard should have:

“Goal: The standards as a whole must be essential, rigorous, clear, and specific, coherent, and internationally bench marked.

Essential: The standards must be reasonable in scope in defining the knowledge, and skills students should have to be ready to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic college courses, and in workforce training programs.”

The publishing of the full common core standards was in 2010. As of 2017, 46 states have adopted the common core standard to some degree. Eleven of the states have announced they are undertaking rewrites and changes to the standards.

Even with 11 states announcing rewrites or changes, this is still a high adoption rate. The adoption rate does not tell the whole picture. In K-12 education a lot is left up to the local school districts. While states have adopted the standards, it is not clear how consistent implementation is. It will likely get even harder to study the common core standards, as many states are renaming and modifying the standards. Many of these changes may be cosmetic as Tom Loveless says:

“A lot of states have simply re-branded the standards, changing the name or slightly tinkering with them without making any great change in substance” Loveless says. “That to me suggests that it’s more a political response than anything else.” (Common Core no more? New York and 21 other states revise or rename K12 standards, District Administration, By Alison DeNisco | October 9, 2017, retrieved June 6, 2019, from https://districtadministration.com/common-core-no-more-new-york-and-21-other-states-revise-or-rename-k12-standards/)

How do teachers view the standards? According to a report by the Center for Educational policy: “Across the five focus groups, most elementary school teachers expressed positive views of the Common Core State Standards. … Teachers said the Common Core had changed instruction in positive ways, such as teaching for conceptual understanding and developing students’ thinking and problem-solving skills.” (Listening to and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments Key Findings and Policy Recommendations, Center on Education Policy, By Diane Stark Rentner, Nancy Kober, Mathew Frizzell, and Maria Ferguson, October 12, 2016, Retrieved June 6, 2019, from https://www.cep-dc.org/cfcontent_file.cfm?Attachment=RentnerKoberFrizzellFerguson%5FSummary%5FListenLearnTeachers%5F10%2E12%2E16%2Epdf)

So why don’t I like the method of mathematics presented in the video? Let’s look at the steps the students are being asked to do when answering, 35 x 12. In the first step the students break the numbers down into their components 35 = 30 + 5 while 12 = 10 +2. Students then plug the numbers into a grid and multiplication is done by multiply the rows by the columns. The multiplication produces four numbers which are added to get the final answer.

I have heard several arguments about why this method is better. First, it teaches students how to manipulate numbers. Second, by breaking the numbers apart, it is easier for students to remember and do the math in their head. The grid is a rectangle some instructors use area equations to represent the multiplication, height x width = area. By using this representation, students get a feel for the real size of numbers.

While I agree learning to manipulate numbers is essential for students, I am not sure this method teaches students that. I think it is more likely that students are viewing this as a trick or formula. We know from research that students are good at plugging numbers into formulas without understanding what they mean. Just look up the original research on the Force Concept Inventory Test.

The idea that this method makes it easier to do in your head sounds intuitively correct. However, it might fall short of our research on how memory works. Again we know that working memory has a capacity limit (I wrote about it here).

So when multiplying 35 x 12 in your head, you have to remember two numbers. When you separate the numbers, you need to remember four numbers; 30, 5, 10, & 2. Additionally, as I do the math, I need to remember more numbers 30 * 10 = 300. I need to remember; 30, 5, 10, 2, & 300 additionally, I need to remember that 300 is different than the other four. Using this method, it is more likely that a student will run out of working memory.

Lastly, I have two problems with using the grid to represent the actual size of the number. There is a counter argument of numerals being symbols so we can deal with numbers that we can’t intuitively grasp. However, that is not the biggest problem; the real issue is transference. Transference is the ability of students to take the information they learned and use it in new situations. If students get to fixated on numbers representing fiscal shapes and physical quontites, they may have trouble with things that are difficult to see or understand.

So what does the research say about college students that were taught using the Common Core standards during their K-12 years? According to a 2016 study, there is disagreement about what math standards college students need. “Mathematics finding 4 indicates that although middle school and high school teachers generally agree about what mathematics skills are important to success in STEM courses and careers, college instructors or workforce respondents ascribed much less importance to those skills.” (ACT National Curriculum Survey 2016, ACT, Inc, retrieved June 6, 2019, from http://www.act.org/content/act/en/research/reports/act-publications/national-curriculum-survey.html ) At least part of this discrepancy comes from colleges and universities have different views and requirements. The 2015 Brown Center Report on American Education (https://www.brookings.edu/research/2015-brown-center-report-on-american-education-how-well-are-american-students-learning/) shows small gains in student performance in states that fully implemented the common core standards. Unfortunately, these difference are below or borderline concerning statistical significance.

Sadly it appears there is not a lot of research, at least yet, on the common core standards. What research exists seems to be leaning in the direction of the standards not living up to its goal. Whether this is the results of implementation or the standards themselves, it is not clear. For the time being, I will have to live with my dislike while trying to keep an open mind. What is defiantly clear is that more research, mainly that focused on learning gains, is desperately needed. Also, colleges and universities frantically need to work with K-12 so that everyone knows what is the need and expected of students perusing higher education.

Thanks for Listing to my Mussing
The Teaching Cyborg

Researching Prototyping and STEM Education

“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.”
Malcolm Gladwell

Microscopes are an essential piece of scientific equipment they gave us the ability to view parts of the world that we can’t see otherwise.  The invention of the microscope lead directly to germ theory which revolutionized healthcare. Throughout my career I’ve done a lot with microscopes; research, teach, maintenance, and I’ve even worked with a group to make them remote controlled.

Microscopes can also be extremely expensive, I worked with a microscope that cost a million dollars, and some microscopes cost more than that. Microscopes are particularly crucial in pathology and medical diagnostics. Which in some cases can be a problem; the cost of microscopes can be limiting in some areas of the world.

Take for instance sub-Saharan Africa; malaria is one of the most common causes of death due to illness in this region. According to the CDC 90% of all the worlds malaria-related deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Which is sad because malaria is completely treatable especially if identified early. The problem is malaria can present like the flu. Without going to it all the reasons the only way to conclusively diagnose an active malaria infection is by a stained blood smear observed under a microscope.

In the United States, this is not a problem if your local medical office doesn’t have a diagnostic lab; one is available within a few hours by medical courier. However, in places like sub-Saharan Africa diagnostics labs can be prohibitively expensive and far out of reach. A basic diagnostic microscope is going to cost several thousand dollars; a clinical centrifuge will also cost a couple of thousand dollars. In addition to the cost, this equipment can be difficult to transport and set-up.  The diagnostic equipment also requires electricity something that is not commonly available. So, you also need a generator and fuel.

In addition to malaria, poverty severely impacts sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank in 2015, 66.3% of the population live on $3.20 a day or less $1160 a year, 84.5% lived on $2007.50 or less a year.  One of the effects of poverty is a lack of infrastructure which makes it difficult to access many areas. 

A potential solution to this problem came from Dr. Manu Prakash an associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford. In 2014 his group developed the Foldscope a small microscope built from paper, an LED, watch battery, and spherical lens, it has magnification from 140X to 2000X. The Foldscope cost less than a dollar to make.

In 2017 his group developed the Paperfuge a hand-powered centrifuge with speeds of 125,000 RPM it costs about $0.20.

The Foldscope and Paperfuge don’t require power they’re small and easy to transport and we can easily replace them because of their low-cost. These pieces of paper can change diagnostics in remote regions drastically.

So, what do the Foldscope and Paperfuge have to do with STEM education?  Historically building, prototyping, and testing a new device was a long and expensive process. The cost limited the development of products to a few high-end research institution and large companies.  In today’s world of desktop manufacturing and prototyping, the cost to prototype has come down and is readily accessible to most schools and institutions.

With desktop tools available you can imagine building research/teaching programs around social and educational problems. On the educational side tools like the Foldscope and Paperfuge can be used by groups of students to do fieldwork.  Imagine taking groups of students out to a field site and giving all of them a microscope and centrifuge to do examinations.

Alternatively, we could use the Foldscope and Paperfuge as a model.  Schools and classes could partner with a community organization to develop tools to deal with problems and issues these organizations are facing. Students will start by learning the science behind the issues and the existing solution if there is one. Then as a laboratory component, students would use modern desktop manufacturing tools to design, prototype, and test solutions. We could adapt this type of program to any level of school. Additionally, they would combine science, engineering, and community service in one class.

Thanks for Listing to My Musings
The Teaching Cyborg

What the Moon Can Teach Us About Science

“I still say, ‘Shoot for the moon; you might get there.’”
Buzz Aldrin

Last month on January 21, 2019, I stood in the snow in below freezing temperature to photograph the lunar eclipse. 

January 2019 Lunar eclipse, photography by PJ Bennett
January 2019 Lunar eclipse, photography by PJ Bennett

Almost as much as the lunar eclipse itself, I enjoy the discussion leading up to the eclipse.  The news seemed to focus on the name of the eclipse, the super blood wolf moon eclipse.  I will admit it’s a great name and each part of it means something.  However, what if I told you that all total lunar eclipses have names.

A total lunar eclipse can only occur when there is a full moon.  The full moon is essential because every month’s full moon has a name.  February’s full moon (Feb 19, 2019) is the full snow moon.  February is also a super moon the second of three super moons in a row March will also be a super moon.  So, using the pattern from January Februaries full moon is a full super snow moon.

February 2019 Full Super Snow Moon, photograph By PJ Bennett.
February 2019 Full Super Snow Moon, photograph By PJ Bennett.

Our fascination with eclipses is interesting.  After all its not like they surprise us anymore, for instance, there will be a total Lunar eclipse in Denver on Feb 13, 2101, with its maximum at 7:46:33 pm.  The precision of this prediction is, of course, dependent on the model of the solar system and our observations of the positions of the plants. I suspect our fascination with eclipses has to do with the fact that there are very few things that let us observe the workings of the solar system.

Regardless of why its fascinating astronomy is an excellent way to both increase interest in the STEM fields and teach research methodologies.  Using astronomy to promote an interest in STEM is rather simple.  Anytime there is an astronomical event it gets covered in all the media.  Schools and organizations that promote STEM education should hold viewing parties.  In addition to helping people get a good view of the celestial event having experts present to talk about the event and science, in general, helps stir interest in STEM fields.

While I have seen some schools, observatories, and planetariums hold viewing parties it has defiantly not been all or most schools.  Additionally, these viewing parties would make a great cornerstone for a larger event that involved multiple STEM fields.  Helping participants understand that all the STEM fields are related and accessible will only help improve interest in the STEM disciplines.

Beyond promoting general interest in STEM, the history of astronomy makes a great teaching tool for the scientific method.  Anytime there is an eclipse especially a total solar eclipse someone always talks about how terrified this event must have been for early peoples.  We take for granted that we can predict eclipses.

In the media, we tie our ability to predict eclipses to our understanding of the plant’s motion around the sun which was first formally proposed by Copernicus in the 1543 publication of On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.  The only significant flaw with Copernicus’s model is that he thought the orbits had to be perfect circles.

Before Copernicus, the astronomic model of the solar system was dominated by the Ptolemaic model which had the earth at the center of the solar system (the center of the Universe).  This model lasted for about 1400 years.  However, even with incorrect or incomplete models of the solar system, the ability to predict eclipses has existed for at least 2000 years probably longer.  For instance, the Dresden Codex is a Mayan book written sometime in the 13th or 14th century; the authors based the codex on a Mayan book several centuries older.  The codex contains calculations on astronomy including accurate predictions of eclipses for both the sun and the moon. 

Six sheets of the Dresden Codex (pp. 55-59, 74) depicting eclipses, multiplication tables and the flood. Auther is unknown, This work is in the US public domain.
Six sheets of the Dresden Codex (pp. 55-59, 74) depicting eclipses, multiplication tables and the flood. Author is unknown, This work is in the US public domain.

Using the information in the Dresden codex anthropologists Harvey and Victoria Bricker were able to predict the Central American solar eclipse of July 11, 1991, to within a day in 1983 (If you’re interested the full paper is here.) Considering that we must convert the Mayan calendar to match our calendar that is amazingly accurate for something written hundreds of years before Copernicus published his model of the solar system.

We also know that the Mesopotamians and ancient Greeks predicted eclipses perhaps as far back as 2000 years. (Griggs, M.B. (2017, August 18). We’ve been predicting eclipses for over 2000 years. Here’s how. Retrieved from https://www.popsci.com/people-have-been-able-to-predict-eclipses-for-really-long-time-heres-how) If the correct understanding of the motion of the plants in the solar system is a relatively new thing how did older cultures predict eclipses and how does this help explain why the scientific method is essential?

Older cultures were able to predict eclipses because they follow a repeating cycle called the Saros Cycle, which is approximately 223 months long.  If a civilization lived long enough and its records were accurate enough deriving the Saros cycle is possible. Information on the periodicity of celestial events and observations of the night sky let individuals like Aristotle and Ptolemy developed the first models of the solar system with the earth at its center, also known as a geocentric model.

The Solar System according to the geocentric model of Claudius Ptolemaeus. By Andreas Cellarius. This work is in the US Public domain.
The Solar System according to the geocentric model of Claudius Ptolemaeus. By Andreas Cellarius. This work is in the US Public domain.

So how did this Ptolemaic model and its decedents last for almost one and a half millennia? The biggest reason is that the model fits all the relevant data and for most of this period the scientific method as we know it didn’t exist.

If the modern scientific method had been present at the time of Ptolemy, his geocentric model would have been a hypothesis, a prediction based on observation.  Again, using the scientific method astronomers would have tested the model by either trying to disprove it or by trying to disprove an alternative hypothesis.  Nowadays we understand that the best experiments are the ones designed to either disprove a hypothesis or distinguish between competing hypothesis. At the time of Ptolemy, astronomers did not challenge the model because it matched the observations and social beliefs.

Using the models of planetary motion from Ptolemy to Kepler makes an excellent background for discussions of the scientific method.  For the average person, all three models appeared to work and could predict celestial events.  Because they lacked our modern approach to science, several of these models persisted much longer then they could have.  Linking education to current events that capture people’s attention and excite them is one of the best ways to motivate a student. Next time a science-related story catches peoples attention think about how you might use it for education or motivation.

Thanks for Listing to My Musings
The Teaching Cyborg

The Raven Paradox and Science

“Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else that thinks at least as logically as it does.”
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

The democratization of knowledge is a tremendous and empowering idea. The internet plays a huge role in this democratization. The growth and expansion of the Internet are almost unfathomable. The growth of online video is an example of this. In the early stages of the Internet, one small picture could slow your website to a crawl. Now we’re watching 4K YouTube videos at 60 frames per second.

You can find almost anything on YouTube. Need to paint a room in your house there’s a video for that. Want to listen to your favorite band they probably have a channel. Want to know how to build an electric guitar there is a playlist for that. There are even channels focused primarily on teaching science. Some of my favorites are Dianna Cowern’s Physics Girl, Derek Muller’s Veritasium, Michael Stevens’s Vsauce, and Brady Haran’s Numberphile.

However, there are also other channels on YouTube presenting pseudoscience or even outright falsehoods. Did you know that the Flat Earth Society has its own YouTube channel? (No, I’m not linking to it!) As much as we might like the idea of deleting them if we support an open and free Internet and the democratization of knowledge we can’t.

Fortunately, a lot of them are easy to spot. However, what about videos that make a mistake or fall into a logic trap. What about videos recommended by YouTube? Does a YouTube recommendation increase the validity of a video?

The other day a video popped up in my YouTube recommendation feed the title intrigued me “The Raven Paradox (An Issue with the Scientific Method)” the video is by a channel TritoxHD which is a channel about “science, theory, and history!” The video concludes that scientists shouldn’t make overly broad generalizations.

The video centers around the Raven Paradox, which is an argument in inductive reasoning first presented by Carl Gustav Hempel and how it impacts on the scientific method. The raven paradox is interesting from a logical standpoint. The paradox is dependent on logical equivalents from a logical point of view; all A’s are B’s is equal to if not B then not A.

The paradox uses these two statements.

  1. All ravens are black.
  2. Something is not black; then it is not a raven.

Since these two statements are logically equivalent observing one is support for the other. As an example, the flower in my front yard is pink, this flower is not black, and it is not Raven, so this pink flower supports all ravens are black. If you are like most people, your response was just “WHAT!” The idea that dissimilar things can be used to prove each other is where the paradox comes from how can an observation of a flower have anything to do with ravens. Fred Leavitt does an excellent job of explaining how this works in his article Resolving Hempel’s Raven Paradox in Philosophy Now; my interest is in the description of the scientific method.

How does The Raven Paradox relate to the scientific method? Our YouTuber and others have suggested that many if not most hypotheses are of the format all A’s are B’s. In this case, the YouTuber makes his first mistake when he takes All ravens are black as a hypothesis.  The video states that the hypothesis is the first step in the scientific method, this is not true.

I like to think of the scientific method is a cycle that we can enter from any point, so there isn’t a first step. However, if you think of the scientific method linearly the first step is to ask a question.

Two representations of the Scientific Method one circular the other liner.
Two representations of the Scientific Method one circular the other liner.

Following in the raven example the question would be “Is there a trait that all ravens share?” Then you’d go out and observe ravens. This step is necessary because a hypothesis is a prediction based on observation. So, if you need observations to make a hypothesis, the hypothesis can’t be the first step. Our YouTube author even states that a hypothesis is a prediction based on observation.

An important thing to know about the hypothesis all ravens are black is that while very rare there are white (albino) or cream (leucistic) colored ravens.

Modified from Raven by Marcin Klapczynski, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Modified from Raven by Marcin Klapczynski, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The argument concerning the paradox is twofold one, to “prove” the hypothesis you must observe every single raven, I’ll come back to this latter. Two, you can observe hundreds even thousands of ravens and never see a white raven and therefore conclude that all ravens are black incorrectly.

Let’s suppose you examine 50 ravens and they were all blacks you come up with the hypothesis all ravens are black. You then go out and examined 5000 ravens, and they are all black. What is the problem, while we don’t know the exact numbers there are 4 or fewer albino ravens worldwide out of a total population of 16 million. That means that your probability of seeing an albino raven is 0.000025%. 

Beyond the small chance of seeing a white raven, there is another problem with the approach. Observing Ravens to see if they are black is an experiment that is designed to prove the hypothesis.  Specifically observing 5000 black Ravens is a result that is consistent with the hypothesis, this type of research doesn’t provide any information on alternative hypotheses.

With science, supporting or consistent data is of a lower value. Experiments that focus on disproving a hypothesis always have a higher value. They have a higher value because they eliminate alternative ideas which strengthen the validity of the remaining hypothesis. Additionally, a hypothesis is only scientific if it can be disproven.  Which means if you try to disprove a hypothesis and can’t the likely hood that the hypothesis is pointing at something real is stronger.

Let’s briefly get back to the issue of testability, since all ravens are black requires an examination of all ravens something that is impossible the hypothesis is untestable and is therefore not a scientific hypothesis. 

In the end, this the video uses the Raven Paradox to say that scientists can overreach and should be careful of generalizations. However, this argument is problematic because it is dependent on the definition of a hypothesis which is not complete.  The hypothesis all ravens are black is not a valid hypothesis. The author states a hypothesis is a prediction based on observations. I would say a prediction that is consistent with observations. Additionally, a hypothesis must be testable. Lastly, a hypothesis must be falsable or able to be proven incorrect to be a scientific hypothesis.

While I would like to see the YouTube logarithm not suggest things that are incomplete or oversimplified beyond usefulness, I suspect that will not happen.  Like I have stated before we need to focus on teaching students how to evaluate information.  I suspect most of the problems with the video come from things being oversimplified. As Einstein said, “Simplify everything as much as possible but no further.” Concerning basic education, I think we’ve taken the scientific method further. We tend towards being very simplistic in how we present the scientific method. We need to do a better job of teaching the basics if our students don’t know the foundation how can we hope to teach them the specifics.

Thanks for Listening to My Musings
The Teaching Cyborg