probability, allows for greater or lesser certainty of predictions.
Order—the behavior of units of matter, objects, organisms, or events in the universe—can be described statistically. Probability is the relative certainty (or uncertainty) that individuals can assign to selected events happening (or not happening) in a specified space or time. In science, reduction of uncertainty occurs through such processes as the development of knowledge about factors influencing objects, organisms, systems, or events; better and more observations; and better explanatory models.
Types and levels of organization provide useful ways of thinking about the world. Types of organization include the periodic table of elements and the classification of organisms. Physical systems can be described at different levels of organization—such as fundamental particles, atoms, and molecules. Living systems also have different levels of organization—for example, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, and communities. The complexity and number of fundamental units change in extended hierarchies of organization. Within these systems, interactions between components occur. Further, systems at different levels of organization can manifest different properties and functions.
[See Content Standard A (all grade levels)]
EVIDENCE, MODELS, AND EXPLANATION Evidence consists of observations and data on which to base scientific explanations. Using evidence to understand interactions allows individuals to predict changes in natural and designed systems.
Models are tentative schemes or structures that correspond to real objects, events, or classes of events, and that have explanatory power. Models help scientists and engineers understand how things work. Models take many forms, including physical objects, plans, mental constructs, mathematical equations, and computer simulations.
Scientific explanations incorporate existing scientific knowledge and new evidence
As students develop and . . . understand more science concepts and processes, their explanations should become more sophisticated . . . frequently include a rich scientific knowledge base, evidence of logic, higher levels of analysis, greater tolerance of criticism and uncertainty.
from observations, experiments, or models into internally consistent, logical statements. Different terms, such as "hypothesis," "model," "law," "principle," ''theory," and "paradigm" are used to describe various types of scientific explanations. As students develop and as they understand more science concepts and processes, their explanations should become more sophisticated. That is, their scientific explanations should more frequently include a rich scientific knowledge base, evidence of logic, higher levels of analysis, greater tolerance of criticism and uncertainty, and a clearer demonstration of the relationship between logic, evidence, and current knowledge.
[See Content Standard B (grades 9-12)]
CONSTANCY, CHANGE, AND MEASUREMENT Although most things are in the process of becoming different—changing—some properties of objects and processes are characterized by constancy, including the speed