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Contemporary's GED Science
Robert Mitchell

Concepts and Processes in Science

Chapter Outline

Concepts and Processes

(See page 27)

Concepts and processes: unifying themes that connect all scientific studies—from the methods used to study science to the way science is interpreted, recorded, and communicated

Systems, Order, and Organization

(See pages 30–33)
  • A system is an organized group of related objects or components that form a single field of study.
  • Order in nature refers to those properties and behaviors in nature that are predictable, allowing us to understand our world.
  • Organization in nature refers to the way in which parts of a whole are related.
  • Classification is the way in which scientists organize organisms and objects based on similar or different characteristics.

Evidence, Models, and Explanation

(See pages 34–36)
  • Evidence consists of observations and data that come from experiments.
  • Models are ideas, drawings, or objects that stand for real things.
  • Explanations in science are based on three types of statements:

    1. scientific facts—conclusions based on evidence upon which scientists agree
    2. hypotheses—reasonable explanations of evidence or predictions based on evidence
    3. opinions—personal beliefs that may or may not be based on evidence but are based on a person's own value system.

Change, Constancy, and Measurement

(See pages 37–40)
  • Change is a property that characterizes all of nature and all of life.
  • Constancy is the tendency of some things to remain unchanged.
  • Measurement is one of the most important scientific tools and relies on the fact that its units do not change from time to time or from place to place.

Evolution, Equilibrium, and Entropy

(See pages 41–43)
  • Evolution is a series of changes occurring over time.
  • Equilibrium is a condition in which change takes place in equal and opposite ways.
  • Entropy is the tendency of organized systems to become disorganized.

Form and Function

(See pages 44–46)
  • Form refers to the physical characteristics of living organisms.
  • Function refers to the way in which the form of an object relates to its use.