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Science (SCIE) 326
Scientific Reasoning (Revision 3)

Revision 3 closed October 2, 2007, replaced by current version.

View previous syllabus

Delivery mode: Individualized study.

Credits: 3 - Science

Prerequisite: Twelve credits of university-level science courses including at least six credits in courses with lab components.

Centre: Centre for Science

SCIE 326 has a Challenge for Credit option.


This course deals with both the formal and informal aspects of scientific reasoning. Topics covered include: what is science? what is reason? the scientific method; relations between theory and experiment; scientific paradigms; explanation and prediction; what is a scientific theory? principles of reasoning; systems of analytical reasoning; tools for analysis (Venn diagrams, classification, syllogisms, Boolean logic); statistical inference; traps and fallacies of reason; mathematics in science.


To receive credit for SCIE 326, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

2 Essays (20% each) Mid-term Exam Final Exam Total
40% 30% 30% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Derry, Gregory N. What Science Is and How It Works. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Goldstein, Martin, and Inge Goldstein. The Experience of Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach. New York: Plenum, 1984.

Lee, Jeffrey A. The Scientific Endeavor: A Primer on Scientific Principles and Practice. San Francisco: Addison Wesley Longman, 2000.

Lessing, Doris. Prisons We Choose to Live Inside. New York: Harper and Row, 1986.

Toulmin, Stephen E. Foresight and Understanding: An Enquiry into the Aims of Science. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1961.

Other Materials

The course materials include two study guides and a student manual.