Concepts of Biology (BIOL115) - Dr. S.G. Saupe (; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321

Scientific Analysis of "The Garden"

    This exercise is based on the story, "The Garden," written by Arnold Lobel in Frog and Toad Together (Harper & Row, 1972).  Recall that Toad planted some seeds in his garden.  When they failed to immediately germinate, Toad begins shouting at his seed.  Frog happens on the scene and suggests that the seeds are afraid to grow but if Toad leaves them alone for awhile they will start to grow.  To comfort his scared seeds Toad reads stories, sings, and plays music for his seeds.  Eventually his seeds grow and and Toad concludes, "At seeds have stopped  being afraid to grow!"  Based on this story, answer the following questions:

  1. Describe the major "steps" of the "scientific method."
  2. What question did Toad try to answer?
  3. What was Toad's hypothesis?
  4. List some alternative hypothesis.
  5. Briefly restate in your own words the experiment performed by Toad.
  6. List at least five variables that might affect this experiment.
  7. Identify the experiment and control groups in this experiment.  Which variable(s) is/are controlled?  Which is the experimental variable(s)?
  8. What was the result of Toad's experiment?
  9. What was Toad's conclusion?
  10. Why wasn't Toad's conclusion justified?
  11. Can you think of an example where someone has made an inappropriate conclusion using the same flawed logic as Toad?
  12. How can this experiment be modified to make it better?  Outline the experimental protocol.
  13. Although it's not necessary for this particular experiment, explain how Toad and Frog could have done a double blind experiment.  Why are double blind experiments important?
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Last updated: August 25, 2004     � Copyright by SG Saupe / URL: