Which of the following does a new scientific theory do:   embraces popular opinion   ignores data/observations  incorporates prior knowledge   neglects use of new technology  

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A scientific theory is arrived at using the scientific method of problem solving. The correct answer to this question is incorporates prior knowledge. This is because when a problem is stated, the first thing someone should do is conduct research about what is known about this problem or topic. This is where prior knowledge becomes important. Next, they decide upon a hypothesis--an educated guess or possible solution to this problem. This is a testable statement that can be tested by experimentation. Following proper experimental procedure including an experimental group and a control group, one can collect data and see if their hypothesis was correct or not. This information gets shared with others and re-tested to see if it is valid. When something new is learned, eventually the hypothesis may be treated as a theory--something people generally agree is true. However, as technology changes and more information becomes available, a theory may change as well. For example, at one time, people believed in the theory of Use and Disuse as per Jean Baptiste Lamarck. However, as new information became available, this theory was disproven and Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection replaced it. As time went by, and new information became available about genetics and mutation, a modern theory of evolution was arrived at. In this example, prior knowledge plays a huge role in deciding upon how to approach an explanation about natural phenomena.