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Living things (1) grow and (2) reproduce: they increase in size, and they produce offspring. Living things (3) maintain a relatively stable internal environment in the face of changing external circumstances—producing heat when they’re cold, for example—a phenomenon known as homeostasis (see Chapter 25). To maintain homeostasis, living things (4) sense and respond to their environment, as when a plant grows toward sunlight. And to carry out these and other life-defining activities, all living organisms (5) obtain and use energy, the power to do work.
Theory of General Relativity Gravity influences time and space. Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection Populations of organisms change over time, adapting to their environment. 9 1 experiments that support a hypothesis, the more confident we can be that it is true. Truth in science is never final, however. What is accepted as fact today may tomorrow need to be modified or even rejected, when more evidence comes to light. Nevertheless, scientific knowledge does progress. The highest point of scientific knowledge is what’s called a scientific theory.
Most of the health studies featured in the news are epidemiological studies. Consider a study on coffee and Parkinson disease published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2000. Researchers examined the relationship between coffee drinking and the incidence of Parkinson disease, a condition that afflicts more than 1 million people in the United States, affecting men and women of all ethnic groups. There is no known cure, only palliative treatments to help lessen symptoms, which include trembling limbs and difficulty coordinating speech and movement.