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Review Scientific Process-4

Which of the following observations is NOT scientifically testable?

  1. Butterflies have pretty wings.

    Yes! Pretty is an opinion, and can vary from person to person, so it is NOT scientifically testable.
  2. Butterflies have six legs.

    No. This could be tested by counting the legs of a variety of butterflies.
  3. Butterflies can sting like bees.

    No. A claim does not have to be true to be testable. Examination of a variety of butterflies would show that they do not have stingers.
  4. Most butterflies drink nectar from flowers.

    No. This could be tested by observing the feeding habits of butterflies.

Explain more about it.

If I said that butterflies did not have six legs, you could show me physical evidence by counting their legs. After counting the legs, the physical evidence would show that butterflies have six legs.

If I said that I don't think butterfly wings are pretty, you could show me wings that you think are pretty, but I might not agree with your opinion. "Pretty" is not something that we can measure. What is pretty to one person might not be pretty to another, so it is not a testable property.

Click to see which state standards this question tests, and which of my videos, experiments, and other resources support that topic.


SC.5.N.2.1 Recognize and explain that science is grounded in empirical observations that are testable; explanation must always be linked with evidence.

SC.8.N.2.1 Distinguish between scientific and pseudoscientific ideas.