This course is concerned with how we acquire and use knowledge about the world to organize our thoughts and beliefs about complexities in nature. We will consider the many routes of knowledge acquisition and formulate a specific framework by which we may test the veracity of acquired knowledge. The course will consider foundational ideas in the history and philosophy of science, but aim to move beyond the philosophical to provide concrete examples of empiricism in our natural and social worlds. Students will share the challenge of discovering how strong beliefs are not always empirically justified and how our own morals, values and prior experiences may blind us to available evidence. Beyond recognition of the principles of science and articulation of the limitations of empirical approaches, we will develop strategies for evaluation and testing of important claims.