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Astronomy Lecture 06 - Oct 19.docx

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Western University
Astronomy 1021
Jan Cami

th ASTRONOMY 1021 October 19 , 2010 Astronomy – Lecture 6 What is Science? Kepler’s Laws, Motion, Energy and Gravity… Setup & Instructions for Starry Night are provided. Horoscope = 1% Motions in the Sky = 2% (pretty much ignored slides for a long while. Download them all) Revolution in Science… o Copernican revolution completely changed our ideas Discussion… o What is a science mind? o What do you find difficult about science? o What is crucial in the Copernican revolution? o Do you find it important to be able to distinguish science from pseudo-science? o Why should you care about science? What is science?... o Somehow related to scientia (knowledge), includes understanding o Includes scientific method – basic level of scientific thinking Scientific method… o Something we know from everyday experience o Idealized conceptual methodology—many scientific discoveries happen by accident o Important: feedback mechanism that updates hypothesis when tests fail (Missed more slides…la la la) How to recognize pseudo-science… o Supernatural involved o Claims that can’t be tested o Excuses for failed tests o Anything that makes no sense whatsoever o Conspiracy required? th ASTRONOMY 1021 October 19 , 2010 Astrology… o Claim #1 – apparent positions of the Sun, Moon and planets among the stars influence events on earth o Claim #2 – only astrologers have the required powers to “See” and “Feel” this influence o Claimed #3 – Astrological predictions have been tested o If this is true, very powerful and should be used to our advantage o We can have a look at the claims to see whether they exhibit the hallmarks of science. Do they make sense? o Claim #1 – IF planets have influence, it must be through a mechanism we don’t know yet. It’s related to “astrologically” defined artificial constellations, not the ones that we see in the night sky. Influence should not depend on distance, and
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