2 How did astronomical observations benefit ancient societies? Keeping track of time and seasonsfor practical purposes, including agriculturefor religious and ceremonial purposesAid to navigationAstrology (at least into the 1980s)
3 Ancient people of central Africa (6500 BC) could predict seasons from the orientation of the crescent moonHere’s an example of the practical application of observations: Africans could determine where they were in the rainy season or dry season from observations of the crescent moon.
4 Days of week were named for Sun, Moon, and visible planets And here’s an example that we still live with today…Days of week were named for Sun, Moon, and visible planets
5 What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Daily timekeepingTracking the seasons and calendarMonitoring lunar cyclesMonitoring planets and starsPredicting eclipsesAnd more …Here we list a few examples of what ancient civilizations learned to do. The next several slides are a brief “slide show” of ancient structures…
10 SW United States: “Sun Dagger” marks summer solstice
11 Peru: Lines and patterns, some aligned with stars. Note: fun to discuss the claims that these had to have been made by “ancient astronauts”…Peru: Lines and patterns, some aligned with stars.
12 Macchu Pichu, Peru: Structures aligned with solstices. Note: fun to discuss the claims that these had to have been made by “ancient astronauts”…Macchu Pichu, Peru: Structures aligned with solstices.
13 South Pacific: Polynesians were very skilled in art of celestial navigation
14 This picture is not in the text, but very cool -- possible evidence of astronomical observations by cave dwellers.France: Cave paintings from 18,000 B.C. may suggest knowledge of lunar phases (29 dots)
15 Bone or tortoise shell inscription from the 14th century BC. "On the Jisi day, the 7th day of the month, a big new star appeared in the company of the Ho star.""On the Xinwei day the new star dwindled."Another extra picture not in book…Bone or tortoise shell inscription from the 14th century BC.China: Earliest known records of supernova explosions (1400 B.C.)
16 Our goals for learning: 3.2 Ancient Greek ScienceOur goals for learning:Why does modern science trace its roots to the Greeks?How did the Greeks explain planetary motion?How was Greek knowledge preserved through history?
17 Why does modern science trace its roots to the Greeks? Greeks were the first people known to make models of nature.They tried to explain patterns in nature without resorting to myth or the supernatural.Greek geocentric model (c. 400 B.C.)
18 Special Topic: Eratosthenes Measures Earth (c. 240 B.C.) Measurements:Syene to Alexandriadistance ≈ 5000 stadiaangle = 7°Calculate circumference of Earth:7/360 (circum. Earth) = 5000 stadia circum. Earth = 5000 360/7 stadia ≈ 250,000 stadiaThis slide based on the special topic box to show Eratosthenes calculation.Compare to modern value (≈ 40,100 km):Greek stadium ≈ 1/6 km 250,000 stadia ≈ 42,000 km
19 How did the Greeks explain planetary motion? Underpinnings of the Greek geocentric model:Earth at the center of the universeHeavens must be “perfect”: Objects moving on perfect spheres or in perfect circles.PlatoAristotle
20 But this made it difficult to explain apparent retrograde motion of planets… You may wish to review what we mean by apparent retrograde motion before showing the Greek explanation…Review: Over a period of 10 weeks, Mars appears to stop, back up, then go forward again.
21 The most sophisticated geocentric model was that of Ptolemy (A. D The most sophisticated geocentric model was that of Ptolemy (A.D ) — the Ptolemaic model:Sufficiently accurate to remain in use for 1,500 years.Arabic translation of Ptolemy’s work named Almagest (“the greatest compilation”)Ptolemy
22 So how does the Ptolemaic model explain retrograde motion So how does the Ptolemaic model explain retrograde motion? Planets really do go backward in this model..Note that we describe “circle upon circle” motion, avoiding use of “epicycle” and “deferent” in order to keep jargon to a minimum. You might wish to discuss the complexity of this model to help set stage for Copernican revolution.
23 3.3 The Copernican Revolution Our goals for learning:How did Copernicus, Tycho, and Kepler challenge the Earth-centered model?What are Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion?How did Galileo solidify the Copernican revolution?
24 How did Copernicus, Tycho, and Kepler challenge the Earth-centered model? Proposed a Sun-centered model (published 1543)Used model to determine layout of solar system (planetary distances in AU)But . . .Model was also nearly as complex as the Ptolemaic model because he still used circles upon circles (epicycles) to try to get better matches to data.The model was no more accurate than the Ptolemaic model in predicting planetary positions, because it still used perfect circles.Copernicus ( )
25 Compiled the most accurate (one arcminute) naked eye measurements ever made of planetary positions. Still could not detect stellar parallax, and thus still thought Earth must be at center of solar system (but recognized that other planets go around Sun).Hired Kepler, who used Tycho’s observations to discover the truth about planetary motion.Remind students that one arcminute is equivalent to the width of a fingernail at arm’s length…Tycho Brahe ( )
26 Kepler first tried to match Tycho’s observations with circular orbits But an 8-arcminute discrepancy led him eventually to ellipses.“If I had believed that we could ignore these eight minutes [of arc], I would have patched up my hypothesis accordingly. But, since it was not permissible to ignore, those eight minutes pointed the road to a complete reformation in astronomy.”Kepler quote offers a good opportunity to talk about the nature of science, and how failure to match observations should force a change in hour hypotheses.Johannes Kepler ( )
27 An ellipse looks like an elongated circle. What is an ellipse?Use this slide to review ellipses and the definition of eccentricity.An ellipse looks like an elongated circle.
28 What are Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion? Kepler’s First Law: The orbit of each planet around the Sun is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus.
29 Kepler’s Second Law: As a planet moves around its orbit, it sweeps out equal areas in equal times. This means that a planet travels faster when it is nearer to the Sun and slower when it is farther from the Sun.
30 Kepler’s Third Law p = orbital period in years More distant planets orbit the Sun at slower average speeds, obeying the relationshipp2 = a3p = orbital period in yearsa = avg. distance from Sun in AU
31 Thought Question An asteroid orbits the Sun at an average distance a = 4 AU. How long does it take to orbit the Sun?4 years8 years16 years64 yearsHint: Remember that p2 = a3
32 Thought Question An asteroid orbits the Sun at an average distance a = 4 AU. How long does it take to orbit the Sun?4 years8 years16 years64 yearsWe need to find p so that p2 = a3.Since a = 4, a3 = 43 = 64.Therefore, p = 8, p2 = 82 = 64.
33 How did Galileo solidify the Copernican revolution? Galileo overcame major objections to the Copernican view. Three key objections rooted in Aristotelian view were:Earth could not be moving because objects in air would be left behind.Non-circular orbits are not “perfect” as heavens should be.If Earth were really orbiting Sun, we’d detect stellar parallax.We think it is worth going over these three objections so that students can see how the scientific process works. E.g., the doubters were not being unreasonable, and it took evidence to overcome their doubts.
34 Overcoming the first objection (nature of motion): Galileo’s experiments showed that objects in air would stay with Earth as it moves.Aristotle thought that all objects naturally come to rest.Galileo showed that objects will stay in motion unless a force acts to slow them down (Newton’s first law of motion).
35 Overcoming the second objection (heavenly perfection): Tycho’s observations of comet and supernova already challenged this idea.Using his telescope, Galileo saw:Sunspots on Sun (“imperfections”)Mountains and valleys on the Moon (proving it is not a perfect sphere)
36 Overcoming the third objection (parallax): Tycho thought he had measured stellar distances, so lack of parallax seemed to rule out an orbiting Earth.Galileo showed stars must be much farther than Tycho thought — in part by using his telescope to see the Milky Way is countless individual stars.If stars were much farther away, then lack of detectable parallax was no longer so troubling.Remind students that lack of detectable parallax has two possible explanations:(1) stars are so far away that we can’t measure it; or (2) Earth is center of universe. Greeks and Tycho had rejected (1), but Galileo offered evidence that it was in fact the correct explanation.
37 Galileo also saw four moons orbiting Jupiter, proving that not all objects orbit Earth.
38 Galileo’s observations of phases of Venus proved that it orbits the Sun and not Earth.
41 Papal Infallibility“His definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter."And if you did not agree with the Church sanctioned doctrines:
43 "The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go." - Cardinal Baronius (1598), a quote cited by Galileo
44 The Catholic Church ordered Galileo to recant his claim that Earth orbits the Sun in 1633 and banned his book.The trial was soon viewed as a clash between dogma and free thinking and helped reducing the political power of the church.His book on the subject was removed from the Church’s index of banned books in 1824.The scientific case was essentially settled, but the story was more complex in his own time as politics intervened…Galileo Galilei
45 exonerationIn 1992, 359 years after the Galileo trial and 350 years after his death, Pope John Paul II established a commission that ultimately issued an apology, lifting the edict of Inquisition against Galileo.
46 How can we distinguish science from non-science? 3.4 The Nature of ScienceHow can we distinguish science from non-science?Defining science can be surprisingly difficult.Science from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge.”
47 The idealized scientific method Based on proposing and testing hypotheseshypothesis = educated guessObservations and experiments are keyMore accurate observations distinguish between different hypothesesYou may wish to go through the flashlight example that appears in the text.
48 But science rarely proceeds in this idealized way… For example: Sometimes we start by “just looking” then coming up with possible explanations.Sometimes we follow our intuition rather than a particular line of evidence.E.g., Copernicus and his early backers did NOT have a model that worked better than the Earth-centered model, but their intuition kept them working at it until Kepler finally found a way to make it work.
49 Hallmarks of Science: #1 Modern science seeks explanations for observed phenomena that rely solely on natural causes.(A scientific model cannot include divine intervention)Example: Kepler sought a natural explanation for observations made by Tycho.
50 Hallmarks of Science: #2 Science progresses through the creation and testing of models of nature that explain the observations as simply as possible.(Simplicity = “Occam’s razor”)Example: By early 1600s, we several competing models of planetary motion, including those of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Kepler. Kepler’s gained acceptance because it worked the best. Also: in principle, we could make a geocentric model arbitrarily accurate with enough circles, but its lack of simplicity would still lead us to prefer Kepler’s model…
51 Hallmarks of Science: #3 A scientific model must make testable predictions about natural phenomena that would force us to revise or abandon the model if the predictions do not agree with observations.In other words a scientific model must be falsifiable. (Karl Popper)Example: each of the competing models offered predictions that were tested. Kepler’s model can still be tested. In fact, slight discrepancies found at later dates led to new discoveries, such as Einstein’s theories…
53 Not all knowledge comes from science Suppose you are shopping for a car: You might makeobservations, exercise logic, test hypotheses, butthis pursuit is clearly not science, because it is notdirected at developing a testable explanation forobserved natural phenomenon.There is nothing wrong with this knowledge!Not all knowledge comes from science
54 What about our apprehensions and fear of science?
55 Spiritual value of science The universe is not capricious and vengeful.There is beauty and order beyond our wildest ancient dreams.Unity and symmetry: The entire universe is made of the same elements and obey the same physical lawsEagle+ Whirlpool – then - HDF slide + CMB slid
57 Our Precious Birthright Scientific progress:The cumulative growth of a system of knowledgeover time in which useful features are retained andnon useful features are abandoned, based onthe rejection or confirmation of testable knowledge.
58 What is a scientific theory? The word theory has a differentmeaning in science than in everyday life.In science, a theory is NOT the sameas a hypothesis, rather:A scientific theory must:Explain a wide variety of observations with a few simple principles, ANDMust be supported by a large, compelling body of evidence.Must NOT have failed any crucial test of its validity.
59 Thought Question Darwin’s theory of evolution meets all the criteria of a scientific theory. This means:Scientific opinion is about evenly split as to whether evolution really happened.Scientific opinion runs about 90% in favor of the theory of evolution and about 10% opposed.After more than 100 years of testing, Darwin’s theory stands stronger than ever, having successfully met every scientific challenge to its validity.There is no longer any doubt that the theory of evolution is absolutely true.Optional thought question to check student understanding…
60 Thought Question Darwin’s theory of evolution meets all the criteria of a scientific theory. This means:Scientific opinion is about evenly split as to whether evolution really happened.Scientific opinion runs about 90% in favor of the theory of evolution and about 10% opposed.After more than 100 years of testing, Darwin’s theory stands stronger than ever, having successfully met every scientific challenge to its validity.There is no longer any doubt that the theory of evolution is absolutely true.Optional thought question to check student understanding…
61 Our goals for learning: 3.5 AstrologyOur goals for learning:How is astrology different from astronomy?Does astrology have any scientific validity?Other paranormal claims
62 How is astrology different from astronomy? Astronomy is a science focused on learning about how stars, planets, and other celestial objects work.Astrology is a search for hidden influences on human lives based on the positions of planets and stars in the sky.
63 Does astrology have any scientific validity? Scientific tests have shown that astrological predictions are no more accurate than we should expect from pure chance.
64 Astrological Time Twins A study involving 2,101 persons born in London during3–9 March They were born on average 4.8 minutesapart, so they were precisely those for which astrologershad predicted ‘really exceptional similarities of life andtemperament’.Measurements at ages 11, 16 and 23 had providedtest scores for IQ, reading and arithmetic;teacher and parent ratings of behavior such as anxiety,aggressiveness and sociability self-ratings of ability such asart, music and sports; and various others such asoccupation, accident proneness and marital status;
65 No correlation was found! The effect size due toastrology was 0.00 ± 0.03.It disconfirms the idea of sun signs (2,101 Pisceans evidently had few similarities!)
66 What is the credible evidence for fringe phenomena? AstrologyPsychokinesisESPClairvoyanceCrystalsNumerologyET visitsChannelingCrop circlesTarot readingPyramidologyPalmistryJ.J. AbramsAlien abductionsDivinationBible code
67 Why is it important?If any of these phenomena has factual validity it will have a profound impact on the way we understand the world around us.For this reason:Extraordinary claims demand Extraordinary proof.
68 James Randi has become a foremost spokesperson on behalf of critical thinking, reason and a willingnessto ask questions -- especially when claims aremade concerning the paranormal or spiritual.
69 JREF million-dollar paranormal challenge The James Randi Educational Foundationoffer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.