archive-org.com » ORG » S » SCIENTUS.ORG

Total: 32

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • The Church and Science
    necessary resources including full time helpers Mendel working as part of a team has more bearing on how science is done today than the myth The other lesson missed is that science is as much about how things are done as they are about what things are done Mendel s contemporaries including Darwin were conducting experiments similar to Mendel s Mendel s succeeded because he was the only one among them that understood sampling theory Gregor Mendel was a Catholic priest But it is Galileo Galilei not Mendel that is typically used to symbolize the relationship between the church and science There is no reason why Galileo represents this relationship better than Mendel Building the case from either is simply rhetoric see Galileo s Battle for the Heavens Science and the development of the scientific tradition is much too complex and the issues too subtle to be argued by cherry picking historical events relating to individual scientists Science s goal is to make sense of nature At its core is a set of methods for doing this in a repeatable way This is not enough The infrastructure needed to sustain science includes higher education mathematics and technology Scientists are trained in modern universities an institution invented by the church in the middle ages There are many examples where advances in science were only possible because of an advance in mathematics or technology The advances in astronomy in the seventeenth century were enabled by sophisticated technology for grinding lenses see Church and the Early Telescope Many advances in astronomy in the twentieth century were enabled by the seventeenth century advances in Analytic Geometry see Descartes in Galileo s Contemporaries This website looks at the question of the church and science from this bigger picture of science History of science is more

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/ (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive


  • Modern Science
    held to standards that are not met by modern scientists Historical achievements are sometimes given an importance that is hard to justify based on modern scientific activity A storybook view of a modern scientist might be that of a selfless researcher dedicated to advancing the bounds of knowledge In this perfect world new ideas that make more sense than accepted views are accepted promptly when the right data and logic are provided While there is much to respect in the modern scientist they are human Attachment to the status quo occurs amongst scientists just as it does in other fields The acceptance or rejection of a new concept or theory isn t always driven strictly by logic or the weight of data Modern science doesn t work the way many believe Thomas Kuhn was a philosopher of science who wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions This book is the original source of the popular term paradigm shift One theme of the book is that scientific communities do not embrace radical new ideas without resistance 1 This is true even when the new ideas are clearly more consistent with the data than the status quo This reality was stated best by Max Planck the famous quantum physicist A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it New ideas that challenge the status quo are scrutinized much more carefully and sometimes openly ridiculed And when these new ideas are ridiculed they are likely to be ridiculed by some very important scientists In 1672 when Laurent Cassegrain proposed the design used in most modern research telescopes see Reflecting on History he was publicly ridiculed by perhaps the

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Modern-Science.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Kuhn, Feyerabend and the Culture of Science
    supporting data is considered good practice But that isn t good enough for scientists scientists must consider all data they encounter in an investigation even if the data doesn t support their argument Sometimes contradictory data can be legitimately ignored but typically ignoring contradictory data is considered a fraud known as cooking the data Data that contradicts an argument might be ignored if it can be argued that there were problems with the experimental conditions It might be easier for scientists to follow these strict rules than other professions A scientist is expected to so clearly define a question that an experiment can easily prove it false He she is also expected to reduce the unknowns in an experiment This makes it easier to discuss the bulk of the data Other professions have questions forced on them that are wider in scope and therefore more difficult to answer conclusively Other professions do not have the luxury of eliminating unknowns Also a scientist s audience is typically other scientists interested in the same field Their audience does not have to be entertained and contradictory information might actually be of interest to them Many discussions of church and science provide a contrast to the way that science is conducted The problem area is so large that you simply cannot deal with a significant amount of the data As a result participants take a position and support it using whatever data they can ignoring information that contradicts their position An example is the NOVA documentary Galileo s Battle for the Heavens see Galileo s Battle for the Heaven s This documentary won an Emmy Award for best documentary in 2002 The church and Jesuits were portrayed throughout the documentary as reactionary The documentary did not mention that it was not Galileo but Galileo

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Science-Culture.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Science..Method or Culture?
    will be ordained a great scientist then the people or groups that disagreed with them during their lives are cast as anti scientific And this applies to sober academic discussions as much as it does to the discussions of amateurs That is why including a discussion on science no matter how contentious is better than avoiding the subject Most people associate science with the use of the scientific method But science is more than a method it is also a culture Both the method and the culture need to be understood to understand the history of science and the church The scientific method gives us a well defined and reliable way of discovering new information The culture of science gives us a unique behaviour that encourages free dissemination of information a skepticism that encourages double checking others results through a process called replication and strict guidelines on how the results of an experiment should be treated The method and culture of science are discussed briefly on pages available on the sidebar If science isn t defined then it means that any historical figure can be a scientist One example is Giordano Bruno Giordano Bruno was an important philosopher from the late sixteenth century Another of his major interests was in the the occult magic He had little interest in observation let alone structured experiment and is not known to have conducted even trivial scientific experiments He was not highly regarded by his scientific contemporaries which included Francis Bacon and Galilei Galileo He did not contribute a single advance in either fact theory or method to the scientific knowledge of his day His major tie with science is that he incorporated what some historians believe was a misunderstanding of Copernican theory into his philosophy Yet with these slim credentials and despite

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Science-Method-Culture.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The Scientific Method, Hypothesis, Prediction and Test
    Deduction is the opposite you would start from a rule to deduce an effect The ancient Greeks discussed induction widely and this discussion was continued by Arab Alchemists and many medieval European philosophers The scientific method refines the process of induction so that it could more consistently produce valuable new knowledge This page only briefly summarizes the scientific method Science The Method The scientific method taught in second level high schools around the world is key to all science Even so it is important to realize that there is a lot more to the workings of science including social and creative factors The textbook description of the scientific method might read as below Observation and description of natural phenomenon Formulation of a testable hypothesis to explain the phenomenon Use the hypothesis to predict other phenomenon or results Perform an experiment or experiments to ensure that results predicted based on hypothesis are achieved in the experiments If the experiments properly agree with the expectations then the hypothesis becomes a theory and is considered proven If the results of all the experiments do not agree with the expected results then the hypothesis is rejected or modified and retested Sometimes it is not just the original hypothesis that is subject to experimental testing but also any necessary consequences In the 15th 16th and 17th century the hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun was proposed But there was a necessary consequence of that hypothesis if the earth revolved around the sun then that meant that stellar parallax should be observed Parallax implies that there should be changes in the position of stars in a night sky if the earth was moving see Stellar Parallax Although there was already considerable support for the hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun in the

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Science-Method.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Induction and the Scientific Method
    from particular events or objects Induction has been refined in science to include observing nature generating a hypothesis from your observations then testing your hypothesis by experiment Galileo and other scientists of his time were champions of the scientific method While the seventeenth century brought the clearest exponents of the scientific method there was at least a 350 year tradition in Europe of discussions on the use of inductive techniques very similar to science before the seventeenth century Roger Bacon a Franciscan monk is known to have discussed a sequence of observation generation of hypothesis predictions and then demonstration of the hypothesis via experiment Grosseteste the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lincoln was an advocate of inductive techniques as well considering it the discovery of causes from the study of effects The techniques used by these 13th century philosophers and clerics was to be known as resolution and composition and was to be discussed and taught continuously in various parts of Europe between the 13th century and Galileo s time Leading innovators in the scientific method such as Zabarella were centred in Padua in the late 16th century before Galileo arrived there According to A C Crombie Galileo was influenced in

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Medieval-Methodologists.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The Calculatores: Bradwardine and the Mertonian Calculators
    Roman Catholic Archbishop The advances of the Calculatores were impressive They separated motion into categories such as uniform motion and uniformly accelerated motion much as modern physicists do today The Mean Speed Theorem was first published by William Heytesbury a Calculator in 1335 This tradition culminated in the Law of Free Fall published by the Spanish Calculator Father Domingo de Soto a few years before Galileo s birth Galileo is wrongly credited with originating the Law of Free Fall and the Mean Speed Theorem The ideas of the Oxford Calculators spread through Europe being incorporated into the work of the Parisian Doctors and other schools of Calculators It resulted in some surprisingly sophisticated mathematical descriptions of motion The Calculatores Mean Speed Theorem was an innovative way of making calculations for constantly accelerated motion as simple as for constant motion Calculating the distance travelled by a car at a fixed speed is simple speed times time Calculating the distance travelled by a car under constant acceleration is a little more complicated We could calculate it by breaking the time into small sections then adding up the distance travelled in these small sections The mathematics of the 1300 s wasn t ready for this approach Heytesbury suggested that if you take the mean speed during the acceleration and multiplied by time you would produce the same result A few decades later the Catholic Bishop Nicole Oresme and the Franciscan Friar Giovanni di Casale provided a geometric proof for the Theorem Galileo provided a similar geometric proof a few centuries later a Catholic Bishop This theorem states that a body moving with constant velocity travels distance and time equal to an accelerated body whose velocity is half the final speed of the accelerated body 1 Galileo knew of their work He taught at

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Calculatores-Bradwardine.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Wegener and Continental Drift Theory
    the fact that their theories arrived with pretty big holes Charles Darwin was missing an important mechanism for evolution when he published the Origin of Species in 1859 see Mendel and Darwin He argued that with the natural variations that occur in populations any trait that is beneficial would make that individual more likely to survive and pass on the trait to the next generation If enough of these selections occured on different beneficial traits you could end up with completely new species He did not have a mechanism for how the traits could be preserved over the succeeding generations At the time it was thought that the traits of the parents were blended in the offspring Unfortunately blending would dilute any beneficial trait out of a population within a few generations This is because most of the blending over the next generations would be with individuals that did not have the trait This gaping hole in the theory didn t stop universities such as Oxford from teaching Evolution as fact shortly after the publication of the Origin of Species This hole in Darwin s theory was plugged about 50 years later using the work of a Roman Catholic monk Gregor Mendel His theory provided an alternative to blending where traits were inherited whole Darwin s theory had another problem His theory proposed a gradual evolution through successive generations The fossil record of the time contradicted this There seemed to be an explosion of different life forms over a relatively short time span in the early Cambrian period the Cambrian Explosion There also didn t seem to be any transitional forms of life preceding these species New discoveries made the problem worse Much worse In 1909 a massive find of 65 000 more specimens of early Cambrian life was discovered in the Burgess Shale in British Columbia Canada Many were complex multi celled animals with no evidence of preceding transitional forms Wegener also shares much in common with Galileo Galileo had his own tidal argument one that was even more embarassing than Wegener s To defend his belief that the sun was the center of the solar system Galileo argued that the tides were caused by the sun His argument was based on there only being 1 tide per day and where the tides cycle over the year and not over a month It didn t take a scientist to realize that the argument was ridiculous There were other problems with Galileo s defense of Copernicism The scientists of Galileo s day did have scientifically valid reasons to doubt a moving earth A moving earth required that a phenomenon known as stellar parallax see Copernicism and Stellar Parallax would be observed No one in Galileo s day or for two centuries after his death was able to observe this phenomenon Neither did the current data support Galileo s favoured Copernican Model Modern statistical analyses don t either 2 Galileo wasn t proposing the Keplerian model that works so well he

    Original URL path: http://www.scientus.org/Wegener-Continental-Drift.html (2016-02-10)
    Open archived version from archive



  •