Secrets of the Deep Sky
There are two general classes of experimenter effects, namely, interactional and noninteractional. Interactional effects come into play when an experimenter interacts with participants, whereas noninteractional effects are mostly cognitive and perceptual and do not involve interaction between experimenter and participant. All I will say about noninteractional effects is that their influence has long been recognized in fact, an astronomer from the eighteenth century (Friedrich Bessel) who studied errors in astronomical observations was labeled by Rosenthal as the first student of the 'psychology of scientists.' 3
Units of Measurement, Astronomy, and Math. Perhaps one of the earliest expressions of applied prehistoric science is seen from the period of 30 kya with the first evidence of external counting (math) and possible astronomical recordings. They both come from bone artifacts.19 First, bones have been found with eleven groups of five tallies, which have been interpreted as the first explicit sign of mathematical quantities being recorded. Second, a bone pressure plaque was found in Blanchard, France, showing a serpentine row of etched engravings in a bone, and the etched figures appear to be recordings of the moon phases for a two-and-a-half-month period. It is a remarkable recording, complete with waxing, waning, new, and full moons. Indeed, the first units of measurement were often astronomical and temporal. The moon, stars (constellations), sun, and planets change with regular cycles among the most obvious cycles in all of nature. The most obvious way to mark time, from prehistoric...
Observation, we see once again, cannot be divorced from its theoretical framework. One scientist's belief is another's skepticism. One could argue that this back and forth between skepticism and belief is the very reason science advances. One constantly has to answer the sharp doubts and criticisms of one's peers. As the astronomer Carl Sagan put it, science requires an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. 12
The Koran stresses that thoughtful intelligence is needed to decipher messages of God delivered through the natural world, and it avidly encourages Muslims to examine their surroundings with curiosity and attentiveness. In the ninth century, a new movement within Islam became dedicated to the proposition that one should live in accordance with the laws of the cosmos, which could be discerned through the study of astronomy, medicine, mathematics, and the natural sciences. This led to a cultural florescence within the Abbasis empire. The Arab Faylasufs who led this movement interpreted rationalism as the most advanced form of religion. Rationality, they thought, could only refine the concept of God and free it from anthropocentrism and superstition.
Language must be grounded in reality, but how tightly grounded Sexual selection still has elbow room to favor Scheherazade equilibria (fantastic stories based on recognizable objects) or science equilibria (useful, true descriptions of the world). Now I am no longer sure which equilibrium our species is playing. Most people in most cultures throughout most of history have talked reasonably accurately about ordinary objects, people, and events, but they have talked absolute fantasy about astronomy, cosmology, theology, and any other phenomena that could not be directly observed.
The most important criteria of a useful theory is its ability to stimulate and guide further research. Without an adequate theory to point the way, many of science's present empirical findings would have remained undiscovered. In astronomy, for example, the planet Neptune was discovered because the theory of motion generated the hypothesis that the irregularity in the path of Uranus must be caused by the presence of another planet. Useful theory provided astronomers with a road map that guided then search for and discovery of the new planet.
Implicit Physics (Physical Objects-Spatial Domain). Physical knowledge concerns the inanimate world of physical objects (including tools) their movement, positioning, and causal relations in space and their inner workings (machines).11 Because tool use is a large component of physical knowledge, some archeologists refer to this domain as technical intelligence. It consists of the ability to solve problems of tool use (wood versus stone simple versus complex) and mental and physical manipulation of inanimate objects of different materials, as well as an implicit understanding of physics (gravity, inertia, and dynamics of objects). Moreover, spatial knowledge and skills are involved in the physical objects domain. An implicit physics is also seen in children's automatic sense that physical objects obey different rules than living things (inanimate versus animate rules). Inanimate objects fall to the ground and do not get up. The physical sciences (physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology)...
While big brains may have assisted in the successful adaptation to the world, that alone could not have bestowed on humankind art, astronomy, agriculture, and the potential to see ourselves as others see us. It is suggested that those powers were made possible through well-connected neurons that coalesced into cognitive modules. These cerebral circuits increased the capacity for abstract, symbolic, and artistic thought.
The Oath's passages span the history of medicine from its genesis in the age of the Olympian gods to its unfolding judgment by all human beings for time eternal. The traverse from divine instructors to human appraisal recapitulates the larger narrative of Greek mythology that proceeds from creation epics, to Olympian gods and their heroic offspring who taught justice to humans, and closes with humans' assuming responsibility for a world from which the gods have retreated.1 The Oath was written in the middle of that history. The Greek physicians remembered and still swore by the ancient gods. Olympian oracles still revealed the ancient order, but the gods themselves no longer commingled with humans as they had when Apollo loved Coronis and sired Asclepius. As the Oath was written, empirical prediction was replacing divination in medicine, astronomy, and mathematics. Even the analysis of history was becoming a science rather than a discerning of unfolding divine judgments on societies....
Though grammatical, speech is peculiar due to abnormal inflection and repetition. Clumsiness (and a lack of motor planning) is prominent both in speech and physical movements. individuals with this disorder usually have a limited area of interest that usually excludes more age-appropriate, common interests. some examples of these single-minded obsessions may include cars, trains, Russian literature, doorknobs, hinges, astronomy, or history.
Science is advanced by new tools, new measurement devices. For example, physiology has been advanced by sophisticated procedures (such as magnetic resonance imaging) that show images of body structures, and astronomy has progressed rapidly as a result of the giant Hubble telescope. In the same way, personality research is greatly enhanced by improved measurement. Cattell gave us a new set of instruments to replace inadequate ones. He demanded that personality tests themselves be tested to provide extensive evidence of reliability and validity before they were used to make decisions about people. Such decisions can be important, and the value of tests sometimes becomes a matter of dispute in court trials (Pope, 1993-1994).
This broad presentation of conceptual history comes from John L. Heilbron, The Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy (New York Oxford University Press, 2005) Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd, Early Greek Science Thales to Aristotle (New York Norton, 1974) and David C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science The European Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context (Chicago University of Chicago Press, 1992).
Deaths of a scientist was that of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (15461601) who suffered with prostate trouble. At a royal banquet in Prague he dare not leave the table to relieve himself, with the result that his bladder split and he died a few days later. Analysis of a strand of his hair, which had the root intact, showed that the day before he died he was given a mercurial medicine in an effort to save his life.
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