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10 Cards in this Set

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1.1 Although the ancient Egyptians had reasonably advanced medical practices for their times, and although there were many inventions that revolutionized life in the ancient world, most historians of science do not think of Egyptian doctors and the ancient inventors as scientists. Why? (Hint: Look at the entire definition of science.)
If you look at the definition of science, it contains two parts. Science consists of collecting facts, but it also consists of using those facts to explain the world around us. The Egyptian doctors and the inventors of the ancient world collected lots of facts, but they did not use them to explain the world around them.
Look at the entire definition of science
1.2 Based on your results in Experiment 1.1, order the items you used in your experiment (water, vegetable oil, the grape, etc.) in terms of increasing density. In other words, list the item with the lowest density first, followed by items of higher and higher density, and end your list with the item of greatest density.
The more tightly-packed the atoms in a substance are, the farther it fell down the glass. Since density is a measure of how tightly the atoms are packed in a substance, the farther the substance fell in the glass, the more dense it was. Thus, the least dense item was the cork, and the most dense item was the stone. The vegetable oil was more dense than the cork, but less dense than the water. Continuing that kind of reasoning, then, the order is cork, vegetable oil, ice cube, water, grape, syrup, rock
1.3 Do the atoms in an ice cube move faster or slower than the atoms in a glass of water?
Experiment 1.2 demonstrated that the atoms in a substance move faster the warmer the substance is. To make ice from water, you must cool the water. Thus, ice is colder than water, which means the atoms in ice move more slowly than those in water.
1.4 Dr. Steven Hawking is one of the most brilliant scientists of the decade. He believes in a theory called “the big bang.” This theory tries to describe how the universe was formed. If your friend tells you that you should believe in the big bang because Dr. Hawking is so smart and he believes in it, what famous example from the history of science should you tell to your friend?
Despite the fact that Dr. Hawking is brilliant, he can be wrong, just like many other brilliant scientists. The story of spontaneous generation tells how Aristotle was wrong, despite the fact that he was the greatest thinker of his time. The story of the Ptolemaic system also tells how a great thinker turned out to be wrong. Either story should illustrate that we should not make scientific decisions based on people. Instead, we should make them based on data.
1.5 What episode from the history of science tells us that we need to leave our personal biases behind when we do science?
The story of the Ptolemaic system tells us we must leave personal bias behind when doing science. The church held on to the Ptolemaic system too long because of bias, not data.
1.6 A great many scientists today worry that most of the younger generation does not appreciate science very much. There are those that worry about the future of science when the younger generation grows up. Although it is true that most young people today don't care for or about science, there are some who do. They will obviously become the scientists of the future. Since there will always be at least a few people who are interested in science, why are today's scientists so worried about the future of science?
Today's scientists are worried about the future of science because the progress of science depends on cultural support. Science stalled in the Dark Ages due to the Roman culture. If our culture stops supporting science, science will stall again.
1.7 Some historians call Grosseteste the first modern scientist. Why does Grosseteste deserve that honor?
Grosseteste is the first modern scientist because he was the first to work with the scientific method.
1.8 Galileo faced a very difficult decision in his life. He was convinced by science that the heliocentric system was correct. Nevertheless, his church said that it was wrong and threatened to throw him out of the church if he didn't recant his belief in the heliocentric system. Galileo, in obedience to his church, agreed to publicly recant his belief, even though he knew it was right. Did Galileo make the right choice, or should he have stayed true to his science and been thrown out of the church?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You must decide for yourself. Personally, I would find it a tough choice. Although my church means a lot to me, I would probably get kicked out rather than give up a belief I really thought was correct. The problem is that I could be wrong, and then I would have been kicked out of the church for nothing!
1.9 Many students think that mathematics is too difficult to learn. In order to try and teach science to such students, there are many science textbooks written today which do not use mathematics at all. What would Newton say about such textbooks?
Newton would not like such textbooks. Newton believed that science had to be linked to math.
1.10 As I mentioned in the text, even scientific ideas which are wrong can still lead to advances in science. Besides the scientists mentioned in this section, name another famous scientist that proposed wrong ideas which still advanced science.
There are several possible answers to these questions. Any one of the first three scientists all advanced science but were wrong. Democritus, Leucippus, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Newton, and many others all advanced the cause of science, but they were all wrong about certain things.