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wile, general science, module 1, a brief history of science, study questions


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There were 3 lessons from the history of science in the text.
What are they?
1. support a scientific idea based on the evidence, not based on the people who
agree with
2. Scientific progress depends not only on scientists, but also on government and culture.
3. Scientific progress occurs by building on the work of previous scientists
Who was Imhotep
He was an ancient Egyptian doctor. His medical practices were renowned throughout the known world.
Although the ancient Egyptians had incredibly advanced medical practices for their time, we
do not consider them scientists. Why not?
The ancient Egyptians never used their observations to explain the world around them. Instead, they simply took a trial and error approach to finding cures for illness, etc. True science requires observation and explanation.
Who were Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes?
They were ancient Greeks who were considered to be the first three scientists.
Leucippus and his student Democritus are remembered for what idea?
They are best remembered for their idea that all matter is comprised of atoms.
Who came up with the idea of spontaneous generation?
Who first came up with a large-scale classification scheme for living creatures?
What is the main difference between the Ptolemaic system and the Copernican system?
Which is more correct?
The Ptolemaic system placed the earth at the center of the universe and had both the planets and the stars traveling around the earth. The Copernican system placed the sun at the center and
had the planets traveling around it. The Copernican system is more correct.
What was the main goal of the alchemists?
They wanted to turn lead into gold.
Why don’t we consider the alchemists to be scientists?
They were not true scientists because their approach was strictly trial and error.
What was the main reason that science progressed near the end of the Dark Ages?
the Christian worldview began to replace the Roman worldview. Since the Christian worldview is a perfect fit with science, the establishment of that worldview was essential for starting scientific progress
Who is considered to be the first modern scientist and why does he deserve that honor?
Grosseteste was the first modern scientist because he was first to use the scientific method.
Einstein was one of the founders of the quantum mechanical revolution. He also is famous
for two other ideas. What are they?
Einstein also developed the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity
What is Niels Bohr remembered for?
Niels Bohr is remembered for his theory of the atom.
What is the fundamental assumption behind quantum mechanics? Who first proposed it?
Max Planck made the asumption that energy comes in small packets called “quanta.”
What law did James Joule demonstrate to be true?
James Joule came up with The First Law of Thermodynamics.
James Clerk Maxwell is known as the founder of modern _____________.
James Clerk Maxwell is known as the founder of modern physics.
What is Gregor Mendel remembered for?
Gregor Mendel is remembered for his work on how traits are passed on during reproduction. You could also say genetics.
What does “immutability of species” mean, and who showed that this notion is wrong?
The immutability of species refers to the mistaken idea that living creatures cannot change. Darwin showed that this is just not true.
What is Charles Darwin remembered for?
Darwin is best known for his book, Origin of Species. You could also say evolution.
Who is the single greatest scientist of all time? What are his three biggest
Newton is the single greatest scientist of all time. He laid down the laws of motion,
developed a universal law of gravity, and invented calculus.
What is John Dalton remembered for?
Dalton is remembered for the first detailed atomic theory.
What was Lavoisier’s greatest contribution to science?
Lavoisier came up with the law of mass conservation.
A major change in scientific approach took place during the enlightenment. What was good
about the change and what was bad about it?
The good part of the change was that science began to stop relying on the authority of
previous, great scientists. The bad part of the change was that science began to move away from
the authority of the Bible.
Galileo claimed to invent something that he actually didn’t invent. What was it?
Galileo claimed to invent the telescope, but he actually stole the idea.
Although Galileo collected an enormous amount of data in support of the Copernican
system, he was forced to publicly reject it. Why?
Galileo was forced to recant belief in the Copernican system by the Roman Catholic church.
He would have otherwise been thrown out of the church.
Two great works were published in 1543. Who were the authors and what were the
The authors were Copernicus and Vesalius. The book by Copernicus was about the
arrangement of the stars and planets in space, and the book by Vesalius was on the human body.

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