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Unformatted text preview: ISP209s8 Lecture 1-1- Today Announcements: HW#1 is due Wednesday (Jan 16) by 8:00 am What is science (contd)? What it time? Motion rates of change Special Relativity Time Travel Introduction ISP209s8 Lecture 1-2- The Scientific Method The goal is to find theories that work better (no theory is ever proven true) Example: Gravity Aristotle Newton Einstein String Theory? ISP209s8 Lecture 1-3- Keep an open mind "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." ( Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895 ) "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." ( New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, 1921 ) In 1912 Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) proposed that the continents were once compressed into a single protocontinent which he called Pangaea (meaning "all lands"), and over time they have drifted apart into their current distribution. ISP209s8 Lecture 1-4- Pseudoscience (not bad, just not science) The hypothesis is not at risk. If data does not agree with the hypothesis, then the data is assumed to be wrong. Some facts are ignored. Exploit the controversies and inadequacies in a competing theory. Portrayed as an underdog being punished by the scientific establishment. Reliance on fear and other emotions, or reliance on a lack of knowledge People who do pseudoscience usually do not publish in normal peer-reviewed scientific journals. ISP209s8 Lecture 1-5- Some Pseudoscience Examples Intelligent Design/Creationism See here and here for an interesting debate btw. Darwinists and IDers Cold Fusion Mercury in vaccines causes autism Homeopathy Parapsychology (ESP and such) And many more at http://skepdic.com/pseudosc.html NOTE : Pseudoscience does not always have a crackpot or negative ring to it! Some very smart physicists might be doing it. ISP209s8 Lecture 1-6- Is String Theory Pseudoscience?...
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- Spring '07