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Chapter 3 Notes - ISP 205 Chapter 3 Page 1 3.1 The Ancient...

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ISP 205 - Chapter 3 Page 1 3.1 The Ancient Roots of Science I. In what Ways do all humans employ scientific thinking? A. Scientific thinking is based on everyday ideas of observation and trial-and-error experiments B. Modern scientists are trained to organize everyday thinking in a way that makes it easier for them to share their discoveries and employ their collective wisdom C. Requires detail, relentless testing of each piece of information for reliability, and willingness to give up old beliefs that are not consistent with observed facts about the physical world. II. Astronomical Observations benefiting Ancient Societies A. Central Africa 1. Reasonably predicted weather by observing the moon 2. Orientation of the crescent relative to the horizon is tied to local rainfall patterns B. Days named after visible (naked eye) astronomical objects honored 1. Sun, Moon, and 5 planets 2. Move among constellations C. Changing positions of the Sun, Moon, and stars: 1. Keep track of Season 2. Navigation III. Ancient Civilization Achievements A. Determining Time of Day 1. Tell time by observing Sun’s path through the sky 2. Egyptian Obelisks a. used as simple clocks b. estimate the time from the position and phase of the moon or by constellations c. Divided daylight into 12 equal parts i. a.m. = ante meridiem ii. p.s. = post meridiem iii. before and after “middle of the day” B. Marking the Seasons 1. Stonehedge a. Southern England b. Keeps track of Seasons c. Social and religious gathering place 2. Templo Mayor a. Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City) b. Twin temples on a flat top 150 ft high pyramid c. Sun directly rose through the notch between the temples on the equinoxes 3. Many Cultures aligned their building with the cardinal directions enabling them to mark the rising and setting of the sun 4. Other Structures were used to mark the Sun’s position on special dates a. Sun Dragon b. noon on the summer solstice c. sun’s rays form a dagger
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ISP 205 - Chapter 3 Page 2 IV. Lunar Calendars A. Some months on a Lunar Calendar are 29 days others 30. 1. Averaging 29.5 day lunar cycle 2. 12 month lunar calendar has only 354 or 355 days 3. Still used in the Muslim Religion (why Ramadan begins 11 days earlier each year) B. Other Lunar Calendars remain roughly synchronized with solar calendars 1. 19 years on a solar calendar is almost precisely 235 months on the lunar calendar 2. Lunar phases phases repeat on the same dates about every 19 years = Metonic Cycle 3. Jewish add thirteenth month on certain years 4. Babylonians a. predicting eclipses b. 18 year saros cycle 5. Mayans of Central America a. Predicting eclipses b. know few details about accomplishments due to the Spanish Conquistadors burned most writings V. Ancient Structures and Archaeoastronomy A. Archaeoastronomy – study of ancient structures in search of astronomical connections 1. Start by evaluating an ancient structure to see whether it shows any particular astronomical alignments 2. Native America Medicine Wheels a. 28 spokes were aligned with the rise and set of particular stars b. Failed to take into account the motion of stars as they rise above the
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