Chapter 3 Summary

Chapter 3 Summary - M03_BENN0885_05_SE_C03.qxd 9/19/08...

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78 Part I Developing Perspective the big picture Putting Chapter 3 into Context In this chapter, we focused on the scientiFc principles through which we have learned so much about the universe. Key “big picture” concepts from this chapter include the following: The basic ingredients of scientiFc thinking—careful observation and trial-and-error testing—are a part of everyone’s experience. Modern science simply provides a way of organizing this everyday thinking to facilitate the learning and sharing of new knowledge. Although our understanding of the universe is growing rapidly today, each new piece of knowledge rests on ideas that came before. The Copernican revolution, which overthrew the ancient Greek be- lief in an Earth-centered universe, did not occur instantaneously. It unfolded over a period of more than a century, during which many of the characteristics of modern science Frst appeared. Science exhibits several key features that distinguish it from non- science and that in principle allow anyone to come to the same con- clusions when studying a scientiFc question. summary of key concepts 3.1 The Ancient Roots of Science • In what ways do all humans use scientifc thinking? ScientiFc thinking relies on the same type of trial-and-error thinking that we use in our everyday lives, but done in a care- fully organized way. • How did astronomical observations beneft ancient societies? Ancient cultures used astronomical ob- servations to help them keep track of time and the seasons, crucial skills for people who depended on agriculture for survival, as well as to aid them in navigation. • What did ancient civilizations achieve in astronomy? Ancient astronomers were accomplished observers who learned to tell the time of day and the time of year, to track cy- cles of the Moon, and to observe planets and stars. Many an- cient structures aided in astronomical observations. 3.2 Ancient Greek Science • Why does modern science trace its roots to the Greeks? The Greeks developed
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Chapter 3 Summary - M03_BENN0885_05_SE_C03.qxd 9/19/08...

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