history of science, what is science? stages of science

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brief history of SCIENCE


  • 1. History of Science and itsrelation to Sport and PEScience is the background to thetheoretical and practical knowledge wehave acquired in sport and PE.It is important, therefore, to understand alittle of the history of science thuspotentially gaining an appreciation of itsaffects on our profession.Alternatively, understanding science alittle better may aid in evaluating our ownprofession.

2. knowledgedeductionunique solutionexperimental datainductionno unique solutionInformation used:Method used:Expected results:Deduction versus InductionConstructing a model information, method, andresults1. Knowledge may be preliminary assumptions.2. In deductive model there may be manyassumptions.3. In inductive model there may be many possibleanswers. 3. Cyclical interaction between facts and theoryin scientific activitiestheories deduction predictioninductiondescriptionobservationevaluationScience must startwith facts and end withfacts, no matter whattheoretical structures itbuilds in between.facts facts1. Start with observation to build upon whatis known.2. Describe what is known3. Use the known facts to come to generalconclusions; induction)4. Develop and test the predictions oftheories (models); deduction5. Compare results with actualfacts6. Evaluate the process7. Seek additional facts8. Refine theories (models) andpossibly repeat the process 4. Sir Karl Popper 1902-1994Popper suggested that science advances bydeductive falsification through a process of"conjectures and refutations." It isimagination and creativity, not induction,that generates real scientific theories, which ishow Einstein could study the universe with nomore than a piece of chalk. Experiment andobservation test theories, not produce them.Is Popper justified in assuming the Principle ofCausality? 5. The origins of ScienceAll peoples that have ever lived have in someway or another investigated one importantquestion, which is ?What is the meaning of our existence? or putanother way, why are we here and what willbecome of us all?These questions were answered in varyingdegrees by the worlds major religions andphilosophers.What do these questions have to do withscience? 6. What beliefs were necessary toenable the development ofmodern science?Why did an explosive development ofscience occur in seventeenth centuryEurope? This development is one of themost significant events in humanhistory. 7. Great civilisationsGreat civilisations of the past and presentsuch as India and China, Babylon, Aztecs,Mayans, Egypt, Greece and Rome, frequentlyhad well developed social structures,magnificent architecture, drama andphilosophy but nothing remotely equivalent tomodern science.They had great skill in wood and metal,ingenious mechanical contrivances andperceptive philosophical speculations aboutthe world. 8. Great civilisationsMost of the great civilisations of the pastwere able to provide all the materialrequirements for the growth of science:A leisured classTechnical skillsSystems of writing and mathematicsHowever, this was not enough. 9. What was needed for science togrow?An attitude to the material world that isessential for science to flourish.A social/political structure that will allow newscientific ideas to flourish.What do we need to believe to becomeeffective scientists?Essentially that the material world is worthy ofstudy, it is orderly and rational.Knowledge gained must be open to thehuman mind and that this order cannot purelybe obtained via pure mathematical thoughtbut must involve experiments. 10. What was needed for science togrow?In addition to these beliefs about the world itself, thedevelopment of science depends upon asocial/political climate that allows knowledge gained tobe freely shared.Further, it must be shown that science has helped orimproved peoples lives.These beliefs when investigated have not occurred inhuman history until seventeenth century Europe.For example, in ancient Greece a few individualsmade an impressive start, but the social climate didnot facilitate science to become a self sustainingenterprise. 11. The origins of scienceFirstly, science was not distinguished from philosophyand its roots are to be found in the early struggles tomake sense of the world.However, before answers can be found, the rightquestions need to be asked.What methods should we use to understand nature?How can we know that our answers are right?Why do things change?Is there an unchangeable reality behind the changesthat surround us? 12. AristotleHe proposed a systematic attempt to explainthe world/universe embracing all fields ofactivity from mathematics, physics and biologyto politics, art and music.He was an exceptionally acute observer withmany of his observations not being surpasseduntil the invention of the microscope.He was mainly concerned with generalprinciples of nature and qualitative relationsamong things and not with precise quantitativeanalysis. 13. AristotleHe believed in the eternity of the world, in acyclical universe and that celestial matter wasincorruptible unlike terrestrial matter.These beliefs hindered science for almost twothousand years. 14. Hebraic and early Christian beliefsThe book of Genesis (book of beginnings) incontrast to the confused creation myths of theGreeks and other nations has a clear logicalstructure expresses belief in a absolute sovereign,rational and benevolent God.The God of the Bible brings everything into beingby His command.Unlike Aristotles belief of a Primer Mover or FirstCause (passive), God of the Bible is the cause ofthe very existence (interactive/sustaining) of theworld and its continuance in being.Therefore, the world must be rational and open tothe human mind because man was givendominion of the world. 15. Hebraic and early Christian beliefs The early Church contradicted the infinite series of cycles ofhistory by presenting Christs life as part of linear history with abeginning and end. For example, in the 3rd Century Lactantius rejected the stoicbelief that God is within nature, and the Epicurean belief thatthe world is simply the product of chance, without anyprovidential design. That is the world was created out ofnothing. John Philoponus (6th Century) expresses the early Christianbelief by departing from Aristotle that all bodies will fall in avacuum at speeds irrespective of their weight and projectilesare not moved by air but rather because they were given acertain quantity of motion. He based his ideas on the belief thatthe sun, moon and stars where given a certain kinetic force byGod. Stars where not ether but real matter thus rejectingAristotles distinction between celestial and terrestrial matter. 16. The Muslim CenturiesThe Muslim civilisation dominated the middle easternand western world from the eight to fourteenthcenturies.Here Greek works were translated mainly by Jewishscholars and a few Nestorian Christians that added tothe knowledge of Muslim scholars in medicine,mathematics, astronomy and philosophy.However, science did not flourish not because of thelack of resources but because Islam eventuallydecided that Allah dictates from instant to instant howeverything behaves destroying any rationality innature. 17. ReformationSeventeenth century Europes explosion ofscience appears to be strongly linked to thepre-curser of the reformation where peoplesof Europe were able to read the Bible forthemselves in their own language and realisethat God created an orderly and good world. 18. Early European science Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253) is regarded as the founder ofmodern experimental science. He recommended the problem isfirst resolved into its simplest parts, and when understood theresults can be combined to give explanation to the whole. The observations and hypotheses will be verified or disprovedby further observations and experiments. He investigated lightas God first created light. He believed light is the mostfundamental form of nature. He noted mathematics are important but it has no objectivereality but is simply abstractions from material bodies. He insisted on quantitative measurement based on the Biblicalinsistence that there is a rational creator, who disposedeverything in measure, number and weight. 19. RenaissanceThe strength of the renaissance essentially came fromunderstanding the motion of the heavens, viadifferential equations.Copernicus (1473-1543) boldly put the sun in thecentre of the solar system. Tycho Brahe (1546-16010made careful measurements of the motions of theplanets that enabled Kepler (1571-1630) to establishplanetary orbits and the laws of planetary motion.Meanwhile Galileo (1564-1642) worked onfundamental dynamical concepts such as mass,velocity, acceleration and momentum, expressingthem in a precise mathematical form, with Newton(1642-1727) postulating his laws of motion anddifferential calculus. 20. NewtonNewton was strongly guided in his science byhis beliefs in the God of the Bible, for examplehe says:God created the world in accordance with hisideas of creation. These ideas are the purearchetypal forms that Plato termed ideas, andthey can be understood by man asmathematical constructs they can beunderstood by man, because man was createdas a spiritual image of God. Physics is areflection on the divine ideas of creation;therefore physics is divine service. 21. Modern scienceUniversities were founded by Christian institutionswhere free discussion could take place, which fostereda culture and interest in the natural world.However, despite the beliefs of the early scientists ofthe renaissance their work created scepticismbecause it destroyed the cosy idea of a man-centredworld of the middle ages by a vast impersonalmachine rather than a God being ascribed to naturalcauses.From the mid-nineteenth century until todayfundamental beliefs in the origins of the universe fuelscientific debate (c.f. Huxely-Wilberforce; Bohr-Einstein). 22. How and what we believe affects ourpracti


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