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Astrology 2/18/1996 …lots and lots and lots of math. Goals Is astrology a science? Why should we care? Is science just another belief? Recap Science is about making theories. Scientific theories: Explain what is already seen Predict what can be seen in the future.

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astrology

Astrology

2/18/1996

…lots and lots and lots of math.

goals
Goals
  • Is astrology a science?
  • Why should we care?
  • Is science just another belief?
recap
Recap
  • Science is about making theories.
  • Scientific theories:
    • Explain what is already seen
    • Predict what can be seen in the future.
  • Predictions can be tested.
  • Scientific theories can be falsified.
astrology4
Astrology
  • The date, time, (and place) of birth affect:
    • Your personality
    • Your actions
    • Events that will affect your life
  • Horoscopes appear in most papers.
  • Millions of people read them daily.

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/horoscopes/astrology101.html

astrology5
Astrology
  • Is it a science?
    • Explain what is seen?
    • Make predictions?
  • Does it work?
  • What test would falsify astrology?
astrology tests
Astrology Tests
  • Come up with a test of astrology.
  • Using no more than:
    • People in this room.
    • Available newspapers (past or present).
    • Time available.
does astrology work
Does Astrology Work?
  • Does it pass the test?
  • Does it work better than chance?
  • Does it matter?
science vs astrology
Science vs. Astrology
  • Scientists skeptical of astrology because:
    • It takes power out of the hands of scientists.
    • It can’t be tested.
    • It has failed when tested.
    • It proposes forces that are non-physical.
    • It threatens our belief in a knowable universe.
  • But no one believes astrology so who cares?
astrology and the president
(TIME, May 16, 1988) --

“The First Lady dabbled in astrology as far back as 1967. In 1981 [Joan] Quigley made Nancy [Reagan] a believer …. And from then on, no presidential public appearance was slated without the Friend's say-so. To this day, Nancy's Friend continues to influence the President's schedule. For the Reagan-Gorbachev Washington summit, she cast the charts of both men and determined

that 2 p.m. on Dec. 8, 1987, was the most propitious moment for them to sign the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. At Nancy's behest, the entire summit was built around that hour. For the upcoming Moscow summit, Gorbachev's chart (he is a Pisces) has been recast alongside Reagan's (Aquarius).”

Astrology and the President

“[Former White House Chief of Staff, Donald] Regan and others make a compelling case that in 1986 and 1987 astrological influence dramatically reduced the presidency's effectiveness, at least partly, by keeping Ronald Reagan under wraps for much of the time. Nancy's intrusions in the scheduling process, Regan said in an interview with TIME last week, ‘began to interfere with the normal conduct of the presidency.’”

(TIME, May 16, 1988)

homework 3
Homework #3
  • Due Tuesday 14-Sept: Read Bennett Section 1.1 – 1.2 (B1.1 – B1.2).
  • Due Wednesday 15-Sept: Read Sg2 The Harmony of Worlds from Cosmos and B5.3
    • Some assert that Kepler’s discovery represents the true birth of science as it is now practiced. Describe why one would assert this (put your answer in the context of this week’s discussion)?
    • Bennett, Chapter 5, Problem 23
    • You observe a small moon orbiting Jupiter. You measure how far away from Jupiter it is and how long it takes it to go once around. With this information you can learn:
      • Jupiter’s radius.
      • Jupiter’s radius and the moon’s radius.
      • The moon’s mass and the moon’s radius.
      • Jupiter’s mass.
      • The moon’s mass.