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The Nature of Scientific Change Lyndsi Monjon-November 8, 2007 Quotes “The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life.” -Ernest Renan, 1883 “Science is the great antidote to the position of enthusiasm and superstition.”

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The Nature of Scientific Change

Lyndsi Monjon-November 8, 2007


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Quotes

  • “The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life.”

    -Ernest Renan, 1883

  • “Science is the great antidote to the position of enthusiasm and superstition.”

    –Adam Smith, 1776


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Scientific Revolutions

  • Periods of Revolutions

  • Share some features of political revolutions

  • More like a formal, ongoing dialogue between opposing parties


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More on Scientific Revolutions

  • Loyalty oaths uncommon

  • Rarely appeal to arms

  • Usually the result of informal alliances with an occasional ‘set price’ in the form of a review, program or manifesto designed to sharpen the awareness of the professionals in a particular area


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Dialogues of Scientific Revolution

  • Take the form of reasoned argument

  • Have few threats

  • Moderate language used by all


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The Hemholtz-Brücke Pact

  • 1840s

  • Intended as anti-Müller, anti-vitalist manifesto

  • Put together by Müller’s brightest students


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Who was Müller?

  • Leading exponent of the vitalist doctrine

  • “Life on earth could not have originated from chemical and physical forces alone”

  • Believes it was triggered by some external, “vitalizing” principle


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The Process of Change

  • Have been several attempts to explain the origins and process of social revolution

  • Conflict of interest between two groups or social classes over the division of social resources


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The Ruling Group

  • Monopoly of violence due to control of resources

  • Uses those resources to suppress opposition


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Revolutions usually begin from the perception that the existing body of knowledge is flawed.


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Scientific Research existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Humdrum, routine tasks

    • Humdrum-dull

  • Some form of measurement

  • Checking and rechecking of facts


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Normal science existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Carried out within a theoretical framework of assumptions

  • In-depth understandings of specialized subject area

  • The frame of reference within which science is developed


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Paradigmatic Shifts existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Resulted from abandoning religious explanations of the creation of the universe

  • Some resulted of more practical, specialized work


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Paradigmatic Shifts in Science existing body of knowledge is flawed.


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Spheres of Influence existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Strong states overwhelm weaker ones

  • Vulnerable nations form alliances against a common enemy

  • Some nations dominate, others are subservient


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Who really gets the credit? existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Omar Khayyam (and others): arithmetic triangle: credited to Pascal

  • Ruffino’s method of solving equations of high degree was know to the ancient Chinese


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Credit? existing body of knowledge is flawed.

Leibniz did not discover the differential calculus (Newton did)

Nor did Leibniz invent the binary system (the Chinese did)

Leibniz’s basic philosophy (Monadology) was “borrowed” from Lady Anne Conway


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Credit? existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • 3 people believed the discovered non-Euclidean geometry but Euler gets the credit


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History of Science existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Post-1789 idea of nation state is too narrow of a concept

  • Spheres of Influence have had an effect on scientist


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Sphere of Influence with Math existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Neolithic, pre-literate European and North American

  • Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Chaldean, Phoenician

  • Egyptian

  • Greek/Roman- first Pax Romana

  • Chinese, Japanese, Korean


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Cont. existing body of knowledge is flawed.

6. Arab, Indian, Syrian- first Scientific Revolution

7. Roman Catholic, Mediaeval European- Second Pax Romana

8. Renaissance, Christian, European (especially Italian)

9. Western Europe (especially British, French, and German)- second Scientific Revolution

10. Old European science and mathematics; world science


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The Future of Mathematics existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Due to the invention of the electric computer, soon we will not be able to talk about numbers in the old-fashioned way

  • Students will have a different sense of values

  • Key process is liberation from the domination of age-old traditions


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More of the Future existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • The method of teaching math will change

  • Most prosperous countries:

    • Japan

    • USA

    • Germany


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Any Questions??? existing body of knowledge is flawed.


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Resources existing body of knowledge is flawed.

  • Websites

    • http://www.jiskha.com/images/subjects/mathematics/mathematics_cover.gif

    • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/AdamSmith.jpg

    • http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/e/e3/Renan.jpg

    • http://www.bluefield.edu/clientimages/30250/academics/mathlogo.gif

    • http://britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca/tnpascal.gif

    • http://www.spsu.edu/math/edwards/2253/leibniz.jpg

    • http://www.crossingwallstreet.com/euler-1000.png

    • http://www.math.msu.edu/~mshapiro/kidmath_files/mathematics.jpg

  • Books

    • The Story of Numbers