Stargazers

Author: Allan Chapman
Publisher: Lion Books
ISBN: 0745957870
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Did Galileo suffer for challenging the Church's understanding of the heavens? Or were many of the Popes and lesser clerics just as well up on astronomy as he was? Who else was involved in mapping the heavens around the time of the Renaissance and Reformation? This book takes Galileo out of his usual category of 'victim who dared speak the truth' and explores both his achievements and the earlier influences, including that of Copernicus, on whose legacy he built. It then goes on to trace the impact of his ideas on those who followed him, in the sixty years or so that followed his death.

Slaying the Dragons

Author: Allan Chapman
Publisher: Lion Books
ISBN: 0745957234
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Are science and faith the common enemies we are led to believe? This important study examines popular misunderstandings about key events in the history of science-faith relations. Lively and often surprising, it covers the major episodes such as Galileo's trial, the Wilberforce-Huxley debate and the Scopes trial of 1925, but also looks further back through the medieval period to the Classical age, revealing how these events have acquired mythical and misleading status. Allan Chapman, lecturer at the University of Oxford, exposes the facts that have been forgotten and the contemporary opinions that have been supplanted by modern propaganda. Slaying the Dragons is an important book that strips away layers of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

The Moon

Author: Bill Leatherbarrow
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780239556
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The moon has always been the most obvious feature in our night sky. It is our nearest celestial neighbour, orbiting the earth at an average distance of 384,400 kilometers, and is large enough to display significant detail even to the unaided eye. Our moon has drawn observers since the dawn of humankind, and all people have tried to make sense of the puzzles it poses and the questions it raises. The moon provided our ancient ancestors with one of the earliest means of keeping and measuring time, and many early religions had cults that worshipped it. When it eclipses the sun it provides one of the most awe-inspiring views in nature. In The Moon, celebrated amateur astronomer Bill Leatherbarrow provides expert insight into the history of our study of this compelling astronomical body. Drawing on his own decades of lunar observation, he describes how and why the observation and study of the moon has evolved, particularly in the age of telescopic study. He also offers an overview of current scientific thinking and developments in lunar science since the advent of the Space Age, even providing practical advice on how to make your own observations of the moon. Extensively illustrated with images of the lunar surface taken both from spacecraft and using amateur equipment, this book is an accessible introduction to complex astrophysical concepts that will give all amateur astronomers and anyone fascinated by this natural satellite something to moon over.

It Keeps Me Seeking

Author: Andrew Steane
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198808283
Format: PDF
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Here is a fresh look at how science contributes to the bigger picture of human flourishing, through a collage of science and philosophy, richly illustrated by the authors' own experience and personal reflection. They survey the territory of fundamental physics, machine learning, philosophy of human identity, evolutionary biology, miracles, arguments from design, naturalism, the history of ideas, and more. The natural world can be appreciated not only for itself, but also as an eloquent gesture, a narrative and a pointer beyond itself. Our human journey is not to a theorem or a treatise, but to a meeting which encompasses all our capacities. In this meeting, science is the way to find out about the structure of the physical world of which we are a part, not a means to reduce ourselves and our fellow human beings to mere objects of scrutiny, and still less to attempt the utterly futile exercise of trying to do that to God. We have intellectual permission to be open to the notion that God can be trusted and known. The material world encourages an open-hearted reaching out to something more, with a freedom to seek and to be received by what lies beyond the scope of purely impersonal descriptions and attitudes.

A Magical World Superstition and Science from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

Author: Derek K. Wilson
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681777061
Format: PDF
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A rich and multi-faceted history of heroes and villains interwoven with the profound changes in human knowledge that took place between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Spanning some of the most vibrant and fascinating eras in European history, Cambridge historian Derek Wilson reveals a society filled with an ardent desire for knowledge and astounding discoveries—and the fantastic discoveries that flowered from it. There was the discovery of the movement of blood around the body; the movement of the earth around the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and why those objects fell). But these these thinkers were steeped in—and drew from—intellectual traditions that might surprise us. There was folk religion, which in its turn had deep roots in a pagan past. Others referred to spirits or tapped into stores of ancient wisdom and herbal remedies. This was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations. Even the mighty Catholic Church, which permeated all elements of life, had its own "magical" traditions. Devote believers and accomplished scientists alike both pursued alchemy. Astrology, also a rapidly developing field, was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Casting horoscopes was a near-universal practice, from the papacy to the peasantry. Yet from this heady cultural mix, the scientific method would spring. But it was not just Europe where this tidal wave of intellectual innovation was colliding with folk wisdom to create something new. The twelfth-century Islamic polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars melded mysticism to create the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah. By the mid-seventeenth century, "science mania" was in full flower. In 1663, The Royal Society in London received its charter. Just three years later, the French Academy of Sciences was founded, and other European capitals rapidly followed suit. In 1725, the word "science" was at last defined as "a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified." Yet just nine years before, the last witch had been executed in Britain. Fascinating and thought-provoking, A Magical World is a reminder of humanity's paradoxical nature—our passionate pursuit of knowledge alongside deep-rooted fears, superstitions, and traditions.

Copernicus Secret

Author: Jack Repcheck
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 074328951X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Repcheck's riveting story tells of the enigmatic genius responsible for one of the most important scientific theories ever--and why it took several decades and a stranger's intervention before his groundbreaking "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" was published.

Setting Aside All Authority

Author: Christopher M. Graney
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268080771
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Setting Aside All Authority is an important account and analysis of seventeenth-century scientific arguments against the Copernican system. Christopher M. Graney challenges the long-standing ideas that opponents of the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus and Galileo were primarily motivated by religion or devotion to an outdated intellectual tradition, and that they were in continual retreat in the face of telescopic discoveries. Graney calls on newly translated works by anti-Copernican writers of the time to demonstrate that science, not religion, played an important, and arguably predominant, role in the opposition to the Copernican system. Anti-Copernicans, building on the work of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, were in fact able to build an increasingly strong scientific case against the heliocentric system at least through the middle of the seventeenth century, several decades after the advent of the telescope. The scientific case reached its apogee, Graney argues, in the 1651 New Almagest of the Italian Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli, who used detailed telescopic observations of stars to construct a powerful scientific argument against Copernicus. Setting Aside All Authority includes the first English translation of Monsignor Francesco Ingoli’s essay to Galileo (disputing the Copernican system on the eve of the Inquisition’s condemnation of it in 1616) and excerpts from Riccioli's reports regarding his experiments with falling bodies.

Galileo s Telescope

Author: Massimo Bucciantini
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674736915
Format: PDF
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Between 1608 and 1610 the canopy of the night sky was ripped open by an object created almost by accident: a cylinder with lenses at both ends. Galileo’s Telescope tells how this ingenious device evolved into a precision instrument that would transcend the limits of human vision and transform humanity’s view of its place in the cosmos.

You Can t Play the Game If You Don t Know the Rules

Author: Irene Alexander
Publisher: Lion Books
ISBN: 074595331X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Have you ever tried to explain the rules of football to someone from another culture? Or to a friend who doesn't understand sport? Now imagine trying to explain if both teams were wearing the same colours - or everyone wore different ones. Or if they all wore blindfolds - how could you explain that? Relationships can be as baffling as playing a game blindfolded. The stakes are high: losses can be disastrous but winning can lead to a lifetime of happiness. And you can't play the game - let alone win it - if you don't know the rules. In this book, Dr Irene Alexander explores what makes relationships work, covering everything from boundaries to sex. The essence is learning how to relate openly and effectively. When you achieve this, even conflict can be constructive and relationships will take on new depth and satisfying fullness.

A More Perfect Heaven

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802778933
Format: PDF, ePub
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By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.