Dr Zuhdi Jasser debates Deedra Abboud with the Muslim American Society over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
Now I will offer a story about contemporary science as we consider the Scientific Revolution.
Kirk Citron separates the important from the mundane in the news.
Today, Citron continues to write and innovate. He is the editor of 'The Long News', finding news stories that will continue to matter as many as a thousand years from today.
We are drowning in news. Reuters alone puts out three-and-a-half million news stories a year. That's just one source.
My question is: How many of those stories are actually going to matter in the long run? That's the idea behind 'The Long News'. It's a project by The Long Now Foundation, which was founded by TEDsters including Kevin Kelly and Stewart Brand. And what we're looking for is news stories that might still matter 50 or 100 or 10,000 years from now. And when you look at the news through that filter, a lot falls by the wayside.
If you take the top stories from the A.P. this last year: Is this going to matter in a decade? Or this? Or this? Really? Is this going to matter in 50 or 100 years? Okay, that was kind of cool. But the top story of this past year was the economy. And I'm just betting that, sooner or later, this particular recession is going to be old news.
So, what kind of stories might make a difference for the future? Well, let's take medicine. Someday, little robots will go through our bloodstreams fixing things. That someday is already here if you're a mouse. Some recent stories: Nanobees zap tumors with real bee venom. They're sending genes into the brain. They've built a robot that can crawl through the human body.
What about resources? How are we going to feed nine billion people? We're having trouble feeding six billion today. As we heard yesterday, there's over a billion people hungry. Britain will starve without genetically modified crops. Bill Gates, fortunately, has bet a billion on on research.
What about global politics? The world's going to be very different when and if China sets the agenda, and they may. They've overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest car market. They've overtaken Germany as the largest exporter. And they've started doing DNA tests on kids to choose their careers.
We're finding all kinds of ways to push back the limits of what we know. Some recent discoveries: There's an ant colony from Argentina that has now spread to every continent but Antarctica. There's a self-directed robot scientist that's made a discovery. Soon, science may no longer need us. And life may no longer need us either. A microbe wakes up after 120,000 years. It seems that with or without us life will go on.
I will also have a few points to still make on class policies and procedures as well.
All written work follows the Honor Code stating:
This is my work and I have not cheated in any way.
Access to a bathroom during class time is a privilege, not a right, and of course it is necessary in case of an emergency. The admonition here is that you are to remain on task throughout the period. You should not have access to materials for other classes or other distractions in this class. I consider this behavior to be defiance and you will receive demerits.
In an educational application of the Gulf Oil spill, students used avatars to understand the clean up effort as reported in: Avatars Go to School, Letting Students Get a Feel for the Work World
In Suffern, N.Y., 2,500 middle and high school students have logged into a virtual world known as Teen Second Life for lessons in subjects including math and foreign languages.
A social studies class visited a recreated Ellis Island to go beyond historical facts and empathize with immigrants and immigration officers through role playing.
Avatars are being used in education in the
Avatar Storyteller Curricula.
In one example, on TeacherTube, Mark Twain comes alive:
Students are using learning tools--such as the creation of an avatar--that reflects the use of vastly different materials than the types of learning aids that students traditionally used. In fact, learning for your generation is so different than previous learners that you have often been described as the "Digital Generation" (the first generation living entirely since the Internet has been invented) or as the "Millennials" (since you were born around the turn of the Millennium). Your cohort is characterized by:
Open to Change
The list describes the leading characteristics of the Digital Millenials. Next, we will consider what endeavors you should strive for as a student. In short, your task as a student should be the (what was described by Sr. last year as Quadrant D) dedicated endeavors that Sr. reviewed at our Faculty Orientation this week to (they are listed in descending order):
You will realize that you have arrived as a student when you can apply yourself to real world, unpredictable situations. I am fond of saying that the old chaos is the new normal. In short, this is the unpredictable world that we are living in currently. Events are taking place rapidly, change is constant, and the challenges are enormous. Yet, this is an exciting time to be studying disciplines such as history or Economics for their practical application.
We will begin the class with other challenging, game-changing periods in history.
We will begin with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment; we will finish with the contemporary world.
Chapter 10: Revolution and Enlightenment, 1550–1800
The Scientific Revolution gave rise to a intellectual movement—the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thought provided the philosophical foundations for the American Revolution. Britain lost its colonies in North America to the newly formed United States, while Spain and Portugal held onto their profitable Latin American colonies.
Section 1 The Scientific Revolution
Sixteenth-century Europeans began to question the scientific assumptions of the ancient authorities and to develop new theories about the universe. Nicholas Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei revolutionized astronomy. Copernicus claimed that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe—an idea considered heresy by the Catholic Church. Equally revolutionary were Isaac Newton's explanations of gravity and the movement of the planets. There were breakthroughs in medicine and chemistry, and numerous women contributed to the body of scientific research. The new view of the universe affected Western philosophy. The Frenchman Rene Descartes, the first rationalist, declared that matter could be independently investigated by reason. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, developed the scientific method—a system for collecting and analyzing evidence.
Section 2 The Enlightenment
The Scientific Revolution gave rise to the Enlightenment, an eighteenth-century movement that stressed the role of philosophy and reason in improving society. Enlightenment intellectuals, known as philosophes, were chiefly social reformers from the nobility and the middle class. They often met in the salons of the upper classes to discuss the ideas of such giants as Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot. In the economic sphere, Adam Smith put forth the doctrine of laissez-faire economics. The later Enlightenment produced social thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and an early advocate of women's rights, Mary Wollstonecraft. Salon gatherings, along with the growth of book and magazine publishing, helped spread Enlightenment ideas among a broad audience. Most Europeans were still Christians. However, the desire for a more spiritual experience inspired new religious movements, such as the Methodism of John Wesley.
Section 3 The Impact of the Enlightenment
The Enlightenment influenced both art and politics. The baroque and neoclassical styles of art endured, while a more delicate style, called rococo, emerged. The works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart represented one of the greatest periods in European music. Novels attracted a middle-class audience. The Enlightenment interested the absolutist rulers of Europe. However, only one, Joseph II of Austria, attempted far-reaching reforms based on Enlightenment ideas; they were largely a failure. The reforms of Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia were far more limited. Territorial disputes in Europe and in the colonial empires of Britain and France produced the War of Austrian Succession, followed by the Seven Years' War. In the end, France lost India and most of North America, and Britain emerged as the world's greatest colonial power.
Section 4 Colonial Empires and the American Revolution
In the sixteenth century, Portugal came to control Brazil, while Spain established an empire in the Western Hemisphere that included parts of North America and most of Latin America. Portugal and Spain held onto their Latin American colonies for over 300 years. During that time, they profited richly by exporting Latin American gold, silver, and other natural resources and farm products. Spanish and Portuguese officials and Christian missionaries played important roles in Latin American societies. In North America, British control over its colonies began to unravel over issues of taxation. Multiple crises led the Americans to declare their independence in 1776 and to fight Britain until its defeat in 1783. The Articles of Confederation that formed the United States were soon replaced with a Constitution, which created a stronger central government. The Bill of Rights added important freedoms derived from the natural rights expressed by the philosophes.
The Scientific Revolution
In What Went Wrong?, Bernard Lewis writes of the key role of the Middle East in the rise of science in the Middle Ages, before things went wrong:
And then, approximately from the end of the Middle Ages, there was a dramatic change. In Europe, the scientific movement advanced enormously in the era of the Renaissance, the Discoveries, the technological revolution, and the vast changes, both intellectual and material, that preceded, accompanied, and followed them. In the Muslim world, independent inquiry virtually came to an end, and science was for the most part reduced to the veneration of a corpus of approved knowledge. There were some practical innovations — thus, for example, incubators were invented in Egypt, vaccination against smallpox in Turkey. These were, however, not seen as belonging to the realm of science, but as practical devices, and we know of them primarily from Western travelers.
Another example of the widening gap may be seen in the fate of the great observatory built in Galata, in Istanbul, in 1577. This was due to the initiative of Taqi al-Din (ca. 1526-1585), a major figure in Muslim scientific history and the author of several books on astronomy, optics, and mechanical clocks. Born in Syria or Egypt (the sources differ), he studied in Cairo, and after a career as jurist and theologian he went to Istanbul, where in 1571 he was appointed munejjim-bash, astronomer (and astrologer) in chief to the Sultan Selim II. A few years later he persuaded the Sultan Murad III to allow him to build an observatory, comparable in its technical equipment and its specialist personnel with that of his celebrated contemporary, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. But there the comparison ends. Tycho Brahe's observatory and the work accomplished in it opened the way to a vast new development of astronomical science. Taqi al-Din's observatory was razed to the ground by a squad of Janissaries, by order of the sultan, on the recommendation of Chief Mufti. This observatory had many predecessors in the lands of Islam; it had no successors until the age of modernization.
The relationship between Christendom and Islam in the sciences was now reversed. Those who had been disciples now became teachers; those who had been masters became pupils, often reluctant and resentful pupils. They were willing enough to accept the products of infidel science in warfare and medicine, where they could make the difference between victory and defeat, between life and death. But the underlying philosophy and the sociopolitical context of these scientific achievements proved more difficult to accept or even recognize.
The Scientific Revolution
* Explain how new discoveries in astronomy changed the way people viewed the universe.
* Understand the new scientific method and how it developed.
* Analyze the contributions that Newton and other scientists made to the Scientific Revolution.
Terms, People, and Places
Pope Bans Copernicus' Theory of Sun-Centered Universe, 1:20
The Catholic Church listed Copernicus' "De revolutionibus" on its Index of Prohibited Books, thus prohibiting its publication and denying the physical reality of the earth's movement around the sun. Andreas Cellarius circumvented the ban by depicting the theory in the lavish and ingenious drawings of "Harmonia macrocosmica", the most beautiful and famous Celestial Atlas.
Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and Planetary Motion, 4:28
Galileo Galilei, 1:17
The definitions of these Terms, People, and Places can be posted on our Shanawiki site,
Chapter 10 Section 1 The Scientific Revolution
In 1609, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei heard of a new Dutch invention, the telescope. It was designed to help people see distant enemy ships. Galileo was interested for another reason—he wondered what would happen if he trained a telescope on the night sky. So he built his own telescope for this purpose. When he pointed it at the sky, he was amazed. The new telescope allowed him to see mountains on the moon, fiery spots on the sun, and four moons circling the planet Jupiter. “I did discover many particulars in Heaven that had been unseen and unheard of until this our age,” he later wrote.
How did discoveries in science lead to a new way of thinking for Europeans?
The Renaissance and the Reformation facilitated the breakdown of the medieval worldview. In the mid-1500s, a profound shift in scientific thinking brought about the final break with Europe’s medieval past. Called the Scientific Revolution, this movement pointed toward a future shaped by a new way of thinking about the physical universe. At the heart of the Scientific Revolution was the assumption that mathematical laws governed nature and the universe. The physical world, therefore, could be known, managed, and shaped by people.
Shanahan: 610.518.1300 x4281
For Honors Business Economics and Honors World History II:
For World History 2:
Book references are available at:
Johannes Kepler Song, 2:53
All audio recorded using the iPhone and iTouch app: LaDiDa.
Lyrics are reproduced for educational purposes only; copyright remains in the hands of the legal owners:
Luke Pacchiana (LuPac) Johannes Kepler
My name is Johannes. Kepler, boy. And I came up with the law of planetary motion.
At first I thought the Earth was the center, but now I know better (You know I do).
And I am going to prove it (Prove it to you). Yeah.
Well I became a Copernican, believed the sun was the center. Never looked back, only towards my new mentor. He was the inventor of heliocentrism. Caused the schism from geocentrism. Now I know what you're thinking, what's up with his plan? Johannes Kepler, the Renaissance man.
Boom, boom boom. Boom, bop bop. Da boom da bop bop. Da boom da bop bop!
Johannes Kepler, back again. Back to show you the ropes, so grab your pen. Learning can be fun, but some-some-some-some-some-some-sometimes a pain! But after one or two Advil®, it will go away.
It will go away. It will go away. The pain will be gone!
Yeah, he was the guy who discovered when youre closer to the sun; it takes you for a spin. Pulls you faster, pulls you in. But when youre farther youll go slower. Slower than your own lawn mower.
Yeah, you go slow. Shawty, shawty, shawty likes it slow.
The planets speed rarely changes. The speed depends on the distance ranges. When closer to perihelion you will move faster. When closer to aphelion you will move slo-slo-slo-slo-slower.
Earth revolves around the sun, blazing ball of fire. Changing seasons every few months at a time.
But when it fails to do so (uh-oh), we will all be dead. Uh-oh, that aint good.
HW or in-class work due the following day.
You may email to email@example.com.
1. Peruse Chapter 10 Revolution and Enlightenment, 1550-1800 (by Monday): in particular, when reading, be familiar with the material in Section 1 The Scientific Revolution;
2. If not answered already:
This was your first Homework assignment. Answer the question. Note that it can be answered online, emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or as a hard copy. All three ways of doing your HW are acceptable. Nonetheless, it is most likely easiest to answer online.
3. On a first come, first serve basis (use your randomly generated student classroom number), accurately define the Terms, People, and Places at
If you can add more information than you see posted please free to add to the discussion. Comments and questions on the material can be posted on the wiki page.
HW can be emailed to email@example.com or handed in as a hard copy.
1. In this instance, to answer the HW question you can vote online as well.
2. Current Events:
According to the video, how many news stories does Reuters put out per day? What was the top story of this past year? What country may set the agenda in global politics? What may be the top story of the year?