Questions tagged [science]

Part of human activity related to gaining, classifying and improving knowledge about the world. There exist commonly adopted rules and requirements to make a method scientific. The history itself is one of humanity sciences.

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6
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1answer
123 views

How important were reprints of scientific articles in scientific practice and communications before the the copier, the computer and the internet?

Reprints of articles from scientific journals seem to have been an important part of scientific practice before the copying machine and the internet. Authors of articles were given a number of those ...
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What are other ancient encyclopaedic texts like Pliny's “Naturalis Historia” were available to medieval people?

The German historian of medieval thought, Kurt Flasch claims in one of his books ("Das philosophische Denken im Mittelalter", my translation "philosophical thought in medieval times") the following: ...
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Which of these quotes are actually Einstein's (if any)?

Two very similar-sounding quotes have come to my ear, both supposedly said by Albert Einstein. The first quote is: “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― ...
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What was the attitude of the Scientific community when Hitler accessed power? [closed]

What was the attitude of the scientific community when Hitler accessed power, between 1933 and 1939 ? Did the scientists boycotted the meetings (if any ?) in Germany ? Update: I don't imagine that ...
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Are there any references to entombed animals in Ancient India?

The 13th century Hindu philosopher Arulnandi Shivacharya wrote a work called the Shiva Jnana Siddhiyar, which among other things contains a refutation of Buddhist philosophy. In this excerpt, various ...
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Is there any science behind this graph that suggests we'd be exploring new galaxies if not for the dark ages?

I stumbled on this "graph". While it is clearly a dank meme, I was wondering if there was any actual science behind it: Is there anywhere a measure of scientific discovery per unit time? Do we have ...
9
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1answer
501 views

Why did Galileo decide to flame Fr. Grassi over the latter's theory of comets, making sure to lose the Jesuits’ support?

Grassi's Disputatio was a rather tame work, which presented his theory of circularly orbiting comets in a non-definitive fashion. It should have pleased Galileo, given his prejudice in strictly ...
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2answers
704 views

What happened to all the scholars and scientists of Western Rome during the barbarian invasions?

We know that the dawn of the age of Renaissance and the dusk of the Middle Ages were accelerated by the fall of Byzantine Empire and the transfer of a big chunk of "Ancient Knowledge" from Greece to ...
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Did Albert Einstein really receive this rejection letter from the University of Bern?

I saw this image on Facebook and I usually take what's posted there with a grain of salt. I have reversed image searched and googled, but with no luck. I'm curious about the authenticity surrounding ...
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Why was Copernicus not persecuted by the church, but Galileo was?

The Catholic Church's persecution of Galileo Galilei for embracing heliocentrism is very well known today. He was subjected to the inquisition and spent the end of his life in house arrest. However, ...
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What caused this cratering pattern at Hiroshima?

I was reading this article here, which includes an interesting photo of Hiroshima: The caption on the photo indicates that it was taken three weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped. The photo seems ...
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Why did Germany have so many important scientists and thinkers around the turn of the 20th century?

I got an impression that Germany at the turn of the 20th century had a lot of very important thinkers and scientists, who created foundation for lots of modern theories and philosophical concept. ...
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181 views

Was knowledge derived from the scientific method required to build commercial steam engines? [closed]

Historically steam engines got developed in England after the introduction of the hypothetico-deductive scientific method. Was the hypothetico-deductive method or knowledge about thermodynamics or ...
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How wide-spread was antisemitism in the USA during WWII?

Richard Feynman writes in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, chapter Who stole the door, that: At MIT the different fraternities all had "smokers" where they tried to get the new freshmen to be ...
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397 views

Why was 17th Century England a particularly supportive place for groundbreaking thought? [closed]

Issac Newton, John Lock, Robert Hooke, Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon...etc. Was 17th century England somehow more conducive to excellent new ideas or was it no more ...
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What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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Why were Greek philosophy and sciences taken up by medieval Muslim civilizations, but not contemporary Western Europe?

Greek-based philosophy and sciences were taken up in the medieval Islamic world. A lot of these works were translated into Arabic, and were later developed further and these contributed to the ...
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Did the passage from Latin to English, in England, help science flourish?

On a YouTube video about the origins of English, they said that replacing Latin with English in science was beneficial to the field; scientists were thus able to easily discuss and understand the ...
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2answers
660 views

What impact did the rocket inventions of the German rockeeters have on WW2? [closed]

I'm a fourth year student in secondary school, I'm currently writing an essay regarding the Second World War, and would love to hear your thoughts on the question "What impact did the rocket ...
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As many Germans fled Nazism, did some spies mix in?

Many German citizens fled Germany in the 1930s to escape persecution or discrimination. Some among them got jobs in the industry, or other potentially sensitive positions. Albert Einstein obtained ...
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1answer
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Are Amazighs the inventors of the so called Arabic numerals?

From this link, I read that an Algerian professor published a thesis where he stated that what we call Arabic numerals are not Arabic as they have been invented and used for the first time in Bejaia ...
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The role of science in enabling the survival of civilisations [closed]

The Claim asapScience has a video about the role of science in the society. In their video, they claim: When we look to history we see that ignoring science has led to the crumbling of societies. ...
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Why did Winston Churchill say “perverted science” in his Finest Hour speech?

What exactly was Winston Churchill referring to when he said "perverted science" in his Finest Hour speech? http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1940-the-finest-hour/their-finest-hour ...
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Did Archimedes have any students?

We know that Archimedes learnt a lot from his father, Phidias (who was an astronomer) and most likely studied in Alexandria, alongside other great contemporaries such as Eratosthenes of Cyrene and ...
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How could Eratosthenes measure the circumference of the Earth?

Some 2,200 years ago, Eratosthenes calculated the radius of the Earth. A brief recap Plant a stick in the ground vertically, and wait until the sun is directly above the stick, that is until ...
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How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history?

The idea of a super-scientist who invents things that no contemporary is able to equal because he's just that smart is a common trope in works of fiction, especially of the sci-fi or superhero variety....
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How did religions interpret rainbows before science explained it? [closed]

A rainbow this morning to work made me think of how religions used to interpret these colorful appearances. Signs from the gods? Repent for your sins? A gift? I want to know how different religions ...
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Why was decimal time unsuccessful?

Under the metric system (and later SI), units of weight can be related to each other based on multiples of ten (e.g. 1 metric tonne = 1,000 kg = 1,000 × 1,000 g). Likewise with length (e.g. 1 ...
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What is the name of the theory that says an early discovery can stop technological development?

Some time ago I read a claim that an early discovery can lead to a great scientific stagnation. The example given was the Chinese porcelain, that resolved all the known problems, and stopped the ...
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When was the last book containing a table of logarithms was published? [closed]

My question is when the last book containing a table of logarithms was published. For example, I know that the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables doesn't contain the logarithmic tables any more, but ...
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Alignment of South American and Egyptian Pyramids [closed]

I don't remember when and where I hear, but I remember something like this: several pyramids in Egypt are aligned with pyramids in South America . That is, in South America are several (if correctly ...
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Why was Europe so technologically and culturally advanced? [closed]

In history, why were European populations so advanced, if compared to other populations, such as native Americans? What's the reason why Europeans were so good in technology and science? Why did ...
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Codes:Hardest Code Ever [closed]

Which is the strongest/code that is unbreakable and exists? I have recently been reading a book called: The Code Book" by Simon Singh and It doesn't specify what was/is the most unbreakable code ever ...
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Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: [James]...
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What happened in 1914 that ended the golden age of microbiology?

I was reading a microbiology textbook and all it said was "The work that began with Pasteur started an explosion of discoveries in microbiology. The period from 1857 to 1914 has been appropriately ...
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What is the earliest known writing associating the number three with the dimension of the world?

Euclid's elements say: A solid is that which has length, breadth, and depth. This sentence recognizes that there are three dimensions in the world, and it was written in 300 BC. Are there any ...
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When was it discovered that the stars are not all lying on the same plane?

In Ptolemy and Copernicus' systems, the stars were believed to rest upon a single plane, the 'celestial sphere'. People thought they were all the same distance away from earth. Kepler's insight was ...
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When did scientists first postulate that Earth's atmosphere might have an upper limit?

In plenty of myths and stories from ancient (and not-so-ancient) history, people are able to fly or climb all the way up to the "dome of the sky," breathing all the way. But even once science had ...
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What was the first Solar Eclipse that was demonstrably predicted in advance?

There is a famous story going back to Herodotus according to which Thales of Miletus predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC, which interrupted a battle. Given that we have not a single ...
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The Needham Question: What stunted China's technological and proto-scientific advancement?

According to Joseph Needham Why did modern science, the mathematization of hypotheses about Nature, with all its implications for advanced technology, take its meteoric rise only in the West at the ...
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Is there a general term for epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics in Ptolemaic astronomy? [closed]

According to Ptolemy's (c. 150 CE) account of the motions of planets, planets moved in circular paths ("epicycles") around center points that in turn moved around the center of the earth along a path ...
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Newton, Galileo, and Gravity

One of the few things I remember from my high school physics class is my teacher telling me that Newton discovered things like the universal law of gravitation simply because his initial premise was ...
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Why was Newton's observation of the falling apple significant?

As described in this article at Wikipedia, in 1666, Newton was in a garden when he noticed an apple falling. Surely, Newton could not have been the first person to notice that things fell when dropped....
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How much did we know about heredity pre-Mendel?

As is common knowledge, the founder (more-or-less) of modern genetics was Gregor Mendel, who first laid down the laws of Mendelian inheritance. In particular, he discovered the existence of dominant ...
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1answer
136 views

How long has western civilization known the body contains a significant fraction of water?

Body water is the water that makes up more than half of the average human body. Before the advent of modern physiology, humorism associated Phlegm with water, and my (relatively limited) ...
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Why did Stalin deem Quantum Mechanics 'counter-revolutionary'?

I've read that in the late 1940s Stalin planned to hold a conference to discuss the ideological difficulties of physics in the Soviet Union, but called it off (presumably because of the successful ...
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Why did Renaissance come first only in the Europe? [duplicate]

When we read about the history of Scientific Revolution during the Enlightenment, we come to know that the roots of Scientific Revolution first started in Europe during the Renaissance. But can you ...
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128 views

On the epistemological repercussions of 1492

Lecture 11 of Yuval Harari's online course A brief history of humankind is titled "The discovery of ignorance." In it he presents the thesis that by arriving at a land mass entirely different from ...
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Has the strength of the historical-archaeological method ever been tested experimentally?

Historians routinely draw quite far-reaching conclusions about all aspects of society from archaeological artifacts and textual documents that – naturally – represent only a minuscule fraction of all ...
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Did books from classical times delay scientific progress in the middle ages?

When seeing some documentary about the history of medical science in the middle ages, I got the impression that many doctors were happy to merely study the works of Galen, rather than do their own ...