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The philosophy of science

The philosophy of science

Science was available to us before writing. In order to infer from archaeological remains what was the content of the exact science. The prehistoric humans were known to be great observers of the sky and nature. There were able to track seasons with great precision without using any time tracking instruments. Yet, they knew exactly which time of the year it was. There are still unexplained sudden bursts of activities rating from 3000 years ago that clearly had a significant scientific importance.

There are large stone structures all over the world that we know nothing about how they got there and who built them and most importantly, how, because at that time, there were no tools that could support such projects. Yet, they are there. So, from a scientific point of view, these stone structures are quite remarkable and obviously very important for the future reckoning.

They are important scientifically because they can reveal the social and technical skills of a high order but, also, to understand the mystical combination of astronomical and religious purposes these structures had. The mathematical sophistication found in these structures was not ordinary for the time or common. Actually, it would be more common for the 20th century, not 3000 B.C.

So, there is something larger here, something that we fail to see. The interesting thing is that some of these structures required the practical knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem and the numbers and it seems that this has been known to the ancient people before the birth of Pythagoras.

Religion and astronomy all related to science

astronomy-religionA fundamental combo of astronomy and religion was extremely important to the early history of science. The happenings in the sky were always the most irresistible intellectual puzzle to mankind. The human mind is always searching for regularity and order and we had no other choice but to seize upon the sky as the paradigm of our knowledge. That is why scientist call astronomy the queen of all sciences.

The west sphere of the world seemed to be far more interested in science than the east one but it is yet to be seen. The truth is, a mature form of science was developed in the West. Or at least that was what the world thought until they realized that the East had far superior knowledge in science than the West.

The first science to emerge anywhere, as noted, was astronomy. The relation with religion stimulated the development of mathematics. China was the first country in the world that knew how to track the positions of the stellar constellations and they devised a calendar and various other methods how to track celestial events.

Changes in the sky presaged changes on our planet and that is how astrology and astronomy were incorporated into the government system. In order to maintain order and legitimacy, an accurate calendar became a necessity. This resulted in the creation of an astronomical observations system that made eclipse observations possible today.

The beginnings of modern history

The beginnings of modern history

Many only can guess but they agree that, in a purely technical sense, modern history began with the end of the Renaissance. There is certainty in this though. There are disagreements that Renaissance is the proper temporal bound for the modern era. Still, many do agree that the Age of Enlightenment was the start of Modern History.

Clearly, if we are to really identify when modern history actually began, we need to take a look at some of the ancient customs and activities that were considered strange. In the Renaissance astrology, there was an accepted branch of history with religious objections to it. The concept of human actions, governed by the movements of the celestial bodies was completely contradicting the free will doctrine. The church dismissed any of such allegations strongly.

Historians often point to the crucial changes in the world that happened between 1500 and 1800. So, these facts all lead us to believe that modern history actually started somewhere in those 300 years. Many agree that Scientific Revolution marked the start of modern history in the 17th century. Modern History was the result of gradual accumulation and burst of ideas against the church and its conservative views on nature.

mapThis led to the birth of modern science and modern history that goes with the new age. This Scientific Revolution marked a break in the way how people think of themselves, the world around them and nature. It revolutionized the way people think in a way that made them more self-aware and more aware of the world around them.

Of course, there are many who would not agree with all this as they think that modern history started with the industrial revolution. The truth is, it probably started when people changed their view of the church, religion, the world around them, the changes in nature and the way they think about themselves. These changes were so big that they could set things in motion that brought the entirely new age and with it, a new way how we track things. Hence, the modern history.

The beginning of history

The beginning of history

In order to understand what history represents, it is important to understand Prehistory. This refers to the period of time span before the known history was recorded. Once the writing system was invented, it marked the end of the prehistoric era. The past in an area where there is no evidence of written records is what represents Prehistory.

This further means that it was a period where the writing of a culture did not exist or was not understood. If we are to understand and implicit the exclusion of certain preliterate civilizations, the study of prehistory is crucial. The recorded history, in term of world history, is dating somewhere around the 4th millennium BC.

This is when the recorded history was first seen in accounts of the ancient world. Mostly, this written history is limited because the use of written record was very limited at the time. Unfortunately, not all major events from that period were written and a lot is missing. We consider the earliest form of our known history as Proto-Writing. This was the earliest writing system known to mankind. It emerged in Eurasia.

Proto-writing

proto-writingProto-Writing is not classified as real writing but something that resembles writing the most. In order to convey information, it used ideograph symbols. Put more simply, it used pictures or drawings in order to convey information. The point where prehistory turns into history is very unclear. Many believe that it was the invention of the first acclaimed writing system in the beginning of the Bronze age.

The others say that history has begun with the Egyptian and Sumerian scripts and hieroglyphs. The most common event that everyone agrees could be the beginning of history was when mankind stopped following animal migrations and began making their first and permanent settlements. Of course, we cannot define history by what is written down, there is much more to it.

We know most of the Egyptian history not from words but from the information left behind that primarily comes from the tombs. There are three events that could sum up the beginning of history as we know it. The first one could be when humans first came into existence. The second one could be when the first human settlement was created and the third one could be when writing was first invented. We can only begin to assume which one is the answer.

Development of science over time

Development of science over time

All people on this planet have heard of science. We are mentioning it every day. Put simply, science is knowledge of the world of nature. In order to survive on this planet, there are many regularities in nature we, as a kind, had to recognize. We know that celestial bodies like the Sun and the Moon periodically repeat their movements.

The daily motion of the Sun is very simple to observe and we do not need technology to see that the Sun moves and changes its position during the day. On the other hand, the annual motion of the Sun is far more difficult for observing without the proper instruments. What’s important here is the notion that both motions correlate with the most important events on our planet. The changing of the night and day provide the basic rhythm of our existence.

The changing of the seasons determine the migration of animals upon which we have depended since the dawn of time. In a way, everything we know in our world is connected and intertwined. Knowing natural processes is a way how we referred to science in the early periods of human existence until we realized that everything we know can be explained by science. A simple definition of science as knowledge of natural processes was universal among mankind.

History of science

history of scienceThis definition does not exhaust what science truly means. We think of it as regularities because that’s how our brain interprets science. If we are to understand a great mystery called science, we have to embrace a larger view. By establishing these regularities, it falls easier on us to get our knowledge from the examination of data. To prevent any premature generalization and jumping to conclusions which could lead us astray from what is real, we must employ a certain degree of skepticism.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that science is being skeptical about something that happened in the world beyond our comprehension. In order to be able to explain it, one must think beyond the boundaries of what we know and what is known. History and science are tightly related. The history of science was always in a tight relationship with all the branches of learning. The truth is that the history of science was never formally taught in science departments. The truth is, we still do not know all of it.

Big announcement

Big announcement

Every year, the Arkansas Archeological Society holds their annual meeting. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and a really great thing is that this meeting is usually enhanced by the incredible availability of unusual shopping, interesting sightseeing and attractions and good restaurants. There are still some months to go for the deadline but it is already possible to send proposals for, workshops, presentations, and papers.

arkansasThere are some certain rules when it comes to how you will present your papers. They should not be more than 20 minutes in length and the topic is entirely up to you. There is a total of 14 available time slots and they will be filled on the basis first to come, first served.

There is a possibility of reserving the place upfront by sending an interest note. All the participants have to do is send the abstract and a title at some point and it will be on demand. Also, there will be The Arkansas Archeological Society Training in Archeology and field excavation program with the plan focused on exposing more of the Middle Archaic zone.

There is an issue that needs our immediate addressing and that is craft specialization and production and exchange of novaculite tool. Besides the exposure to archaeological techniques, the participants of the program will also be granted other archaeological activities, demonstrations and handcrafts.

logo1The Southeastern Archaeological Conference is on the way of promoting public awareness of the importance and impact of archaeology with the scope of granting to finance public outreach projects. There are a wide range and variety of educational programs and other outreach activities that could largely raise public awareness.

These projects could include any public-oriented project, public field trips, archaeology fairs, Elderhostel programs, project archaeology workshops, any activities related with archaeology for both the adults and children, exhibits, and any printed material that is distributed for the sole purpose of public consumption.

In case that there are interested participants in these programs, they can find out more information including a history of grant applications, requirements and full description of activities.

Annual meetings of archaeologists

Annual meetings of archaeologists

Happening every year over the weekend, The Louisiana Archaeological Society holds their annual meeting somewhere in the middle of February. Placed just west of New Orleans, this is a very popular meeting among archaeologists. Usually, it is somewhere between Mardi Gras and Super Bowl. These events are always carefully planned because there are so many events that are important at that period of the year.

hotelUp til now, the location was the Marriott Lakeway, which is really near to the foot of the Causeway, right across Lake Pontchartrain. The location is easily reached from both I-10 and I-12. The view from the hotel is really magical as it stretches far across the lake to its north and goes beyond the vast expanse.

If you have never been to a place that is such a high rise that overlooks this beautiful lake, you will really enjoy the view of the New Orleans and its wonderful east skyline, that is breathtakingly beautiful. There are no problems with the parking here either if this is what concerns you. The hotel has a huge garage attached to it with lots of parking space so this is a really nice convenience.

About the hotel

Usually, the weekends after Mardi Gras tend to be slow so the rates for the parking lot are reduced at this time of the year which is just perfect for the opportunity. In case that any of the participants want to ask around about the hotel we are staying at, they can feel free to do so by paying a visit to the official hotel web page. There, they will be able to find the full information about the hotel and its capacities and conveniences.

The hotel is reserved for non-smokers only and everyone coming by car can inform themselves about the route by clicking on the map & transportation tab. In between the meetings, there is an opportunity to visit the best and the most beautiful parts of New Orleans.

Due to the Katrina floodings, there will be possibilities to see the areas that were most impacted. This time, the main theme of the meeting will be related to the archaeological record of the effect of floods but, there will be other discussions that are not limited just to this particular subject. These meetings are both informative and interesting so, anyone interested in archaeology should participate.