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This is an introductory level course about the history and philosophy of astronomy, the oldest science. We'll look at how humans learned to ask questions about the universe, and even before the invention of modern instruments like the telescope, learned some amazing things about their place in nature. We will start with prehistoric cultures who kept accurate calendars and move through the time of the Greek philosophers who laid down the rudiments of logic and mathematics and the modern scientific method. We'll then examine the revolutions of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton that redefined our place in the universe. We will then learn about the revolutions in physics in the early 20th century that redefined our ideas of space and time, mass and energy. Finally, we will discuss how modern cosmology has shown us that we live in an ancient universe (14 billion years old), in one galaxy in a universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies. At the end, will ask questions that don't necessarily have answers. What came before the Big Bang? Is there anything outside our universe? What is reality? We'll finish by looking at the role of life in the universe and ask whether the earth is the only place with biology on it....
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