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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Apologia General Science, Module 1, A Brief History of Science

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Practice these frequently:
Quizlet M1 (These will help with the test, but are not everything on the test)

♦ Download Donna Young's Scientist Notes pages
I included these along with their regular daily assignments.

Note:  In this post there are several videos that have a picture of the same man before the video is played.  These are different clips from one long video.  Make sure you don't accidentally skip any just because the "still" picture is the same.

(1) p. 1-3, The First Inklings of Science (from ancient times to 600 B.C.)
Poppy seeds contain both morphine and codeine.
Egyptian doctors would have patients eat large amounts of the seeds to relieve pain.

Papyrus (puh pie' rus) - a plant that was made into paper, also called papyrus.

Short video (37 seconds) of how papyrus was once made.

See real papyrus:
The lady in the video below talks about the triangular-shaped stem of the papyrus plant.  Egyptians use the outer green part to make sandals, and the inner white part to make papyrus - where we get our word paper from.
The invention of papyrus made it possible to record knowledge and pass it on to future generations.

(2) p. 4-8, True Science Begins to Emerge (600 B.C. - 500 A.D)
Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes - considered the first real scientists.
Read your textbook (1st paragraph, p. 8) to see why.

I had a video here, but my kids told me it wouldn't play.  So I checked the video on youtube and found that the user's account had been deleted.  Well.  
I've looked for another video, but can't find one that is satisfactory.
So read p. 8 really well!  =)

Democritus believed there were atoms, and that atoms could not be broken down further.  Atom means uncuttable.
Aristotle wrongly did not believe in the existence of atoms, but was considered correct, therefore Democritus' theory was ignored for 2,000 years.

In your textbook, you learn about atoms.
Two or more kinds of atoms joined together make a molecule.  So when this video talks about molecules, it is talking about "sets" of atoms that are in a particular object.
Two atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen make up 1 molecule of water -- H2O.

Atoms - different objects have different kinds of atoms, and some are more densely packed than others.
(In pure metals there are no molecules, only atoms.  It takes 2 or more different kinds of atoms that will join together to make up a molecule.)

In Experiment 1.1, Density in Nature, we saw that different liquids and objects have different densities.
Liquids that have a lighter density (in other words, the atoms are not packed as closely together) will float to the top, while items that have more density will sink to the bottom.
Watch Steve Spangler do this cool experiment with 7 liquids.  =)

(3) p. 8-12, Three Other Notable Greek Scientists
Aristotle was the first to make a large-scale attempt at the classification of animals and plants.  There are kingdoms all the way down to species.
He was so smart in many things that many people began to believe everything he said, even though it had not been tested.  One thing he believed that we now know is wrong was that heavier objects fall faster than smaller objects.
We should know to only believe in scientific ideas because of evidence, not because of who said it just because we may like that person or because they are smart.
We should also be this way about the Bible.  Study your Bible for yourself, and you will be able to better discern (know in your heart) if something is true when you hear it.
Aristotle also wrongly believed in spontaneous generation.

Archimedes discovered how to measure the volume of an irregularly-shaped object.

Ptolemy was the first to try to attempt a complete description of the planets and stars.  He wrongly believed that the earth was the center of the solar system instead of the sun.  This was called the geocentric system.

Below is what the Ptolemic theory (or geocentric theory - geo means earth) would look like, with the earth in the center.
But in order for some planets to go in their orbit so that they are in correct proximity to the sun, they must have a looping revolution around the sun, which makes for a very confusing model of how the planets were thought to revolve.
Then the video changes to the Copernican theory (the heliocentric theory - helio means sun), which was proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus but rejected by the church for many years.

(4) p. 12-16, The Progress of Science Stalls for a While (500 A.D to 1000 A.D)
This period is also referred to as the Dark Ages.  The progress of science depends on government and culture, and at this time, people were wanting something different.  Rather than discovery, they wanted riches.
Alchemists (do you see the word chemist in there?) are people who wanted to turn lead or other inexpensive substances into gold or other precious metals.  This was called alchemy.  Because of not actually doing much experimenting during this period, very little actual scientific progress was made.
Although they were never able to turn anything into gold, occasionally a mixture would turn out something useful, and these results were recorded.
Below is a fun chemistry trick.

We can be thankful for the monks who copied and re-copied not only Scripture, but the accumulated scientific knowledge at that time.  They created large volumes with this information, and these came to be known as encyclopedias.  Because of these, science was able to flourish in the next period of history.
The Chinese also wrote detailed observations, even though at the time they didn't know what they were seeing.  Later modern scientists were able to determine much about what the Chinese scientists had recorded.
Writing down in a lab report what you did and what happened is for much the same reason.  You are young now, and may not think what you write will matter.  But it is good to know how to write lab reports, and to be able to write them well, with good descriptions.  You never know...  =)

(5) 16-18, Science Begins to Pick up Some Speed Again (1000 A.D. - 1500 A.D.)
Robert Grosseteste was known as the father of the scientific method because his methods of testing and retesting to make sure the results were correct led to our modern scientific method today.
The Romans believed that bad things or good things happened based on the whims of gods.
Robert Grosseteste believed that there were reasons, laws created by God, that certain things happened.  He believed that the reason for experimenting was to find why it happened that way.  That's the essence of science.
*We can be thankful for someone who believed in God's laws of nature (and not gods' whims) that scientific discovery began to pick up again, and end the Dark Ages.
To be a fact, an experiment must be able to be done over and over with the same result.
Read more about The Scientific Method at Biology4Kids.  Read about the differences between hypothesis, theory, and law.

In the video below, the guy is right.  Many things cannot be proven like evolution, the big bang, but that also includes Creation.  In order to be proven, something must be able to be repeated and observed.  
Therefore as Christians led by the Holy Spirit, we can believe by faith the Biblical account of the origin of the universe.  =)

(6) p. 19-23, The Renaissance:  The "Golden Age" of Science (1500 A.D - 1660 A.D.)
Nicolous Copernicus, as you may remember from an earlier video, correctly proposed the heliocentric system, the theory that the sun is center of our universe.
The Roman Catholic church at first rejected Copernicus' book, and actually prohibited it from being read!

Exp. 1.4, Mapping the Paths of the Planets
Johannes Kepler made such detailed observations of the planets that he was able to figure out the basic orbits of the planets around the sun.  His mathematical equations became known as "Kepler's Laws."
The planets do not orbit in an exact circle, but in an ellipse (like an oval).  The planets' ellipse is only a slight oval, however.
There are two important points in an ellipse.  These two points in an ellipse are called the focus points, or foci (plural).  One focus point is the sun. ☼
Do you see that the earth does not constantly revolve at an equal distance from the sun?  It takes a year to revolve all the way around the sun at constantly varying distances.

Used with Permission, Copyright Aaron Keller

To draw an ellipse:
(The pushpins are the foci, and one of them represents the sun. )

To draw an ellipse on a sheet of paper, you can tape the paper to something like corkboard, bulletin board, thick cardboard, etc, and place two pushpins in it.

Galileo Galilei is known for building the first telescope, but actually, he copied another man's invention! Galileo's new, improved telescope did indeed work very well and he was able to see that the heliocentric view was much better than the geocentric view.
Although he collected a lot of information that supported the heliocentric view, the church forced him to recant (take back) his beliefs in favor of the geocentric view.  He did however, keep learning and recording what he found.  Many years after his death, this information (along with Kepler's Laws) proved valuable.  The church finally had to accept the heliocentric view.

(7) p. 23-25a, The Era of Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was the single greatest scientist of all time.

Antoni van Leeuwenhook built the first microscope which does not look at all what we think of as a microscope!
(This video says Antoni van Leeuwenhook built one after someone else did, but we will go with what the text says.)

(8) p. 25-26, The "Enlightenment" and the Industrial Revolution (1735 A.D. - 1819 A.D.)
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was the first to realize that matter cannot be created, nor can it be destroyed -- it can only change forms.  This is knows as the Law of Mass Conservation ( or Conservation of Mass).
I believe this is part of a longer video.  From what I've learned online, Lavoisier was apparently not an honest man, stealing some ideas and taking credit for them.  This did help further his own discoveries, but in the end, it was his undoing.  He also was not honest in his tax collecting, and his riches allowed him to buy more and do better science experiments.  So he was able to accomplish a lot, but it was due in part to his unscrupulous ways.  He was eventually put to death.

John Dalton developed the first detailed atomic theory.  (atomic - having to do w/ atoms.)
Remember Democritus had believed in atoms years ealier.

(9) p. 27-29, The Rest of the Nineteenth Century (1820 A.D. - 1899 A.D)
Many of you may know about Charles Darwin and his book The Origin of Species (short version of a long title).  His theory in this book that made no reference to God is now known as the theory of evolution.
As with most of the scientists we've studied, whom we later learned were wrong about some things but helped the advancement of science in other areas, there is one thing that came of Darwin's studies that proved something important, however.
►Sometimes even wrong ideas end up helping advance science.
Some people believed in the immutability of the species -- in other words, that they cannot change at all.
No, they cannot change into other animals, but they can vary.
For instance, look at all the breeds of dogs there are.  Look at their fur, their size, their shape.  I'm pretty sure Noah didn't take two of each of those on the ark!  =)
Now it may seem obvious to us, but once, scientists believed that all the dogs we have now always existed, and that they never had changed.  This is called the immutability of the species.
Though most of the rest of Darwin's ideas were wrong, his destroying this idea of the immutability of the species changed the way in which scientists studied living things.

As we have seen before, people are usually reluctant to accept any new idea, even if it makes sense, and is proven.  Ignaz Semmelweis had such an idea, but it was 10 years before it became accepted.  Ten years doesn't seem as long compared to some other scientists' ideas, but this idea was a matter of life and death!!!  Thousands more died because no one listened to him.  He was eventually put into prison and died 2 weeks later at the age of 47. 
You will learn a little about him now, and more about him in the next module.
Ten years after Semmelweis first proposed his hypothesis, Louis Pasteur (from where the word pasteurization comes) found the causes of infections and disease, and proved it through experiments and demonstrations.  Semmelweis died never knowing of Pasteur's work.

The experiments of Gregor Mendel are about genetics - how traits are passed on during reproduction.

How traits are passed on.

James Clerk Maxwell, father of modern physics.
"Albert Einstein said that James Clerk Maxwell made greater contributions to physics than anyone except Isaac Newton."

James Joule said that energy, like matter (Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier - Law of Conservation of Mass), can neither be created nor destroyed.  Energy can only change forms.  This is known as the First Law of Thermodynamics (sometimes called the Law of Conservation of Energy).
When you eat food, it gives you energy.  The food/energy changed forms.

This video is about energy, but not James Joule.

(10) p. 29-31, Modern Science (1900 A.D - Present)
Max Planck proposed that energy exists in small packets called quanta.  (Like matter is in tiny packets called atoms.)  Eventually, this new way of looking at matter and energy became known as quantum mechanics.
Albert Einstein  was very interested in quantum mechanics, and used Planck's idea to explain the photoelectric effect.
Niels Bohr gave further evidence that Planck was right when he developed his model of what an atom looked like.  It is called the Bohr Model.
(Images of the Bohr Model)

Einstein also developed the  general theory of relativity and the special theory of relativity.
His general theory of relativity will probably seem strange to you, as it did when I first heard about it.  I had always learned that the planets stayed in orbit around the sun because of the sun's strong gravity.
But, as we've seen in the history of science, it is hard to accept something new.
The video below indicates Einstein was right, and there are several pieces of evidence to suggest that, but it has not been tested nearly enough to become a law, so it is still a theory.  It is a good theory, but still a theory.


  1. Smart post and so good blog
    thanks for you good information and i hope to subscribe and visit my blog Ancient Egyptian Jewelry and more Ancient Egypt History thanks again admin

  2. This is so thorough . I cannot believe you took the time to post this valuable info.
    A million thanks

  3. You're welcome! And thank you.
    I just started out posting for my kids and 2 of their cousins, and it grew from there! =)

  4. We're just starting and this is such a blessing to us. Thank you for sharing!

    I also wanted to let you know that some of the video links are not working, specifically for the videos in these subjects: Copernicus, Sir Isaac Newton, Antoni van Leeuwenhook, Ignaz Semmelweis and Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, James Joule/energy, Einstein.

  5. You're very welcome!
    And thanks for letting me know about the videos. Those were all cropped from one long video, so it has apparently been removed from youtube, or the uploader made it private. I will try to find time soon to search for a replacement.
    Thank you! =)


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