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You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective.

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#76 csrlice12

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

Antibiotics? You didn't do it right; you're supposed to rub the entrails of a 3-day-dead chicken on your chest followed up by drinking an entire bottle of Rebel Yell (Rob known cure for whatever ails you). When you can see Jupiter thru the bottom of the bottlescope, you're cured (at least temporarily).

#77 PaulEK

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

Many of the kids I see do not go to school; they are home-schooled. If I argue with them, I am arguing pretty much directly with their parents. But I do it anyway. I agree completely with Thomas. Science works; it is a process, a way of looking at the world. I try my best to get that point across, especially if I get disagreement. When I'm asked, "How can 'they' know that?" I give as clear an answer as I can, though it isn't easy with young kids, especially those without basic knowledge. I'll talk about the speed of light, how international radio conversations can be slowed by it. How we know that we know how far the planets are because we've actually gone to them. How we've figured out how far the stars are by using parallax measurements with the earth's orbit around the sun to find the closest, and other methods to find those farther away. I talk about the things Thomas writes of.

Of course, I don't always have much time for this, so I cannot cover all the details with most groups. And I really don't do it to convince that particular challenging kid (though it would be nice to get through the denial), but to show the kids around him that, to be blunt, if he doesn't want to believe me, he's wrong. Reality can be denied, but it's still there to be seen, and to be understood, with science. And understanding the particulars is not beyond those interested enough to find out.

I just did a presentation this morning, and want to make clear that most kids don't need convincing. They were excited, and very grateful for the chance to see and learn. Kids tell you what they think, if you let them, and these kids kept thanking me, and said 'Wow!' a lot. :jump:

#78 csrlice12

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

They keep asking "How do you know"; yet espouse "faith" as a fact....

#79 PaulEK

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

One thing I think some people have trouble with is that science does not claim to have final answers. As we learn more, we change what we think is true. For some people, that is seen as a weakness. Others actually claim it is dishonest and misleading. These folks do not understand science, or claim they don't. If you are not willing to change your mind about what is real when given new and compelling evidence, then science won't work for you.

This is fine with me, until these folks start trying to tell others how they should or should not view the world, and how we should all live in it. When I'm not feeling generous toward the selfishness of this viewpoint, I sometimes wish these folks would give up the benefits that the science they deny gives them every day.

#80 Raginar

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

Ahopp,

You know what I meant by 'challenge'. They're not doing in a respectful way; otherwise it'd be a discussion.

Most of you have hit it on the head, these kids are raised by people who don't understand science and think its fallibility is a flaw.

The other thing I've noticed is how when I talk about astronomy, many people instantly want to jump on their religious beliefs as if I'm trying to disprove their beliefs. I'm not; I'm just stating facts as we seem them today. I just wish I could have a good conversation about astronomy without someone foisting their religious preferences on me.

Anyways, good conversation about all of this.

:roflmao:

#81 EFT

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

I went to a talk last year by Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican observatory here in Arizona. He a coauthor of the great book "Turn Left at Orion." He had some very interesting ways to look at the beginning of the universe in both a both comological and religious way. But there was some 20-something there who had clearly come just to challenge the speaker. Even my 15-year-old daughter thought the guy was a *BLEEP*.

I subsequently had Br. Guy come and give a talk for our club (I'm the vice president and have the responsibility of arranging speakers) and am having someone else from the Vatican observatory come this year.

#82 PaulEK

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:18 PM

I've seen Brother Guy on The Colbert Report. He was pleasant and kind, and thoughtful. I don't agree with him on origins, but I think he'd be okay with that, and it wouldn't occur to me to challenge him at a forum where he was a guest, unless I was invited there to do so.

#83 PaulEK

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:19 PM

(Not that I see me being invited somewhere to debate him.) :grin:

#84 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

http://zenpencils.co...ome-to-science/

Highly relevant comic (just this strip, though the rest of them are also brilliant, just not relevant for the ongoing discussion here).


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#85 PaulEK

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

Yes, I like Zen Pencils! (But that tripod in the last panel is going to make the girl's intro to science less enjoyable. :grin:)

#86 csrlice12

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

Hey, at least its not pointed towards the ground.......

#87 Glen A W

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

I go to college now, though I am older than the other students. Kids these days are very dumb in science. They are also incredibly social. They struggle constantly with math and physics, though they are not unintelligent. Many of them are also functionally illiterate, though they can read. They also can do nothing alone.

I cleaned up my college's scopes and attempted to stir up interest but found none - absolutely none. And then if someone does want a look they are disappointed.

The great thing about astronomy is that the 1/30 of 1% who are cut out for it will find it. I am certain about that. And so, it stays a beautiful topic and interest for us. If you got even 1% of the population involved, it would change so much it would not be any good any more. Call me a snob or elitist, but it's true. GW

#88 PaulEK

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

Glen:

I'm sorry to hear what you say. I work in a small town in Minnesota, which has a branch of the state university system. They have an active astronomy club, mostly made up of students. It's not big, but neither is the college.

I'm also on the school board where I live (across the border in Wisconsin), and though I'd agree that lots of kids are not very good at science, I find that lots of others are. When I was in high school and college 30-35 years ago, I found things pretty much the same. And looking further back, until the 1940s most Americans didn't graduate from high school. The high school graduation rate is still steadily climbing (currently at 86% for folks 25 and over). Our culture has always been, overall, anti-intellectual, but I haven't experienced an overall decline in the ability or desire of kids. Kids are immature, and the older I get, the more I find their foolishness apparent, but when I think about it, I really see no difference between them and me at that age. Boy oh boy, did I do some stupid stuff!

My son, an admittedly very bright 6th-grader, is learning math now that I didn't study until 11th grade (so are 17 others in his middle school's sixth grade). He's always been challenged by his teachers to think and learn as much as he can, and so have his peers. (And I'm not saying that because I was on the school board; I was elected less than a year ago.) That's very different from my overcrowded classes in the 1960s, where I was just another of the 36 or so kids who did the exact same work as everyone else in the room, even though it bored me to distraction.

All of this said, I was the Teaching Assistant for the English Department at my very small college in rural Minnesota in the early 1980s, and I was blown away by the lack of writing skills of some of the students I tutored. Some were not capable of writing even simple sentences, even though they could speak very clearly. Most, though, wrote just fine, and some were brilliant. I just, understandably, spent most of my time with the poor writers.

#89 bouffetout

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

I did my high school in a small private school That i liked very much...So in my will ,it says that I leave all my astronomy and astrophotography equipment to that school with a letter ,I didn't yet wrote ( I will very soon ),with instructions ,internet sites ,and local astronomy clubs contacts so that experienced amateur astronomers and astrophotographers will coach them on how to use the equipment. hopefuly that will spark interest from teachers as well as the kids.
Maxx

#90 PaulEK

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:27 PM

Maxx:

Great idea!

I'm starting on a plan to work with my school district to build an observatory on a piece of land they own, the School Forest, where kids do nature study. There's a restored prairie, a few acres of open land surrounded by forest. A small roll-off roof building would fit in nicely. I would donate some of my equipment, and put some more on loan to the district, to put the building in immediate use.

#91 bouffetout

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

Maxx:

Great idea!

I'm starting on a plan to work with my school district to build an observatory on a piece of land they own, the School Forest, where kids do nature study. There's a restored prairie, a few acres of open land surrounded by forest. A small roll-off roof building would fit in nicely. I would donate some of my equipment, and put some more on loan to the district, to put the building in immediate use.

Glad you like the idea. Your idea is very good too...Congrats !

#92 starrancher

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

They are remaking Cosmos. I wonder why. It's Fox, even, doing the remake. PBS did the original. How's that for contrast?

I doubt that they'd bother unless they felt that there would be an audience for it, and they could make a buck. I also applaud them for finally branching out into non-fiction. A first for Fox, I'm pretty sure. :grin:

- Jim


Your not Fox bashing are you Jim ? One might think you'd be advocating MSNBC as being a fact based broadcast .
:lol: :lol: :lol: :roflmao: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roflmao: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roflmao: :lol: :lol: :lol:

#93 starrancher

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

How about those FortyNiners !!! :grin:

#94 csrlice12

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:22 PM

Yea, they lost despite Baltimore's worst effort...... :lol:






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