The Observant Astronomer

The passing scene as observed by an observant Jew, who daylights as an astronomer.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Great Divide: Terminology

It looks like it's going to be necessary to compare modern astronomical thought with that which proceeded it, so I want to set up some terminology. I think that what we need to distinguish is between two schools of thought which I will refer to as pre- and post- Scientific Revolution. Pre-SR and Post-SR, for short.

Pre-SR astronomy is the realm of the natural philosophers. Authority is ancient and text based. If your ultimate source is Almagest, you are doing Pre-SR science.

Post-SR astronomy is the realm of the scientists. Authority is derived from observations of the universe itself. If your theories are based on real data, you are doing Post-SR science.


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