Content and objectives:
Modern science has ancient roots, but its methodology was much influenced by the scientific revolutions of the 17th century. Among the questions the course asks and tries to answer are: What is science? What are the basic procedures of scientific reasoning? How do scientific theories change, especially theories that have long been accepted as fact? What are the similarities and differences between scientific theories, religious beliefs, and other kinds of “knowledge”? How do the social sciences differ from the natural sciences? The written work includes an analysis of a scientific debate or scientific revolution of each student’s choosing.