Essay Problem: An Historical View of Scientific Progress
A popular tactic of creationists is to challenge a scientist
to explain some current difficult problem in science that is as yet
unsolved. The point of this is that somehow the current gap in
scientific understanding is somehow evidence that the divine entity
that created the universe left a few holes for true believers to
discover. Hence, this argument is referred to as the "God of the Gaps"
argument. However, the history of science is that of identifying and
solving problems. This question tests the student's understanding of
scientific history and how problems are the driving force in science.
- List the specific problems that astronomers and physicists were trying to solve in the year 1900.
- Which of them have been solved?
- Which problems required new physics that wasn't known
in 1900? Which required more powerful tools (calculators, computers,
better experimental measurements) to reach a (naturalistic) solution?
Which solutions have yielded technologies or were integrated into
commercial products on Earth?
- Which of them are still open?
- Repeat steps 1-4 for the years 1800, 1700 or another year at least 50 years ago.
- Is it reasonable to expect that the problems that exist today will be any different?
Last Modified: Tue Nov 24 23:41:16 2009