Plan for the Day
- Discuss Hunter Havelin Adams III’s “African Observers of the Universe: The Sirius Question”
- Review Technology Projects and email me if you have questions
- Last readings for Wednesday on Video Games
- Each of you will have a 4-5 min presentation on your Technology Project
- Because of our current circumstances, you may do a video recorded presentation
- More details to come
I realize we’re not in class, but I wanted this to be a reminder that your “Coronavirus-Induced Reflections Post” on Canvas for this week is based on these questions below.
- Who are knowledge authorities? What do they look like? What are their backgrounds?
- What does it take for you to believe another person (speaking or writing)?
Adams, Hunter Havelin III. “African Observers of the Universe: The Sirius Question.”
This article discusses how Western scientists went to great lengths to discredit the possibility that the Dogon of Mali–an ethnic group south of Niger–could possibly attain astronomical knowledge without the use of modern science and technology. While the issue is far from settled, the purpose of the article in our context is to think critically about alternative epistemologies.
- Brecher on myths vs. scientific theory (p. 31).
- In the above case, “myths” equate to mythology, made up stories.
- Standards of scientific truth from Carl Spight (p. 31).
- The influence (hegemony) of European “way[s] of knowing, values, ideas, etc. (i.e. their reconstruction of reality) has become the model for the rest of the world. (p. 32).
- Temple on extraterrestrial knowledge diffusion (p. 36-37).
- Sagan on travelers telling the Dogon about the Dwarf star, Sirius B (p.37).
- Adams feels Sagan’s conclusion shows “he is full of contempt toward any non-European” epistemology (p. 37).
- Absurdity of the explanations “deny credit to the Africans for their astronomical knowledge” (p. 38).
- Primitive telescopes possible (p. 41).
- What are other possibilities?
- “Nobody has a monopoly on the truth….Their are ways of knowing.” (p. 41)
- How do we come to the “truth”?
- Western views of science (and we could say any epistemology) have “rules that are valid only in a certain range of conditions” (p. 43)
- In order to change Western science, “there must first be a transformation of values: a revolution in paradigms” (p. 43).
- Who talks about paradigms in science
Preview Technology Project
Let’s preview your Technology Project: Due 4/22. This is worth 20% of your grade and has a presentation worth 50 points, so this is actually 25% of your grade.
I’m going to be more understanding on this project because we didn’t have a proper workshop, and it is a one and done assignment–no revision. However, I expect it to be well done, and you must cite all outside sources you use. Review Purdue University’s OWL for more guidance on citations.
Go to Canvas and read the short video game articles I’ve got up. Your final exam will potentially include questions from all our readings, but you’ll have more from the 2nd half of the semester.