566 research outputs found

    Using Astronomical References For Biblical Dating Of Noah’s Deluge And The Destruction Of Solomon’s Temple

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    In recent years, the astronomy teaching community has been called upon to include more cultural aspects of the influence of astronomy across the world in university courses. As an important component connecting the science of predictable sky alignments with historical human events, students studying the history of science and astronomy often find it cognitively challenging to recognize the fact that till the 16th century AD the most fundamental picture of the planetary system had been distorted with the sun considered to be the fourth planet of the earth rather than the center of our modern planetary system. Similarly, students are often amazed in realizing that the vast majority of all professional and knowledgeable astronomers had also believed that planets control the destiny of all human beings,and, in particular, in predicting extreme events. In this presentation, we concentrate on such impacts of astronomers who stood behind the determination of the chronology of the Bible. Having illustrated that the ancient astronomers believed that when the Sun, the Moon, and the first point of Aries form a straight celestial line, important historical events described in the Bible could be revealed, and one could systematically examine the relative positions of these three celestial objects when events would occur and symbolize for the sages the end of an era. We first describe how the largest celestial separation between the sun, the moon, and the Vernal Equinox (VE) was identified by the writers of the chronology to occur in association with the destruction of Solomon’s Temple; and then we illustrate the additional result that such a separation was also made to be associated with a biblical flood

    After the Afghan War: Nationalism and the Changes in the Balance of Power in Central Asia

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    No abstract available DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5564/mjia.v0i8-9.125 The Mongolian Journal of International Affairs; Number 8-9, 2002, Pages 12-2

    Teaching The Astronomical Visualization Used For The Explanation Of The Ancient Ein-Gedi Archaeological Zodiac And Its Related Inscription

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    In teaching the history of astronomy, mosaics found at ancient synagogues in the Middle East are invaluable. The ancient Zodiac signs forming such mosaics are related to the seasons indicating the fact that the precession of the Earth axis had been neglected or even unknown. We demonstrate that the sage’s derivations of the patriarch’s ages in the chronology of the Septuagint version of the bible correspond to the signs of the zodiac, an assumption supported, for example, by the inscription found in the ruins of the Jewish synagogue in Ein-Gedi. Through our astronomical calculations we solve the sun-moon conjunctions occurring at the beginning of the zodiac signs – at the Vernal Equinox - considering the real sun's orbit. Since the Septuagint version of the bible is assumed to have been translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC from an earlier existing Hebrew source, the fact that the ages of the patriarchs correspond to the observations of the real sun's motion, leads to the conclusion that the Septuagint version is an important book of the history of science. As a result of our findings, the bible can, thus, be regarded as one of the most ancient detailed scientific teaching sources leading to improved astronomical models which determined the planetary orbits

    The Changes In Calendars In The Ancient World As A Tool To Teach The Development Of Astronomy

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    When teaching an introductory science survey course to college students learning astronomy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, we have devoted four hours to teaching the history of astronomy as a fruitful strategy to introduce important concepts surrounding the development of general scientific knowledge throughout history. In order to illustrate the impact of improved accuracy of astronomical measurements, we propose using the example the development of the calendars and, in particular, the widespread Hebrew calendars used throughout the adjacent Millennia of B.C. and A.C. The changes in the several determinations of the Hebrew calendar are demonstrated based on Babylonian and Jewish documents as well as works by al-Khwarizmi from the 9th century AD, found in the Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library, in Patna India.  Our experience suggests that the teaching of calendar development and evolutions demonstrates the interconnectedness between scientific endeavors and social-religious traditions

    Superlative Quantifiers as Modifiers of Meta-Speech Acts

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    The superlative quantifiers, at least and at most, are commonly assumed to have the same truth-conditions as the comparative quantifiers more than and fewer than. However, as Geurts & Nouwen (2007) have demonstrated, this is wrong, and several theories have been proposed to account for them. In this paper we propose that superlative quantifiers are illocutionary operators; specifically, they modify meta-speech acts. Meta speech-acts are operators that do not express a speech act, but a willingness to make or refrain from making a certain speech act. The classic example is speech act denegation, e.g. I don\u27t promise to come, where the speaker is explicitly refraining from performing the speech act of promising What denegations do is to delimit the future development of conversation, that is, they delimit future admissible speech acts. Hence we call them meta-speech acts. They are not moves in a game, but rather commitments to behave in certain ways in the future. We formalize the notion of meta speech acts as commitment development spaces, which are rooted graphs: The root of the graph describes the commitment development up to the current point in conversation; the continuations from the root describe the admissible future directions. We define and formalize the meta-speech act GRANT, which indicates that the speaker, while not necessarily subscribing to a proposition, refrains from asserting its negation. We propose that superlative quantifiers are quantifiers over GRANTs. Thus, Mary petted at least three rabbits means that the minimal number n such that the speaker GRANTs that Mary petted n rabbits is n = 3. In other words, the speaker denies that Mary petted two, one, or no rabbits, but GRANTs that she petted more. We formalize this interpretation of superlative quantifiers in terms of commitment development spaces, and show how the truth conditions that are derived from it are partly entailed and partly conversationally implicated. We demonstrates how the theory accounts for a wide variety of phenomena regarding the interpretation of superlative quantifiers, their distribution, and the contexts in which they can be embedded
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