|Author/Contributor(s):||Ostlie, Dale A|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
non-science majors across a wide variety of disciplines, nurture their curiosity, and develop vital science-based critical-thinking skills. This textbook provides an introduction to how science operates in practice and what makes it so successful in uncovering nature's secrets. Given that the study of astronomy dates back thousands of years, it is the ideal subject for tracing the development of the physical sciences and how our
evolving understanding of nature has influenced, and been influenced by, mathematics, philosophy, religion, geography, politics, and more. This historical approach also illustrates how wrong turns have been taken, and how the inherent self-correcting nature of science through constant verification
and the falsifiability of truly scientific theories ultimately leads us back to a more productive path in our quest for understanding. This approach also points out why, as a broadly educated citizenry, students of all disciplines must understand how scientists arrive at conclusions, and how
science and technology have become central features of modern society. In discussing this fascinating and beautiful universe of which we are a part, it is necessary to illustrate the fundamental role that mathematics plays in decoding nature's mysteries. Unlike other similar textbooks, some basic mathematics is integrated naturally into the text, together with
interpretive language, and supplemented with numerous examples; additional tutorials are provided on the book's companion website. Astronomy: The Human Quest for Understanding leads the reader down the path to our present-day understanding of our Solar System, stars, galaxies, and the beginning and evolution of our universe, along with profound questions still to be answered in this ancient, yet rapidly changing field.