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Christian L.

Dela Pena September


2, 2019 2018-01885
Science, Technology and Society/ BSA-2A

INTELLECTUAL REVOLUTIONS

The Heliocentric System

In a book called On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies (that was published as Copernicus lay on his
deathbed), Copernicus proposed that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the Solar System. Such a model
is called a heliocentric system. The ordering of the planets known to Copernicus in this new system is illustrated
in the following figure, which we recognize as the modern ordering of those planets. The Copernican Universe In
this new ordering the Earth is just another planet (the third outward from the Sun), and the Moon is in orbit
around the Earth, not the Sun. The stars are distant objects that do not revolve around the Sun. Instead, the
Earth is assumed to rotate once in 24 hours, causing the stars to appear to revolve around the Earth in the
opposite direction.

Retrograde Motion and Varying Brightness of the Planets

The Copernican system by banishing the idea that the Earth was the center of the Solar System, immediately led
to a simple explanation of both the varying brightness of the planets and retrograde motion. The planets in such
a system naturally vary in brightness because they are not always the same distance from the Earth.The
retrograde motion could be explained in terms of geometry and a faster motion for planets with smaller orbits.

The idea of Copernicus was not really new! A sun-centered Solar System had been proposed as early as about
200 B.C. by Aristarchus of Samos (Samos is an island off the coast of what is now Turkey). Aristarchus actually
proposed that the Earth rotated on in addition to its orbiting around the sun. Many of Aristarchus' writings were
unfortunately lost. More importantly however, they did not survive long under the weight of Aristotle's influence
and the "common sense" of the time:

If the Earth actually spun on an axis (as required in a heliocentric system to explain the diurnal motion of the
sky), why didn't objects fly off the spinning Earth?If the Earth was in motion around the sun, why didn't it leave
behind the birds flying in the air?If the Earth were actually on an orbit around the sun, why wasn't a parallax
effect observed? That is, as illustrated in the adjacent figure, where stars would appear to change their position
with the respect to the other background stars as the Earth moved about its orbit, because of viewing them from
a different perspective (just as viewing an object first with one eye, and then the other, causes the apparent
position of the object to change with respect to the background).

The first two objections were not valid because they represent an inadequate understanding of the physics of
motion that would only be corrected in the 17th century. The third objection is valid, but failed to account for what
we now know to be the enormous distances to the stars. As illustrated in the following figure, the amount of
parallax decreases with distance. Parallax is larger for closer objects. The parallax effect is there, but it is very
small because the stars are so far away that their parallax can only be observed with very precise instruments.
Indeed, the parallax of stars was not measured conclusively until the year 1838. Thus, the heliocentric idea of
Aristarchus was quickly forgotten and Western thought stagnated for almost 2000 years as it waited for
Copernicus to revive the heliocentric theory. Note that Copernicus himself originally gave credit to Aristarchus in
his heliocentric treatise, De revolutionibus caelestibus, where he had written, "Philolaus believed in the mobility
of the earth, and some even say that Aristarchus of Samos was of that opinion." Interestingly, this passage was
crossed out shortly before publication, maybe because Copernicus decided his treatise would stand on its own
merit.

Theory of Evolution

The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Charles Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species"
in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or
behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have
more offspring.

The theory has two main points, said Brian Richmond, curator of human origins at the American Museum of
Natural History in New York City. "All life on Earth is connected and related to each other," and this diversity of life
is a product of "modifications of populations by natural selection, where some traits were favored in and
environment over others," he said.
More simply put, the theory can be described as "descent with modification," said Briana Pobiner, an
anthropologist and educator at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington,
D.C., who specializes in the study of human origins.

The theory is sometimes described as "survival of the fittest," but that can be misleading, Pobiner said. Here,
"fitness" refers not to an organism's strength or athletic ability, but rather the ability to survive and reproduce.

Natural selection

Natural selection can change a species in small ways, causing a population to change color or size over the
course of several generations. This is called "microevolution."But natural selection is also capable of much more.
Given enough time and enough accumulated changes, natural selection can create entirely new species, known
as "macroevolution." It can turn dinosaurs into birds, amphibious mammals into whales and the ancestors of
apes into humans.

Darwin also described a form of natural selection that depends on an organism's success at attracting a mate, a
process known as sexual selection. The colorful plumage of peacocks and the antlers of male deer are both
examples of traits that evolved under this type of selection.

Modern understanding

Darwin didn't know anything about genetics, Pobiner said. "He observed the pattern of evolution, but he didn't
really know about the mechanism." That came later, with the discovery of how genes encode different biological
or behavioral traits, and how genes are passed down from parents to offspring. The incorporation of genetics and
Darwin's theory is known as "modern evolutionary synthesis."

The physical and behavioral changes that make natural selection possible happen at the level of DNA and
genes. Such changes are called mutations. "Mutations are basically the raw material on which evolution acts,"
Pobiner said.

Mutations can be caused by random errors in DNA replication or repair, or by chemical or radiation damage.
Most times, mutations are either harmful or neutral, but in rare instances, a mutation might prove beneficial to the
organism. If so, it will become more prevalent in the next generation and spread throughout the population.

In this way, natural selection guides the evolutionary process, preserving and adding up the beneficial mutations
and rejecting the bad ones. "Mutations are random, but selection for them is not random," Pobiner said.

But natural selection isn't the only mechanism by which organisms evolve, she said. For example, genes can be
transferred from one population to another when organisms migrate or immigrate, a process known as gene flow.
And the frequency of certain genes can also change at random, which is called genetic drift.
Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality

Sigmund Freud developed the psychoanalytic theory of personality development, which argued that personality
is formed through conflicts among three fundamental structures of the human mind: the id, ego, and
superego.The Id, the most primitive of the three structures, is concerned with instant gratification of basic
physical needs and urges. It operates entirely unconsciously (outside of conscious thought).The superego is
concerned with social rules and morals—similar to what many people call their ” conscience ” or their “moral
compass.” It develops as a child learns what their culture considers right and wrong. The Ego, in contrast to the
instinctual id and the moral superego, the ego is the rational, pragmatic part of our personality. It is less primitive
than the id and is partly conscious and partly unconscious. It’s what Freud considered to be the “self,” and its job
is to balance the demands of the id and superego in the practical context of reality.

Sigmund Freud ‘s psychoanalytic theory of personality argues that human behaviour is the result of the
interactions among three component parts of the mind: the id, ego, and superego. This “structural theory” of
personality places great importance on how conflicts among the parts of the mind shape behaviour and
personality. These conflicts are mostly unconscious. According to Freud, personality develops during childhood
and is critically shaped through a series of five psychosexual stages, which he called his psychosexual theory of
development. During each stage, a child is presented with a conflict between biological drives and social
expectations; successful navigation of these internal conflicts will lead to mastery of each developmental stage,
and ultimately to a fully mature personality. Freud’s ideas have since been met with criticism, in part because of
his singular focus on sexuality as the main driver of human personality development.