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Unbelievable!!!


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I remember in junior high school my teacher explained to me that his theory was that the ''stars are bright because they extract their light from the sun''...even at that age, I think about 13-year-old, I was thinking...what a nutcase?!!! And above all, he had a theory...believe it or not!!! Yep, I've got a theory myself...why the stars are bright?? Becausethey're entirely inhabited by fireflies.

Edited by emadmoussa
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I think that not knowing that the stars are suns is one thing, and my farming neighbour didn't know this when I told him. But the real issue is that, faced with someone who is in a position to know because he is an amateur astronomer, your colleague preferred his own prejudices to new information. This is dismal. Indeed this is ignorance. It means you don't want to learn, to change, to adapt or to grow - and so you don't.

However, to make one's mind open to all possibilities, even when there is evidence in their favour, can be difficult. Einstein, who famously desribed common sense as 'that set of prejudices accumulated by age 18' was himself unable to accept the probabilistic nature of quantum theory. Maybe something of your dim colleague lurks in us all?

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Agree with Jim; however the gentleman in question has failed to grasp the most basic of concepts. I'm sure we all learned about the universe, solar system etc when we were in primary school (?).

Regards,

m12

wots prymary skool?
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I think that not knowing that the stars are suns is one thing, and my farming neighbour didn't know this when I told him. But the real issue is that, faced with someone who is in a position to know because he is an amateur astronomer, your colleague preferred his own prejudices to new information. This is dismal. Indeed this is ignorance. It means you don't want to learn, to change, to adapt or to grow - and so you don't.

However, to make one's mind open to all possibilities, even when there is evidence in their favour, can be difficult. Einstein, who famously desribed common sense as 'that set of prejudices accumulated by age 18' was himself unable to accept the probabilistic nature of quantum theory. Maybe something of your dim colleague lurks in us all?

Olly

Actually, the behaviour of the colleague is not ignorance, it is wilful stupidity.

Einstein had deep misgivings about quantum mechanics, but he acknowledged the ability of QM to explain findings in nature which could not be explained by other theories. More importantly, he objected to the Copenhagen interpretation of QM ("if a mouse observes, does that count"), which put the notion of conscious observation on a very different level as any other interaction. It puts man at the centre of the cosmos, in a roundabout way. He (and many other scientists, including me) find that disturbing. It begs the question how the universe evolved without us sentient beings to observe it. A theory which can do away with that odd asymmetry and still explain everything as well as QM is to be preferred (Occam's razor and all that).

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i bet there's something that your work mate knows that you don't..

sorry guys this is quite shocking to me you can bitch about someone for them not knowing, it's not something that is shoved in our faces through life, the sky at night is on early hours, it's not really in the school syllabus access to the subject is limited, I'm an electrician bet there's loads out there that don't know the nominal voltage of the UK, to me it's basic knowledge, i fish and it would surprise me if most don't know what bait us "carp" anglers commonly use..

i can understand people being disappointed that the government doesn't start them young on the subject, but you cant slate someone for not knowing something you do ,especially when you have an interest in that subject

ADDITIONAL EDIT:

actually reading the op again your mate was right , there is only one sun our star , what you meant to say is the sun is a star not the stars are all suns,, there's lots of gas giants but they arent all called jupiter.. and dont forget alot of what we see in the sky is also galaxies and our planets with their moons..

Edited by sparkyjon
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Not knowing (in this day and age) what those twinkly points of light are (or anything in the sky in general) that fill one half of our entire vision all through your life is is a bit mind boggling I think.

How come schools aren't educating people on anything above the horizon, doesn't the sky exist to them? .. If their were no stars in the sky we wouldn't be here, is that not reason enough to educate our kids about them?

I have a friend who was training to be a nurse, and one of the sources she was using in the course was eastenders, and coronation street of all things :(

Edited by Cath
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cath to be honest i bet these days people living in light polluted cities, with kids carrying knives around ready to use them at any time, youngsters cant even look up let alone see whats there..

but you've hit the nail on the head it's the governments issue this should be a gcse subject there should be an option of doing astrophysics..

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i bet there's something that your work mate knows that you don't..

sorry guys this is quite shocking to me you can bitch about someone for them not knowing, it's not something that is shoved in our faces through life, the sky at night is on early hours, it's not really in the school syllabus access to the subject is limited, I'm an electrician bet there's loads out there that don't know the nominal voltage of the UK, to me it's basic knowledge, i fish and it would surprise me if most don't know what bait us "carp" anglers commonly use..

i can understand people being disappointed that the government doesn't start them young on the subject, but you cant slate someone for not knowing something you do ,especially when you have an interest in that subject

ADDITIONAL EDIT:

actually reading the op again your mate was right , there is only one sun our star , what you meant to say is the sun is a star not the stars are all suns,, there's lots of gas giants but they arent all called jupiter.. and dont forget alot of what we see in the sky is also galaxies and our planets with their moons..

I'm personally not too shocked by him not knowing about the stars, but I'm a bit gobsmacked that he argued for 10 minutes that they were planets!

If a angler tells me that he uses say boilies for bait then I would think to myself well that persons an angler they will know more than myself about it. The OP is into Astronomy but this guy wasn't willing to consider his knowledge, what was he basing his argument on I wonder?

Edited by starfox
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I'm personally not too shocked by him not knowing about the stars, but I'm a bit gobsmacked that he argued for 10 minutes that they were planets!

If a angler tells me that he uses say boilies for bait then I would think to myself well that persons an angler they will know more than myself about it. The OP is into Astronomy but this guy wasn't willing to consider his knowledge, what was he basing his argument on I wonder?

your right about that bit, him arguing is the typical chat from two blokes even if he thought he was wrong he'd argue the point i bet ..it's embarrassment he wasn't sure so tried to make out he was right..

i bet if he went home and googled it and found out he was wrong he wouldn't come in and admit it . but the next guy he tells they are stars the same as our sun he will pretend to be in disbelief that they don't know...

well done on the boilies lol...

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Most people,i think,tend to live their lives right here on Planet Earth.They may not have any concept of how the Planet works,its orbit,that its travelling through space with its parent Galaxy,or indeed how the seasons work.

They are wrapped in in Family,work ,morgages, and basically living out their lives.

They proberbly think the sun is a coal fire.

But if they are not interested then fair enough.For them this is everything,and in one way there right.Even us who dream of whats out there,are stuck right here,apart from travelling there through our scopes.

There,s a lot of things i,m not interested in,so i know nothing about them.

Its always nice to fine someone who knows nothing,but wants to know,thats the difference.

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Try this one out for size. A few years ago, just for a laugh I got the wife one of those name a star packs for a novelty Christmas present. When I mentioned it to a senior work collegue I got the following answer, " What do you want to do that for, if you move up to Scotland or somewhere you won't be able to see it !! ".

He genuinely thought that the night sky is divided into little squares and unless you where under that particular grid you would be able to see the other stars, he was gobsmacked when I showed him that the stars in the eastern sky at the start of shift where over in the south by midshift and where setting in the west before end of shift, he never realised they moved across the night sky like the Sun does.

Ian

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your right about that bit, him arguing is the typical chat from two blokes even if he thought he was wrong he'd argue the point i bet ..it's embarrassment he wasn't sure so tried to make out he was right..

i bet if he went home and googled it and found out he was wrong he wouldn't come in and admit it . but the next guy he tells they are stars the same as our sun he will pretend to be in disbelief that they don't know...

well done on the boilies lol...

You're probably right, well I hope so anyway because at least he would have learned one way or the other.

I'm no angler but I've done a fair amount of fish keeping growing up, tropical and coldwater:)

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You're probably right, well I hope so anyway because at least he would have learned one way or the other.

I'm no angler but I've done a fair amount of fish keeping growing up, tropical and coldwater:)

i keep koi myself , so relaxing sitting out watching them almost as relaxing as watching them planets up there :evil::grin:

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I find this thread sad in the way some members show their haughtiness of other people who are probably happy with their lives and don't feel a need to know what happens above their heads. These people are probably well educated in some cases but have more important things to think about in their life and other people just simply don't give a rats ass, they are trying to survive in this modern age where desktop warriors find their igorance funny.

Jim

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Try this one out for size. A few years ago, just for a laugh I got the wife one of those name a star packs for a novelty Christmas present. When I mentioned it to a senior work collegue I got the following answer, " What do you want to do that for, if you move up to Scotland or somewhere you won't be able to see it !! ".

He genuinely thought that the night sky is divided into little squares and unless you where under that particular grid you would be able to see the other stars, he was gobsmacked when I showed him that the stars in the eastern sky at the start of shift where over in the south by midshift and where setting in the west before end of shift, he never realised they moved across the night sky like the Sun does.

Ian

Thats brilliant:D! I'm glad to hear that it sounds like he was willing to take on board what you were saying which is good to here:)

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I find this thread sad......

Jim

What is sad is that people will refuse to accept new information. We've all been wrong about things in our lives. None of us know everything, but the failure to accept new information, even if you don't fully understand it, is desparately worrying for the future of mankind.

Edited by ArmyAirForce
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My best friend wasn't sure how the moon was illuminated when i showed him through my scope once. On paper, he's smarter than me. Its just about what you learn. We barely touched astronomy in physics even all the way up to A level, I myself had really poor knowledge of the night sky when i started over a year ago. Fortunately after a lot of learning i now know vastly more as well as the fundamentals of photography too.

People are very happy in their bubble, it might be synthetic happiness, *ignorance is bliss* and all that, or it can be that some people reach natural saturated happiness much easier than others. You can tell a deeply religious person that stars were all made a certain way from dust, they will tell you God made them all then go to bed and not lose a second of sleep over it.

I do however think there is an increasing interest in it in young people and astronomy courses are more abundant than they used to be. We won't see the results of it for perhaps another decade or so though

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I agree Stephen, but some people will be astonished at what they hear and fail to take it in straight away due to it been new to them and over time they will question what has been said and learn about the subject. Myself, I did not know that one could see Andromeda with the naked eye, this astonished me and it was only after looking I believed it, like everything in this world you learn, that is never ending.

Jim

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I'll say again that it isn't 'not knowing' that bothers me, it's not wanting to know and not respecting the opinion of someone in a position to know. I'll happily respect a person's political right to believe whatever they like but I've no intention of respecting their prejudices or confusion in any other more personal way.

I've just read a biography of Farraday, a self taught man from a desperately underprivilieged background who rose to scientific eminence and made some of the greatest discoveries in physics. He battled against psuedo science, table-turning and other fads of his day. He was dismayed that advances in understanding were not filtering into the public domain and I share his dismay. I didn't spend 25 years as a teacher sayng to the students, 'Well that's total nonesense but by all means believe it if you like, write it in the exams, what do I care?' Would parents and taxpayers have wanted me to? I very much doubt it.

Ignorance is bad for you and it's bad for society. I regard dismissing the idea of fighting against it as cynical, tacky and uncaring and unworthy. Yup, that's about it.

Olly

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What is sad is the number of people on this site who have a holier than thou attitude. I have come across people on this site talking about modeling toy soldiers etc, fine If you are 11. but grown ups, now that is sad. Face it astronomy is a minority hobby, I know lots of people who couldn't care less what goes on in the heavens, they prefer to take interest in what goes on down here, where they can make a difference. There are lots more worthwhile pastimes than astronomy.Fact. I just happen to be someone who finds it fascinating.

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Not knowing (in this day and age) what those twinkly points of light are (or anything in the sky in general) that fill one half of our entire vision all through your life is is a bit mind boggling I think.

How come schools aren't educating people on anything above the horizon, doesn't the sky exist to them? .. If their were no stars in the sky we wouldn't be here, is that not reason enough to educate our kids about them?

I have a friend who was training to be a nurse, and one of the sources she was using in the course was eastenders, and coronation street of all things :(

You know, I have more than a suspicion that the politocos don't want people looking up and seeing the stars, othewise the cattle (Us) would realise there's something bigger than the politicos. They won't fight LP for the same reason, blot out the stars and keep the cattle looking down.

/cynic

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What is sad is the number of people on this site who have a holier than thou attitude. I have come across people on this site talking about modeling toy soldiers etc, fine If you are 11. but grown ups, now that is sad. Face it astronomy is a minority hobby, I know lots of people who couldn't care less what goes on in the heavens, they prefer to take interest in what goes on down here, where they can make a difference. There are lots more worthwhile pastimes than astronomy.Fact. I just happen to be someone who finds it fascinating.

Well, 'holier than thou' can, indeed, be one way of looking at it but maybe there are others. The OP met with someone who didn't know that the sun was a star. He chose to argue the case that it was, though he could have walked off and said, Believe what you like. Which alternative shows the greatest respect to the colleague? In my view the former. The latter shows very little. It's a pretty hollow kind of respect to say, 'Believe what you like, remain in error on the matter, as is your absolute right in a free country.' It also shows a distressingly slight sense of community to my mind, but since the eighties community has been the subject of some scorn.

Surely 'Worthwhile' denotes a value judgement so cannot possibly be called a fact?

Olly

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