History of science

The history of science is the study of the development of science, including both the natural and social sciences. Science is a body of empirical and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by scientists who emphasize the observation and prediction of real-world phenomena. Historiography of science, in contrast, studies the methods employed by historians of science; the English word scientist is recent, first coined by William Whewell in the 19th century. Before that, investigators of nature called themselves "natural philosophers". While observations of the natural world have been described since classical antiquity, the scientific method has been employed since the Middle Ages, modern science began to develop in the early modern period, in particular in the scientific revolution of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Traditionally, historians of science have defined science sufficiently broadly to include those earlier inquiries. From the 18th through the late 20th century, the history of science of the physical and biological sciences, was presented as a progressive accumulation of knowledge, in which true theories replaced false beliefs.

More recent historical interpretations, such as those of Thomas Kuhn, tend to portray the history of science in terms of competing paradigms or conceptual systems within a wider matrix of intellectual, cultural and political trends. These interpretations, have met with opposition for they portray the history of science as an incoherent system of incommensurable paradigms, not leading to any actual scientific progress but only to the illusion that it has occurred. In prehistoric times and technique were passed from generation to generation in an oral tradition. For instance, the domestication of maize for agriculture has been dated to about 9,000 years ago in southern Mexico, before the development of writing systems. Archaeological evidence indicates the development of astronomical knowledge in preliterate societies; the development of writing enabled humans to store and communicate knowledge across generations with much greater accuracy. Many ancient civilizations systematically collected astronomical observations.

Rather than speculating on the material nature of the planets and stars, the ancients charted the relative positions of celestial bodies inferring their influence on human individuals and humankind. This demonstrates how ancient investigators employed a holistic intuition, assuming the interconnectedness of all things, whereas modern science rejects such conceptual leaps. Basic facts about human physiology were known in some places, alchemy was practiced in several civilizations. Considerable observation of macroscopic flora and fauna was performed; the ancient Mesopotamians had no distinction between magic. When a person became ill, doctors prescribed magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments; the earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur. The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the Diagnostic Handbook written by the ummânū, or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa, during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina.

In East Semitic cultures, the main medicinal authority was a kind of exorcist-healer known as an āšipu. The profession was passed down from father to son and was held in high regard. Of less frequent recourse was another kind of healer known as an asu, who corresponds more to a modern physician and treated physical symptoms using folk remedies composed of various herbs, animal products, minerals, as well as potions and ointments or poultices; these physicians, who could be either male or female dressed wounds, set limbs, performed simple surgeries. The ancient Mesopotamians practiced prophylaxis and took measures to prevent the spread of disease; the ancient Mesopotamians had extensive knowledge about the chemical properties of clay, metal ore, bitumen and other natural materials, applied this knowledge to practical use in manufacturing pottery, glass, metals, lime plaster, waterproofing. Metallurgy required scientific knowledge about the properties of metals. Nonetheless, the Mesopotamians seem to have had little interest in gathering information about the natural world for the mere sake of gathering information and were far more interested in studying the manner in which the gods had ordered the universe.

Biology of non-human organisms was only written about in the context of mainstream academic disciplines. Animal physiology was studied extensively for the purpose of divination. Animal behavior was studied for divinatory purposes. Most information about the training and domestication of animals was transmitted orally without being written down, but one text dealing with the training of horses has survived; the Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet Plimpton 322, dating to the eighteenth century BC, records a number of Pythagorean triplets... hinting that the ancient Mesopotamians might have been aware of the Pythagorean theorem over a millennium before Pythagoras. In Babylonian astronomy, records of the motions of the stars and the moon are left on thousands of clay tablets created by scribes. Today, astronomical periods identified by Mesopotamian proto-scientists are still used in Western calenda

Otto II (bishop of Freising)

Otto II, sometimes called Otto von Berg, was the 24th Bishop of Freising from 1184 and, like his predecessor, Otto I, a supporter of the Hohenstaufen monarchs. Around 1200, he composed the "Laubacher Barlaam", a Middle High German translation of a 12th-century Middle Latin version of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, his version is not to be confused with the verse romance Barlaam und Josaphat of Rudolf von Ems. Otto was the son of Diepold II, Count of Berg-Schelklingen, Gisela of the House of Andechs, his brothers Diepold and Henry were bishops. Otto was a canon at the cathedral of Magdeburg before his election as bishop. In 1189 he obtained juridical rights, market rights and Burgrecht in the possessions of his diocese in the Duchy of Austria. After the disputed imperial election of 1198, he sided with Philip of Swabia, but is found in the following of Otto IV. In 1215 he paid homage to Frederick II. Otto's Barlaam is 16,500 lines of poetry, one third of which concerns the religious and baptismal instruction in dialogue form, of Josaphat by Barlaam.

Otto compares Barlaam to Saint Anthony the Great for their shared asceticism. Josaphat gives long speeches to his angry father, the king, to the people; the most interesting aspect to the modern reader is Otto's description of different religions: Chaldaean "astrology and occult arts", Greek anthropomorphism, Egyptian cults of plants and animals, euhemerism. In this, he relies on earlier Christian writings, notably John of Damascus and also Lactantius

World Junior Curling Championships

The World Junior Curling Championships are an annual curling bonspiel featuring the world's best curlers who are 21 years old or younger. The competitions for both men and women occur at the same venue; the men's tournament has occurred since 1975 and the women's since 1988. Since curling became an Olympic sport in 1998, the World Junior Curling Championship of the year preceding the Olympic Games have been held at the site of the curling tournament for the upcoming Games. Teams qualify to participate in the World Junior Curling Championships through final rankings at the previous year's championships or through the World Junior B Curling Championships, which includes any teams that did not qualify for the championships via the previous year's rankings; the top three teams of this tournament qualify for the main tournament, the bottom three teams from the main tournament are demoted to the B tournament. This type of tournament existed from 2001 to 2004, where two teams were awarded qualification spots through the B tournament instead of three.

Teams that did not qualify through rankings qualified through regional qualifiers. In the Europe Zone, teams participated in the European Junior Curling Challenge, in which the winner advances to the World Championships. In the Pacific Zone, teams participated in the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships, in which the winner advances to the World Championships. Skips listed below nation. Overall