To choose only two or three blog posts out of all of them is quite the difficult task, however I think I am fairly certain in the ones that I have chosen to talk about in my final blog post. They will go in ascending order of third favorite to most favorite.
The first one I wish to bring up was my post on a recent study that found that UV light rays could be an essential step as to how early replicating molecules led to the very first simple forms of life. This is arguably one of my personal favorites because as I explain in the original post, any and all scientific evidence pointing to how life began is incredibly interesting to me, and when I saw this article I knew I had to cover it. From simple nucleotides to polynucleotides to RNA and then to lipid protected DNA, every step is incredibly interesting to me and I hope to learn more in the future on it as more discoveries are made.
My next personal favorite has to be my article on how complex matter can come from simple reactions in the cores of stars and how that all occurs, which tied in to our discussion on nuclear fusion in class. Similar to the previous favorite that I chose, I’m incredibly interested in the explanations of how simple forms (like RNA or hydrogen/helium atoms) can give rise/evolve into more complex ones (like DNA or Carbon-12 atoms). I only place this one higher than the previous one because this article covered a topic I wasn’t entirely sound on. The previous article was a topic I already knew fairly well, this one on the other hand had a lot of new information that surprised me at how I hadn’t learned about it before. It was only the fact that it was new that placed it at a higher position relative to the previous one for me.
My last and most favorite hands down has to be my take down of addressing pseudoscience in the form of a post written in reference to the heliocentric/geocentric model. One point I didn’t make in the original that is often left out (and I wish I made it at the time) is the fact of scientific consensus. What people often forget was that, the Catholic church at Copernicus’s time was not the scientific consensus, Copernicus was. The opposite is often claimed by those who do not understand what a scientific consensus is. Scientific consensus is not determined by who has the most votes, it is determined by who is right. While not explicitly stating that in the original, it is a point that I allude to during the whole discussion on how to dispel pseudoscience in a productive manner, which quite frankly I think I did fairly well. Like I say in my original post, setting the record straight on what the scientific consensus is is what I feel must be done, and so I take it upon myself to educate myself on these topics as much as possible in order to confront nonscientific beliefs whenever I can. That sole factor is why that post is my favorite, and why it was written so passionately and with great care in its wording.
And so, here we are, at the close. Ultimately, I found the overall experience of this class to be very useful. While for some of the topics I already had a general understanding of how they (astronomers) came to the conclusions that they did, I still found the rest of it useful, like learning various different topics not previously known in detail to me (HR diagram and its use, classifications of stars and each of their deaths, Proton-proton cycle, CNO cycle, and many more). I hope to take this knowledge and apply it to further instances of discussion when, for instance, dispelling pseudoscience and quelling scientific ignorance, willful or not. Both history and science are very near and dear to my heart in terms of educational disciplines, and so whenever I hear a particular claim attributed to either of them, I always hope to be prepared in my assessment of their validity and soundness. A healthy dose of skepticism is always preferable to blind assertion, which is why I share so much respect for both of these fields. Both are skeptical of claims, both search for evidence to support/disprove them, and both inductively reason based off of the evidence the simplest and most logical conclusion. Astronomy 101 has taught me much to reinforce what I know and build up from my previous ignorance, and I hope both such occurrences will continue to happen later on in my college career as I take and learn from more scientific courses.