Science and Superstition

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In a two- to three-page journal, reflect on John Henry’s chapter “Magic and the Origins of Modern Science” about the role of superstition in the origin of modern science. It can be shocking to learn that many of the “founding fathers” of modern science such as Isaac Newton believed in astrology, alchemy, numerology, and other pseudoscientific practices. How does the history told by Henry change the way you think about science generally and the founding fathers of modern science specifically? How were the cultural assumptions about science different during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries than they are now? What might be some similarly superstitious ideas that have influenced scientists in the 20th and 21st centuries that future generations might be surprised by?

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