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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)
Professor Bailyn begins the class with a discussion of a recent New York Times article about the discovery of a new, earth-like planet. He then discusses concepts such as epicycles, dark energy and dark matter; imaginary ideas invented to explain 96% of the universe. The Anthropic Principle is introduced and the possibility of the multiverse is addressed. Finally, biological arguments are put forth for how complexity occurs on a cosmological scale. The lecture and course conclude with a discussion on the fine differences between science and philosophy.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Calculations for an Earth-Like Planet
08:23 - Chapter 2. Cosmology: The Game -- Working with Imaginary Ideas
29:39 - Chapter 3. The Anthropic Principle and the Multiverse
42:00 - Chapter 4. The Fine Line between Science and Philosophy
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2007.