Full Version: Why is astronomy not emphasized to the masses?
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My professor told me that astronomy is the mother of all sciences. All throughout civilizations past and present, stars and constellations were critical in navigation and even designing monuments. I just think by now the average person should be able to look up and spot something identifiable in the night sky. Seems like we're taught the offspring of science. I could be wrong, but I bet more people know 10 Commandments than 3 constellations. I'm just saying, as old as astronomy is, by now this subject should be as important as English!
It is certainly true that astronomy has been very important. Another aspect of its importance is to be able to know when to plant seeds.

However, these days, there are some things that should be known by all, but astronomy does not need to be known to all. It is a good part of education to provide a proper perspective of reality, but details of astronomy are just not needed by everyone.
with GPS, mapquest, and yahoo!answers, people don't need to figure out things for themselves, they can simply be told where they are, what the answer is, and how to get somewhere.

technology is the advancement of a species, however, the dependancy on it is the downfall of a species
Because "Dancing with the Stars" requires less thinking than understanding actual stars.
Commandments have nothing to do with astronomy...those are religion concepts...not astronomy.

If you want to learn astronomy...go out there and watch the sky. Keep track of every possible pattern you can learn. Teach your friends to do the same. No one is denied the opportunity to learn it.
I suspect you're preaching to the choir here... unfortunately you can't make people care about stuff, even if it's really cool Smile

as more people live in cities, we lose sight of the night sky. one of the perils of modern life, I guess.
Astronomy (or any natural science) has no visible impact on people's daily lives. That's why they don't care about it.

It has no importance to people's daily preocupations that the Earth goes around the Sun instead of the other way around, or that neutrinos cross the Earth and themselves all the time, or that the Earth has been around 4.5 billion years and not only 6 thousand, or that humans and apes had a common ancestor species a few tens of millions of years ago or that iron has the highest binding energy per nucleon of the whole periodic table, or that light goes at 300 thousand kilometers per second in vaccuum instead of, say, 290 thousand km/s, or that in many places in the world the impact of earthquakes or tsunamis is greater than in others.

Some practical applications come from discoveries in pure science. But it's not that people think about it every day -- they're more concerned with using their cars and their cellular phones and their computers and having a medic to go to when they're sick than to be concerned about whether we know how the Universe was formed or if there is intelligent life on Earth (which the news casts make me begin to believe there isn't).