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133

Is Neil Tyson's claim that the Gregorian calendar is the “most accurate calendar ever devised” true? TL; DR: The Gregorian calendar qualifies as "most accurate" if one defines "most accurate" as a calendar that has a leap year every four years except for years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400. Tyson didn't mean that. He made it ...


114

This is an old myth from the days of Orientalism. Unfortunately Wikipedia is often edited precisely by people who have simply seen popular accounts by people like Tyson (or Skeptoid podcast, or The New Atlantis) produced with no understanding of the history of science or human thought. The fact is that Ghazzālī nowhere professed that reason or knowledge is ...


52

False. That little outfit called NASA says this: The Persian Calendar, also known as the Iranian Calendar, is made available in a similar fashion for it is the most accurate of calendars. These calendars are included for the millions of people who use them regularly. But this is quite complicated, as the term "accuracy" for a calendar might mean quite ...


22

It's a fair statement to make, even if not true (and especially not when taken out of context). From the context it's apparent that he meant predictive calendars in widespread use. Also one can imply that fairly simple rules can be qualification needed for everyday use. I think it's obvious that with today's knowledge of mathematics and physics even the ...


22

Nearly True This works, but there is one detail missing, and depending on your latitude the picture could be misleading. The sun moves approximately one finger width across the sky each 15 minutes, but the sun does not necessarily set vertically down onto the horizon. You have to use your hand to measure the distance the sun has to travel along it's path, ...


18

Can you extract over 500 gallons of water from the air a day for a few cents per bottle? Well, first, the "500 gallons" part is an irrelevant distraction. If there's a machine that can extract 1 gallon a day, then 500 of them would be able to extract 500. What about the "few cents" part? That falls into the "technically true" category. However, there are a ...


15

Basically, Tyson's claim is roughly true considering that more accurate alternatives in actual use are either: observation-based, i.e. tweak the calendar at is goes (current Persian i.e. Solar Hijri calendar), or purely predictive, but diverge from the Gregorian one well in the future: Milanković's (="revised Julian') diverges in the year 2800 (making it ...


8

According to the University of California, Berkeley website: The field of gender and women’s studies emerged from the contemporary feminist movement with the initial goal of bringing women and their experiences more fully into knowledge. The Berkeley Women’s Studies Program was founded in 1976, bringing scholars from many different disciplines together to ...


6

Ghazali actually praised the disciplines of math and science saying they are necessary to a prosperous society. Sciences whose knowledge is deemed fard kifayah comprise [all] sciences which are indispensable for the welfare of this world such as: medicine which is necessary for the life of the body, arithmetic for daily transactions and the ...


4

Latest date and not the same claim, but... quote from Meet the Sole Employee of the U.S. Metric Program: As the years went on, the Metric system wasn't only derided as confusing. It was a communist conspiracy! If the Americans converted under a multi-million dollar price tag, it was prime time for the Soviets to invade our weakened economy, according to the ...


3

After a bit of research, I'm inclined to call this one plausible. From the XPRIZE site we find: Led by Architect David Hertz, https://davidhertzfaia.com with Rich Groden co-inventor of the patented Skywater technology http://islandsky.com is a collaboration of leading experts in sustainability and systems thinking committed to the water, food and energy ...


2

The problem with all calendars is that the Earth's rotation is not stable, but decreasing in an unpredictable and irregular way. Or, to put this an other way, the traditional Gregorian calendar is not accurate at all. To keep such a calendar accurate, we have to sprinkle with leap seconds and leap days. If you want a really absolutely accurate calendar, ...


1

The baha'i calendar is defined to start each new year at the spring solstice. Whereas with most other calendars you can precalculate the date of say march 21st thousands of years in advance (eg to find out on which weekday it will fall) and then ask: is this still coinciding with the actual spring solstice? In the baha'i calendar you first need to check ...


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