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# From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that

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From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 18:09
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From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that the basic astronomical verities must have a geometrical interpretation. This conviction has been shared by all the great natural philosophers, from Pythagoras to Einstein—the conviction that the cosmos was laid out according to a mathematical design and that this design is "simple" and accessible to human intelligence. For Kepler, mathematics meant the pure geometry of the Greeks.

His early scientific career is especially interesting because the ideas that seemed to him to be the most significant, and which he tried to 10 exploit for the rest of his life, appear to a modern reader to be almost completely mad. It was the fact that he could never get them to work that drove him to make the series of astronomical discoveries that appear to us to be so significant.

God was for Kepler a master Greek geometer, and the "book of the world" must therefore be contained among the theorems of Euclid. One theory was that there are only five "perfect solids." A perfect solid (the most familiar example is the cube) is a solid all of whose faces are "perfect" plane figures (in the cube, these figures are squares). The other perfect solids are the tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. There were known to be six planets - Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, in order of increasing distance from the sun, around which, Kepler believed, the planets moved in circular orbits.

Carrying on with his geometry, he considered a universe in which a cube, a tetrahedron, a dodecahedron, an icosahedron, and an octahedron would be arranged concentrically, one inside another; the orbit of Mercury would be fitted within the first of these perfect solids, the orbit of Venus outside it, and outside each of the other solids the orbit of another planet. This, he thought, might make it possible to calculate the interplanetary distances and also explain why there were no more than six planets.

With the superior vision of hindsight, it is all too easy for us to pass judgment on the weakness of Kepler's youthful notion. (Apart from anything else, we know that there are nine planets.) In fact, however, had Kepler's mysticism not also been coupled with a fanatic obsession to make his theory fit the observed facts quantitatively, he might as well have gone down in scientific history as just another visionary crank, along with the more unenlightened alchemists who abounded at that time.

It is interesting to note that Newton also devoted his "spare" time to alchemy. What would have driven this man of science, this father of our modern physics, to spend his free time trying to turn base metals into gold? Undoubtedly, this fact shows us that the desire for wealth often trumps the pursue of pure science, even in the most noteworthy of individuals. This combination of mysticism and devotion to the "facts" as he knew them was Kepler's great strength. Einstein characterized the
interrelation between mystic intuition and the need to deal with hard facts as a formula that "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

1. Which of the following statements most nearly captures the author‘s central argument as articulated in the passage?
A. The originality of Kepler‘s early scientific work can be fully appreciated by studying its influence on the mature work of Newton and Einstein.
B. Kepler's early beliefs were often erroneous, but his mysticism coupled with an attachment to scientific fact led to many of his later, key discoveries.
C. Kepler laid the groundwork for our current understanding of the universe in his early studies of the pure geometry of the Greeks.
D. An investigation of Kepler's youthful work yields relatively few clues about the method he employed in his most remarkable work.
E. Kepler‘s early beliefs were more accurate compared to his later beliefs

2. The passage suggests that which of the following scientific beliefs held by Kepler in his youth was, in fact, correct?

A. The planets are arranged concentrically, within perfect solids.

B. The orbit of the planets are circular.

C. The number of perfect solids is equal to the number of planets

D. There is an underlying order to the cosmos which is accessible to the human intelligence.

E. Humans can never fully understand the mysteries of the universe

3. The author quotes Einstein in the sixth paragraph. His primary purpose in doing this is to:

A. suggest that Kepler's thought was misconstrued by Einstein.

B. clarify a difference between scientific and religious thought.

C. indicate the extent of Einstein's personal admiration of Kepler.

D. emphasize a particular attribute of Kepler's own method and outlook.

E. point out a flaw in Kepler‘s methodolgy

4. Which of the following statements is implied by the author in paragraphs five and six?

A. The history of science is full of scientists who have failed to esteem what was of greatest significance in their own work.

B. It is during periods of youthful enthusiasm that the fundamental guidelines to the most important scientific discoveries nearly always emerge.

C. Such is the paradox of the human personality that, despite such problems, Kepler became one of the most determined seekers of cosmic harmony in history.

D. Kepler, too, was aware of the dangers of pure speculation conducted without taking into consideration observed phenomena

E. It is very easy to blame Kepler for his weaknesses bur perhaps not very appropriate to do so

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Re: From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 18:12

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

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Re: From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 18:44
Please explain the last question.Stuck between C and D
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Re: From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 19:36
Can someone explain the last question. Why the answer is D
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From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2018, 07:32
1
Biswajitsh wrote:
Please explain the last question.Stuck between C and D

ruchik789 wrote:
Can someone explain the last question. Why the answer is D

OE
An inference question (if the author is implying, you‘re inferring!). A quick scan of the answer choices shows that the statements are fairly broad and complex; you‘ll have to do as much evaluating of the choices themselves as the text. Predict by summing the author‘s point in ¶s 5 and 6: Kepler‘s strength was that he combined mystical intuition with a devotion to the facts. Evaluating the choices with this summary in mind quickly isolates (D), which is the only choice dealing with facts. It‘s reasonable to infer that Kepler was so concerned with facts because he knew that his speculation required verification, which is exactly what (D) argues.

(A): Out of Scope. The author doesn‘t mention scientists who made a discovery that was paid little heed.

(B): Out of Scope. The author mentions Kepler‘s youthful ideas, but doesn‘t focus at all on what part youth had to play in them.

(C): Out of Scope. The author is concerned foremost with Kepler‘s eventual "real" discoveries rather than with his search for cosmic harmony, and also believes that his focus on mysticism enhanced the search rather than hindering it.

(E): Out of scope, as described above.

Hope this helps. If not let me know, I will shares my explanation
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Re: From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2019, 03:02
PeepalTree wrote:
Biswajitsh wrote:
Please explain the last question.Stuck between C and D

ruchik789 wrote:
Can someone explain the last question. Why the answer is D

OE
An inference question (if the author is implying, you‘re inferring!). A quick scan of the answer choices shows that the statements are fairly broad and complex; you‘ll have to do as much evaluating of the choices themselves as the text. Predict by summing the author‘s point in ¶s 5 and 6: Kepler‘s strength was that he combined mystical intuition with a devotion to the facts. Evaluating the choices with this summary in mind quickly isolates (D), which is the only choice dealing with facts. It‘s reasonable to infer that Kepler was so concerned with facts because he knew that his speculation required verification, which is exactly what (D) argues.

(A): Out of Scope. The author doesn‘t mention scientists who made a discovery that was paid little heed.

(B): Out of Scope. The author mentions Kepler‘s youthful ideas, but doesn‘t focus at all on what part youth had to play in them.

(C): Out of Scope. The author is concerned foremost with Kepler‘s eventual "real" discoveries rather than with his search for cosmic harmony, and also believes that his focus on mysticism enhanced the search rather than hindering it.

(E): Out of scope, as described above.

Hope this helps. If not let me know, I will shares my explanation

Hi, I don't agree with your explanation for Q4. Nowhere in para 5 or 6 is it even hinted that "Kepler knew that his speculation required verification". Option D has facts mentioned in it alright but it takes it too far by also adding that "Kepler knew that his speculation required verification".

I thing E is a better option. The passage states that it's easy to pick on Kepler for his youthful ideas but it doesn't explicitly mention that we must not do so. It does however imply that we mustn't do so in the sentence "In fact, however, had Kepler's mysticism not also been coupled with a fanatic obsession to make his theory fit the observed facts quantitatively, he might as well have gone down in scientific history as just another visionary crank, along with the more unenlightened alchemists who abounded at that time." and then mentioning that even other great minds were over-optimistic, pursuing illogical endeavors.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Re: From the beginning, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was convinced that   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2019, 03:02
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