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Stars and constellations have been for many civilizations,sources of wonder and mystery. We look at the stars so much, that we found patterns and shapes in the stars, and used them as guidance during sea exploration. Even today, universal laws and theoretical physics still stem from the stars. However, what if we never had the stars?

How would a civilization similar to earth develop, if at night, no stars were visible to the naked eye? You could still find stars if you had a powerful enough telescope, but for pre-telescopic history, the only visible thing in the night sky would be the moon.

What about our culture could be different, and how would our physics and math develop differently?

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting question, I like it. Welcome to the site. It might work better if you separated it into the development of math and science and development of culture. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 29 '16 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ It's been done a few times, which certainly does not mean that it cannot be done again in a fresh way. Examples are Poul Anderson's World Without Stars and the Krikkit from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The Krikkit are a likeable, gently humorous folk who don't look up much because there's nothing to see. Their response to the finally-seen glory of the universe? "It'll have to go." $\endgroup$ – Lostinfrance Feb 29 '16 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm assuming there's still a sun (star)? $\endgroup$ – Mikey Feb 29 '16 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Lostinfrance Ah yes, that was a great sub-plot of Hitchhikers Guide. Another example is Asimov's "Nightfall". $\endgroup$ – Eben Cowley Oct 18 '18 at 21:47
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Questions like these are tricky. If you say how things could work, you imply how they could not. Cultures evolve in myriad ways, I hate to limit them with a few quick strokes of the brush (or, in this case, the keyboard). However, there are a few things that may come of it. The most prominent is that the stars are a natural source for the concept of infinity, or at least "farther than anyone can reach." Another facet is that they are a remarkable symbol of stability. Everything else may rotate freely, but it does not take long to realize that all of the stars move as one across the night sky. Lacking this, a culture might evolve a more fluid understanding of physics and math which is less focused on how to pin everything down.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit, really.

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I'm analysing this as in the technological aspects. You could of course say there'd be no astronomy, leading to no exact calendar, which would mean living day by day. Sailing wouldn't evolve. No ships, no transcontinental trips (or at least very few successful), no military fleet, no earth coordinates, we would maybe still think the earth is flat and we're alone in the universe, leading to no possible invention of satellites, advanced maps, coordinates, no man in space nor on the moon, no understanding of gravity force at long distances and its difference compared to other elementary distance forces; I believe we'd live in a primitive egocentric wild society, living day for day with the sole thoughts of eat survive reproduce and kill or be killed. Think about how much seeing the stars helped us...

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