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The Scientific Revolution 1650s to 1750s “The most important event in European History since the rise of Christianity” “Real origin both of the modern.

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Presentation on theme: "The Scientific Revolution 1650s to 1750s “The most important event in European History since the rise of Christianity” “Real origin both of the modern."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Scientific Revolution 1650s to 1750s “The most important event in European History since the rise of Christianity” “Real origin both of the modern world and the modern mentality”

2 Why a revolution? Changed mankind’s view of human nature and the human predicament Christian / Jewish teachings lay at core of spiritual & philosophical beliefs for centuries! Permeated all human thought and activity – even politics But scientific growth – starting in 16 th century – introduces a new critical, scientific, “modern” view of man and world – by the late18 th century science is beginning to push religion aside

3 Outcomes of Sci-Rev Scientific community emerges Eng. Royal Society: improve natural knowledge French Academy of Science Both organizations try to expand knowledge Modern scientific method arose theoretical, experimental, critical NOT based on authority, tradition, ancient texts! Everything can be reduced to mechanical laws! Weakness? Very little link between pure science and applied technology Primarily intellectual Directly influences the Age of Enlightenment

4 Physics: Medieval ideas Scientific thought in early 1500s Based on Aristotle ( B.C.) Numerous crystal spheres moved around the earth most desired natural set = at rest “mover” must set everything in motion Earth made of 4 elements: fire, air, earth, water Ptolemy ( A.D.): geocentric conception “perfect” circular motion of the heavenly bodies Why did this idea appeal to Christians? Common sense for what is seen Man at center as critical link with God Planets in Motion

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6 What would rock your worldview? On your notecard, explain in 2-3 sentences what type of astronomical or scientific discovery could be made today that might completely alter your understanding of the functioning of the universe or humans place within it.

7 Transition: The Copernican Revolution Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543) Polish; University of Cracow, studied medicine Formulates the heliocentric conception of universe On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres (De revolutionibus orbium coelestium) Earth rotates on axis once every day Earth rotates around the sun every 365 days Universe is finite Creates doubts about traditional Christian views Criticized by Luther / Calvin Leo X intrigued – but can only be presented as theory

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9 Transition (continued) Tycho Brahe 1546 – 1601 Rejects Copernicus’s idea of heliocentrism Built observatory (new star 1572) Collected data on the stars Mixed theory: All planets, stars rotate around sun and all these rotate around earth Johannes Kepler, 1571 – 1630 Laws of planetary motion – elliptical orbits – prediction of their movements Interest in magnetic force (where’s the “mover”?) Sig: mathematically proved Copernicus’s theory

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11 Does the earth move??? Galileo, 1564 – 1642 Professor at University of Padua Studied the heavens with the use of a telescope Moon not smooth, perfect circle Defended heliocentrism of Copernicus in The Starry messenger, 1610 Church sees Galileo as a threat to the Scriptures Heavens become a thing of matter (not merely spiritual place) Corrected – but teaches heliocentrism anyway (as fact) Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic & Copernican, tried for heresy once, recants support of heliocentrism BUT, “And yet, it does move.” Remains under house arrest until his death Acceleration & theory of inertia

12 Galileo “I feel sure that the moon is not perfectly smooth, free from inequalities, and exactly spherical…it is full of inequalities, uneven, full of hollows and protuberances, just like the surface of the earth…The next object which I have observed is the essence or substance of the Milky Way…the galaxy is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.”

13 And then there was Newton… 1642 – 1727 English Mathematician and physicist Developed calculus (Leibniz, as well) ?? Why do stars move in orderly fashion? Discovers that the physical universe is guided by natural laws (inertia, F=ma, action=reaction) unchangeable and predictable KEY: Universal Law of Gravitation Principia Mathematical proof that the secrets of the universe can be made known to man: World = machine that operates in accordance to natural law in absolute time, space and motion

14 “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” (Sir Isaac Newton) “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said, Let Newton be! And all was light.” (Alexander Pope)

15 Scientific Methodology Francis Bacon, English, attorney/writer Father of Scientific Method Promoted inductive method/ empiricism (experimentalism) One must experiment & collect data in order to draw conclusions Science is practical / useful The Great Instauration Novum Organum Science compliments Bible! Rene Descartes French philosopher & mathematician Promoted deductive method = rationalism (systematic doubt)--doubt all – then rebuild Reason out a general law from specific cases Cartesian dualism: matter vs. mind (everything is spiritual or material – no mix) Coordinate geometry “Cogito, ergo sum” Discourse on Method

16 Rene Descartes ( ) Since “the mind cannot be doubted but the body and material world can, the two must be radically different” ~ Cartesian dualism “…provided only that one abstains from accepting any for true which is not true, and that one always keeps the right order for one thing to be deduced from that which precedes it, there can be nothing so distant that one does not reach it eventually, or so hidden that one cannot discover it.”

17 Advances in Medical Sciences… Galen, 2 nd century A.D. 2 circulatory systems 4 bodily humors: blood, yellow bile, black bile, phlegm Paracelsus, chemical philosophy based on macrocosmic-microcosmic principle THUS disease = chemical imbalance “like cures like” drugs Vesalius, On Fabric of the Human Body, 1543 – practical research = understanding Father of modern biological science William Harvey, English physician On the Motion of the Heart and Blood, 1628 – heart = mechanical pump

18 Advances in Chemistry… Robert Boyle, Anglo-Irish chemist – Boyle’s Law: volume of gas varies with amount of pressure exerted on it Matter consists of atoms of various chemical elements Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist, Father of Chemistry – named hydrogen & oxygen – chemical reactions – introduced metric system

19 Portrait of Monsieur Lavoisier and his Wife, by Jacques-Louis David Lavoisier conducting a combustion experiment

20 Science and Religion Benedict de Spinoza ( ) excommunicated Dutch Jew God = Universe/Nature (pantheism) Human beings are merely a part of nature and should attempt to live rationally detached from their passions and emotions Happiness = living rationally and understanding one’s place within the natural order of the universe Blaise Pascal ( ) keep science & religion united reason must be tempered by emotions God is infinite and therefore cannot be know in His entirety Faith must pick up where reason ends

21 Blaise Pascal “Let man then contemplate the whole of nature in her full and exalted majesty… We may extend our conceptions beyond all imaginable space, yet produce only atoms in comparison with the reality of things… All things emerge from nothing and are borne onward to infinity. Who can follow this marvelous process? The Author of these wonders understands them. None but He can.”

22 Pascal – consider this 199 Let us then realize our limitations. We are something and we are not everything. Such being as we have conceals from us the knowledge of first principles, which arise from nothingness, and the smallness of our being hides infinity from our sight. 632 Man’s sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest things are marks of a strange disorder. 739 Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies are so well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it. 183 Two excesses: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason 387 I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true.


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