The Scientific Revolution

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An overview of the Scientific Revolution to go with lesson plans on the subject at the History Teaching Institute at Ohio State University
http://hti.osu.edu/scientificrevolution/lesson_plans

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  • Thomas Kuhn used this image to demonstrate “Paradigm Shift”
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) by Thomas Kuhn was a fundamental text in historiography. The ideas here can help students think critically about the events of the scientific revolution in a progressive fashion. Students also get introduced to an important historian.
  • Tell the students the joke, which is an allegory of the Scientific Revolution. Have the students interpret it. The Joke: Three monks were sitting together in their monastery one afternoon when one of them asked, “I wonder how many teeth a horse has?” The First Monk said, “We should consult the Holy Father in Rome! The Pope is the source of all truth and wisdom. He represents the voice of God on Earth.” The Second Monk said, “Oh, no! We should consult the Bible! It is the word of God.” The Third Monk said, “I’ve got an idea! Let’s all walk over to old man Jones’ farm down the street. He’s got a whole team of horses! We could open the mouth of each and count how many each has. If there’s any variation, we can study the jaws and discuss what we see and why a certain horse has more or less teeth than the others. We can reach a conclusion that’s based on what we discover through our investigation.” The first two monks looked quizzically at the third… and then killed him.
  • Tell the students the joke, which is an allegory of the Scientific Revolution. Have the students interpret it. The Joke: Three monks were out in a field one fine afternoon when one of them asked, “I wonder how many teeth a horse has?” The First Monk said, “We should consult the local bishop who knows receives all of the wisdom from the pope in Rome. The represents the voice of God on Earth. He will know.” The Second Monk said, “Oh, no! We should consult the Bible! It is the direct word of God. We can learn all of the wisdom of the universe in there.” The Third Monk said, “I’ve got an idea! Let’s all walk over to old man Jacques’ farm down the street. He’s got a whole team of horses! We could open the mouth of each and count how many each has. If there’s any variation, we can study the jaws and discuss what we see and why a certain horse has more or less teeth than the others. We can reach a conclusion that’s based on what we discover through our investigation.” The first two monks looked quizzically at the third… and then killed him.
  • Image is of the Library of Alexandria, where Greek ideas were housed until its destruction by Christians who identified it as a pagan temple in the 4th century AD.
  • Important information about Aristotle. He was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist He wrote books on just about everything. He developed a unified world view. Later, many of his ideas were adopted by the Church The elements (from heaviest to lightest) Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, Quintessence (the 5th element, the stuff of stars. luminous. Fire goes up to reach quintessence.) Finite universe based upon globes within globes. The circle is a flawless shape. Contributed to the Greek idea of “Cosmos.”
  • Important ideas He used the Aristotelian idea of spheres within spheres to develop his model of the universe. “ Crystalline Celestial Spheres” He explained the movement of “the travelers” or “planets” with great accuracy for that time.
  • The Greeks identified “travelers” among the stars. They were stars that would move more quickly and erratically across the night sky. The Greek word for traveler is “planet.” Ptolemy could explain the strange behavior of planets in his geocentric by proposing that the planets travel in smaller circles--epicycles--as well as an orbit. It was complicated, but it did predict the movements of the planets relatively well (although not perfectly) and it was a model still based on the perfect shape of a circle.
  • This is an “Emblematic Image” providing the dominant world view. It contains elements that we could consider both “scientific/secular” and “non-scientific/faith-based” images fused into one. Have students consider the name of the piece as well as the images.
  • Nicholas Copernicus. Students should focus on his faith: he was a catholic priest. Students should consider why a priest would concern himself with astronomy, considering monks were the literate. Students should look at the late age in life in which Copernicus published. Students should briefly interpret the diagram Define Heliocentric
  • Tycho Brahe was a protestant in Denmark who believed in the geocentric model . He documented a new star (Nova=new). We would call it today a supernova (which is actually an old star that explodes). But when something new appeared in the heavens, it challenged the idea of perfect, unchangeable crystaline spheres. The King of Denmark granted him is own island, Øresund , upon which he built his own observatory. He was one of the richest men in Europe. An aristocrat. Students might consider a monarch’s motivation to support science and grant such a man aristocratic privileges. he spent 30 years mapping the movement of the stars. He was not mathematically savvy enough to develop formulas to match the patterns. He lived a rather extravagant and fun lifestyle, partying quite a bit. He died from complications after his bladder exploded, from holding it for so long during a dinner with the royal family. It would have been impolite to excuse himself from the table.
  • Kepler was a math and science teacher in Austria. His students hated him because he was so boring. Kepler was obsessed with developing a mathematical formula to explain the movement of the stars. He believed in the Copernican view. He moved in with Brahe at Uraniborg. He did not appreciate Brahe’s decadent lifestyle. He demanded the star maps, but Brahe withheld all of them, knowing that Kepler was so mathematically smart that he would find the formula and would outshine him. Brahe did surrender the maps at the very end of his life. Kepler then discovered the formula for the movement of stars. He discovered that they travelled in an ellipse.
  • Bruno was an interesting man. He was a priest, scientist and eventually became a genuine neo-pagan heretic. He was the first man to be tried and executed for the copernican view. Bruno became read and appreciated Copernicus at about the same time that he read about the ancient Egyptians and their sun worship. He saw the development of science and the re-emergence of ancient paganism as a synchronicitous event. He became a neo-pagan scientist, worshipping the sun. He also studied the ancient ideas of atoms and of “eternity.” The ptolemaic/aristotelian universe was limited. When the church first denounced him, they gave him plenty of chances to recant. He refused. He endured torture and imprisonment. He still refused to recant. Eventually, he was sentenced to death by being burned at the stake. It was because of Bruno that the church, which had been rather tolerant of the copernican view, felt obliged to defend itself against such heresy. This would obviously affect Galileo and others. Consider: Martin Luther first denounced the Copernican world view by stating that the ultimate truth is in the bible, and the bible says that at the battle of Jericho, God held the sun in place (he didn’t stop the rotation of the earth) to prolong daylight so that Joshua could win the battle. It was protestants who first denounced the Copernican system. This changes with Bruno.
  • Have students identify the images that relate to Galileo. Telescope=the technology that allowed Galileo and anybody who used it to witness first hand the truth of the Copernican system. Dropping objects of the tower of Pisa (probably an apocryphal story)=Galileo is considered among the first scientist to test his methods to validate what the scientific truth is. This is a physical test, not just a logical or mathematical proof.
  • Because of the telescope... Galileo identified four of Jupitors moons and documented their orbits over time. This provided evidence that the earth and Jupiter were similar planets, but that Jupiter had more moons. Largely, this discovery filled people’s wonder about the universe and what else is out there. It still can today: with a regular telescope and a clear sky: you can stay out all night and watch the moons of jupiter make almost a complete orbit, as Galileo diagramed in the left image. It still fills people with awe.
  • The moon image is very important: 1. The features are very terrestrial looking. This again affirmed that the objects in the heavens are not perfect. 2. The shadows on the moon corresponded with the Copernican model of the position of the sun and earth relative to the moon. It was debated if celestial bodies give off their own light or if they just reflected light. This demonstrated clearly that light was reflected off of moons and planets. Only stars give off light... which also meant that stars are all like our sun, which could have other planets, and perhaps other life like ours. The Copernican worldview was again affirmed and the church’s threatened.
  • Importance of physical testing. We are changing how we define “truth.” It’s not just from authority, philosophy or math.
  • (The activity has nothing to do with the Magritte painting, which is just there for fun effect.) For the skepticism activity, I put a chair in the front of the room. I ask the students whether or not the chair exists. I ask them to prove it. I ask the students if they can say for certain that they are not hallucinating the chair or if they are not dreaming or if they were not comatose due to an accident earlier in the day and that their brains were just making up this experience entirely. Once they declare that there is no way of being certain of this, I say that Descartes would concur. But that Descartes discovered.... (next slide)
  • The one thing that Descartes couldn’t doubt was his own thinking. “You cannot think that you are not thinking, for to do so is itself an act of thinking.” This is Descartes ‘First Philosophy’ and building block. Descartes builds upon this saying that God is good and is not a deceiver (only the devil is a deceiver) and that God would not want to fool us, and so most of what we perceive is reliable. BUT.... truth is in thought. Mathematics, therefore, is the language of god! It’s pure and infallible as opposed to the rest of the transient, physical world.
  • Descartes came up with the idea of a Cartesian plane by watching a fly buzz around a room. He thought that if you could freeze the fly at various instants, it was a certain distance away from the ceiling, floor and walls. You could map the route of the fly if you could develop such coordinates. Hence, the Cartesian plan was born! Students should be very familiar with this from their math classes. The idea that math can map reality is one that Newton would draw from heavily!
  • Bacon was employed by both Queen Elizabeth and James I. Bacon was different from Descartes and very similar to Galileo in his focus on experimental science rather than theoretical mathematics
  • In The New Atlantis, a novel, Bacon describes how a utopia can be created with the help of science. We can harness nature and get it to work for us, rather than threatening us. This picture reflects that. I like to ask students if Bacon would be pleased if he visited the world today. I also like asking students if his fundamental theory is correct: Does science produce a utopia? Why or why not?
  • Newton developed so much by a relatively young age.
  • But his greatest achievement was the “Principia” which offered a unifying worldview that explained the mechanics of everything. We now know how things move!
  • New
  • This gives the impression that Newton was a very humble and reverent man. Nothing could be further from the truth. He rarely made public appearances or shared his ideas. He couldn’t handle criticism. There is also some evidence that he was homosexual, which also might account for his reclusiveness.
  • This letter was supposed to be an “apology” letter after Hooke and Newton had thrown some jabs at each other. But even in the apology, we see Newton’s final jab in speaking of ‘giants’ to a dwarf. This famous statement, taken in this new context, better reveals Newton’s character. For more on this story, see John Gribbin’s “The Scientists” pages 163-164.
  • The Scientific Revolution

    1. 1. The Scientific Revolution AP European History. Joe Endres. Upper Arlington High School
    2. 2. STUDENT OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Define Paradigm Shift </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the major figures of the Scientific Revolution and explain how each of them contributed to a Paradigm Shift </li></ul><ul><li>Define the significance of the Scientific Revolution within the context of the progress of Western Civilization </li></ul>
    3. 3. Understanding a “Paradigm Shift” What is this?
    4. 4. Understanding a “Paradigm Shift” What is this? What else is this? What had to happen to shift your perspective? “ I see a bird.” “I see a rabbit!”
    5. 5. Paradigm Shift “ Paradigm ” = Greek word for pattern “ Normal Science ” = the standard paradigm “ Anomalies ” = things that cannot be explained by normal science “ Paradigm Shift ” = a new paradigm is created to account for anomalies from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) by Thomas Kuhn Kuhn is an Ohio boy! (He’s from Cincinnati)
    6. 6. The Joke About The Three Monks
    7. 7. The Joke About The Three Monks Why are we, human beings, sometimes so threatened by paradigm shifts?
    8. 8. The Original Paradigm was Developed by the Greeks.
    9. 9. The Knowledge of the Greeks
    10. 10. The Knowledge of the Greeks Ptolemy. 90-168 AD Astronomer in Alexandria, Egypt
    11. 11. “ The Travelers” Planets move in strange ways.
    12. 12. Anima Mundi (The Soul of the World) illustration by Johann de Bry in Robert Fludd’s book Utriusque Cosmi Historia (1617) 1. What do you see? 2. What is the point of view of the author?
    13. 13. The Paradigm Shift Began With Astronomy. (There were too many anomalies in astronomy!) <ul><li>Too many variations that epicycles can’t accurately predict, especially in the orbit of Mars </li></ul>
    14. 14. Why It Began With Astronomy... <ul><li>Ptolemaic system is visually appealing (it’s pretty!) and based on the circle, the most perfect shape. </li></ul><ul><li>Biblical scholars find it to be consistent with the church’s worldview </li></ul><ul><li>But there are too many inaccuracies. The system is not perfect. Who will solve the riddle? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Nicolaus Copernicus 1473 - 1543. Poland. Priest, mathematician & astronomer. Heliocentric model. On The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)
    16. 16. What was Nicolaus Copernicus’ intent in writing these words? Source: Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish priest and astronomer, dedication to Pope Paul III in his book, On The Revolution Of The Heavenly Spheres (1543) The learned and the unlearned alike may see that I shrink from no man’s criticism. It is to your Holiness rather than to anyone else that I have chosen to dedicate these studies of mine. In this remote corner of the earth in which I live, you are regarded as the most eminent by virtue of the dignity of your Office, and because of your love of letters and science. You, by your influence and judgement, can readily hold the slanders from biting. Mathematics are for mathematicians, and they, if I be not wholly deceived, will hold that my labors contribute even to the well being of the church.
    17. 17. Nicolaus Copernicus What were the anomalies? What was the paradigm shift? Why was this shift so dangerous? How did Copernicus protect himself?
    18. 18. Tycho Brahe 1546-1601. Denmark (then Sweden). Mapped the stars. Documented a new star or “nova.” Observatory at Uraniborg.
    19. 19. Johannes Kepler 1571-1630. German (But spent much time in Prague, Austria & Uraniborg as Brahe’s understudy). Developed laws of planetary motion . Astronomia Nova , 1609
    20. 20. <ul><li>&quot;— but for us, who, by divine kindness were given an accurate observer such as Tycho de Brahe, for us it is fitting that we should acknowledge this divine gift and put it to use—Henceforth, I shall lead the way toward that goal according to my own ideas. For, if I had believed that we could ignore those eight minutes [of deviation in the predicted path of Mars], I would have patched up my hypothesis accordingly. But since it was not permissible to ignore them, those eight minutes point the road to a complete reformation of astronomy .&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>- Johannes Kepler </li></ul><ul><li>“ The New Astronomy” Astronomia Nova , 1609 </li></ul>What does this statement reveal about the point of view of Johannes Kepler?
    21. 21. Johannes Kepler Kepler abandoned his perfect circle model and discovered that an ellipse (an oval shape with two foci) could precisely predict planetary movement
    22. 22. Let’s Have Carl Sagan Explain It! As you watch consider: 1. What did Kepler have to give up to make his discovery and why was this so difficult? 2. What could Kepler NOT explain about his ellipses? Who would make this discovery and what would this ‘thing’ be called? Click HERE for video clip on YouTube.
    23. 23. What did we learn from Carl Sagan? 1. What did Kepler have to give up to make his discovery and why was this so difficult? 2. What could Kepler NOT explain about his ellipses? Who would make this discovery and what would this ‘thing’ be called?
    24. 24. Johannes Kepler What were the anomalies? What was the paradigm shift? Could Kepler have accomplished this without Brahe?
    25. 25. The Strange Story of Giordano Bruno (Italian. 1548-1600.)
    26. 26. Galileo Galilei 1564-1642. Italian. Scientist.
    27. 27. Jupiter’s Moons (Galilean Moons)
    28. 28. The Earth’s Moon
    29. 29. Hypothesis Test Invalidate Validate Retest & Debate Conclusion The Scientific Method
    30. 30. What does this letter reveal about Galileo’s personality & why The Inquisition placed him on trial? <ul><li>Source: Galileo Galilei, Italian scientist. Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Lorraine (1619) </li></ul><ul><li>The reason produced for condemning the opinion that the earth moves and the sun stands still in many places in the Bible one may read that the sun moves and the earth stands still. Since the Bible cannot err; it follows as a necessary consequence that anyone takes a erroneous and heretical position who maintains that the sun is inherently motionless and the earth movable. </li></ul><ul><li>...in expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might; fall into error.... it would be necessary to assign to God feet, hands and eyes, as well as corporeal and human affections, such as anger, repentance, hatred, and sometimes even the forgetting of` things past and ignorance of those to come. </li></ul>
    31. 31. What does this letter reveal about Galileo’s personality & why the inquisition placed him on trial? <ul><li>....Hence I think that I may reasonably conclude that whenever the Bible has occasion to speak of any physical conclusion (especially those which are very abstruse and hard to understand), the rule has been observed of avoiding confusion in the minds of the common people which would render them contumacious toward the higher mysteries. Now the Bible, merely to condescend to popular capacity, has not hesitated to obscure some very important pronouncements, attributing to God himself some qualities extremely remote from (and even contrary to) His essence. Who, then, would positively declare that this principle has been set aside, and the Bible has confined itself rigorously to the bare and restricted sense of its words, when speaking but casually of the earth, of water, of the sun, or of any other created thing? Especially in view of the fact that these things in no way concern the primary purpose of the sacred writings, which is the service of God and the salvation of souls - matters infinitely beyond the comprehension of the common people. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Galileo Galilei What is the point of view of Galileo? How did it differ from that of Copernicus?
    33. 33. Galileo Galilei
    34. 34. Galileo Galilei Dialog Concerning Two Chief World Systems (1632) Written & published in Italian. Geocentric model presented by “Simplicio,” a straw-man
    35. 35. René Descartes 1596-1650. French. Philosopher & Mathematician
    36. 36. What is Descartes attempting to achieve as a philosopher? Source: Rene Descartes, French philosopher, Meditations on First Philosophy . 1639 Some years ago I was struck by how many false things I had believed, and by how doubtful was the structure of beliefs that I had based on them. I realized that if I wanted to establish anything in the sciences that was stable and likely to last, I needed – just once in my life – to demolish everything completely and start again from the foundations. It looked like an enormous task...
    37. 37. What is Descartes attempting to achieve as a philosopher? Source: Rene Descartes, French philosopher, Meditations on First Philosophy . 1639 Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once. ...[h]ow can I doubt that these hands or this whole body are mine? To doubt such things I would have to liken myself to brain-damaged madmen who are convinced they are kings when really they are paupers, or say they are dressed in purple when they are naked, or that they are pumpkins, or made of glass. Such people are insane, and I would be thought equally mad if I modeled myself on them.
    38. 38. Let’s Make Our Own Attempt at Skepticism....
    39. 39. René Descartes Descartes Concludes: Cogito Ergo Sum (“I think, therefore I am”). Meditations on First Philosophy (1639).
    40. 40. The Cartesian Plane A Mathematical Map of Reality
    41. 41. Francis Bacon 1561-1626. English. Philosopher, writer, statesman. The New Atlantis (1627) What does the illustration reflect about Bacon’s vision of science and humanity?
    42. 43. Isaac Newton 1643-1727. English. Reflecting Telescope Theory of Light & Color Calculus (Disputed with Leibnitz) Three Laws of Motion Gravity
    43. 44. Isaac Newton The Principia (1687) Provides the formulas for the mechanics of the universe
    44. 45. Isaac Newton The Principia (1687) How does Isaac Newton’s Principia relate to our ability to go to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and explore outer space? Newton’s Third Law In Action!
    45. 46. This is Isaac Newton’s most famous quote. What does it reflect about his personality? Source: Isaac Newton. English Scientist. Letter to Robert Hooke. February 5, 1676 “ What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
    46. 47. Now, Consider the Robert Hooke had many physical deformities, including a very small stature, and had recently criticized Newton’s theory of light. Source: Isaac Newton. English Scientist. Letter to Robert Hooke. February 5, 1676 “ What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
    47. 48. Newton’s Cultural Impact To what extent were Newton’s discoveries a paradigm shift? How did Newton change the way people thought about the world and universe? How did Newton change the way people feel about the world and universe?
    48. 49. Newton’s Cultural Impact Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, &quot;Let Newton be!&quot; and all was light. -Alexander Pope (1688-1744). English Poet. Epitaph intended for Isaac Newton
    49. 50. Newton’s Cultural Impact “ Not long ago, a distinguished company were discussing the trite and frivolous question, who was the greatest man,--Caesar, Alexander, Tammerlane, or Cromwell? Some one answered that without doubt is was Isaac Newton. And rightly: for it was him who masters our minds by the force of truth, and not to those who enslave them by violence, that we owe our reverence.” -Voltaire (1694-1778). French writer. “ Letters on the English” (1734)
    50. 51. Eventually SOMEBODY will discover anomalies in the Newtonian model of the universe, as well. Another paradigm shift will occur.
    51. 52. Your Free Response Question. Assess the impact of the Scientific Revolution on religion and philosophy from the period of 1550-1750. You will need to demonstrate knowledge from both the lecture and the text to effectively answer the question.
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