Scientific Revolution Overview


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  • -rejection of authority. Mostly Church authority, several crises contributed to this. -”best” authority was practical. Bacon: “purpose of knowledge was to ease man’s estate” Descartes: purpose of knowledge “to make us, as it were, masters and possessors of nature” Demystification of the universe: e.g., heavenly realm above the moon was no longer of eternal bodies that had no matter or weren’t physical Experiment was different from Observation, which the ancient did.
  • The Church invested greatly in this world-view: put man in the center of the universe, most important part of God’s creation
  • Called into question the literal truth of the Scriptures. There are a few passages where God, for example, makes the sun stand still. This implies that the earth is still and the sun moves around it.
  • Among observations: moons of Jupiter, that is that there are planets with their own satellites: this also goes against the conception of perfect crystal spheres.
  • Mathematician: invented the Cartesian Coordinate system and analytic geometry, among other things. Promoter of deductive reasoning . Wanted science to be like Euclid: deductions from self-evident starting points.
  • Cogito ergo sum was one of Descartes’ “axioms”, that is, certain and self-evident truths that other truths could then be deduced from using a deductive method.
  • Scientific Revolution Overview

    1. 1. Toward a New World View The Scientific Revolution
    2. 2. Introduction There were profound changes in the world-view of Europeans in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The primary cause was the Scientific Revolution. (1543-present)
    3. 3. Introduction  The most profound change in human history?
    4. 4. Introduction The new intellectual climate differed from the medieval world-view:  Rejection of authority.  Best knowledge was practical.  Demystification of the universe.
    5. 5. Introduction Intellectuals in this era differed from their predecessors by combining mathematics and experiment.
    6. 6. Roots of the Scientific Revolution  Ancient Egypt
    7. 7. Introduction  China – movable type, paper, astronomy
    8. 8. Introduction Islamic Empire: – medicine, preservation of Greek texts, astronomy, mathematics
    9. 9. Introduction  Medieval Europe
    10. 10. Introduction The Aristotelian- Ptolemaic Universe  Geocentric/Earth Centered
    11. 11. Introduction  10 separate, transparent, crystal spheres  First 8 held the moon, sun, planets, stars.  2 added during Middle Ages.  Heaven lay beyond the 10th sphere.  Angels kept the spheres moving.
    12. 12. Introduction  Sublunar world  4 Elements: Earth, water; fire, air.  Uniform force moved objects until something stopped it.
    13. 13.  The Great Chain of Being
    14. 14. Introduction  The Church invested greatly in this world-view.
    15. 15. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) Polish monk. Observed patterns of star and planet movement. On the Revolutions of Celestial Bodies (1543)
    16. 16. The Scientific Revolution  Heliocentrism
    17. 17. The Scientific Revolution Called into question the literal truth of the Scriptures. Copernicus waited to publish his findings.
    18. 18. The Heliocentric (Copernican) Universe
    19. 19. The Scientific Revolution  Niccolo Tartaglia was the first to apply mathematics to the investigation of the trajectory of cannonballs.  His work was later validated by Galileos studies on falling bodies.
    20. 20. The Scientific Revolution  Gian Battista Benedetti proposed a new doctrine of the speed of bodies in free fall.  The speed depends on the difference between the specific gravity of the body and that of the medium it falls through.
    21. 21. The Scientific Revolution  Tyco Brahe was a Danish nobleman who set the stage for modern astronomy by building an observatory and collecting data.  He was known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations.
    22. 22. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Italian scientist. Improved the telescope. Formulated Laws of Motion and Inertia.
    23. 23. The Scientific Revolution Proved the Copernican view of the universe.  Moon  Planets  Stars  Sunspots Wrote in the vernacular.
    24. 24. Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (1615) Written to address the conflict between the Bible and heliocentric theory. Argued that the Bible must be interpreted in light of scientific knowledge. Argued for a non-literal interpretation of the Bible. Galileo declared the Bible teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. The letter began Galileo’s troubles with the Church.
    25. 25. The Scientific Revolution 1633 – Church arrested Galileo and charged him with heresy. He was forced to recant and was placed under house arrest.
    26. 26. The Scientific Revolution Johannes Kepler formulated three laws of planetary motion that proved the relationship between the planets in a sun- centered solar system.
    27. 27. The Scientific Revolution
    28. 28. René Descartes (1596-1650) French mathematician and philosopher. A transitional figure between the medieval past and modern science.
    29. 29. The Scientific Revolution  A rationalist.  Promoter of deductive reasoning, predicting particular results from general principles.
    30. 30. Discourse on Method (1637) Descartes wished to develop a method that could be used to yield scientific truth. Argued that abstract reasoning and math were a more reliable path to truth; our senses could deceive us. Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”)
    31. 31. The Scientific Revolution  Isaac Newton integrated the astronomy of Copernicus and Kepler with the physics of Galileo.
    32. 32. Prinicipia Mathematica 1687  Newton formulated a set of mathematical laws to explain motion and mechanics.  A key feature was the law of universal gravitation.
    33. 33. The Scientific Revolution Contributions made by these scientists made the universe comprehensible for the first time.
    34. 34. Scientific Revolution The individual became much more important; collective authority was not the source of wisdom…individual intellect was.
    35. 35. The Scientific Revolution After the Revolution, God was viewed by many as either a remote master mechanic, or his existence began to be doubted.
    36. 36. The Scientific Revolution  Began long adversarial relationship between science and religion.
    37. 37. The Scientific Revolution  The Scientific Revolution laid the foundation for the Enlightenment of the 18th Century.