The Scientific Transfomation of the 16th and 17th Centuries -- Revolution or Evolution
Limited to the usual 500 words or less, and using the lecture on the 'Scientific Revolution' and the readings from Rabb and le van Baumer, consider evidence that would support the assertion that the process was 'revolutionary.' At Newton's death in 1727, his good friend Alexander Pope, then the Poet Laureate of England, wrote an epitaph for Newton, which reads, All Nature and Nature's law lay hid in night, God said "let Newton be, and all was light" -- casting Newton as the 'Messiah' of a new age of science and reason.
Was the change truly that trans-formative, and does the story of Galileo illustrate that the victory was hard won, not just in reference to the Church and its allies, but among the scientists themselves?
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Scientific advances in Western Europe during the Renaissance and Enlightenment were truly a revolution because the scientists were constantly clashing with the Catholic Church and a public that supported the idea of any church (Catholic or Protestant) over any form of secular humanism. Le Van Baumer stated that discoveries like Copernicus’ heliocentric model or Newton’s Principia (1687), which outlined the basics of modern physics and calculus “marked the opening of a new period of intellectual and cultural life in the West”...
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