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Chapter 16. Scientific Revolution. What developments contributed to the Scientific Revolution?. Renaissance humanists mastered Greek and were then open to works of Galen, Ptolemy , Archimedes, Plato

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Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

Scientific Revolution

What developments contributed to the Scientific Revolution?

  • Renaissance humanists mastered Greek and were then open to works of Galen, Ptolemy, Archimedes, Plato

  • Renaissance artists’ close observation of nature established new standards for the study of natural phenomena

    • Painters needed knowledge of geometry and anatomy

    • Da Vinci declared mathematics integral to artists

  • Proliferation of books spurred innovation

    • Telescope, microscope

  • Hermeticism(divinity is in all aspects of nature, magic, mysticism) inspired astrology and alchemy

Group Project

  • Seven groups (2-3)

  • You and your partner (or partners) will select a committee from the list to give a brief report on

  • Summarize how your topic played a part in Scientific Revolution and the emergence of modern science

  • The report is to be two minutes and done with…

  • Sock puppets!


  • Astronomy

  • Newton

  • Medicine

  • Women

  • Scientific Method

  • Science & Religion

  • Spread of Science



Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Ptolemaic Conception: geocentric, earth at the center

    • Earth is made of earth, air, fire, water and always changing

    • Spheres that surround earth are crystalline, transparent, and move in circular orbits (Aristotle said circle=most perfect)

    • 10 bodies in all, our universe was finite with God/Heaven beyond

Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) polish mathematician – not astronomer- used old models, own computations

    • On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

      • Heliocentric conception- sun in center, planets revolve around sun, moon revolves around Earth

      • Kept circular orbits

      • Waited until deathbed to publish, scared and embarrassed

    • Created uncertainty about human role in universe & God’s location

    • Protestants reacted harshly based on literal translation of Bible

Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

    • Compiled detailed records of observations and movements of stars and planets

    • Rejected Aristotelian-Ptolemaic system

    • Unable to accept Copernicus

  • Johannes Kepler(1571-1630)

    • Brahe’s assistant

    • Three laws

      • Orbits not circular but elliptical

      • Speed of planet is greater when it is closer to sun (disproved Aristotle’s idea that motion is steady and fixed)

      • Planets with larger orbits revolve slower

Greatest Mustache in History Nominee

Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    • Mathematician used telescope to observe heavens

    • The Starry Messenger(1610)

      • Planets made of similar stuff to ours! Mountains and craters on moon, moons revolving around Jupiter, phases of Venus, sunspots

      • Stunned Europeans more than Copernicus and Kepler

      • Firm believer in heliocentric system

    • Roman Inquisition ordered Galileo to condemn Copernicus

Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Galileo Galilei(1564-1642)

    • Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican

      • Written in Italian, making it more widely available, alarmed church

    • Found guilty of teaching Copernicus, put under house arrest

  • Problem of Motion- Aristotle held that an object remained at rest unless a force was applied against it and stopped when force stopped

    • What power was moving the planets?

    • Galileo discovered inertia- bodies stay in motion unless deflected by external forces

Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

    • Invented calculus- mathematical means of calculating rates of change

    • Principia(1686)

      • Mathematical proofs for law of gravitation

      • Three laws of motion

        • Every object in motion stays in motion until deflected

        • Rate of change of motion is proportional to force against it

        • Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

      • Apply to the universe- all can be explained through math

        • Gravity creates orbits

    • Widely accepted in England, not so much elsewhere

Isaac Newton


Galileo vs. Newton

  • Collins Type II

  • Track the changes of the thought in astronomy from Ptolemy & Aristotle to Isaac Newton



Greatest Achievements in Sci Revolution: Astronomy, Mechanics, Medicine

  • Galen

    • Greek physician in 2nd Century CE influenced all others

  • Paracelsus(1493-1541)

    • applied chemical remedies “like cures like”

  • Andreas Vesalius(1514-1564)

    • On the Fabric of the Human Body

      • blood comes from the heart (yes) two kinds of blood (no)

  • William Harvey(1578-1657)

    • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood

      • Blood comes from heart

      • all same blood in veins and arteries

      • Blood makes complete circuit

New opportunities for elite women emerged in Humanism

  • Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)

    • Aristocrat taught in Humanist schooling

    • Participant in crucial scientific debates

    • Excluded from membership in Royal Society

  • Maria Merian(1647-1717)

    • Entomologist trained in her father’s workshop

    • Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam

  • Maria Winkelmann(1670-1720)

    • German astronomer, self and family taught

    • Excluded from Royal Society



Opportunities for women in science limited… by science

  • Querelles des femmes- arguments about women

    • Women argued they were equal to men in ability

    • 18th century Anatomy “proved” women were designed to bear children and excluded further from learning and science

    • Modern science saw a male takeover of traditional roles for women like midwivery


  • Analyze and discuss attitudes and reactions toward the participation of women in the sciences during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  • Limit yourself to 45 minutes! (that’s a study hall)

  • T-thesis

  • A-all

  • B-bias

  • L-link

  • E-evaluate

Scientific Method


All answers can be found in reason

  • Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

    • French lower nobility, Jesuit education, studied law

    • Discourse on Method (1637)

      • I think, therefore I am

        • Emphasis on the mind: only accept things that reason proved

      • Cartesian dualism: duality between mind and matter, the mind is separate and therefore can study matter with reason

    • Rationalism: reason and experience are chief sources of knowledge

All answers can be found in reason

  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

    • Empiricism: experiment and induction

  • Scientific Method: systematic observations and experiments used to arrive at general concepts

Science & Religion


Science and Religion

  • Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)

    • Could not accept separating the mind from matter or God from science

    • Ethics Demonstrated in the Geometrical Manner

      • God is not just the creator of the universe, he IS the universe

      • Failure to understand God leads to many misconceptions

      • Women were naturally inferior to women

  • Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

    • Pensées

      • Tried to convert rationalists to Christianity by appealing to their reason and emotions- You can’t know everything, only God can

      • God is a reasonable bet – if he exists, you win, if he doesn’t , you have nothing to lose

Spread of Science


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