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The Scientific Revolution

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  1. The Scientific Revolution Daniel In the Lion’s Den - Ruben

  2. Outline I. Pre-Revolution thought II. Causes of the Revolution III. Principles of the Revolution IV. Main Scientists V. Impact of the Revolution

  3. What is the Scientific Revolution? • It is the beginning of a great intellectual transformation that leads to the modern world • concurrent with other major events • Copernicus is making discoveries at the time of the religious wars are breaking out in Europe • by the end of the Revolution Europe is about to embark on the Enlightenment, a cultural movement that largely rejected religion.

  4. I. Before the Scientific Revolution • Scientists seek to understand HOW things happen • intent is to use science to “prove” God exists • earliest Scientists are usually priests/monks • earliest Scientists are astronomers • easy access • spiritually significant

  5. How things stood • Aristotle • dominates how world is thought to work • world at rest, motion caused by angels • Ptolemy • astronomy based on Aristotle

  6. Ptolemy • astronomy with perfect circles for planetary motion • cycles and epicycles • crystalline spheres fix each planet’s movement • earth at center & sun orbits earth Ptolemy’s Geocentric System

  7. Witchcraft • Middle Ages convicted witches do heavy penance since they were misguided • View changes over time • By Renaissance people began to believe that witches actually flew and ate babies • witches must have committed a pact with the devil of their own free will

  8. Popular Images of witches (1600s) Departing for the Sabbath An Assembly of Witches

  9. Witchcraft • Major witch hunts occur during the century from 1560 to 1660 (slowly peters out after) • Crosses the Atlantic to Salem Massachusetts in 1692 • Witch hunts arise in areas experiencing religious conflict • Occurs in areas both Protestant and Catholic.

  10. Witchcraft • Between 1450-1660 • approximately 110,000 went to trial • approximately 60,000 were executed • this is only for Church or government officiated trials - many instances are recorded of communities acting on their own • Women comprise 75% of those executed.

  11. Examination of a Witch

  12. Magical Thought • Belief in magic was widespread • While most educated people professed not to believe, many still held charms, like Queen Elizabeth’s magic ring to ward off the plague • Magic was viewed as being either good (tied to the church) or bad • alternative was natural magic • astrology • alchemy.

  13. The Alchemist - Jan Van der Straet

  14. II. Causes of the Scientific Revolution • Trade and Expansion of Trade • navigational problems generated research • Medieval Universities • study of Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy and Democritus were essential • The Renaissance • value of mathematics • Humanism.

  15. III. Principles of the Revolution • Logic over faith: religion no longer the only possible explanation for events • Observe, experiment & publish • Verifiable: Use of mathematics to prove a point • Money: Patronage • Questioning: discrepancy between observation and expectations springboards into a search for truth

  16. IV. Main Scientists • Astronomers: Copernicus, Kepler, Galilei • Scientific Method: Bacon, Descartes • Synthesis: Newton

  17. Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) • Polish priest studied in Italy • returns to Poland and works on Astronomy • writes De Revolutionibus Orbitum Coelestitum (On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres) • Earth is just another planet with a 24 hour rotation • retains circular planetary motion (perfection of the sphere).

  18. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) • Student of mathematics and astronomy • studied with Tycho Brahe • tested hypothesis after hypothesis until he determined that planets move in ellipses • Three Laws of Planetary Motion • planets move in ellipses with sun as one focus • velocity of a planet is not uniform • equal area of the plane is covered in equal time by the planets.

  19. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) • Astronomy • used a telescope, proved the heavens are not perfect (craters on moon) • supported Heliocentric system • Laws of Motion • dropping weights from the Tower of Pisa • imagined motion without constraint!!!! • Thought of inertia • Problems with the church • argues for separation of science and theology because we are endowed with reason • 1633 banned by Church and house arrest • must recant heliocentric system to save neck.

  20. Reactions to Galileo • Italy and Spain • More freedom in France, England and Holland • University of Padua was under Venice, the most anti-clerical state in Europe; Copernicus, Galileo and Harvey studied there • Protestants as hostile as Catholics on Biblical grounds, less state control in Protestant nations and in the end Protestant nations become more liberal than at first.

  21. Methodology in Science • Some thinkers were concerned with the Scientific Method • Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes were significant, both decided that all previous beliefs (outside religion) had to be ignored.

  22. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) • Proposed INDUCTION • make a lot of observations then generalize rules of nature - this leads to scientific observation as a method • Promoted the modern idea of progress because he wanted application of science • Problem of Induction • there is no logical reason to go argue from any amount of experience to a general law.

  23. Rene Descartes(1596-1650) • Great mathematician - showed that any algebraic equation could be plotted on a graph • In this manner he linked Greek with Hindu and Arabic knowledge • Also looked at DEDUCTION - go from a theory to the facts • Only wants what is absolute “Cogito ergo sum” I think therefore I am • leads to proof of God.

  24. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) • Possibly the greatest scientist who ever lived - born on the day Galileo died • math/physics/astronomy • author of Principia Mathematica in 1687 • bringing together Galileo’s discoveries about motion on Earth and Kepler’s discoveries in the heavens • to do so he had to develop calculus • explained heavenly motion that was tied to observed motion on Earth.

  25. Provided a synthesis superior to Aristotle notion of inertia - only have to explain change Three Laws of Motion Bodies move in straight lines unless impeded (inertia) Every action has an equal and opposite action every body attracts every other body with a force proportional to the distance between Isaac Newton • Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night • God said, “Let Newton be.” and all was light - Pope.

  26. V. Effect of Revolution • Social impact • rich get richer • not much immediate direct change for peasants • widens intellectual gap • effect on navigation, map making and artillery • Science has innumerable social effects over time: new guns, bigger armies, more taxes, social discontent • guns lead to European colonialism (more accurate cannon fire) • new way of observing the world.

  27. Sight - Jan Brueghel