Scientific Revolution And The Enlightment Essay

1191 words - 5 pages

The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightment showed Europe and the Americas a completely new way of looking at the world around them, which caused people to change their views about the universe. They entered the Enlightment, in which philosophers applied reason to society and government, developed ideas about basic human rights and proper government, and began to consider democratic ideas and concepts of nationalism.The Scientific Revolution changed the way that the Europeans looked at the world. One way was by Copernicus' heliocentric system, which said that the sun was the center of the universe and all of the planets in the universe, including the Earth, revolved around the sun. Not all agreed with Copernicus' theory because it contradicted the teachings of Ptolemy and the Church. If Ptolemy's reasoning about the planets was wrong, they believed that there would be a question overall on the whole system of human life.Galileo Galilei proved Copernicus' theory by using technology developed by a Dutch lens grinder to assemble an astronomical telescope. With this telescope, he became the first person to see the mountains on the moon and sunspots. He also saw the four moons of Jupiter moving slowly around the planet - exactly the way Copernicus said that the earth moves around the sun. The Church condemned him because his views challenged the Christian teachings. In 1633, the Inquisition brought Galileo to trail; they threatened him with death unless he withdrew his views, he did so but Galileo muttered, as he was leaving, "Nevertheless, it still moves."Isaac Newton was a student at Cambridge University in England, by the age of 24 he had developed a theory to explain why the planets moved as they did. In one story, Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple fell from the tree. He wondered whether the force that pulled the apple down to the earth was the same force that controls the movement of the planets.In the next 20 years, Newton perfected his theory. Using mathematics, he showed that a single force keeps the planets in their orbits around the sun. He called this force gravity.The new scientific method was developed in the early 1600s; unlike earlier approaches, it did not start with Aristotle or Ptolemy or even with the Bible but with observation and experimentation. René Descartes rejected Aristotle's scientific assumptions. He also challenged the scholarly traditions of the medieval universities that sought to make the physical world fit into the teachings of the Church. Descartes emphasized human reasoning as the best road to understanding. Descartes' most famous statement, "I think, therefore I am," opens to his book, Discourse on Method. Thinkers like Descartes helped bring the scientific method to the pursuit of all knowledge. They also spread the idea of the possibility of human progress.These new scientific advances caused Europe to have a new outlook on how to live life. As a result, the Enlightenment came about because...

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