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The Scientific Revolution Essay

1282 words - 5 pages

In the centuries preceding the Scientific Revolution people attempted to understand natural phenomena through the lenses of doctrine and philosophical speculation. Scientists were content with to rely on a synthesis of Aristotelian framework and dogma in attempt to describe the world. During the Scientific Revolution scientists began to embrace empiricism as a way to better understand the intricacies of nature. Unlike today scientists during the Scientific Revolution didn’t see a dichotomy between science and religion. Scientists’ chief motivation in investigating nature was to add empirical support for the concept of divine design; the belief that held that God established order in the universe according to discernible principles. Scientists who embraced the concept of divine design were Robert Boyle (1627 -1691), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and Sir Issac Newton (1642- 1727). Boyle’s Law demonstrated how the inverse relationship between pressure and volumes of gas is representative of the concept of cause and effect. Kepler’s First Law of Planetary Motion demonstrates how God designed the universe like a mechanism. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation shows how God designed the universe according to mathematical principles.
Finally, Isaac Newton’s Theory of Universal Gravitation shows how God designed the universe according to mathematical principles. What fully distinguishes science during the Scientific Revolution from the natural philosophy that dominated the preceding eras was the integration of mathematics into science. After centuries of relegating themselves to mere observation of nature, mathematics offered scientists an invaluable tool. Through the synthesis of mathematics, science gained its most distinguishing feature its predictive power. Mathematics allowed scientists to quantify the relationships between different occurrences within nature with exactitude. This allowed scientists to combine observations made during experiments with formulas to form theories that could model realistic conditions found in nature. Beyond its empirical utility, the fusion of mathematics with observational science gained traction for its religious ramifications as well. Scientists reasoned that God made the universe according to a divine order governed by mathematics. In noting the inextricability of mathematics with nature Galileo remarked “ The great book of nature – God wrote- can be read only by those who know the language in which it is written. And this language is mathematics” (Gullen 23). One man who strongly believed in this concept and fully realized its applications was Sir Isaac Newton. A deeply pious man Newton set out to lend mathematical credence to the principle of divine design. Through the developments made by Kepler astronomers were able to predict the movement of the planets in their rotation around the Sun. However, Newton sought to answer a much more fundamental question. Newton wanted to discover the cause behind the...

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