Understanding the Scientific Revolution
The Scientific Revolution was a time of change and new thinking. Many innovators had new ideas about the earth and many other things, but most challenged the Church in thinking of these new concepts. This revolution was so important to the development of mankind that modern historians honor the phrase with initial capital letters. This change of thought took almost two centuries to become established in western Europe; today this prolonged crisis is known as the Scientific Revolution. This new way of seeking the world, was first introduced with Copernicus's work published in 1543. It reached its triumphal acceptance with the appearance on Isaac Newton's "Principia" in 1687*. The one person who set the Scientific Revolution in motion and pulled modern science out of ancient natural philosophy, was Galileo Galilei. He realized that the old way of looking at the world would have to go; and he knew how to begin constructing a new way. He did this by making physics mathematical. Some say that Galileo and Newton were the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution; for Isaac Newton was born a few months after the death of Galileo. Newton's ideas finally ensured the acceptability of the scientific approach. Another great innovator was Sir Francis Bacon, he developed the widely used scientific method. He proved many scientific truths by doing many experiments. These innovators and more made this revolution very important to everyone alive.
During the Middle Ages, the Europeans believed that the earth was flat. They accepted the Catholic Church's views that the earth was the center of the universe, but others thought differently. According to church doctrine, God created the universe to serve people, but many rejected that. The Church also reasoned that the earth must be the center of the universe, and not the sun. A few years later, during the 1600s, Galileo came along and thought very differently on the lines of the earth and the moon. The Church would not tolerate Galileo's spreading of beliefs that contradicted its own position. Newton and Bacon also had many ideas that the Church refused to believe. The Europeans believed many things that are different than what the many innovators later proved.
One innovator that stands out among all, is Galileo Galilei. This innovator was said to have set the Scientific Revolution in motion. Although Galileo had many ideas, they were not all original, and some can even be traced back to ancient Greece. Galileo often criticized Aristotle, but he later realized that he had set out the basic questions we must answer, if we want to know how the world works. He showed how instruments designed according to the principles of optics, a mathematical science, could extend the powers of the human senses, making them stronger and more reliable.
Galileo worked very hard as a student and for his family. When his father died in 1591, he found himself burdened with the duties of head of...