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The Scientific Revolution: A New View Of The World Essay, Research Paper

Herbert Butterfield stated that, ?Since the Scientific Revolution overturned the authority in science not only of the middle ages but of the ancient world?it outshines everything since the rise of Christianity.? During the scientific revolution Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton all voiced their opinions that contradicted the views of the church.

Before the Scientific Revolution, the Bible or Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or astronomers like Claudius Ptolemy, whose ideas were sanctioned by the church, answered any questions regarding the natural world. In the bible it writes, ?Mankind is the most important of God?s creations and occupies the centre of his universe.? Astronomers therefore stated that, ?The earth is at the centre of the universe. The sun, the moon and the stars all move around the earth.?

Nicholas Copernicus, (1473-1543) a Polish monk and astronomer trained in medicine, law and mathematics, believed that the sun, not the earth, was at the centre of the universe. He believed this to be true because mathematics fit in nowhere with the explanation of how our world came to be. He formulated mathematical calculations that provided the basis for a new view on the world. He constructed a model of the universe to show this. His theory contrasted with the beliefs and views of the church therefore it was denounced in 1543.

Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642) an Italian mathematician and astronomer, won the respect and admiration of many people of his time because of his inventions. He constructed a military compass, an instrument for measuring the expansion of liquids, and one of the early telescopes with which he discovered Jupiter?s satellites, irregularities on the surface of the moon, star clusters in the milky way and spots on the surface of the sun. He was initially skeptical of Copernicus? theory however his observations and experiments affirmed his diagram of the universe. Critics attacked Galilei?s findings. They said that his ?discoveries? were ridiculous to believe and that it was only is imagination or dreams. Galilei wrote a letter to Dowager Grand Duchess trying to reconcile his astronomical observations with the Bible.

Isaac Newton, (1642-1727) was an English scientist and statesman. Although his views were thought to contradict the bible he was the only man of these three which proved his views to be true. He discovered gravity and the laws of motion. He stated that, ?every particle in the universe is attracted to every other particle by a force that is directly related to the product of their masses and inversely related to the squares of the distance between them.? In 1687 Newton presented the elements of his New World view in a book called Principia. It is described as the greatest single monuments of human learning.

By the end of the seventeenth century our views on the natural world were replaced by scientific method based on observation, analysis and experimentation. Herbert Butterfield?s statement proves to be true because the scientific revolution opened up our minds about the world around us, and gave a new understanding about our universe.


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