Early Modern Europe and the Scientific Revolution
Early Modern Europe
The Enlightenment was the product of a vast set of cultural and intellectual changes in Europe during the 1500s and 1600s, changes that in turn produced the social values that allowed the Enlightenment to sweep through Europe in the late 1600s and 1700s. Of all the changes that swept over Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the most widely influential was a philosophical transformation, the Scientific Revolution. During the Scientific Revolution, European thinkers tore down the flawed set of scientific beliefs established by ancient thought. To replace this false knowledge, scientists tried to discover the true laws in effect over the things they observed in nature. The philosophies of the Enlightenment developed the scientific revolution, which rectified the views of scientific thought, and established a basis for modern science.
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The scientific discoveries of the 16th - 17th centuries brought upon a fundamental change in the ways Europeans viewed the natural world. The scientific revolution was a period when new ideas in all areas of science led to the rejection of previous statements that had prevailed from Ancient Greece through the Middle Ages. In the middle ages, the main purpose of science was that it offered a possibility of a better understanding of the working's of God. People in the middle ages, followed the teaching of Ptolemy. The Ptolemaic system put the earth in the center of everything, as opposed to orbiting the sun. This was accepted by all of Europe, and especially the Christian church. Nicholas Copernicus came up with the heliocentric system that proposed that the moon revolved around the Earth, and that the earth and other planets orbited around the sun. This was a major contribution to the Scientific Revolution because it contradicted what all of Europe believed, and it was against the Christian church.
Another major scientific change was the development of the laws of physics, and the work of Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton contradicted Aristotles original laws of physics, and developed the three laws of physics, which have significant mathematical and physical interpretations that are needed to understand the motion of objects in our universe. For nearly a century, Aristotles description of the physical universe had proven to be inadequate to describe the nature of movement. Newton solved the problem and came up with three general rules about the movement. These laws completely revolutionized the way we see science today, and it is the basis for all of physics.
There were many major scientific changes during the Scientific Revolution, but some of the basic scientific knowledge stayed the same. The basics of math was strengthened, and further developed into differential calculus, by Isaac Newton. The basis of math was developed by early Greek philosophies, and was continued throughout the Scientific Revolution, but at a higher level. Rene Descartes also developed analytical mathematics, another form from the basic strands of math. The Catholic Church also tried not to change. They often ruled using intimidation, fear, and false knowledge and was violently intolerant toward dissenters and heretics. They completely rejected all of the new philosophies, and didnt make any drastic changes throughout the revolution.
The Enlightenment promoted the ideas of the Scientific Revolution, which completely changed scientific thought. The science of the Scientific Revolution was significant in establishing a base for modern science. The Scientific Revolution resulted in some of the most important fundamentals of science that we use to this day. Isaac Newton was one of the great minds that resulted in this era, and he contributed the three laws of physics, and the laws of gravity. These are greatly used today, and are the basis for many new sciences. These were all results of the high thinking throughout the Enlightenment.