The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
-evolved from the Renaissance’s stress on the importance of individuals to understand the world around them, and was the key factor that moved Europe from a worldview that was primarily religious to one that was primarily secular.
-the new scientific approach promoted critical thinking. Nothing was accepted on just faith.
-The critical analysis of everything in society from religion to politics and the optimism that the human mind could find the solution to everything was known as the Enlightenment.
Nicholas Copernicus- suggested in his book “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres” that the sun was the center of the universe and that the earth and planets revolved in circular orbits. This Heliocentric theory that the sun- and not the earth – was the center of the universe contradicted contemporary scientific thought and challenged the traditional teachings of hundreds of years.
-He characterized the earth as just another planet, destroying the impression that the earthly world was different from the heavenly world. Calvin and Luther condemned Copernicus. The Catholic Church reacted slowly and did not declare Copernicus’ theory false until 1616, continuing to hold the view that the earth was the center of the universe. Other events created doubts about traditional astromic ideas as well, such as the discovery of a new star in 1572 and the appearance of a comet in 1577.
Tycho Brahe- built an observatory and collected data for over twenty years about the location of the stars and planets.
Johannes Kepler- used his data to support Brahe’s data and Copernicus’ idea that the planets move around the sun in elliptical, not circular, orbits. His three laws of planetary motion were based on mathematical relationships and accurately predicted the movements of planets in a sun-centered universe. His work demolished the old systems of Aristotle and Ptolemy.
Galileo Gaililei- continued the attack on...