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Scientific Revolution - Nicolaus Copernicus

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Chapter 18 Essay

In the midst of the Scientific Revolution Nicolaus Copernicus theorized that The Bible and the ancient teachings of Ptolemy were inaccurate and that the Earth was not in fact the center of the universe. Copernicus thus created the New World View, stating that the sun was the center of the universe and the Earth orbited it. Brahe was one of the best astronomers during this time and used his observatory to prove the New World View to be true, though not his intention, and his assistant, Kepler, mathematically proved the theory to be true. During the Scientific Revolution, scientists did believe they were studying Gods creation, they were not attempting to disprove The Church and search for Earths origin. Lutherans and Calvinists immediately condemned these findings and scientific exploration. Catholics were not initially concerned with the discoveries because the Bible is not taken literally in Catholicism, but later they will start persecuting philosophers that attempt to refute the Bible. Governments, on the other hand, want the prestige of the findings and are willing to throw money at scientists to form scientific societies. The Scientific Revolution led to an Agricultural Revolution and the Enlightenment. The idea that the universe was heliocentric resulted in the realization that man was not as important as once believed to be and therefore many aspects in life were changed after the mid 17th century.

Though the Scientific Revolution disproved some aspects of the Bible, religion remained relevant throughout the Enlightenment. Most Europeans remained religious while accepting the scientific discoveries. Deism was a new religion that came to be during the Enlightenment that believed though God created Earth, he was not apart of everyday life and instead natural law governed the Universe. Science also created secularism which separated mans intellect from God. Despite the fact that religion remained important, it lost its power in politics and economics. Adam Smith believed the government should not interfere with economics at all, thus creating a laissez-faire system that went directly against Hobbes economic beliefs. During the Enlightenment there was an overwhelming opinion that equality was more important than the law.

The Scientific Revolution caused the realization that man was not in fact all powerful. During the Enlightenment it was important to figure out how to make man as useful as possible. Almost all philosophers believed the key to that was education. University level schooling became much more prominent in Europe because of this. The Scientific Revolution also encouraged skepticism. Without the philosophers questioning what they had been taught, these advances would have never been made and this idea was then pushed onto others in order to make more progress in science and in everyday life. The quality of life thrived more than it ever had before



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