We explain what the Scientific Revolution was, its characteristics and main figures. Also, what changes it produced and more.
What was the Scientific Revolution?
The Scientific Revolution was a period that took place between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in which there were paradigm shifts on how to analyze and observe reality . New views of nature emerged as disciplines that replaced the Greek view of science that had dominated thought for some 2,000 years.
The new disciplines, which formed a new way of understanding science, were physics, astronomy , chemistry, medicine and biology , among others. Superstition and religion were replaced by science, reason and demonstrable knowledge , leaving behind especially the attribution of responsibilities to supernatural beings,
Characteristics of the Scientific Revolution
The Scientific Revolution was characterized by:
- Propose new ways of understanding reality, through reason, knowledge and demonstration .
- Tear down old beliefs , such as that the Earth was the center of the universe .
- Propose the scientific method of investigation.
- Replace the Aristotelian logic around the cosmos with the knowledge acquired through observation and experimentation .
- Create institutions to support scientific research .
- Develop important advances in mathematics that impacted various disciplines, such as physics, astronomy and chemistry.
- Propose paradigm changes , such as the ideas of Nicolás Copernicus about the Sun as the center of the cosmos.
Figures of the Scientific Revolution
Among the main figures who started the period of the Scientific Revolution, the following thinkers and researchers stood out, who were the pioneers in proposing a new way of understanding the world around them:
- Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543). He was a Prussian astronomer who formulated the heliocentric theory of the Solar System in which the Sun is the center of the universe and the planets revolve around it. He opposed the old geocentric theory that the Earth was the center of the cosmos.
- Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). He was a German astronomer and mathematician who formulated the laws of the motion of the planets on their orbit around the Sun.
- Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). He was an Italian astrologer, engineer and physicist who made various contributions, such as the improvement of the telescope, new astronomical observations, the first law of motion called the “law of inertia” and the scientific method.
- Isaac Newton (1643-1727). He was an English physicist, theologian, inventor, and mathematician who described the law of universal gravitation and established the laws of motion that formed the basis of mechanics.
Why is it called a revolution?
The term revolution was coined in 1939 by the French historian Alexandre Koyré to refer to the period characterized by various paradigm shifts around the analysis and observation of reality.
These paradigm shifts occurred slowly and fragmented, but it was a revolutionary period in the magnitude of these new thoughts .
Contributions of the Scientific Revolution
Among the main contributions of the Scientific Revolution, it stands out that:
- Bodies are made up of atoms and molecules and not of “elements” like water, fire , earth, air .
- The light is a form of energy made up of electromagnetic waves impacting objects and everything around us. Those waves are reflected and allow the human eye to detect shapes and sizes, among other characteristics.
- The living beings are the result of a process of biological evolution natural. The theory formulated by the British Charles Darwin establishes that evolution or descent implies that species can change over time, which gives rise to new species.
- Religion and superstition based on belief and myth were replaced , in part, by verifiable knowledge based on analysis and reason. For example, astronomy could explain various phenomena hitherto considered as actions of the gods.
- New discoveries and inventions, such as the microscope , marked the origin of modern medicine and it was possible to understand the circulatory system , DNA, the genome and Mendelian laws.
Consequences of the Scientific Revolution
The Scientific Revolution had various consequences, such as the creation of new methods of knowledge , the establishment of new social hierarchies according to the level of thinkers and the leading of societies towards the Industrial Revolution .
Above all, the Scientific Revolution was based on the discovery of reason as a method of construction of knowledge capable of being verified and put to the test of analysis.
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