100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 7 pages.
NewtonNewton is known to us today as an exemplar of enlightened rationality, the greatestscientist. Today Newton is famous for his Principia and Optics. In Opticks, he showedthat white light is made up of the colours of the rainbow, and conducted somegruesome experiments on what he called spectra by poking sticks behind his eyes. HisPrincipia was widely seen by contemporaries as the final word on the workings of theuniverse, a revelation of God’s plan for the world in all its mathematical detail.Central to this plan was of course the force of gravity, which Newton said, for the firsttime, acted in the same way everywhere in the universe, and obeyed an inverse squarelaw, which tallied with evidence on the motion of the moon, the planets, and the eartharound the sun.In many ways, Newton could be said to have invented modern science,with its focuson mathematics and experiment, and its objective view of the world,removing anything which is not founded on rigorous reasoning and evidence. ButNewton gained much of his inspiration and his ways of thinking from what todaywould be considered absolutely esoteric, magical and antiquated ways of thinking. Allin all, Sir Isaac Newton was one of, if not the most, influential fathers of modernCalculus and all other fields of mathematics. Without his formulas, most of the thingsthat we do in math would be impossible.Nicolaus CopernicusHis theory was heliocentric (sun-centered) rather than geocentric (earth-centered).The geocentric model is also called the Ptolemaic model, after the Greek philosopherPtolemy. Decades after he first came up with the heliocentric theory, Copernicuspublished his ideas in On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. It summarized thetheory. Besides the idea that everything orbited the sun rather than the earth, thesignificant parts included the idea that retrograde and direct motion could beexplained by the rotation of the earth, the idea that there is no one center of all thecelestial circles and spheres, and the idea that the earth has more than one motion. As for the influence of this discovery, it is influential for more than the actualknowledge itself. This discovery is often thought of as the opening salvo in thescientific revolution, that is, the triumph of knowledge and reason over religioussuperstition. Interestingly, the champions of this revolution were mostly religiousmen themselves; however, they obviously viewed God and man's spiritual nature assomething that could be examined, at least in part, through man's power of reason andnot through the dictates of a tyrannical priestly class. So I would not class this as arevolution of science over the idea of God, but of reason over oppressive religion. The scientific revolution apparently influenced the Age of Enlightment; it seems tome that the Age of Enlightment was the scientific method applied to the examinationof nature, the nature of man as an individual and of government and society. This, of