chapter 18: Toward a New World-view - Chapter 18: Toward a...

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Chapter 18: Toward a New World-viewThe Scientific RevolutionA.Introduction1The scientific revolution of the seventeenth century was the majorcause of the change in world-view and one of the key developmentsin the evolution of Western society2Modern science— precise knowledge of the physical world based onthe union of experimental observations with sophisticatedmathematicsB.Scientific Thought in 15001European ideas about the universe were based on Aristotelian-medieval ideasa.Ten crystal spheres moved around a motionless earth fixed atthe center of the universe and beyond the spheres was heavenb.Earth was made up of four imperfect, changeable elements:air, fire, water, earthc.A uniform force moved an object at a constant speed and theobject would stop as soon as that force was moved2Aristotle’s ideas about astronomy and physics were accepted withminor revisions for two thousand yearsa.Offered an understandable, commonsense explanation forwhat the eye sawb.Suited Christianity because it positioned human beings at thecenter of the universe and established a home for God (sciencein this period was primarily a branch of theology)C.The Copernican Hypothesis1The desire to explain and thereby glorify God’s handiwork led to thefirst great departure from the medieval system by NicolausCopernicus2Copernicus, a Polish clergyman and astronomer, believed that thatthe sun was the center of the universe and that all the stars andplanets, including Earth, revolved around the sun (Copernicanhypothesis)
a.Was cautious with this idea and did not publish his On theRevolutions of the Heavenly Spheres until the year of hisdeath (1543)3This heliocentric theory had enormous scientific and religiousimplicationsa.Destroyed the main reason for believing in crystal spherescapable of moving the stars around the earth: stars’ movementis simply a result of the earth’s rotationb.Suggested a universe of staggering size: the earth movedaround the sun and yet the stars appeared to remain in thesame placec.Destroyed the basic idea of Aristotelian physics—the earthlyworld is quite different from the heavenly one—bycharacterizing Earth as just another planet: where is Heaven?4The Copernican hypothesis created doubts about traditionalChristianity and brought sharp attacks from both Protestant andCatholic religious leadersD.From Brahe to Galileo1Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer that agreed with theCopernican hypothesisa.Established himself as Europe’s leading astronomer with hisdetailed observations of a new star that appeared in 1572b.Built the most sophisticated observatory of his time withgenerous grants from the king of Denmarkc.Greatest contribution was his mass of datad.Believed that all the planets revolved around the sun and thatthe entire group of sun and planets revolved in turn aroundthe earth-moon system (part Ptolemaic, part Copernican)

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Term
Fall
Professor
Miller

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