Chapter 18: Toward a New World View
Contrast the old Aristotelian-medieval world-view with that of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. What were the contributions of Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler,
Galileo, and Newton? What is meant by Newton's "synthesis"?
worldview said that a motionless Earth was fixed at the center of the universe, and that
everything revolved around it. Copernicus’s ideas were opposite to Aristotle saying that
the Earth moves and that the Sun is fixed at the center of the universe. Brahe believed
that both Copernicus and Aristotle were right. He thought that the planets moved around
the sun, but then the Sun and the planets as a group move around the Earth. Kepler
believed Copernicus about the Sun being the center, and mathematically was able to
prove the precise location of the Sun, which was at the center. Galileo also sided with
Copernicus, and calculated the speed or motion in an orbit around the Sun for the planets
based off Kepler’s calculation of where the sun is. Newton definitely agreed with a sun-
centered universe, and was able to prove it through his “synthesis”. This was a
combination of everyone’s ideas, to form the Law of Universal Gravitation. This stated
that everyone is attached to everybody else, and that the whole universe is one majestic
system. Therefore, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton all were opposite to
Aristotle’s view. Brahe on the other hand believed Aristotle and all of the new ideas in a
mixed theory. (pg.’s 596-600)
How did the new scientific theory and discoveries alter the concept of God and
religion? Did science, in fact, come to dictate humanity's concept of God?
religion was not affected tremendously, but followers of God and religion began to
question their faith. Take Christianity for example. If Newtons law was correct, and the
Sun is the center of the universe with the Earth is moving, then would what Joshua said in
ancient times about the Earth not moving, and the Sun moving be a lie? These were the
questions people began to ask. However, some might have dropped their faith, but
science did not take over in my opinion. (pg.’s 595-597)
What were the scientific and religious implications of Copernicus's theory?
Copernicus’s theory stated that the Earth had motion, and was revolving around the
motionless sun, which was at the center of the universe. This was the scientific
implication that Copernicus directly made. His indirect religious implication was that
Joshua was wrong when he said that the Earth is motionless and the Sun moves. Once he
contradicted the church and Joshua, his ideas were destroyed. (pg.’s 596-597)
Discuss the origins and momentum of the scientific revolution in terms of (a) its own
"internal logic" and (b) external and nonscientific causes.
A major factor to the
scientific revolution was the medieval intellectual life and universities since they
produced professors, doctors, lawyers, and church leaders that the society needed.
Another “internal logic” factor was math. Since many only knew rudimentary