Prior to this lecture, I had never given the Scientific Revolution much thought. This is not because I don’t think that it is important, but because I was never given the opportunity to. When I was taught the Scientific Revolution in grade school, it was almost always presented to me as though it were a history class as opposed to a science or philosophy class. For that reason, whenever faced with it, I merely accepted it as fact instead of thinking about what we mean by calling something “the Scientific Revolution.” From the class this past Tuesday, I specifically liked that the lecture was focused around the three words, “the,” “Scientific,” “Revolution.” By breaking the term down into three separate terms and analyzing each, I was able to better grasp what truly what is truly implied by “the Scientific Revolution.”
I had always assumed that “The Scientific Revolution” was very scientific. However, after listening to this lecture, I must agree that relative to the work of modern scientists, the science of the scientific forefathers, Copernicus, Newton, Darwin was incredibly unscientific. Thus, to call their work scientific is a complete misnomer by today’s standards. While it may have been revolutionary, it was not scientific. This idea prompted me to think about how we can classify Copernicus, Newton, and Darwin if we are not calling them scientists? Their theories are at the core of the science classes that are taught in school. If by modern standards, we are not going to call them scientists, then can we continue calling the courses that their work inspired science classes? Does this mean that the biology class that we take in middle school is more of history class than a contemporary science class? Upon thinking about this point, I realized that the science that I learned during much of my middle school science days wasn’t particular scientific although much of it was rooted in the work of those “scientists” mentioned above.
This class further prompted me to think about “The Scientific Revolution” in the sense of how revolutionary was it? By the definition, a revolution is when one political body revolves around another or when one political body revolts around another. In the case of the Scientific Revolution, neither of these happened, so it begs the question- is it appropriate to call “the Scientific Revolution” a revolution at all? Simply because some “scientists” made some new discoveries, is that enough to deem it a revolution? In my mind, when I think of a revolution, I think of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara riding into the streets of Havana at the end of the Cuban Revolution. That fit the definition of a revolution as they were overthrowing the dictator Fulgencio Batista. If we use the Cuban Revolution as our standard for revolutions, then we must omit “the Scientific Revolution,” as there are virtually no similarities between the Scientific and Cuban Revolutions.