After the conclusion of Professor Dan Cohen’s lecture, namely “How Revolutionary – and how scientific, was the Scientific Revolution” on September 13th, I frankly found myself overwhelmed with different perceptions and opinions flooding my own. This subject required further contemplation. In other words, some questions had to be answered. Before that, the right questions had to be found.
Mankind has come a long way since its inception. We have learnt to create peaceful (well, some) societies, created various forms of government, developed various complex languages and continuously broadened our horizons of knowledge of our universe (and beyond) through Science. Come to think of it, Science now somehow intuitively acts as verification of information, sort of a ‘last resort’ when human minds fail to determine something. Is the dress black and blue or white and gold? Can’t decide? Well, why not Science let deal with that!
Needless to say, humanity has taken giant leaps to reach where it stands today. Now the question arises, which of those ‘giant leaps’ would you consider a revolution? Maybe ALL of them? Our interpretation of the word ‘revolution’ needs to be further scrutinised before we proceed ahead. I consider something revolutionary when it majorly affects my lifestyle, my way of thinking and functioning of society. For once, the Oxford Dictionary agrees with me too. Therefore, logically we should have multiple scientific revolutions throughout our course of history. Why is the honour designated to only the period between the 16th Century and the early 18th Century?
It leads us to assume that something was different about this incredible phase. While humankind benefited wholesomely through the magnificent works of proprietors of critical thinking like Galileo, Isaac Newton, amongst many others, it was something else that was revolutionary. It was their approach. Through their constant efforts, society was finally learning to desert unexplained principles of philosophical beliefs for proven scientific facts. Everybody could finally realise the flaws present in traditional thinking, and thus were open to a more modern approach. Thus, in conclusion, the scientific findings and their roots in radicalisation of human thinking make the Scientific Revolution so revolutionary.