The reputation that “The Scientific Revolution” holds far surpasses its actual revolutions. As Dr. Cohen stressed, the importance of it was not how scientific or revolutionary it was, but rather that it represented a possibility for what science could be. ” The Scientific Revolution” serves as a metaphor for future advancements in science.
This is powerful as we live in a world of symbolic thought. Hearing the great works and theories created by Newton and Copernicus inspires present day scientists to achieve that level of achievement attributed to these scientists. Though , as Dr. Cohen pointed out, the revolution was not as scientific as it claims. Certain ideas would be completely disregarded under modern standards of science. That takes us to how the idea that even back then, in the medieval period, there was a community of those who looked at the world and wanted to explain things that many accepted to be true. This is testament to our ingrained human ability to question, think, and find answers for ourselves. Yet again, as Dr. Cohen emphasizes again, this use of the word revolutionary was just set as a distinction for modernists to separate themselves from “medievalists”. So as nice as the idea of the scientific revolution” sounds, it only serves purpose in history as a marker for a change in thought. Interestingly enough, the only examples provided for “The Scientific Revolution” were all centered in Europe and on christian, European, men.
If modernists really wanted to create a distinction between the science done today and that in the medieval period, shouldn’t all the great scientists be mentioned? This includes those from the Islamic world. I mean, this, to me, seems like the ultimate gap; how a completely different culture then that usually mentioned in Western textbooks largely contributed to what we claim to be a scientific revolution.
The contributions made by the Islamic World to science still have lasting presence with us today just as that of the acclaimed Scientific Revolution. Some major contributions were made in areas such as mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. A wide range of cultures from the Islamic world contributed to science including Arabs, Moors, Persians, and Assyrians. Science was regarded highly in Islamic society although it often went against Islamic teachings. It encompassed a large school of both philosophy and natural sciences. I think that this inclusion of philosophy in the Islamic sciences allowed for these advancements to be made. There is large similarity between the science designated to Europe and the Islamic world. Both sciences made a way for the scientific method and experimental sciences to be furthered today.
We have this habit of picking and choosing what gets fed to students about history that undermines and devalues the actual events that took place. It is good to learn that “The Scientific Revolution” was neither really revolutionary nor scientific and that it simply cultivated the opportunity for a wider school of thought in science to be developed. However to narrow it down to only European contributions is demeaning to the imperative contributions made by others. When looking at such events like a scientific revolution, a holistic view is key in truly using “The Scientific Revolution” as the metaphor it claims to be.