The goal of this lecture was to determine if the Scientific Revolution was, in fact, revolutionary and scientific, as well as unique. The ultimate answer to all of these questions was “yes,” however the “why?” was not completely obvious. The Scientific Revolution is considered by many as the invention of modern science as we know it today. The revolutionary part of the Scientific Revolution was that it was a time for arguing about and challenging the scientific theories that ultimately led to the creation of the modern day canon of natural science. These theories are very rarely challenged today, even though science has evolved since the creation of this canon. However, it important to also consider who and what were left out of this canon as it was being developed and what this means for modern science.

Professor Cohen touched on the concept that what is considered science has changed throughout every generation. What we call superstitions today once were considered facts to be taken seriously by previous generations. Past scientists used rationalizations, some which sound laughable to the modern ear, to explain natural phenomena and make sense of the world around them. Who is to say that future generations will not think the same about our definition of science? We are just explaining the world around us in the most accurate way we can, but it may not be what is absolutely correct. However, the scientific theories agreed upon during the Scientific Revolution are the backbone of modern science today and have not changed, which is a very substantial accomplishment considering how much science has evolved.

My understanding of the definition of a canon is that it is a set of rules or standards required for inclusion within a field of study. These rules have been agreed upon and established by the “greats,” and are generally not challenged. The creation of a canon is something we study, but rarely get to see happen in our life times. A political revolution results in a change in power or organization, so a scientific revolution would have similar implications. The Scientific Revolution introduced changes to the way science had been discussed and thought about and created the canon of natural science, so I would argue that it is indeed a revolution.

When it comes to cannons, there is always a group of thought, type of people, or other group left out. Not all ways of thinking are going to be included, but there are exclusions that do not seem to be based off of merit or intellect. Not being included in the cannon delegitimizes one’s work, can be detrimental to development of new ideas, and limits the discourse around the subject. While the revolutionary part of the Scientific Revolution was the creation and debate about the natural scientific canon, this lecture lead me to wonder who and what were excluded from the canon. Eventually the conclusion was revealed to be anyone who was not a “pale, male, Christian.” Modern science as we know it had already begun in other parts of the world. The Scientific Revolution was essentially when these ideas reached Europe. This says something about the world as whole if this particular time is hailed as “the” Scientific Revolution. It further challenges me to ponder who is still excluded and how this affects science today.