The Scientific Revolution, and in fact science itself, has been criticized by many due to the fact that it is so unclear – so undefinable – as to make it nearly impossible to come to a complete agreement of it’s nature. To me, however, I look at The Scientific Revolution as the period in time in which the world progressed from pre-modern, Aristotelian scientific practices to the more advanced modern science of today. Not only were scientific practices drastically changing in the way in which we made discoveries, but what we were discovering significantly changed as well.

In my opinion, what this means is that the way the world looked at, analyzed, and tested the questions of the universe dramatically changed during The Scientific Revolution. Throughout the period of the 16th through 17th centuries, scientists came upon discoveries that they believed to be pioneering intellectual curiosity for years to come. More than just what happens on Earth, scientists began to uncover what happens outside of just our one little planet relative to what really exists in the rest of the universe: our relationship with the Sun, the orbits of other planets, the foundation of Earth itself to name a few. Society came to learn more about what our significance is in an endless expanse of space.

This knowledge, previously almost unconceivable, became a functional reality because of The Scientific Revolution. And, while some historians may argue that the term “Scientific Revolution” was a bit far-fetched due to the fact of what was being “revolutionized” being unknown, I would argue that society’s understanding of time, space, and human significance were just a few of the headlines that were illuminated throughout The Scientific Revolution. Legacies of the discoveries during that time are still known today: Kepler’s Laws of planet orbits still remains in effect today as well as Galileo’s telescope that has been even further technologically advanced as to permit our view of other galaxies and nebulas, as seen in Figure 1 below.

Swan nebula in large telescope

Figure 1: The Swan Nebula as seen in a large telescope.

In conclusion, I stand by The Scientific Revolution and think that, although some may say that what was being revolutionized was unclear, the evidence is insurmountable. We know more about our universe now than ever and our knowledge of mankind’s impact on the universe will only continue to increase, and society has The Scientific Revolution to thank.