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Tag: Scientific Revoultion

Why call it the Scientific Revolution?

In Steven Shapin’s “The Scientific Revolution”, the author leads off the book with a first sentence that makes one question the whole credibility of this work. He begins with “There was no such thing as a Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it.” That first sentence really stuck with me throughout the reading. I began to question the truth of everything he was saying, almost as if all the scientific reporting he was writing about and wanted us to believe was untrue. I do not believe there was one Scientific Revolution, as our world continues to find new information and create new technology, we are continually revolutionizing the way we think about everything, and we rely on it. Continue reading

Technology Leads To Technology

From around 1550-1700 extreme developments and questioning materialized in Europe. Today, this period of time is known as the Scientific Revolution. While many of whom were credited with new discoveries around this time, philosophers began to question what was previously known to be true. As new findings were being made so were new technologies, and not only were these advancements in of themselves, but they also aided introducing future technology. This domino effect created by changes in the way people looked at science and technology lead to major scientific discoveries in history. Continue reading

The church’s science

While in current times many consider religion and science to be in fundamental conflict with each other, it is interesting to read about the relationship the two have had throughout the scientific revolution. Galileo seemed to be one of the first major scientific disruptors to religious teachings, however the author said that even many groups within the Catholic Church believed that his findings were progress, pushing Catholic European society forward intellectually. While the church eventually stood against Galileo, it also later stood to accept its teachings which set a good precedent for the relationship of these two fields. From this period forward the church became the predominant supporters of scientific pursuits. Whether it was the church directly, or other affiliated institutions, the majority of research was done on the budget of the church. The author noted that “…few could, or wished to, separate their scientific work from church concerns.” (P. 126).

It is said that philosophy guides science, and science guides politics, I see religion as merely a philosophy that was guiding the scientific philosophy of the time. Later it became a trend that aristocratic families would host scientists as patrons. This is very similar to the trend of musicians at the time, patrons would support musicians that would formerly have to stay within the confines of the churches use for the music and give them the level of freedom to make their best creative work. This is similar to the trend with the sciences, allowing for things like astronomy to be studied beyond their practical navigational uses. Capitalism doesn’t offer a consistent demand for the more philosophically driven scientific experiments. In many ways universities serve as a new form of patronage in todays society for professors who are driven by intellectual drive, rather than financial. This offers the opportunity for a healthy balance between religion and science because many private colleges are religiously affiliated. Rather, when science become driven purely by its financial opportunity it starts becoming dominated by investments in the military, oil and other high return endeavors. It is interesting in an aristocratic society how people have the leisure and motivation to become well versed in philosophy, sciences and religion. It is clearly a flawed system but this is a class that doesn’t exist even in capitalist societies because you always need to manage and increase your assets and “keep up with the joneses” so the result is a ruling class that is still capital driven rather than basing their social status in these pursuits. However in the scientific societies that eventually developed rules against the use of religion in scientific conversations started a trend of separation between the two fields. I think it would be better to have thinkers versed in religious, philosophical and scientific thinking in harmony but the current system has clearly veered away from that. I think the concept of religious-affiliated universities and private colleges that invest in professors that pursue projects in science and technology is the pinnacle of todays positive relationship between the religion and science.

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