Scientific Revolution

Shade Cary

The Scientific Revolution was a transformation in the way humans saw the universe, and their role in it. It was an intellectual revolution that changed the way humans approach science, with many of the theories that came out of it still being used today. New scientists presented theories that challenged the religion and philosophy of the time, causing conflict. Of all the scientists in this time, Isaac Newtons Laws of Gravitation were the most important scientific discoveries of the time. They explained many of the problems that science was unable to answer about the way the universe worked, and still hold up today. They provided a necessary foundation for the expansion of scientific thought in the future.

Scientists and their theories


Francis Bacon was an Englishman with many talents. His most significant contribution to the scientific revolution was the creation of empiricism. His philosophy on scientific experimentation has made science a force of innovation. Instead of making his own discoveries, he inspired scientists to focus their work on improvement through innovation.

Philosophy in the Scientific Revolution

Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes was an English Philosopher. He defended absolute monarchy in his book "The Leviathan" and believed that humans were naturally selfish, and needed a strong government to hold them together.

John Locke

Locke was an English philosopher who believed in the separation of Church and State. His ideas on religious freedom and liberty influenced the founding fathers of the United States of America. Locke held ideas on the Natural rights of man and the social contract that made him an enemy of the English Government. Unlike Hobbes, Locke viewed Humans a naturally good, and his commitment to freedom can be seen in many successful governments today.

Society during early modern science

Societies of Learning

Before the scientific revolution society did not believe that new knowledge about the world could be discovered. Universities were unwilling to adopt the new science, so institutions of sharing were established to gather and discuss new scientific findings. The Royal Society of London was the most famous of these. The societies published scientific information and organized libraries, with the intention of using science to improve the government and the economy.

Margret Cavendish

Women had no role in the majority of the scientific revolution. They were not allowed in universities, and what little influence they had over courts did not give them any real power. Margret Cavendish was an exception to this trend. She was exposed to a group of philosophers through her husband, and was the only women in her time allowed to attend a meeting in the Royal Society of London.

Religion during the Scientific Revolution

Science and Religion

The new science of the scientific revolution threatened the church because the theories conflicted with biblical statements, because natural philosophers threatened church authority over disputes between the new science and religion, and because new science took away the spiritual nature of the universe. The biggest case of the science conflicting with religion is in the churches condemnation of Galileo. Galileo's books were banned by the church, and Galileo was placed under house arrest. This situation represents the threat that the Scientific Revolution was for the church.

Pascal and the English approach to science

Pascal was unique in that he tried to combine the new age of science with religion. He believed that reason alone was not enough fix human nature. He believed that faith in religion was necessary to improve life.

The English natural philosophers saw science as an extension of their duty under religion. They saw it as their God given duty to improve the world.

Witch Hunts

Despite the enlightenment brought by the scientific revolution, western culture still held many traditional ideas sacred. One such traditional idea was a belief in magic, and as a result, a fear of demons. Religious devision was the primary cause of witch hunts in this time. Political consolidation eliminated rivalries for loyalty, which was a major factor in the growing popularity of witch hunts. The reformation was also responsible for witch hunts because it removed the traditional protection from demons and forced people to protect themselves from dark magic using witch hunts.

The Western Heritage