HIST1083 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Scientific Revolution, Copernican Principle, Crackdown

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12 Nov 2016
Department
Course
Professor
The Scientific Revolution
Geocentric universe
Nicolaus Copernicus
Heliocentric Universe
Johannes Kepler
Galileo Galilei
Isaac Newton
What was the Scientific Revolution?
Fundamental shift: Asks a new questions of “how”? Rather than an old question of
“why”?
Europeans shaken by Reformation and New World, seeking certainty
Scientific Revolution vs Church
Not always a struggle between persecuted scientists and oppressive Catholic hierarchy
Church view: Religion and Science merging towards same truth
Re-writing History
Control of historical narrative is a powerful and privileged thing
Subjective
Classic universal model
Geocentric universe
Stationary earth orbited by celestial bodies
Earth is on lowest rung of Aristotle’s “Great Chain of Being”
Central point of Church’s teaching
Copernicus
1473-1543
Polish bishop- skilled in math and astronomy
Very pious and never condemned by Church during his lifetime
Challenging but respectful
Heliocentric Universe
Sun at the center of the solar system, not earth
On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres published in 1543
Copernicus & Church
Dedicated book to pope
Loyalty and self protection
Pope’s major patron of arts and science
Copernicus Method
Numbers focus
God = Master Mathematician
Numbers are precise, certain, eternal
Mathematical precision of universe proves God’s existence
Church and Heliocentrism
Church tolerates theory of heliocentric in 1545 but by 1616, challenging it - why the
change?
Not church rejection of all science as anti religious
Changing social and political conditions (religious wars) make everything political
and partisan
Lutherans embrace Heliocentrism
Johannes Kepler
1571-1630
Prominent supporter of Copernicus
Lutheran theological view on salvation appears within his scientific works
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