Scientific Rationalism And The Scientific Revolution

During the late Middle Ages, a great spirit of questioning traditional beliefs of the world began. This movement, essentially a rebellion against old views and ways, became known as the scientific revolution. Many great thinkers, scientists, and philosophers emerged during this period, sharing their ideas with the world. Many of these people’s theories, philosophies, and inventions still have a lasting effect on our world today, making it clear that the scientific revolution was a monumentally important part of the world’s history. The scientists, philosophers, and astronomers of this time introduced a number of theories that made their mark on the minds of science for years to come. One hugely significant example of this is the theory that …show more content…
Scientific rationalism was the overarching philosophy that emerged in the midst of the scientific revolution. Formed by the ideas of René Descartes and Sir Francis Bacon, scientific rationalism stated clearly that a person should take nothing for granted and scientifically prove what is correct to believe in. French Descartes encouraged questioning long-held beliefs and accepting nothing until it had been proven. He was adamant that people must always strive to rationally understand the physical world. Bacon’s beliefs were similar to that of Descartes, but in addition, he suggested that people should use experimentation and observation to help them understand their surroundings. Using the scientific method, as explained by Francis Bacon, would allow one to decode the physical world. Following the scientific method meant that one had to observe a subject, hypothesize an outcome, experiment to test the hypothesis, and interpret the results that followed. Steadily, scientific rationalism taught people to think for themselves and question everything. This led to the weakening and decline of the church’s power over …show more content…
While previously mentioned contributions to the world through the revolution had been purely ideological and intangible, these creations were solid proof that science was furthering mankind in his quest for knowledge and power over the physical world around him. One example of such an occurrence was the construction of the first microscope, put together by the Dutch Anton van Leeuwenhoek. It was Anton who, through his microscope, first observed bacteria living inside fluid. The fact that the invention of the microscope allowed humans to discover bacteria is momentous; without this revelation, the science of medicine might not have advanced as far as it now has. The microscope also provided a means by which other realizations could be reached, such as the finding of both cells and atoms. Though this invention was a gargantuan step towards where humanity is today, there were yet other pieces of equipment to be made. The invention of the thermometer was also an example of a device made in the scientific revolution that aided many people. Galileo—the same Galileo that supported Copernicus’s heliocentric theory—was the creator of the earliest form of the thermometer, which was used for measuring the temperature of the environment it was placed in. This temperature-measuring tool was improved by German Gabriel Fahrenheit roughly one

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