When it was published, people and mostly the conservative did not believe in what he said nor anticipate. Perhaps most significant from a religious standpoint was that by characterizing the earth as just another planet in an immense universe, Copernicus destroyed the idea of Aristotle. Where then was heaven? Especially protestant leaders attacked his ideas. Before it was published, Luther heard of his theories and spoke about him as the “new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes round… The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside down”.
The catholic reaction was milder at first but declared the theory false in 1616. When a new star appeared in 1572 the people started to doubt that the heavenly spheres really existed, because it was not possible for them to change, since they were unchangeable and perfect. In 1577 a comet went through the sky and people then started to doubt even more. From Brahe to Galileo Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) agreed with this though. He was according to himself the leading astronomer of Europe after having collected detailed information of the star in 1572.
He studied stars with the naked eye the next 20 years. Brahe’s contributions were the great mass of data he had collected. He wasn’t as good in mathematics though, but that he left for his assistant Kepler to do. Kepler formulated 3 famous laws of planetary motion. Planets are elliptical rather than circular around the sun. They do not move in a uniform motion. He showed that the time a planet takes to orbit Is precisely related to its distance from the sun. These laws were very important for the future. Copernicus had thoughts, and Kepler made them into laws.
Galileo Galilei challenged the old ideas about motion. He was a poor noble-man. Became professor in maths. He conducted controlled experiments to find out what actually happened and did not speculate. Galileo went on to formulate the law of Inertia: An object remains in uniform motion unless an external force acts upon it. He made a telescope after having heard of the telescope in Holland. He discovered moons, providing new evidence for the Copernican theory. He wrote an article in Sidernus Nuncius and after having read that, one feels a crucial corner in Western civilisation being turned.
The theological/religious world-view now fell apart, and gave way to a new, critical, scientific method. This was the greatest thing during scientific revolution. Newton’s synthesis The last things took place in around 1640. Isaac Newton was a very religious man. In 1666 he came up with several physics typ laws, at an age of 24. He couldn’t prove them mathly though. He included the astronomy of Copernicus, as corrected by Kepler’s laws, with the physics of Galileo and his predecessors in his book “Principia” published in 1687. He explained massa motion and mechanics. It was very complex.
The key feature of this believes were the law of universal gravitation. Every body in the universe attracts every other body in the universe in a precise mathematical relationship, based on mass and distance. Causes of Scientific Revolution 1. By the thirteenth century universities had been established with professors and large student bodies in Western Europe to train the lawyers, doctors and church leaders that society required. By 1300 also Philosophy and they became independent from the theologians. Science was able to emerge as a minor but distinct branch of philosophy.
In the 14th and 15th century maths, astronomy and physics were established, but low status. 2. The renaissance stimulated the scientific progress. The recovery of fine Greek maths works helped the math people a lot. They helped with navigational problems, and finding latitude etc. That resulted in the first European navigation manual. There was also a development of new scientific instruments, such as telescope, barometer, thermometer microscope etc. Better instruments helped the development of better ways of obtaining knowledge about the world.
Important thinkers that represented key aspects of this improvement in scientific methodology were Descartes, and Francis Bacon. Bacon was a politician and writer was the greatest propagandist for the new experimental method. He wanted new knowledge to be followed through experimental research. One shouldn’t speculate. Then general principles won’t emerge. The empirical method would produce highly practical useful knowledge, giving a new effective justification for the pursuit of science. Descartes was more systematic. He wanted to doubt everything you could doubt etc. 3.