The Scientific Revolution

Scientific Revolution

Like any other revolution, scientific revolution was characterized by wars and battles for recognition and accordance of space to exercise(Lakatos). This implies that the scientists and natural philosophers have had to fight their way towards the successful exercise of experiments. However, this fight for the revolution has had its own challenges and supports which scientists today can only relate to(Creath). Even to date, the challenges and the influences that the societal concepts have on science are still remarkably present. This paper analyses how political, social and religious factors have historically affected the work of scientists in the 16th and 17th centuries. The paper will also explore how these factors have continued to affect the work of scientists today. The paper is guided by the thesis that scientific revolution is a continuous struggle for freedom which appears to have no end in the near future.

From a historical perspective, a new worldview has resulted from the embrace of science and natural philosophy(Mitchell). Since the beginning of the 15th century when concepts of experiments to support theories and perspectives were first developed, the lives of many people have been changed by science. These changes have impacted directly on the need for the people to have a converted viewpoint of the world and to develop better reasoning capacities that are directed nit by weak ideologies and beliefs but by reality which is testable and replicable. However, the efforts to bring out this kind of mentality has been faced with predictable opposition from the champions of ideologies, faiths and beliefs. The efforts to silence scientists and philosophers such as Galileo are just a few example of how much scientific revolution has been historically opposed. Even today, similar kind of opposition happen that prevents the realization of new developments in technology and its application. However, the fight today is not as fierce as it has been historically and it is not personalized and victimizing as it has been before.

Political pressure has been on the forefront in the fight against scientific revolution. Between the years 1500 and 1700, world leaders used lame ideologies and influence to politically influence support and following. This means that they always banked on the ignorance and illiteracy of the people for their leading and remaining in power. It therefore goes without saying that any idea that would dispute their own ideology was fiercely opposed. This is the reason why science and natural philosophy, which seemed to enlighten people to believe in the realities of life were not needed near the people in these years. According to Thomas Hobbes, anything that science would bring and conflict the interest of the rulers would be suppressed by the sword(Thompson). This explains why scientific revolution faced massive opposition from the rulers and the leaders of the time.

Like the political forum, the religiosity of the communities in the 16th and 17th century was guided by the instillation of fear and threats related to the structure of the world, the nature of the universe and the perceived relationship between the supernatural powers and human beings(LaMarre, Landreville, and Beam). The religious leaders, oblivious of the danger that a contrary ideology would bring to the beliefs and the faith of the people were opposed to science and the teachings of the philosopher. The arrest and conviction of Galileo, for claiming that the earth is round, contrary to the religious idea that the earth is flat raised the necessary interest for science. Giovanni Ciampoli, an Italian monk, in his letter to Galileo claims that the work of Galileo is contrary to the beliefs of the church, who have jurisdiction over human intellect. However, the efforts of scientists to change the minds of the people had impact even within the clergy. John Calvin, a protestant theologian and Nicolaus Copernicus a Polish priest had great interest in science and even publicly complained to the church authorities about their firm position against science.

Socially, the scientific revolution has had both challenges and support from the society. Due to the opposition arising from the political and religious domains, the society in the earlier centuries had been partly instigated against the scientific ideologies that the philosophers had been championing. However, on realization that the scientific explorations reduced their ignorance and increased their touch with the realities of life. Several philosophers who challenged the opposition that the politics and religious teaching had on science seemed to be quite connected with the society. In addition, writing s from natural philosophers such as Margaret Cavendish, Jean Baptist Colbert and Gottfried Leibniz served to enlighten the public on the impact that science could have on their lives (O’Neil). This seemed to successfully dilute the religious and political pressure in opposition to science and drove the scientific revolution at full speed towards maturity.

Fast-forward to the 18th and 19th century, scientific revolution was already a necessity for success. The end of the era of reason and the beginning of the industrialization period made the governments and even the religion realize that exploration of new opportunities was not possible without science. Although these factors did not openly applaud the works of philosophers who had brought scientific revolution to its current form, their embracement of technology and science indirectly challenged their earlier oppositions (Jordan). Today, scientific revolution continues although with lesser challenges. However, these challenges are not any weaker even with the growth in technology. The politics and religious beliefs of the people are still based on some ideologies that are vague and guided by conservativeness and threats. This makes it difficult for scientific evidence to penetrate the minds of people(Mitchell). This is evidenced by the reluctance that is observed with the adoption of new technology in the religious domains. This means that the revolution of science is continuous and seems to have no end in sight.

In conclusion, the work of scientists has been rather unstoppable from history. The energy with which the scientists perform their duties and use reason to create an understanding of phenomenon in life is a very important drive to the success of science. Even with the opposition and resistance that seems to have no near end, science is being revolutionized each day and becoming even more convincing to majority of people.

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