The Scientific Revolution and The Enlightenment

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The Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries changed the way people viewed the world. Scientific philosophers, such as Galileo and Descartes, rejected the old teachings of the church and introduced new ways of thinking. These men sought to prove that rational thought could demonstrate the existence of God. They also argued that understanding a series of rational thoughts, rather than faith, would lead to an understanding of how the world worked. Traditional ways of thinking were ultimately challenged by logical and sensible reasoning. Galileo Galilei, an Italian philosopher, was born in 1564. As an adult, he did not believe in the universal geocentric theory of the planets and heavens, which was established by the Catholic Church. The Church taught that the Earth was the center of the universe, and everything revolved around our planet. Another theory that the Church supported was that the Earth stood still while the sun rose and set every day. Society in the 1500s believed that the Pope spoke for God through a divine connection, and to go against the Church was to go against God. To speak out against the Church in this time was strictly taboo. If one spoke against the Church, it was considered heresy, which is exactly what happened to Galileo. Galileo invented the telescope and began studying the heavens above and noticed changes within the stars and planets. He observed that the "stars" that surrounded Jupiter moved. He came to the conclusion through rational thinking that Copernicus' heliocentric theory was correct. Copernicus was a scientist and philosopher whose theory proposed that the sun was stationary, and the heavens orbit around the sun. Galileo tried to convince the Church not to abolish the Copernican theory but was told that he was not to entertain such thoughts with others.... ... middle of paper ... ...(n.d.). Simple Wiki. Retrieved February 7, 2011, from René Descartes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from SparkNotes: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778): The Social Contract. (n.d.). SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. Retrieved February 9, 2011, from SparkNotes: René Descartes (1596–1650). (n.d.). SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. Retrieved February 8, 2011, from The Enlightenment in Europe. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2011, from

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