Scientific Revolution


The Scientific Revolution began in the mid-1500’s when scientists began discovering natural laws about the universe. Before it, people’s understanding of the way the universe worked was told to them by the Roman Catholic Church (most of the population was Roman Catholic).

The most famous example of this change involved the understanding of the universe. The Church taught that the Earth was the center of the universe, which was called the geocentric theory. In 1543, after his death, Polish astronomer Copernicus’ book was published that challenged the Church’s teaching. He observed that the Sun was the center of the universe, which is called heliocentric theory.

In 1609, Italian scientist Galileo Galilei built a telescope and confirmed Copernicus’ theory. He also published his finding and got in trouble with the Pope. As a result, he was put on trial in front of the Church, which is called an Inquisition. Under the pressure, Galileo recanted and publically said that the Church was right, though he didn’t believe it.

In short, the Scientific Revolution was when people started making discoveries based on observations that were in conflict with traditional beliefs. Of course, these discoveries also coincided with the declining power of the Church as a result of the Protestant Reformation.

During this time, the scientific method was developed, where scientists used observations to test hypotheses and learn more about the natural world. Many other thinkers are part of this movement, including Sir Isaac Newton, the father of physics, and Renee Descartes, who compiled many of the age’s new findings in a set of encyclopedias.

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