The Scientific Revolution: Francis Bacon’S Contribution

The Scientific Revolution
Francis Bacon’s Contribution

Michelle L. Rice

History 142
Section 6380
Michael Kopanic, Ph.D.
April 18, 2010

What is the Scientific Revolution?   There seems to be several definitions that all point to the same end.   The Scientific Revolution was a revolution in thinking -- ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.   It was a time where long-held viewpoints pertaining to the natural world were being challenged and overturned by new discoveries in nature and science.   Major discoveries of several individuals played key roles in this revolution-- the most famous of which are contributed to Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton.   There were also some low-key players involved in the revolution.   Sir Francis Bacon was one of them.   While his significance to the Scientific Revolution is debated, the following will explore this revolution and the contribution he made to it.
      When and How Did The Revolution Begin?
      A concrete starting point for the Scientific Revolution is a challenge to distinguish.   Some pinpoint the late 1540’s – 1700’s, and others say the revolution began with Copernicus and ended with Newton.   Agreeing with the latter, it makes sense to say that the Scientific Revolution began with The Discoveries.   What are The Discoveries you ask?   The Discoveries were major breakthroughs in the sciences that contradicted reverenced beliefs that had been passed down from ancient Greeks.   The theories of these Greeks- Aristotle, Ptolemy, and Galen for instance- served as the foundation of European thought in the areas of physics, astronomy, and medicine for over a thousand years.
      In 1543, Andreas Vesalius published a book, The Structure of the Human Body, which identified inaccuracies in Galen’s work.   At the same time, Copernicus, a mathematician, published On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres where he restructured Ptolemy’s theories...