Between the years of 1550 to 1750, the Scientific Revolution encouraged new ideas and theories regarding life, humans, and the universe. The great thinkers of this period such as Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Bacon, and Decartes all challenged religion and philosophy when they delved into the world of science and logical thinking. Many topics like Nicolaus Copernicus’ heliocentric view of the universe not only challenged the church, but also altered the way people viewed God and their faith.
As logical and rational thought started to spread, the use of mathematics to have a better understanding of things spread as well, resulting in new ideas and views of philosophy. The people soon began to grasp these concepts, which resulted in their questioning of the church and the way they viewed life. Before scientists began looking up into the sky for answers, the church had provided the people with the knowledge they needed.
The Catholic Church had always taught and believed that the earth was the center of the universe and that all things such as the planets, moons, and suns revolved around us because God loved us so much that he made us the center of His universe. When Copernicus proposed his hypothesis: the idea that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe, the church decided that the theory was false and they rejected it. Even though they did this, it raised a few questions within the scientific community. Kepler, Brahe’s assistant, used part of Brahe’s work to mathematically prove Copernicus’ theory to be true.
Others came forth with findings of their own that also supported Copernicus’ theory. One of these people was Galileo whose discoveries made Catholic believers question the doctrines of the church. The people wondered to what extent did their faith answer the questions of the universe. Sir Isaac Newton was able to combine the work of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo into one theory that allowed him to believe that you do not need religion to explain the things that happen on earth, you just need reason. This ultimately drove believers and supporters of the church to rethink their life and what it means to believe in the Catholic faith.
As rational thinking became popular, so did new ideas and views about how people saw themselves and the way they lived their lives. More and more scientists and other people used the scientific method and mathematics to prove things for themselves. As their logical thinking increased, their previous concepts soon diminished. Things like the geocentric theory were proven wrong while law of the earth, like the law of gravity, were being proven true. Often, the church tried to write the scientists off as heretics because of their unorthodox beliefs and because it went against the church’s teachings.
The scientists were so curious about the world and the universe around it that they didn’t stop; they kept making remarkable advances in the society that they lived in. The great scientific and mathematical thinkers of the Scientific Revolution inspired people to change their ways of life and their beliefs. The new view of the universe and its heliocentric nature shifted the faith of devout religious people away from the church. People were encouraged to learn mathematics and literature. Between the years of 1550 and 1750, old religious theories were slowly dismissed as new rational theories and philosophies became popular and reigned true.