Mathematics, astronomy, and medicine were three of the earliest sciences. The Greeks developed theories, or explanations of why something happens, to understand nature. Aristotle observed nature and classified information about animals and plants. Ancient Greece and Rome pages 515–517
Ptolemy believed the Earth was the center of the universe. Geocentric Theory pages 515 - 516
During the Middle Ages, people were more interested in the study of God than in science. The Islamic Empires preserved much of the science of the Greeks and Romans. Jewish and Arabic scientists made advances in some areas. Europeans brought Islamic works to Europe and translated them into Latin and Greek. Science During the Middle Ages pp. 515-517
European universities were important to the growth of science. Exploration in the 1400s added to Europe’s scientific knowledge.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) was a Polish mathematician who believed the sun was the center of the universe (Heliocentric Theory.) A Revolution in Astronomy • The first science to be affected by the Scientific Revolution was astronomy. pages 517–519
Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a Danish astronomer whose highly accurate observations were used by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler in formulating his three famous laws of planetary motion. Tycho combined Copernican Theory with Ptolemaic Theory. He believed the Earth was stationary and the other planets orbited the Sun.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) believed in Copernicus’s idea, but he also believed that the planets move in ellipses, or oval paths. Page 518
Galileo was an Italian scientist who determined that objects of different weights fall at the same speed. He improved scientific instruments, such as the telescope, and was important in the development of new instruments. The Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo’s ideas and tried him for heresy. Galileo's telescope Page 519
In a short booklet called “The Starry Messenger,” Galileo supported Copernicus’ Theory with observations and drawings. “Starry Messenger”
Isaac Newton developed the Universal Law of Gravitation. Motion and Forces Page 519 - 521
In the 1500s, Andreas Vasalius dissected human bodies. He published On the Structure of the Human Body in 1543. Medicine and Chemistry Page 520
Important advances were made in chemistry. Robert Boyle discovered that all substances were made up of basic elements and he developed Boyle’s Law. Boyle’s Law is the principle that at a constant temperature the volume of a confined ideal gas varies inversely with its pressure.
Antoine Lavoisier determined that oxygen is required for objects to burn. The Phlogiston Theory, in chemistry, was an early explanation concerning combustion c.1700. Material such as coal or wood was rich in a material substance called phlogiston, from a Greek word meaning "to set on fire." The actual process of combustion involved a loss of phlogiston to the air. What remained after combustion was without phlogiston and could no longer burn. Thus wood possessed phlogiston but ash did not.
Rene Descartes is the founder of modern rationalism. This is the belief that reason is the chief source of knowledge. To Descartes, one fact seemed to be beyond doubt—his own existence. Descartes clarified this idea by the phrase, “I think, therefore I am” or “Cogito ergo sum.” The Triumph of Reason
Francis Bacon developed the modern scientific method, an orderly way of collecting and analyzing evidence. The Scientific Method
A way to justify a belief in God and a belief in reason Isaac Newton believed that mathematical laws governed how the universe works because that was how God made it Deism