How did the Scientific Revolution inspire the Enlightenment?

Updated: 6/26/2019
How did the Scientific Revolution inspire the Enlightenment?
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Enlightenment Lesson Plans

The Age of Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution

Lesson Plans by John Gillis

Science evolved dramatically during this time period, particularly during the mid 16th century in the Scientific Revolution. Old scientific ideas of the Greeks and Romans were replaced with new concepts based on an empirical approach. The reason and logic of the scientific revolution was adopted by a number of enlightenment thinkers or "Philosophes". These new, innovative ideas impacted politics, science, and social issues of this era.


Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution

Storyboard Description

Enlightenment Scientific Revolution - How did the Scientific Revolution inspire the Age of Enlightenment?

Storyboard Text

  • Earth-Centered Universe
  • Aristotle 350 BCE
  • Old Thinking
  • Earth is the center!
  • Ptolemy 100 CE
  • Earth is the center!
  • Christian Church CE
  • Earth is the center!
  • Copernicus: Heliocentric Universe
  • New Thinking
  • I've been studying these planets for a quarter century. All of them revolve around the sun.
  • The idea of an earth-centered universe started with Aristotle, was expanded on by Ptolemy, and was supported by the Christian Church.
  • The Ancient Scholars are Right!
  • Nicholaus Copernicus was a cleric from Poland and an amateur astronomer. His long study of planetary motion inspired the idea that the sun was at the center of the solar system.
  • Francis Bacon: Understanding Through Experience
  • Aristotle said that life can happen spontaneously like maggots on a dead animal!
  • Well then! It must be true!
  • These worms aren't spontaneous!
  • Francesco Redi
  • It's the flies! They lay eggs on dead animals!!
  • Fire
  • The conclusions of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the Church, were accepted as truth.
  • Aristotle: The Four Elements
  • Water
  • "Change is the result of the interaction of the four elements..."
  • Earth
  • Air
  • Bacon urged scientists to adopt an empirical approach. He believed they must do the work themselves and stop depending on ancient texts for answers.
  • Robert Boyle: Advances in Chemistry
  • Change is the result of the movement of tiny particles...
  • Aristotle believed that all terrestrial matter was composed of some combination of the four elements: water, fire , air, and earth.
  • Divine Right Monarchy
  • Logic can be used to solve scientific problems, so....
  • Boyle made many contributions to modern science. One of his main arguments was that the material world was made up of tiny elements - what we call atoms today.
  • Government by Popular Consent
  • God has anointed my family to rule!
  • ...it should be applied to society and government too.
  • The people have spoken. we rule by their choice!
  • Monarchs claimed that they received their right to rule from God.
  • People began to challenge traditional forms of government. These challenges were based on logic and reason, the essential ingredients in the Scientific Revolution.