Three Scientific Revolutions: How They Transformed Our Conceptions of Reality

Three Scientific Revolutions: How They Transformed Our Conceptions of Reality

English | ISBN: 163388032X | 2015 | EPUB | 250 Pages | 478 KB

Science has had a profound influence in shaping contemporary perspectives of reality, yet few in the public have fully grasped the profound implications of scientific discoveries. This book describes three intellectual revolutions that led to the current scientific consensus, emphasizing how science over the centuries has undermined traditional, religious worldviews.

The author begins in ancient Greece, where the first revolution took place. Beginning in the sixth-century BCE, a series of innovative thinkers rejected the mythology of their culture and turned to rational analysis and the empirical study of reality. This change in thinking, though it lay dormant for the many centuries of Christian hegemony in the West, eventually gave rise to the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries-the second revolution. Highlighted by such luminaries as Kepler, Galileo, and Isaac Newton, the Enlightenment laid the foundations for our current understanding of the world.

Today we live amidst the third scientific revolution, including Darwin's theory of evolution, Planck's concept of the quantum, Einstein's relativity theories, Bohr's quantum mechanics, along with Watson and Crick's decoding of the human genome with the prospect of improving human nature. Besides technological wonders, this revolution has also supported widespread respect for freedom of thought, greater educational opportunities, and democratic governments.

Looking to the future, Schlagel sees many exciting possibilities yet also potentially devastating threats to the environment. He underscores the need for widespread scientific literacy, stressing that only unfettered scientific inquiry offers a realistic hope of overcoming these daunting challenges.


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