The Enlightenment Era: All over the Map With the great leaps that were made in the areas of math and science during the 1600’s by such great names as Isaac Newton, a new era was ushered in called the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment predominated during the 18th century in England and France, although its ideals also held power in the rest of Europe and into America. Enlightenment thinkers borrowed their ideas of evidence-based rationality from Newton, who conducted his scientific experiments with a focus on evidence and concrete data. His focus was on the tangible natural world with an avoidance of the supernatural and unproven. (Kleiner 589) John Locke was also an important influence on Enlightenment thought as he focused on the goodness of the individual and his natural rights.
The Renaissance was a time of great innovation in the world of creativity and education. Many of history’s finest works have come from the Renaissance, whether it was a piece of literature, a work of art or an invention. After the Middle Ages, a period in time when the Church ruled not only opinion but even aspects such as art, people started looking for more meaning in life and not just what happened after death. This secular thinking, which focused more on mankind as opposed to God, was known as humanism. Inspired by the Ancient Greek thinkers and encouraging new ways of thinking and creating, letting artists and inventors push their boundaries, humanism supported education in science and astrology, mathematics and languages.
When looking into the history of the sciences, one cannot ignore the incredible contributions Islamic nations in the past have made including discoveries in medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics, and philosophy to name a few. In many ways, Islamic religion was what promoted and justified scientific exploration and discovery. Muhammad told his people to seek knowledge, “God did not send down a disease without also sending a cure (Al-Kahlili).” Muhammad’s wisdom helped to promote exploration and discovery among Muslims. God is believed to be all encompassing and that everything is connected to Him. Science is therefore seen by Muslims as a branch of knowledge that is connected with the oneness of God (Unal, pg 12).
Others are creative to some degree, but they do not have the academic capacity to connect that with their inventiveness. Commonly, it is assumed that a genius has an exceptional and original way of approaching situations in the world, reinventing ideas and potentially creating something so massive that it revolutionizes the way others think. Could that be true? All throughout time there have been geniuses leaving their mark on society. There have been religious geniuses that have shaped the major religions as we know them today.
The Renaissance was the time when many things changed, but of all of them, one of the most important was the artwork. Humanism is a body of philosophies and ethical perspectives that emphasize the value of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally place more importance on rational thought than on strict faith or adherence to principle. This would be a movement that would influence Italy forward to the new art of the Renaissance, and influence a generation for centuries. This movement shifted heavily religious themed paintings of god at his full power, to art that was more focused on human beings even putting gods at the stature of mortals. Paintings like The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, and The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino would be prime examples of humanist ideals, and Renaissance art ideals coming together and forming one.
Also, the ancient Greeks were credited with many developments that have led to modern day sciences. The deductive reasoning formula they developed proved particularly useful in the later development of the scientific method. The Socratic Method and the idea of Forms led to great advances in Geometry, logic, and natural sciences. Modern day scientific vocabulary and style are directly derived from translations of past scientific writings. Tia 2 During the development of Western Civilization religion was basically polytheistic, the worship of more than one god.
The Impact of Science Fiction on Historical and Modern Literature The genre of science fiction arose out of modern man’s search for answers to the problems of life through the medium of science. In the period known as the Enlightenment, many exciting discoveries in the natural sciences informed people about the qualities of the earth, and the laws of nature, and this encouraged writers to imagine other worlds where things might be different than they are on this planet. In the twentieth century this resulted in a fascination with space and space travel, and science fiction grew in popularity. Progress in fields like psychology and sociology produced also many theories about human nature, and the genre of fantasy, which rests on older myths and legends, arose to explore dimensions of the human psyche. Both genres continue to be popular at the start of the twenty first century, although mainstream and traditional literature is regarded by some as more worthwhile, simply because of its longer and more respected tradition.
Even though Ancient Rome adapted to Ancient Greece laws and rules, Ancient Rome wrote in Latin to create their own literature. Satirize was used to make fun of Ancient Rome society. Roads, bridges, and tunnels were all advanced in Ancient Rome. Astronomy became large after a roman scientist named Ptolemy discovered that the earth was the center of the universe. Ancient Greece contributions helped the Western Society today.
Based on historical events such as the Protestant reformation, the scientific revolution, the age of enlightenment, the French revolution, the industrial revolution and the World Wars as well as the affect they had on Western society, it is safe to say that Western humanism is alive and well; our tradition and heritage that emphasize freedom and individual self-worth helped shape our culture and will continue to promote social justice and human rights. In the early to mid sixteenth century, Europe was in the midst of religious reform. Sparked by the advent of the printing press and an increase in knowledge and intellectual thought, many began to question the Catholic Church. Lutheranism and Protestantism spread rapidly throughout Europe and the face of Catholicism changed as well. These movements can be viewed as the first stepping stone towards a modern, humanist society.
Napier’s discovery of logarithms- although hundreds of years old- still influences today’s modern math. By hobby, John was an astronomer; he wanted a way to simplify calculations in astronomy, which was one of the main reasons he invented logarithms. The term “logarithm” comes from arithmos- meaning “number” , and logos- meaning “ratio”. Napier’s discovery was not only useful in his time, but our time as well. Today, logarithms are used practically everywhere.