Science: Ancient and Modern Essay

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Science: Ancient and Modern HIS104: World Civilizations II Science: Ancient and Modern Introduction Money and power are great motivators of any type of progress, science is no exception. When comparing modern and ancient sciences power is key. Scientific power seekers are attracted to money, fame, and the search for eternal life, all of which join to equal power. Modern society regards scientific discovery with enthusiasm while in ancient science "the lure of health, wealth, and eternal life charmed many an alchemist to the poorhouse, madness, or an untimely death" (Coudert 35). Although there are similarities ancient and modern science are vastly different which leaves people wondering when and how major changes occurred. It is clear that ancient science developed into our modern science sometime in the 17th century, the cause of this evolution remains a mystery. This essay discusses ideas that have motivated ancient and modern science, arguing that alterations of power structures during the 17th century led to the final division between the two scientific eras and gave birth to the science of today. Knowledge accessibility, philosophies and ideologies, and relations between science and the Church will be compared. Ancient secrets vs. modern shared knowledge When the printing press was built and knowledge was suddenly so easily shared it caused a major change in scientific thinking. "Alchemy was from its origins a secret art;" (Roberts 66) and secrecy was a necessity then. In early science new discoveries were very valuable and therefore must be protected. Before patents and publications came about it was easy to steal scientific research that was left unattended. "Economic realities compelled craftsmen to keep the secrets of the arts guarded from public view" (Eamon 81). Ancient scientists could find no reason to share the power of their

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