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Science Challenges the Church

Before the 1500s, church leaders argued that God made people on earth the center of the
universe. Popes have interpreted this as meaning God had made the earth the center of
the universe. The sun, planets, stars, and moon all revolved (went around) the earth. This
became known as the Geocentric Theory.

For a long time, questioning the Church would never occur.


The Pope was Gods messenger. Questioning him would be
questioning God. Instead, people just listened to Church
officials and priests, never questioning them, never asking
them for proof. In 1543, a scientist named Nicolas
Copernicus came up with a new theory called the
Heliocentric Theory. In this theory, Copernicus stated that
he believed the sun was the center of the universe, and the sun
never moved from its spot. Instead, earth and the other planets
orbited (went around) the sun. Most people rejected
Copernicuss theory, as he lacked proof and couldnt possibly
be smarter than the Pope.
About a hundred years later, Galileo Galilee invented the telescope. The telescope was a
device used to view objects that were far away. Using the telescope, Galileo observed the
sky for many nights. After conducting research for many years, Galileo learned that after
365 days, the earth must have rotated around the earth once. This theory was based on
studying the four seasons, temperature change over the course of the year, and how the
amount of light in a day changed. Fearing the church would loose power; church officials
had Galileo put on trial for blasphemy (lies). Galileo would be sentenced to house arrest.

Another scientist by the name of Rene


Descartes devised a method to conduct
experiments. This was called the Scientific
Method. First, people would have a question
they would like to be solved. Next, they
would form a hypothesis (guess) about what
the outcome of the experiment might be.
Next, you would conduct an experiment to
test your hypothesis, as well as collect data.
After the experiment, you would form a
conclusion and write down your final
observations. If other scientists followed the
same procedure as you did, and came up with
the same results, then the conclusion must be
accurate. If results differed, the question had not yet been solved. All beliefs and
scientific laws should be based on experiments, observations, and science.
Isaac Newton was a mathematical scientist. He used mathematical formulas to prove the
existence of gravity. Gravity, he said, kept the planets rotating in a circular fashion
around the sun. He also explained how gravity caused objects to fall from higher areas.

The Science Revolution had weakened the church. People were


starting to question the church. People began to forget about ideas
in the Bible, such as the story of creation, and began to believe in
the power of science. People began to look for answers to their
problems, creating experiments in order to look for solutions
instead of praying. People began being interested in astronomy
(space). At the end of the day, people began to believe every
question had an answer, and everything could be explained
through science, experimentation, and observation.

Part 1 Complete the following chart:

Thinkers of the Scientific Revolution


Scientist

Contributions / Theories /
Accomplishments

Part 2 Answer the following question in a response of at least SEVEN SENETENCES.


1) What is a revolution? Why do we call the science revolution a revolution? What
changes are coming about in the world (Good and Bad)?
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