- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes

Page 1 of 5

Seminar 2- October 5th, 2016[pic 1]

Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes[pic 2]


  • Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes are the most celebrated scientists in modern history. They were the most important and influential people of the Scientific Revolution, which lasted from about 1550 to 1700.
  • Until about the 1300s, the field of science did not go through many changes.
  • The Catholic Church was under control of practically everything and had control of what was being reported so it preserved the beliefs that was already incorporated into its teachings. Its teachings came from the system of beliefs that were based on the findings from the ancient Romans and Greek. [pic 3]
  • If someone had any opposition towards the church, the church itself would restrain it by either intimidation, threat of arrest, and sometimes even death to those who spread and promote those findings.
  • People began questioning the approved publications and discoveries. Scientists rebelled by doing their own studies and, not surprisingly, their findings did not match up with the findings that the church had already approved.
  • This led to the era of the Scientific Revolution, of which Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and Rene Descartes played a major part in.

Galileo Galilei

February 15th 1564 – January 8th 1642

  • Galileo had trouble with the catholic church after presenting his findings, arguing that what he was saying was going against the scripture
  • Galileo defended his new method of scientific inquiry by saying that we should use the senses God gave us to see things logically. “But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reasons, and intellect has intended to forgo their use”
  • Galileo developed his own version of the telescope, after hearing about the very first ones invented by Dutch eyeglass makers
  • He used his telescope to see into outer space, and found that the earth revolved around the sun, Jupiter had its own moons that didn't revolve around the earth, and our moon had lots of mountains and craters.
  • These ideas went against the doctrines of the church, because they believed that earth was the center of the solar system, and that the moon was smooth like marble
  • When the church told him to keep his findings a secret, he said, “Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth, they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them.”
  • In 1623, a friend of Galileo, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, was elected as Pope Urban VIII.
  • He encouraged Galileo to pursue and publish his work, if he promised it to be objective and didn’t advocate the Copernican theory.

Sir Isaac Newton

December 25th 1642- March 20th 1726

  • Was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists
  • Published one of the most – if not the most – influential book in the world of physics, entitled the Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematica. In this book, Newton proposed his Three Laws of Motion.
  • These three laws of motion proposed by Isaac Newton are still taught today as some of the main cornerstones upon which the field of physics is based.[pic 4]
  1. Objects tend to remain in their present state of rest or uniform motion along a straight line unless something compels the object to change it direction or current state by the force impressed upon it.
  2. When a force is impressed upon an object, that object changes its motion proportional to the amount of force used upon it. The object then moves along a straight line in the direction which the force pushed it.[pic 5]
  3. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction

  • He also supported God, and instead said that physics and science work to prove God and his word further.
  • Isaac Newton supported the idea that there was in fact, A supreme being who created the laws that governed the universe

Rene Descartes

March 31st 1596- February 11th 1650

  • He was dubbed by many as the “father of Modern Philosophy,” due to his divergence from the typical scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy, as well as helping to establish the new science that was grounded on experiment and observation.
  •  A philosopher, mathematician and Scientist who was also a dedicated Christian. He set out to help restore the relationship between the “new sciences” and religion.
  • Presented the idea of mind-body dualism, which radically distinguished the mind with matter
  • His method on discourse explained the system of methodical doubt, and how he obtains knowledge
  • Dismissed the original method of finding apparent knowledge through sense, which derived from the authorities
  • His ideas of reality and self, which also stated that any individual possessed, “the light of reason,” undermined the authoritarianism of the Catholic Church
  • He invented Cartesian skepticism; only believed that since he was having doubts, he must have a mind, which inspired him to say Cogito, ergo sum, which means “I think, therefore I am.”


1. What type of opposition/troubles do you think Galileo faced with his scientific pronouncements?

2. How does Galileo attempt to restore friendly relations between science and the scriptural teachings of the Church?

3. Why did the church find it difficult to accept Galileo’s science that was based on observation and logic?

Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2016, 11). Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes. Retrieved 11, 2016, from

"Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes" 11 2016. 2016. 11 2016 <>.

"Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes.", 11 2016. Web. 11 2016. <>.

"Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Decartes." 11, 2016. Accessed 11, 2016.