While we all know the ramification of Enlightenment thinking on politics in the 18th Century, it also had a profound and seminal effect on science.  Prior to the Enlightenment, scientific thought, when it could be separated from theology, was dominated by theories of absolute truth but over the course of the 16th and 17th Centuries this absolutism began to be replaced by modern empirical observation and experimentation.  The world doesn’t work as it does because it should, or because of supernatural forces, but rather it follows series of natural laws.  Rocks don’t fall to the earth because, as Plato argued, they belong to the earth; they fall because, as Newton observed, objects are attracted to each other in proportion to their mass and inverse proportion to their distance separation [squared].  God, if involved at all in the process at all, is the author of laws that govern the universe, not the prime mover who physically controls each particle.  This subtle shift in focus and explosion of scientific inquiry and the creation of the “gentleman scientist.” 

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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