History of Modern Science – Notes

History of Modern Science – Notes

Aristotle (322 BC):

  • “So what happens must be this” in reference to drone bee’s (line 29, ABDB )
  • “ credit must be given rather to observation than to theories”


Francis Bacon (1564-1626):

  • “The idols and false notions which have already preoccupied human understanding, and are deeply rooted in it will thwart the establishment if the sciences, unless mankind, when forewarned; guard themselves with all possible care against them.”


  • Idols of the Tribe:
    • Your perception is not always right


  • Idols of the Den
    • Humans cater to their own interests
  • When people are presented an idea they tend to except as fact rather than exploring the other possibilities. (L 90 ABDB)
  • People believe what they want to believe (L 100 ABDB)
  • Human Error is the largest source of impediment
  • Personal fancies corrupt the sciences
  • People generally notice either similarities or differences, usually not both
  • “Aristotle corrupted natural philosophy by logic” (L 152 ABDB)
  • Aristotle is wrong by going into experiments expecting a certain result


Rene Descartes (1596-1650):

  • Rules for the Direction of the mind
  • Inquire not with what people have taught but that you yourself can manifest through intuition or deduce with certainty
  • Intuition: not wavering assurance of the sense but formed by unclouded mental attention


Robert Boyle (1627-1691):

  • Air pump
    • Thomas Hobbs rejects the idea of there being a vacuum
    • Violent objections

Robert Hooke (1635-1703):

  • Son of a church official
  • Boyles assistant
  • Follow of the royal society
  • 1665 – Gretschen College
  • Micrographia- put Hooke on the map
  • Hooke- solar attraction paper
  • Petrified wood analysis
    • Form-Matter-Location
    • Compare and Contrast
      • 13/4 to 1 in weight then water
    • incombustibleness
    • Porous microscopic surface
    • Comes to conclusion L77
    • extraordinary Plastick virtue


Royal Society (1662):

  • Motto: “Nullivs in verba” swear on the authority of no one else’s word
  • Science in a vacuum



  • Code literature
    • Table of correspondences


Isaac Newton:

  • Step son of a church official
  • Left the university because of the plague
  • Isolation, figured out majority of his theories
  • 1668- reflecting telescope
  • Known for designing the “Crucial Experiment” – Yes & No, obvious experiments
  • Very directive and designed in his experiment
  • Extending the Boundaries


Hooke vs. Newton:

  • Photon argument is first of many arguments
  • Letters between the two, “on the shoulders of giants”
  • After talking to Hooke about the “inverse square” and gravitational force Hooke and Newton have discrepancy and then Newton goes into hiding then comes up with laws of motion
  • Principia- inverse square law proving elliptical orbit
  • 1696- master of the mint
  • Publishes book on optics
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