The Contributions of Isaac Newton Essay

1352 Words 6 Pages
"Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, let Newton be! And all was light." - - Alexander Pope The Enlightenment characterizes a philosophical movement of the 18th century that emphasized the use of reason to analyze and scrutinize all previously accepted traditions and doctrines. Through this application of scientific method to all aspects of life, the role of science gradually replaced the role of religion. Sir Isaac Newton, quite possibly one of the most intelligent men to exist, played a key role in the development of the enlightenment. He supplied the foundations on which all sciences since him have been built. Without science and reason the enlightenment would have been unthinkable. In fact, historians quote …show more content…
He took the data from Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo and put it all together to figure out the world and how it works, not exactly a meek accomplishment. However, Newton was not interested in fame and actually waited years to publish some of his results. As professor Gale E. Christianson Ph.D. of the University of Indiana described "the 20th century has made out of Newton something that he was not- an enlightenment figure whose dedication to the principle of a mechanical universe became his reason for being and his single most important legacy to posterity" (Christainson xiv). Newton actually had long periods of indifference to science where he concentrated on his biblical and other religious writings. Newton's masterpiece the Principia is his most recognized work. His biblical writings go virtually forgotten in comparison. The Principia completed the revolution begun by Copernicus in the 16th Century and dominated scientific thought for over 200 years. Newton completed the entire work in 18 months which gives a mathematical demonstration of the Copernican hypothesis as proposed by Kepler, and made out all the phenomena of the celestial motions by the only supposition of a gravitation towards the center of the sun decreasing in squares of distance therefrom reciprocally. Despite the Principia's strict scientific context, Newton held tight the conviction that science must
Open Document