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Forging the Methodology that Enlightened Modern Civilization


Richard H. Schlagel

Forging the Methodology that Enlightened Modern Civilization presents a review of two millennia of human strivings to attain a more realistic understanding of the universe and humans’ place in it. The earliest attempts were mythical accounts invoking miracles and intentional explanations involving spirits, angels, and gods. It was the ancient Greeks who first achieved a more rational understanding of the world as shown in their prescient theories of evolution, atomism, heliocentrism, and physical cosmologies.
Later developments include the supernatural worldview of the medieval period, followed by the Arabic renewal of the Greek achievements by translating their manuscripts and emulating their research. This endeavor led to the scholastics of the Renaissance reviving and revising Aristotle’s worldview, and to the introduction of some of the crucial concepts of later classical science. The latter, inaugurated by Copernicus’ defense of heliocentrism followed by the remarkable discoveries of Kepler, Gilbert, Harvey, and Galileo, culminated in Newton's universal laws, forces, cosmology, and optical theory, which formed modern classical science. Newton’s deterministic cosmology of absolute space and time persisted until the introduction of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s relativity theories in the twentieth century. This book clearly establishes that there is an inevitable conflict between science and religion and why science is prevailing.