Saturday, December 4, 2021

960: The Age of Science...

Copernicus 1473 - 1543
Kepler 1571 - 1630
Bacon 1561 - 1642
Galilei 1564 - 1642
Descartes 1596 - 1650
Huygens 1629 - 1695
Newton 1643 - 1727

 When you look at the names, these were the super brains in Europe in their time and these brains occupied themselves with mathematics, astronomy, chronology and mechanics and some theology.


Although the Arabs studied mathematics too at a high level, that was mainly before 1400. What this group of people was doing, didn't happen anywhere else in the world in the same way.


The search for patterns and principles drives the brain. In the early beginning of mankind it was the best way to survive,


the best way to organize a society that grew more and more complex after the emergence of agriculture,


the best way to explain, based on the patterns "above", the what and why regarding the events "below'.


But what these men were doing.... why did they spend so much brainpower on these subjects? How do we have to understand that?


First of all mathematics. Mathematics is a formal science whose usual definition is the study of patterns and structures in numbers, space and shape. Ok, that matches.


Mathematics has a history that goes back to prehistoric times. Tapping sticks from prehistoric times indicate that people were already counting back then.


From 3000 BC the Mesopotamian states of Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, followed closely by Ancient Egypt and the Levantine state of Ebla began using 

arithmetic, algebra and geometry for purposes of taxation, commerce, trade and also in the patterns in nature, the field of astronomy and to record time and formulate calendars.


Clear, mathematics is THE language of the universe and it was perfectly applicable in astronomy and astrology.


However, the underlying motive must have been religious. In a man as Kepler we certainly see this confirmed.


The stronger the relationship becomes between mathematical calculations and empirical observations and testing, the greater becomes the tension with the religious motive.


That is what we see in Galilei. Descartes almost breaks the link between pure empiricism and religious motivation by introducing causality as the basis of all patterns.


Based on his "clear and distinct" ideas he develops mechanics which explain everything based on principles of push and pull forces.


That this was the step into a scientific world, leaving a theological world, was clear. If everything was causal, then god had lost his job 


and Descartes had to flee to the Netherlands to escape the unpleasant consequences of his views like losing his head.


There was his natural philosophy of causality the talk of the town and Christiaan Huygens developed the right mathematics to make good use of such ideas.


He put it to the test and designed the most accurate pendulum clock ever. Of course, he did a lot more super brainy things,


but what he clearly demonstrated was the integration of mathematical deductions and the empirical cycle.


And finally, there is Isaac Newton, the Einstein of mathematics undeniably. In the first place, he proved, that Descartes's pull and push forces theory was wrong.


He discovered the concept of gravity.. How he did it, I really don't know, but he must have deduced it from mathematical principles in combination with observations.


It has something to do with the thesis that two bodies attract each other with a certain force and that there is a gravitation constant G, for this force, which has a very small value,


but if the bodies are as huge as the sun or a planet, then the gravitation effect comes into action.


If you combine this with his mechanics and three laws of motion, you can understand Newton's prediction,


that the trajectory of a cannon bullet may be a parabola, but when the push force of a shot is strong enough the cannon bullet would end up in an orbit around the earth.


This fascination with mathematics and its applicability to the natural world thus made Newton predict the possibility of bringing satellites into space.


With Newton, Homo sapiens entered the Age of Science, I'd say.....


Thank you for your attention.....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion


[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i guess its not as simple as the classic picture of Newton under an apple tree and then an apple hit him in the head BONK! and OH! Gravity!

[13:17] herman Bergson: I find it just that brain found out such a concept

[13:17] herman Bergson: Beyond my comprehension

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): impressive dude for sure

[13:18] herman Bergson: All those men were impressive...

[13:18] herman Bergson: and there also were two women at the same level

[13:18] herman Bergson: Madame Dacier I mentioned...a philologist...

[13:19] herman Bergson: the other was the friend of Voltaire...a Marquise...Madam E....?

[13:19] herman Bergson: She was a mathematician...

[13:21] herman Bergson: Emilie de Chalet

[13:21] herman Bergson: Chatelet...sorry

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:22] herman Bergson: She did all kinds of experiments concerning kinetic energy...

[13:22] herman Bergson: She dropped lead ball in soft clay

[13:23] herman Bergson: and then she used the measure of displacement of the clay by the ball to calculate the energy it gained in its motion....

[13:23] herman Bergson: Just the thought of it to be able to think of that...

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats something

[13:24] herman Bergson: Those people were geniuses

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm'

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she must have learned to calculate somewhere

[13:24] herman Bergson: I still try to figure out what the feeling behind all their actions were....

[13:25] herman Bergson: oh yes...

[13:25] herman Bergson: I don't know here life story...

[13:26] herman Bergson: But what is so amazing is that in those years just a handful of brilliant minds shaped science....

[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did they communicate with each other?

[13:27] herman Bergson: Oh yes....a lot.....

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:27] herman Bergson: They exchanged many letters

[13:27] herman Bergson: how they did that without a postal service as we know it....I don't know :-)

[13:28] oola Neruda: is this in the same period as when Erasmus was active

[13:28] herman Bergson: But there was a lively exchange of information

[13:28] herman Bergson: no....

[13:28] oola Neruda: thinking of the church's view

[13:28] herman Bergson: He was born in 1466

[13:30] herman Bergson: I find it an exciting period in the history of thought

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure must have been

[13:30] herman Bergson: that the homo sapiens was driven to do all such things....

[13:31] herman Bergson: Never being satified with an answer....

[13:31] herman Bergson: Every answer implies new questions

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): will there ever bee an answer/

[13:32] oola Neruda: or a doing the experiment over again

[13:32] herman Bergson: not a final answer, no, I don't think so

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i guess this is what philosophy is about after all

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those new questions

[13:32] herman Bergson: It is Bejiita :-)

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:33] herman Bergson: Maybe we then should move on to the next lecture to find other answers :-)

[13:34] herman Bergson: In less you still have a question...?

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no not at the moment

[13:34] herman Bergson: If not...then...

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): moment

[13:34] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Let's

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): plupp!

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): great again

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this gets better and better

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as more patterns emerge

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just like with my game before

[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class!

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that AH now i know how to proceed