Voyaging in Strange Seas: The Great Revolution in Science

Voyaging in Strange Seas: The Great Revolution in Science

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 0300173792

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In 1492 Columbus set out across the Atlantic; in 1776 American colonists declared their independence. Between these two events old authorities collapsed—Luther’s Reformation divided churches, and various discoveries revealed the ignorance of the ancient Greeks and Romans. A new, empirical worldview had arrived, focusing now on observation, experiment, and mathematical reasoning.
This engaging book takes us along on the great voyage of discovery that ushered in the modern age. David Knight, a distinguished historian of science, locates the Scientific Revolution in the great era of global oceanic voyages, which became both a spur to and a metaphor for scientific discovery. He introduces the well-known heroes of the story (Galileo, Newton, Linnaeus) as well as lesser-recognized officers of scientific societies, printers and booksellers who turned scientific discovery into public knowledge, and editors who invented the scientific journal. Knight looks at a striking array of topics, from better maps to more accurate clocks, from a boom in printing to medical advancements. He portrays science and religion as engaged with each other rather than in constant conflict; in fact, science was often perceived as a way to uncover and celebrate God’s mysteries and laws. Populated with interesting characters, enriched with fascinating anecdotes, and built upon an acute understanding of the era, this book tells a story as thrilling as any in human history.

Monarchy: From the Middle Ages to Modernity

Ruthless Romans (Horrible Histories)

Miracle at Midway

Virtual History: Alternatives And Counterfactuals

A Little History of the United States
















paid both royalties and the printing costs of part two, and so on, and when the work was complete the purchaser would arrange the parts as advised or in accordance with his or her taste and have them bound. Although printing techniques changed little, and Benjamin Franklin's training would have been very like Plantin's, texts printed in the eighteenth century look to modern eyes much more familiar and elegant than earlier ones. Outside Germany, blackletter fonts modelled upon scribal conventions

inhabitants, his book was an object of suspicion among the religiously orthodox, though this did not diminish its popularity. The sixth English edition, of 1737, based on Behn's and three other translations, advised caution in theorising (those who have seen a galumphing elephant may disagree about the metaphor): In case of new Discoveries, we should not be too importunate in our Reasonings, tho’ we are always fond enough to do it; and your true Philosophers are like Elephants, who as they go,

resource, and when, in 1771, Richard Arkwright (1732–92) set up the first textile mill, it was water-powered like numerous small-scale mills involved in grinding corn, fulling cloth and pumping. Especially in the Netherlands and East Anglia, windmills did these jobs, as they had for centuries, attaining several horsepower on breezy days; but both wind and water power depended upon the weather, and were thus unreliable for large-scale industry. Otherwise, apart from pumping with Newcomen engines,

carrying impulses up to the brain, and animal spirits coming down to inflate the muscles appropriately. By contrast, we had the pineal gland in the brain, where the soul (the ‘ghost in the machine’) could exercise free choice about our actions. Descartes accepted William Harvey's (1578–1657) work on the circulation of the blood (see below, Chapter 8), but where Harvey made the heart a pump, Descartes made it a pan. Blood entering the hot heart boiled over and bubbled up through the arteries: the

merchant and city official. He spoke and read only Dutch. The Leiden-trained physician Regnier de Graaf (1641–73), working in Delft and interested in generation, was impressed by Leeuwenhoek's work and shortly before he died he wrote about it to Oldenburg. The latter contacted Leeuwenhoek and translated and published his replies. The observations reported by this provincial tradesman seemed almost incredible, but were duly confirmed by Hooke and demonstrated to the Royal Society in 1677. In 1680

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