Let’s Learn More About the Scientific Revolution!

Global History and Geography I Name: ______

E. Napp Date: ______


1-What is the church leader’s reaction to Galileo’s discovery? ______

2-Why do you think the church leader reacts negatively to Galileo’s discovery? ______

A Primary Source: Galileo

Galileo Discovers the Moons of Jupiter(1610)
Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642) the gifted and extremely curious Italian scientist, made great use of the telescope to discover such unsettling things as the irregularities of the moon's surface; it was believed at the time to be perfectly smooth, a belief which conformed to Catholic dogma. Moreover, Galileo's observations with the telescope led him to the conclusion that Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) was right: the earth did indeed orbit around the sun and not vice versa. Such a viewpoint cast great doubt on the accepted natural philosophy (first believed by Aristotle) of a geocentric universe and thus of human beings' centrality in the universe. Thus the conflict between religion and science in the seventeenth century was begun.


1: Who was Galileo Galilei? ______

2: What did Galileo discover with his telescope? ______

3: What did church officials believe about the moon’s surface? ______

4: What did Galileo and Copernicus believe? ______

5: Did church leaders believe that the earth or the sun was the center? ______

In this excerpt Galileo describes his discovery of the moons of Jupiter from January to March, 1610.

Primary Source:

On the seventh day of January in this present year 1610, at the first hour of night, when I was viewing the heavenly bodies with a telescope, Jupiter presented itself to me; and because I had prepared a very excellent instrument for myself, I perceived … that beside the planet there were three stars, small indeed, but very bright. Though I believed them to be among the host of fixed stars, they aroused my curiosity somewhat by appearing to lie in an exact straight line parallel to the ecliptic, and by their being more splendid than others of their size. Their arrangement with respect to Jupiter and each other was the following:
East * * O * West
that is, there were two stars on the eastern side and one to the west...on January eighth - led by what, I do not know - I found a very different arrangement. The three stars were now all to the west of Jupiter, closer together, and at equal intervals from one another as shown in the following sketch:
East O * * * West
At this time, though I did not yet turn my attention to the way the stars had come together, I began to concern myself with the question how Jupiter could be east of all these stars when on the previous day it had been west of two of them....
On the tenth of January, however, the stars appeared in this position with respect to Jupiter:
East * * O West
...I had now decided beyond all question that there existed in the heavens three stars wandering about Jupiter as do Venus and Mercury about the sun, and this became plainer than daylight from observations on similar occasions which followed. Nor were there just three such stars; … But now we have not just one planet rotating about another while both run through a great orbit around the sun; our own eyes show us four stars which wander around Jupiter as does the moon around the earth, while all together trace out a grand revolution about the sun in the space of twelve years....

Source: Stilman Drake, ed., Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1957), 51-57.


1: What did Galileo discovery rotating around Jupiter?


2: How did Galileo know that they were rotating around Jupiter? ______

3: How does scientific observation differ from religious thinking? ______

More Questions to Consider

  • One of the hallmarks of the Scientific Revolution was the establishment of the scientific method of inquiry. How does Galileo's notebook description of his observations help to establish the scientific method? ______
  • How does Galileo's discovery challenge existing scientific and religious beliefs? ______

Francis Bacon, Galileo, and Isaac Newton promoted the idea that knowledge should be based on

  1. the experiences of past civilizations
  2. experimentation and observation
  3. emotions and feelings
  4. the teachings of the Catholic Church

During the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, one similarity in the work of many scientists and philosophers was that they

  1. relied heavily on the ideas of medieval thinkers
  2. favored an absolute monarchy as a way of improving economic conditions
  3. received support from the Catholic Church
  4. examined natural laws governing the universe

Which statement best describes the effects of the works of Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, and René Descartes?

  1. The acceptance of traditional authority was strengthened.
  2. The scientific method was used to solve problems.
  3. Funding to education was increased by the English government.
  4. Interest in Greek and Roman drama was renewed.

The Scientific Method

The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.

The steps of the scientific method are to:

  1. Ask a Question
  2. Do Background Research
  3. Construct a Hypothesis
  4. Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  5. Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion

Communicate Your Results

It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. A "fair test" occurs when you change only one factor (variable) and keep all other conditions the same.


1-It has been said that science is observation and experimentation. What steps in the Scientific Method support this statement? ______

2-How does the Scientific Method differ from religious thinking? ______

3-Provide an example of a hypothesis: ______

Word Bank:

Renaissance, Greeks, Scientific, Galileo, Copernicus, Heliocentric, Geocentric, Catholic, Newton

Why Science Matters?


1-What does Calvin want to know? ______

2-Explain his father’s answer. ______

3-Is his father correct? ______

4-So, why does science matter? ______