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Professor Keith Hutchison:
(Lecturer on the The Scientific Revolution, University of Melbourne): "They saw themselves as bringing the tools of reason into the areas previously reserved to faith"

Many of the greatest scientist throughout history seemed to take religion very seriously - including Galileo and Newton. Why? Aren't Science and Religion opposites? Isn't reason the antithesis of faith?

Topics discussed include
Newton's search for a "scientific theology" and his study of alchemy. His use of gravitation and the notion of action-at-a-distance as evidence of God's intervention. Galileo's crime. Why was he persecuted by the Church? His claim that there were two books of God - the bible and the natural world. Could he prove the Copernican view?

Aristotle's revival by Aquinas. Theories on why his non-supernatural ideas rose despite great opposition from the Church. His development of the notion of proof rather than belief through faith, tradition, mystical insight. Areas in which there seemed to be harmony between the Church and Science. Descarte's idea that the Universe is a giant machine + souls + God. Is it possible that the IDEA of a God or Grand Designer lead Scientists to try and discover the shape of that design?

Isaac Newton's Hidden Agenda of Mysticism and Alchemy
Brief and interesting article from the Wall Street Journal Bookshelf

The Galileo Project - A big range of resource on Galileo

Isaac Newton Links

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