What is modern science?

We explain what modern science is and how the Scientific Revolution emerged. In addition, what are its main characteristics.

  1. What is modern science?

Modern science is understood as the way of conceiving the world and the scientific knowledge that serves to describe it that was built in the West during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries , in what is commonly called the Scientific Revolution of the Renaissance.

Modern science is governed by fundamental principles whose appearance and demonstration meant a powerful renewal of the fields of chemistry , physics , astronomy , biology and human anatomy , under the idea that all phenomena of reality respond to an understandable theoretical formulation.

It could be said that the basis of contemporary science, with all its aspects and possibilities, is in this scientific renewal that occurred based on two stages: a first recovery of the philosophical and scientific legacy of classical antiquity, demonized by centuries of domination religious on the European mentality, and a second one of innovation and radical changes, whose best example is the replacement of the geocentric model of the universe proposed by Aristotle and defended by the Church, by the Heliocentric of Nicholas Copernicus.

It is considered that the Scientific Revolution has as its starting and closing point the publication of two great scientific works: De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (“On the movements of the celestial orbs”) by Nicolás Copernicus in 1543 and Principia mathematica philosophiae naturalis (“Principles mathematicians of natural philosophy ”) by Isaac Newton in 1687.

  1. Characteristics of modern science

Modern science is characterized by:

  • The scientific method . Formally postulated by René Descartes in the seventeenth century, the own method of science emerges as a form of research that separates scientific knowledge from tradition , authority and faith, allowing a direct and proper relationship with its objects of interest, in place of previous historical reasoning.
  • Empiricism . Similarly, science adopted empiricism, that is, the valuation of perceptible and reproducible experiences as a model of real-world knowledge, instead of sticking to isolated reasoning as was the case in ancient times.
  • Experimentation . The logical step in this scientific evolution was the experimental method, which proposed the reproduction in a controlled environment of a specific phenomenon of reality in order to determine how it occurs and what forces are involved in it, testing the beliefs through live demonstration of scientific theories.
  • Mathematicization . The mathematics is one of the oldest sciences in the world, and was always used by philosophers and naturalists; but as of the Scientific Revolution, they begin to be applied for the measurement of the phenomena existing in reality, considering the certainty they provided as the only one attainable by man, “equivalent to that of God,” Galileo Galilei would say.
  • The institutionalization . Modern Science emerged at that time takes the first steps towards its existence as an institution of human knowledge, separated from the traditional fields of philosophy , religion and literature , becoming a predominant role in the world to come.


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