Since the time immemorial, the advancement in technology has been a common feature due to the human perception applied to the happenings in the surroundings. At the same time, the struggle for existence and survival of fittest theories proposed by Charles Darwin also explained the necessity of the human beings to excel in their world through advanced techniques in science and technology. If one analyses the invention of fire by the primitive man, it was only the conceptualization about the happenings and necessity for survival and application of reasoning techniques.
The same thing can be applied to other inventions like implements for hunting, clothing, domestication of plants and animals and improved techniques of agriculture. However, the human inventions attained momentum with the industrial revolution occurred in 18th Century in Europe. Several discoveries like steam engine helped in scientific revolution during this phase. Present scenario It is true that the scientific developments attained peak during 20th century with the introduction of computers and television.
More specifically, the invention of cell phone technology and internet has made the scientific revolution more intense and contributed remarkably to globalization. This has narrowed the gap in perception about different aspects among developed nations and developing nations. The developed nations had a wrong perception about the happenings in developing nations. However, with the internet revolution, the perception of developed nations about the developing nations has been changed and has become realized about the potential of weaker nations.
Specifically, Europe’s understanding about the rest of the universe has become more accurate with the recent scientific revolutions. Linkage between religion and science The scientific advancement will not occur separately, it will also lead to several other changes in political and religious spheres. Europe witnessed similar changes or transformations in political, cultural and religious fields. Initial inventions have been mainly contributed by scholars of excellent caliber with out taking significant assistance from the government agencies.
Though world acknowledges the major contribution of Western nations from the time of Copernicus and Galileo it was intervened that religion also played crucial role in scientific revolution. For example, historical developments such as the Protestant Reformation had direct linkage with the invention of printing, and the decline of feudalism reflecting the interlinking between the political, religious and scientific spheres.
It was also opined that the subsequent discoveries in the 17th and 18th centuries became increasingly acceptable to the public because they had become more directly applicable to the industrial and technological needs of European culture (Margaret C. Jacob, 1987). However, Jacob mainly concentrated on the relationship between science and religion and polity in England only but not in other European nations. At the same time, she couldn’t comment significantly on the contribution made by Catholics to modern scientific revolution.
Some relevant models: Warfare model suggests that the meaning of the terms science and religion can be regarded as unequivocal. The relation between the science and religion has been discussed on several platforms since time immemorial. For example, Galileo affair makes the discussion open for entire relationship between science and religion. Though it was felt that the rise of science and its triumph over religion, religion played significant role in bringing harmony in the society and it exerts a positive influence on the development of science.
Moreover, it is the religion which supplied the initial text material for the reasoning. For example, some of the ideas which gave rise to scientific inquiries had their base from religious text books like the Bible (Christianity) and the Bhagavadgita (Hinduism). In case of Europe, both Protestant and Catholic texts contributed a lot to think rationally about several aspects of human life and hence contributed enormously to the growth of the modern science. Harmony model as proposed by Robert S. Merton’s stated that religion or puritanism encouraged the practice of science in European nations like England.
Puritanism may be defined as comprising of all those radical protestants who wanted to reform the church but did not wish to separate from it (Christopher Hill, 1974). It was also intervened that non-logical notions with a transcendental reference will exert a considerable influence upon practical behavior and in this process puritanism or religion facilitated a new bridge between the transcendental and human action, giving positive relation between religion and scientific revolution (Robert K. Merton, 1970). For example, a particular branch of Islam encouraged the development of science in the medieval Muslim world. Mass, 1968).
One must remember the view expressed by Margaret C. Jacob (1987) that political developments in Europe experienced drastic change with the advancement of science. During 17th Century when industrial revolution started, Europe witnessed significant economic and political development. However, industrial revolution had its base from scientific inventions like steam engine and cotton ginning mills. This has also made Europe to attack other countries to get enough raw material like cotton and hence it preferred imperialism.
In this way, scientific revolution, religion and political developments were closely linked during this period in Europe. Similar situation exists now also here. Recent scientific advancements like internet and cellular technology made the Europe to know exactly about the lifestyle and culture of people living in other nations. Their earlier believes were proved wrong about the developing nations. Policy makers in Europe started seeing developing nations as opportunities in the form of newly emerged markets and have inclination to visit some historical spots.
In other words, Europe changed its diplomatic stand and opened trade according to the new regime of World Trade Organization and integrated well with the remaining world. In this way scientific revolution changed or transformed the outlook of Europe to the recent developments of the world. Several models or theories explained that cultivating religion will certainly have a positive influence on the development of science. It must be memorized that Puritanism motivated scientists like James Watson, John Wilkins, Isaac Newton, and John Ray, who contributed enormously to the scientific revolution in Europe.
Merton also proposed the relationship between the rise of capitalism in early modern Europe to Protestantism. In this way, Merton argued that Puritanism played a significant role in producing the modern world. Merton’s model got supported by the nineteenth-century racial theorist Alphonse de Candolle. However, debate continues on extent of influence of Protestantism and Catholicism on scientific revolution. Similarly, Christopher Hill also found a connection between Protestantism and modernity though with a slight modification.
He emphasized more on the influence of Marxism on the society and science than that of religion. He argued that the shift of the European society from agrarian type to urban and industrial types. It implies that religion related issues or theories worked as the historically salient activities which in turn contributed to the rise of ‘science’. In the words of Charles Webster (1975) a relationship very much exists between Puritanism and the development of the applied sciences like medicine and agriculture.
Certainly all these sub developments contributed significantly to the scientific revolution in Europe. During 17th Century, scholars like Margaret C. Jacob postulated the effect of religion on science and the political issues associated with the different branches of Protestantism in Europe. This led to scientific and political revolution in England and other European nations. The experimentation done by scientists like James watt and Isaac Newton helped directly or indirectly in synthesis of philosophy and modern science.
One interesting thing is that some sections of scientists who are of religious in nature claim that various presuppositions of modern science like empirical methods have been developed due to some particular confession. In other words, understanding of different branches of science like astronomy along with religion would make us better understand about God’s creation. It is highly accepted by present day scholars that there exists a strong compatability between Christianity and the study of natural philosophy and modern science.
It is true that few specific theories like conflict metaphor nor the harmony metaphor couldn’t support full relationship between the scientific revolution and religion and polity. However, when they are applied and interpreted together, they strongly prove that the positive relation exists between the religion and science in England (Richard S. Westfall. 1958). There was a heavy argumentation over the rationality of religions like Christianity and Islam and hence their contribution to reasoning and science was strongly questioned.
However, stalwart scientists like Newton too admitted that there existed some thing invisible beyond the boundaries of science in the form of religion. He advocated that majority scientific findings can be well linked to the basics of religions. One thing is certain that modern science has reformed the religions and superstitions and caused the benefit of human beings. Conclusion No doubt, science has resulted in advancement of technology in all spheres, but its foundation can be traced backed to text books of different religions.
It is universal in nature and hence Europe is no exception where technological advances occurred early than other parts of the world. Great scientists like Newton attributed the advancement of science in Europe with the religion directly or indirectly. Industrial revolution in 17th Century brought scientific revolution to a greater extent and was very much inspired from religious ideology. Several political developments in Europe in 18th Century have been influenced by the inventions like steam engine and led to imperialistic thoughts. Since then Europe marched towards imperialism.
Several models or theories explained the relevance of linking religion with the scientific revolution. Majority of them opined that science has made progress keeping its base from religion. Model proposed by Jacob discussed about the paradigm shifts in Europe in fields of religion and polity with the advancement of scientific inventions. However, with the recent advancement in internet and cellular phone technology, the communication about the happenings in all parts of the world are well known to the people in Europe. This has made dramatic shifts in the trade, diplomacy and tourism policies of European nations in general.