Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Top 10 The Most Influential Mediaeval European Scientists

By Tram Anh Feb 23, 2024

10 The Evolutionary Theory of Augustine

Because they take Genesis at face value, fundamentalist Christians deny evolution. However, the early church understood the Bible literally as well as metaphorically. Regarding the six days of creation, the preeminent theologian of that time, St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430), wrote. “Neither of those days should be compared to the ones controlled by the sun.” He was able to put forth a theistic version of evolution 1,400 years prior to Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species because of this.”All kinds of animals, plants, and trees are born and develop in time… each according to its nature,” Augustine mused, referring to the primordial seas. He mentions the “primordial seeds” that are the basis of all living things. “The tree surely did not spring forth suddenly (in a mature) size and form,” Augustine says, comparing human development to the steady expansion of a tree. God also planned for species to develop “their appropriate forms in due time,” rather than creating them all at once.Augustine had intuited a big scientific fact with nothing more than comparison and a dash of common sense.

9 Pope Francis, Scientist

Gerbert of Aurillac, a scientist from France who studied mathematics, geometry, and astronomy in Muslim Spain (d. 1003), became Pope Sylvester II in AD 999. After helping to popularize the use of Arabic numerals, Gerbert became the first known Christian to make mathematical calculations using them.Additionally, Gerbert had an interest in astronomy, and he used a sighting tube he constructed to track the stars and their locations in relation to the celestial coordinates. The auxiliary spheres that he created allowed for the identification of constellations and the orbits of the planets. He constructed a novel hydraulic organ out of brass pipes since he loved music so much. Last but not least, he built a mechanical watch while working as a clockmaker.The rumor circulated among his contemporaries that he studied magic in Spain; such was his genius. Regardless of the rumors, Gerbert was truly a Renaissance man ahead of his time.

8 A Monk in Flight

Born in 980, Eilmer of Malmesbury was not your average monk. In the year 1005, he achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the first pilot from Britain.Inspiring Eilmer to take flight was the tale of Daedalus. He jumped off the Wiltshire Abbey tower, which is 82 feet (25 meters) tall, and slid for around 650 feet (200 meters) until he fell. In spite of his survival, Eilmer suffered broken legs. He didn’t succeed because he had a tail, he learned later.According to current theories, Eilmer could not have glided the necessary distance without first launching into the southwest breeze. However, he would have landed precisely 650 feet (198 meters) away on Oliver’s Lane if he hadn’t had a tail.You can’t say that Eilmer’s flight was a complete bust. Inspiring countless more creative talents, he kept the hope of human flight alive.

7 The Sphere of Sacrobosco

Earth wasn’t flat in the medieval world. Its circumference was, in fact, quite precisely determined by the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes.The mediaeval Carl Sagan went by the names John of Hollywood (John de Sacrobosco) (1195-1256). Science was never more popularized than in his groundbreaking work on fundamental astronomy, The Sphere. For ages following his demise, it served as a reference for students. Among other things, it hammered home the points that prove the Earth is spherical, a concept that many people still struggle to understand in the modern day.John brought up the fact that as one travels around the world, the constellation patterns change and ships seem to vanish over the horizon. Like raindrops on a leaf, the waves “naturally seek a round shape,” as he put it in his writing. A film studio in Hollywood John’s writings would enlighten countless children about the mathematics and physics that underlie their observations of the natural world.

6. The Man Behind Rainbows

Before experimental science came along, the English Franciscan philosopher Roger Bacon (1220–1292) predicted its arrival. Not only was Bacon the first European to write about gunpowder, but he was also an astronomer and mathematics student. His ideas for flying machines, motorized ships, and automobiles were a century or more ahead of their time.Instead of depending on anecdotal assertions, Bacon argued that scientists should use the empirical method, which involves learning via experimentation. The preparation of instruments and the training of assistants cost Bacon a lot. He studied the properties of light through optics experiments using them. He used this information to create a device that could be used like a telescope. He has a pinhole camera that could project pictures. He once scared off some pupils by making history by simulating a natural phenomenon—a rainbow—in a lab by shining light through a glass bead.Bacon was, unsurprisingly, accused of sorcery due to his extensive knowledge, which may have resulted in his eventual condemnation and incarceration.

5 An Introduction to Zoology

Our Great Saint Albert: Who Was He?
Rather than zoology, mediaeval academics would have preferred fields with more direct relevance to everyday life. They took superstitious tales at face value or depended on Aristotle’s teachings when it came to animals. The boundary between fact and fiction become more porous in fantastic bestiaries. Albertus Magnus, a German theologian who lived from 1280 to 1281, was the first to learn about living things by observing them in nature.Taxonomy, anatomy, and diversity were among of the subjects covered in Albert’s De vegetabilibus et plantis and De animalibus. In an effort to establish a connection between form and function, Albert dissected animals. He distinguished between sociable and solitary animals and classified them according to their physiological capacities. This level of thorough exploration of the natural world has never been seen before.Word on the street was that he built an android, a sentient being that could converse and stand guard at his home, thanks to his extensive work in the study of life and other domains. Whether or whether this is the case, it is undeniable that Albert’s detailed accounts formed a significant portion of the framework for contemporary zoology.

4 Grossesteste’s Multiverse

An Old World Universe
Maybe the most representative idea of contemporary cosmology is the multiverse, the idea that there may be other universes apart from the one we now inhabit. Scientists were taken aback when they discovered that Robert Grosseteste, an English philosopher who lived from 1175 to 1253, was proposing a hypothesis of the Big Bang and several universes in a Latin work he wrote in 1225.The scientists found that the cosmos may have formed according to Grosseteste’s theory when they converted his ideas into mathematical equations and ran them through a computer. Everything from an initial Big Bang to the basic coupling of light and matter creating the universe to the nine concentric spheres of mediaeval cosmology—formed by the compression of matter radiating inward from the outer layer of the universe (like the shock wave of a supernova explosion)—were all part of this. Earth was formed from an incomplete deepest core.Grosseteste, like contemporary cosmologists, recognized that this type of universe could only have arisen under very particular circumstances; furthermore, he hinted that other, very distinct universes could have been produced under very different circumstances, suggesting the possibility of a multiverse. When asked about this, Durham University physicist Richard Bower gushed, “From a scientist’s perspective, I find I had previously completely underestimated the depth of logical argument in the Middle Ages.”

3 Problem with Perpetual Motion

Netta Schramm asks, “Why don’t perpetual motion machines ever work?”
A perpetual motion machine that generates unlimited, free energy defies both the first and second laws of thermodynamics, rendering it an unattainable ideal. Geniuses, nonetheless, persist in their endeavors despite this. Peter Peregrinus of Maricourt (d. 1240) was an example of a scientist who looked ahead. Peter, a French army engineer, laid the groundwork for William Gilbert’s subsequent work in magnetism and electricity through his experiments and examinations with magnets. In his groundbreaking book, Epistola de magnete, the oldest existing treatise on magnetism, Peter was the first to identify magnets as having poles and to explain their characteristics.Peter detailed a plethora of magnet-based gadgets. Among his innovations was an improvement to the compass that allowed sailors to ascertain not just their geographical location but also the direction of the sun, moon, and stars. An important factor in the upcoming Age of Discovery would be the new compass.Next, Peter brought up the idea of employing magnets to spin a wheel endlessly, which would solve the perpetual motion problem. He also detailed a system that might be used to attach a magnetic globe in a frictionless manner parallel to the celestial axis. Its daily rotation should be in lockstep with the orbit of the sun. With a celestial map inscribed on it, it might serve as both an accurate clock and an automatic armillary sphere for astronomical observations.These gadgets were obviously impossible to implement, but they did show potential applications for magnets.

2 The Laws of Motion by Burudan

Joshua Manley’s Bicycle and Newton’s Three Laws
There is no requirement for extraterrestrial intervention for the universe to function. For cosmology, this was the essence of Jean Buridan’s (1301–1358) law of impetus. It was a huge step forward in science, coming centuries before Galileo and Isaac Newton put out their theories of motion. Despite the fact that naturalistic scientists shared the belief of medieval Europeans that angels manipulated the celestial spheres.A moving object will keep moving indefinitely until some external force stops it, according to Buridan’s earlier statement, which was a forerunner of the law of inertia. A mover is only required to impart the starting velocity; the amount of impetus is directly proportional to the mass and speed of the moving object. For Buridan, the implication was clear: “Since the Holy Scriptures do not inform us that intelligences must be posited as the movers of celestial bodies,” therefore it would be unnecessary to posit them. One could argue that the heavenly spheres were already being pushed by God when He formed them. Since they are not subject to any opposition, the force that God gave them remains unchanged.Despite being superseded by the laws of inertia and momentum, Buridan’s theory still helped other thinkers see that the formerly distinct domains of planetary and astronomical motion were really subject to the same rules. The framework for Newton’s theory of gravity was already in place.[9]
prior to Copernicus, heliocentrism

1 Science vs. Religion: A Path Away from Ignorance, Stephanie Oresme

For medieval Christians, the idea that Earth is not the immutable galactic center was a heretical idea. In the 16th century, Copernicus would face condemnation for uttering those words. Philosopher and scientist Nicole Oresme (d.1382), however, predicted his ideas centuries earlier. According to Oresme, the Bible does not mean for us to take literally its references to a stationary world. The then-fanciful idea that Earth might be rotating on its axis was one that he gave his blessing to.All velocity is relative, according to Oresme, therefore the usual argument that an arrow shot straight up doesn’t fall farther westward doesn’t hold water. He clung to his conviction in a stationary world, letting his faith override his reason, despite the wonderful insight.However, his other achievements are unaffected by this setback. Naturalistic answers, rather than supernatural ones, were more appealing to Oresme, as they are to all excellent scientists. He expressed his belief that there is no need to resort to supernatural forces, like as devils or our beautiful God, to bring about these consequences. He went on to say that this was no different from how he directly brings about effects whose natural origins are known to us.He debunked astrology using the logic of irrational numbers. This was an area where he disagreed with the fervently religious King Charles V of France. Coming from a superstitious era, he had doubts about the supernatural and “marvelous” occurrences. Not only was Oresme the first to employ fractional exponents, but he also established coordinate geometry long before Descartes.

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