Science in the 17th Century

SCIENTISTS

The word scientist was coined in 1840. But the 17th century is revered among scientists as an age of great discovery. This is the century of Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Pascal, Descartes, and Newton.

The 17th century saw the rise of those we now call scientists. They called themselves natural philosophers. These men caused a profound change in the culture, outlook, and lives of human beings.

Everything is like clockwork. The universe is a machine, as is the human body. Harvey discovered that the human heart is a pump that circulates the blood; Paracelsus that the human body is a vessel of chemical reactions, affected by plants and minerals; Pare that blood vessels should be tied during amputation to prevent the patient from bleeding to death. The use of arithmetic on paper led to the invention of decimals and calculus.

KEPLER'S LAW OF PLANETARY MOTION
KEPLER'S LAW OF PLANETARY MOTION
17TH CENTURY VENICE
17TH CENTURY VENICE
17 CENTURY PARIS
17 CENTURY PARIS
THE ACADEMIE OF SCIENCE IN PARIS, 17TH CENTURY
THE ACADEMIE OF SCIENCE IN PARIS, 17TH CENTURY
17TH CENTURY AMSTERDAM
17TH CENTURY AMSTERDAM

SCIENTISTS

Scientists came to be regarded as those who really know about reality.  They caused a split between human experience and scientific fact.  The chief idea is that matter is a uniform, invisible substance that underlies all appearances. So things are not what they seem.

But pure science should not receive more than its due. Technology often preceded science—things were often invented that worked before a scientist could explain why they worked.  Inventions, like literature and fine art, often appear and only later can people explain what they mean and how they work.  And lest we overlook it: applied science—engineering—is a vital part of human progress. 

Palladio had invented the truss in the 16th century, which proved to be of enormous consequence to the architecture, buildings, bridges, and canals of the 17th century.   In the 17th century, we see the invention of the telescope and microscope, as well as far superior clocks, and the liquid compass. 

The use of mathematics and geometry by science followed the use of them by artists and architects.  Science was influenced greatly by merchants who had demonstrated the importance of attention to small details, and the use of mathematics to explain business through the new double-entry bookkeeping system. 

International trade was the result of capitalism, with its use of credit, insurance and accounting.  This trade led to the exchange of scientific ideas in wide areas of Christendom.  Before this, alchemists guarded their discoveries as secrets that brought them glory and profits they did not want to share.  In the 17th century, men of science went the opposite way, having learned from Francis Bacon that scientific truths are discovered bit by bit; that mutual review and correction helps further progress for all. 

It was the invention of the printing press that freed men to discover and expand their scientific knowledge—not the breaking of some chains imposed by the Church.  Before the printing press, hand copied books were simply so expensive and valuable that the few libraries in existence needed to chain their books down to keep them from being stolen.  You could only read a book in the library.  As books became plentiful, libraries allowed people to check them out and take them home for extensive study.  And the size of libraries expanded dramatically as books became cheaper to print and a wider range of them became available. 

Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy in 1621.  This influential book posited that lack of affection in childhood might so warp the character that the person could never feel proper love for himself or others. 

The highest decoration awarded by French kings was the Saint-Espirit—the Holy Ghost (who is both spiritual and intellectual).  The German word for spirit is Geist.  Thus the spirit of the age is Zeitgeist.  But I digress.

RENE DESCARTES IN 1648 (PAINTING BY FRANS HALS)
RENE DESCARTES IN 1648 (PAINTING BY FRANS HALS)
CARTESIAN COORDINATES
CARTESIAN COORDINATES

RENE DESCARTES

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) said: "I think, therefore I am." He revolutionized philosophy; and is called the "Father of Modern Philosophy." He revolutionized mathematics; and invented analytical geometry. Descartes invented a system of coordinates that is still in use today for graphs, charts, and computer graphics.

Rene Descartes was born in Brittany. His father was a lawyer and Member of Parliament; his mother died when Rene Descartes was only one year old. The only child of Rene Descartes—a daughter—would die at the age of five after she contracted scarlet fever.

Rene Descartes was educated by the Jesuits, and then became a soldier. He was a devout Catholic, but he permanently moved to the Netherlands in 1628 because the religious freedom there made the Dutch more open to new ideas than in Catholic France.

Rene Descartes posited that while matter occupies space, the mind is impalpable. He wrote that only human beings have minds. And that the mind interacts with the body through the Pineal Gland, which he deemed "The Seat of the Soul."

Rene Descartes stated that the physical world was made up of invisible particles in motion. He believed that all knowledge could be unified through mathematics. Things should be subject to human analysis—"breaking down" in Greek. But science and numbers are not the only truth;  and the senses are limited. There are also revelation, intuition, impulse—the mind and the heart. Wisdom lies in knowing the place and limits of all these.

Rene Descartes reasoned that God is perfect and infinite. Therefore, the finite, imperfect mind of man could not have dreamed Him up out of thin air. God created man and endowed him with both matter and mind, which are the distinct constituents of reality.

Rene Descartes went to Sweden to teach Queen Christina during the winter. He stayed in an icy palace, caught pneumonia, and passed away.

SIMON STEVIN
SIMON STEVIN
SIMON STEVIN
SIMON STEVIN

SIMON STEVIN

Simon Stevin (1548-1620) was Flemish. He published Table of Interest Rates in 1582, which may seem common to us but to people in his time interest rates were mysterious and understood only by bankers, who kept them secret and guarded them as valuable property.

But, the greatest invention of Simon Stevin was the metric system, which introduced the word "decimal" into our language in 1608. Simon Stevin demonstrated in his booklet The Tenth how his system would simplify math for merchants and their customers; for bankers and their borrowers. He suggested the decimal system be used for all weights and measures and coinage, as well as divisions of time and degrees of the arc of a circle. Stevin showed the advantage of using decimals for surveying, measuring cloth and wine casks, for the work of astronomers and mint masters. He went so far as to recommend soldiers be grouped in 10s, 100s, 1000s, and so on.

Simon Stevin wanted to make mathematics the Latin of the scientific community, so that, like Latin, it would overleap vernacular barriers. Simon Stevin put forth a convincing case that his system would universalize measurements worldwide, facilitate trade, and provide a common method of calculation and measurement for science.

The measurements of the day were mostly based on body parts. Among these, the "cubit" is the space between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger; the "fathom" the distance between the outstretched arms. Then there was the "furlong," established on the average length of a furrow: 220 yards. That is the reason that a mile is 5,280 feet: It is eight furlongs.

In the 19th century, the French would implement the basic idea of Simon Stevin, by establishing the "meter" (from the Greek word for measure) as one-ten-millionth of the distance from the Equator to the North Pole; with all other distances smaller or larger based on the meter expressed in multiples of ten.

JOHANNES KEPLER IN 1610
JOHANNES KEPLER IN 1610
TEN EURO SILVER COIN OF JOHANNES KEPLER
TEN EURO SILVER COIN OF JOHANNES KEPLER

JOHANNES KEPLER

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) lived in a time when astronomy and astrology were conjoined. He is most famous for his eponymous Laws of Planetary Motion, which he called "Celestial Physics."  The modern era of astronomy dates from the publication of this work. 

Johannes Kepler, born in Germany, was a devout Christian (a passionate Lutheran) who was motivated to study science by his belief that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light God granted human beings: the power to reason. 

Johannes Kepler believed that the world was created by a Creator who used geometry to establish order and harmony, and that this harmony could be explained through musical terms.  He wrote that he revealed God's geometrical plan for the universe. 

Theology was the first love of Johannes Kepler.  He savored the delights of the heavenly salad and went in search of God's recipe.  He wrote:  "I believe Divine Providence intervened so that by chance I obtained what I could never obtain by my own efforts. I believe this all the more because I have constantly prayed to God that I might succeed."

The mentor to Kepler, Tycho Brahe, bequeathed the voluminous records of his research (on his deathbed) to Kepler.  These documents were to provide the foundation Kepler used to prove that the planets orbit the sun in ellipses, and that the speed of the planets depends upon their distance from the sun. 

The father of Johannes Kepler was a mercenary who left the family when Johannes was five years old.  The mother of Johannes Kepler once served a fourteen month prison term for practicing witchcraft.  Johannes Kepler authored his own epitaph:   "I measured the skies, now the shadows I measure; Skybound was the mind, earthbound the body rests."

SANTORIO
SANTORIO

SANTORIO

Santorio Santorio (1561-1636) was born of a wealthy and noble family in Venice.

Santorio founded the modern science of metabolism—the study of transformations that are the processes of life.

Santorio invented the first machine to measure the pulse; and the first medical thermometer.

Santorio also explained the process of perspiration; and invented the waterbed.

THE SUBMARINE OF CORNELIUS DREBBEL
THE SUBMARINE OF CORNELIUS DREBBEL

CORNELIUS DREBBEL

Cornelius Drebbel (1572-1633) was a Dutch illusionist and opera designer.  He also may be the greatest inventor you have never heard of.  

Cornelius Drebbel invented the first navigable submarine; the mercury thermometer; the thermostat; the air-conditioner; and a perpetual-motion machine.  

Cornelius Drebbel moved to England when he was 32 years old, and there he remained for the rest of his days.  His submarine was tested by King James I of England, which makes him the first monarch to travel underwater.  

Cornelius Drebbel also built microscopes and telescopes, and is credited with making great improvements to both.

MARIN MERSENNE
MARIN MERSENNE

MARIN MERSENNE

Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) is the very model of the new man of science we find in 17th century Christendom.  He is mostly known today as the "Father of Acoustics." 

Marin Mersenne attended Jesuit schools before he studied theology at the Sorbonne in Paris.  He then joined the Franciscan Order of Minims.   The personal charm of Marin Mersenne made his monastery the center for science in Paris; and he helped make Paris the intellectual center of Europe. 

The work of Marin Mersenne is primarily about music theory and musical instruments.  More important in the history of science is that he was at the center of a network of mathematicians dedicated to the exchange of ideas, discoveries, and knowledge.  

Marin Mersenne believed the discoveries of science confirmed the truths of the Christian faith.  The Montmor Academy was founded in 1657, also in Paris, with the express purpose to discover "the clearer knowledge of the works of God."

DRAWINGS OF LOCOMOTION BY GIOVANNI BORELLI
DRAWINGS OF LOCOMOTION BY GIOVANNI BORELLI

GIOVANNI BORELLI

Giovanni Borelli (1608-1679) was a physicist and mathematician from Naples, whose chief work focused on the movements of living creatures.

Giovanni Borelli discovered the physics involved in the movements of the limbs while lifting, walking, running, jumping, and skating—locomotion.

Giovanni Borelli went on to explain that the same laws of physics applied to the movements in animals of their wings, fins, and legs.

In 1681, Giovanni Borelli published his great book On the Movement of Animals.

Giovanni Borelli is considered the "Father of biomechanics," the science of animal movements.

TOMB OF MARCELLO MALPIGHI IN BOLOGNA, ITALY
TOMB OF MARCELLO MALPIGHI IN BOLOGNA, ITALY

MARCELLO MALPIGHI

Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) of Bologna, Italy is the founder of microscopic anatomy.

Marcello Malpighi was a doctor who also taught medicine.

Marcello Malpighi is the man who discovered the structure and function of our lungs—the process of respiration: to replenish the blood with oxygen.

Marcello Malpighi discovered capillaries, and revealed that they connect the arteries to the veins.

Marcello Malpighi also discovered the taste buds on our tongues, the pigmentary layer of our skin, and that the brain is an organ.

QUEEN CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN
QUEEN CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN
QUEEN CHRISTINA THROWS A PARTY
QUEEN CHRISTINA THROWS A PARTY

QUEEN CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689) was a virgin queen who loved political intrigue. At birth she was covered with hair, and so was at first mistaken for a boy. She later said that she thanked God she was born with a man's soul in a woman's body.

Queen Christina was uncommonly strong, loved to ride unruly horses, and was an avid hunter. She viewed women with contempt.

Christina became the queen at the age of six when her father the King was killed in battle. Her father had commanded that she be brought up as a prince, not a princess. At her coronation, she took the oath of a King, not that of a Queen.

The Sweden of Christina's day ruled the Baltic region. She was a Lutheran who spoke five languages including Latin. Queen Christina became a great patron of science. Pascal dedicated his invention of the calculating machine to her.

Queen Christina of Sweden gave up her throne at the age of 28—so she could convert to Catholicism—and moved to Rome. The papal city was alive with poets, musicians, thinkers, and talkers.

Christina was given a wing at the Vatican to live in. She made the rounds of elegant dinners, dances, plays, masques, ballets, and conversations. Christina befriended the great baroque sculptor and architect Bernini. She also founded three academies for the arts and sciences. Christina was the most famous woman in all the world during her lifetime.

A LADY SAYS GOODBYE TO HER KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR
A LADY SAYS GOODBYE TO HER KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR
A KNIGHT AND HIS LADY
A KNIGHT AND HIS LADY
TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (PAINTING BY MARC FISHMAN)
TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (PAINTING BY MARC FISHMAN)

I DIGRESS

The terms" Middle Ages" and "Medieval" were first used in the 17th century.  The idea was that "modern" men were proud of their discoveries and progress and thus wished to set themselves apart from the previous "centuries of ignorance." 

Truthfully, there have always been learned men and remarkable discoveries.  Look at the awesome workmanship, sound design, and solidity that is obvious in the bridges, houses, and churches built in the Middle Ages.  We cannot today duplicate the carvings, stone dressings, and stained glass with all of our "progress." 

It is in vogue today to talk of olden times as oppressive to women.  That would have been a surprise to them.  Women ruled kingdoms, duchies, and counties long before modernity.  They also managed huge households and sprawling estates.  And they were worshiped by men—hence the wonderful history of poetry about women in Christendom.  A lot of propaganda has been marketed by feminists in their pursuit of the destruction of Western Civilization. 

The Middle Ages gave us chivalry—and notions of honor.  Modern romantic love still uses Medieval terms derived from the Christian faith to address the objects of our love: You are my angel; you are divine; when I am with you I am in heaven. 

Women were put on a pedestal by most men in Christendom.  Men were physically strong, very well armed, and there were no police in those days.  If mistreating women was the aim of men why is there no record of routine rape of women in Christendom?  Men of the Middle Ages certainly could have raped and killed women at will.  I dare say that women are more objectified today than they were then.  They were respected and their unique qualities widely admired and lauded.  To suppose that since antiquity women have been uniformly oppressed, and treated as chattel by their husbands, is utter nonsense that truly diminishes womanhood by negating their innate powers of intelligence, self-respect, and resourcefulness. 

SOURCES AND OTHER HUBS

My sources include: The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin; From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun; and Europe by Norman Davies.

It is obvious that this Hub is missing Galileo; Pascal; Newton; and those English lads in the Invisible College, or Royal Society of London. That is because I have given them their own Hubs so as to keep this one shorter for the MTV generation.

Below are links to a few Hubs I have published that may hold some interest for you:

Christendom in the year 1250 has sections about the Inquisition; the Teutonic Knights; the final Crusades; the Cathars; and a brief bio of St. Louis, King of France.

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Comments 86 comments

Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

James,

I am not worthy...The power of my mind as compared to the work you produce is but an infinitesimal inkling brewing in brine upon your book shelf.

Outstanding read...God Bless


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Great hub, I shall reread it to gain more insight into science from an older point of view. Interesting how science and religion inter twined, sometimes for good and sometimes not. Bet you enjoyed writing this! Thanks for the education James!


BDazzler profile image

BDazzler 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

OK, James three things: 1. Bacon ... I like mine not quite crispy.

2. I've heard of immersing yourself in the King James but didn't realize King James was a baptist ... or at least a recipient of immersion.

3. Enjoyed the hub!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you James for a ll the valuable education a nd knowledge about science, I really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


"Quill" 5 years ago

Well done James as always... impressive the research you put into your Hubs... lessons to be learned for us all.

Blessings and Hugs


ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 5 years ago from Corona, California

James, another fantastic hub on history. I never heard of most of the scientists you mention here.

Since I am not well-versed in the societal norms of the Middle Ages, I cannot refute what you say about the general view of women in the Middle Ages. It is good to hear that women were revered in the Middle Ages. Although, I think just because incidents of rape were not recorded does not have to mean that it did not occur or was not prevalent. In our own society, something like less than 10% of rapes are ever reported. Just a thought.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

I'd never heard of Queen Christina before. You always educate me. Thanks.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA

Once again reading your hub always teaches me something. Science is so fun to explore. Good job. Keep it up.


Tim_511 profile image

Tim_511 5 years ago from Huntington, WV

Great job! I definitely learned a bit from you!


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

And if you would seek truth, you must question everything............( paraphrasing Descartes)......

you really are a history buff, aren't you :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jason R. Manning— Thank you for being my first visitor! And you win the award for the best comment I have received in many moons. I sincerely appreciate your gracious accolades, my friend. How poetic you wax!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Gypsy Willow— I really like your screen name. :)

It was a pleasure to put this together. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to read it. And you are welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

BDazzler— You are quite the wit tonight! I enjoyed your reference to the Baptism of King James. :D

It is always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

James, this was a delight! Even the digression was a beautiful, thought-provoking discussion.

It is such a shame that today, some scientists have risen to such arrogance that they are not willing to look anymore -- one calling God a "delusion." Yet, scientists (natural philosophers) back then were so much more humble (not perfectly so, mind you).

I think the original aim of "skepticism" as a scientific paradigm was that of restraint or humility in the pursuit of "truth." Ego has perverted this tool. Skepticism all too frequently is a dismissal without due process, rather than an aid to the quest. Too frequently, skepticism descends into self-indulgent ridicule, and then everyone loses.

The ideas and inventions of these 17th century geniuses seem simple and obvious to us, today. But it's hard to imagine not having these concepts -- the decimal, mathematics, and even Kepler's eliptical orbits.

I remember reading somewhere in the words of Descartes, "dieu en moi" (God in me). Ego would certainly love to take the credit for everything the Holy Spirit produces, but ego is only a vulnerable, physical universe construct, like the body. The real children of God (the invulnerable true self within) has a font of infinite wisdom at its command.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 5 years ago

You did a marvelous job..indeed Paracelsus said that...

I will come back to this James. Where did you get the picture of Tristan and Isolde?

Thanks so much.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi James - thanks for this round-up of former greats. Just for the record, Drebbel's 'perpetual motion' machines were driven by harnessing gradual changes in air pressure in much the same way as a barometer converts pressure change to movement. But they must have seemed magic to most onlookers of his day.

Quite a few names I'd never heard before. Very interesting.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Very interesting Hub on science in the 17th century James, and thank you for introducing me to some pioneer scientists that I had never heard of before.


DavePrice profile image

DavePrice 5 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

Science has left its first love, that of discovering God's creation. I think the church has suffered loss as well. The church was the source for and the inspiration of the greatest scientists and artists the world has known - it is a divorce we have all suffered for. Thank you for your writing, it is always a unique pleasure to read.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

creativeone59— You are welcome, Benny Faye. I am glad you enjoyed it. I thank you for visiting my Hub and leaving your warm words.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

"Quill"— Thank you for your gracious compliments. I appreciate the blessings and hugs as well. It is always uplifting to hear your voice.


Gerry Hiles profile image

Gerry Hiles 5 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

Well done James.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

ecoggins— Thank you for the compliments, friend. I am sure that rape has always been underreported. And there have always been men willing to defend to the death their women and families.

I appreciate your perspective. I'm glad you came by.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

suziecat7— How good to see you here. You are welcome. It was rumored that Queen Christina was a hermaphrodite. But that is probably unfounded. Thanks for coming!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Fullerman5000— I am well pleased that you find this fun and educational, my friend. Thank you for saying so.


Gerry Hiles profile image

Gerry Hiles 5 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

I defer to you incidentally and have not opened a new Hub lately, whilst I think on what to do.

Currently I am revisiting Plato/Socrates, thinking again about Descartes, thinking again about Hume and Kant.


partisan patriot 5 years ago

James

Science seems to be much like Politics; you stated; “things were often invented that worked before a scientist could explain why they worked.” It seemed Barrack Hussein Obama had to be elected and begin implementing Socialism before the American People finally woke up and recognize a known fact from its’ inception, Socialism under any name or form sucks the life blood out of any society and is Pure Incarnate Evil!

You further corroborate another great undeniable truth (paraphtasing here from another paragraph); capitalism helps further progress for all!

Another great informative hub my friend!


Gerry Hiles profile image

Gerry Hiles 5 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

At the risk of pushing my own agenda I post this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

My brother is a scientist, microbiologist and head chair at UC, Davis. He researches nematodes. I need to email him with your read. Our mother worries about his scientific predilection and subsequent views on faith and religion.

Chivalry, which looks nice on the surface, seems to be another way of compartmentalizing women through patronizing them. Kind of like patting them on the head, "you be a nice girl and I'll treat you like a human being". I prefer the truth in a civil manner.

Your writing and composition takes what was a dry, seemingly irrelevant subject in grade school, to the level of fascinating. I always "think", re-read, refer back to and "re-think" through your writings. I always learn something. Thank you


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James,

Thank you for this Hub on the fathers of modern science. I find it interesting that they were often men of faith and thus contradicting the popular belief that science and love of God don't mix!!!!!!!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tim_511— Thank you! Thank you very much. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

onegoodwoman— I am a history buff and have been all my life since I learned to read. Good paraphrase!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

lone77star— I am glad you enjoyed my digression. Not sure where it came from but all of a sudden it was just there.

I like this that you wrote:

"scientists (natural philosophers) back then were so much more humble"

No doubt about that.

And you wrote this beauteous thing:

"Ego would certainly love to take the credit for everything the Holy Spirit produces, but ego is only a vulnerable, physical universe construct, like the body. The real children of God (the invulnerable true self within) [have] a font of infinite wisdom at its command."

Amen!

Thank you very much for your erudite post. I love it!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

msorensson— That is exquisite painting is by Marc Fishman. Here is a link to his page:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10738780583

You are welcome. Thank you very much for coming!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Paraglider— You are welcome. Great to see you, old chap. Thank you for coming to visit. I appreciate the explanation of Drebbel's Perpetual Motion Machine. I had not investigated how it worked. It was good of you to add that in your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

CMHypno— It is good to hear from you again. I am glad you found this interesting. Thank you and you are welcome.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

You are hereby awarded Chair of the History Department at Fokk University. With your guidance and historical perspective our esteemed university could soar to the heights of greatness. You make history come alive.

Please accept and we shall even arrange a modicum of compensatory payment. A pittance, to be sure, but far more than any other member of academe at Fokk U.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Very interesting and thoroughly researched piece of writing. Thanks James - another education indeed!

Love and peace

Tony


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

Another wonderful, educational and truly worthwhile article. I simply must say 'Thank you' :-)


singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 5 years ago

And another excellent History lesson in Professor James Hub 101 class. Wow, so interesting and so much I had forgot or didn't know. Thank you once again!!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

James, I must say, " I learned so much from reading your hub"Isn,t it strange, men accomplished so much way back then? Thank you for sharing this well written article.

God Bless


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

You have done a great job, James. Again and again. I never get bored to read entire this hub. I thought history is always the best. This is part of our life in the past. I love to learn from you. Vote up as usual.

Blessing and hugs,


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

DavePrice— You are welcome. Thank you for your incredible comments. They bear repeating:

"Science has left its first love, that of discovering God's creation. I think the church has suffered loss as well. The church was the source for and the inspiration of the greatest scientists and artists the world has known"


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Gerry Hiles— Thank you for visiting my Hub. I appreciate your thoughts, compliments, and the link you provided to Socrates. "A life unexamined is not worth living."


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Partisan Patriot— Thank you, my friend, for your insightful remarks. I appreciate you reading my work, and your gracious laudations. I agree with your ideas. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Amy Becherer— I must confess I didn't know what a nematode was. So, I looked it up. :-)

I appreciate your point of view regarding Chivalry.

Your last paragraph is gratifying to read. Thank you so much for expressing this. After reading your comments, I think I have done my job. I appreciate your encouragement and the inspiration you have provided to me.


fred allen profile image

fred allen 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Amazing! I must admit that when I read the title, I wasn't sure this hub would be of interest to me. I was wrong. Glad I took the time to read it!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth— You are welcome. These men were important in the history of science and each of them was also a devout Christian—something they don't tell our kids in school. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

drbj— I am greatly honored to receive this invitation to your fine university. It will be my privilege to shower knowledge and wisdom upon your students. I accept.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

tonymac04— You are welcome, Tony. Thank you for reading my Hub. I am grateful for your kind compliments. I wish love and peace for you, brother.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

De Greek— You are most welcome, my friend. Thank you for your gracious words.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

singlmomat52— I do loves me some history. Only a couple more and I'm going to move on to other subjects. I came upon this material by accident and was compelled to share bits of it that I found most interesting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

always exploring— I appreciate your compliments, dear. Yes, these men are highly accomplished. No wasted lives here. Thank you for reading my work. And you are welcome.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Very interesting.

My favorites were Johannes Kepler who believed that science confirmed biblical truth and Queen Christina was a fascinating character.

The art, architecture, and scientific discoveries or this era really were remarkable.

Also enjoyed reading about the attitude towards women of that time.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

prasetio30— Every time you write to me I am encouraged and inspired, my friend. I love history.

I appreciate the visit, the compliments, the vote up, the hugs, and the blessings.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Hello, James, and is there anything else I can write which wouldn't a duplicate. No there isn't. I only can agree with all the praises and appreciation which have been written all along and a sincere thank you for the pleasure to read.


ama83 profile image

ama83 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

Great history lesson, here. I always found my science classes fascinating, though I was never very good at them. It always intrigued me how well-balanced our entire universe is, which always made me think how this was proof of having a creator. How else could everything be perfectly made if it weren't for Him? :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

fred allen— I am glad you took the time to read it, too, my friend. I am not a science buff by any means. Actually, I was reading about the history of Christianity when these names popped up. Their stories were compelling and I wanted to share them. In a truncated form, of course. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tamarajo— It really was a time of tremendous discoveries. I enjoyed the research and the writing of this piece. I am glad you found it interesting. Thank you for saying so.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,— You are quite welcome. I never tire of reading words of praise for my work. :D

Thank you for visiting me. I appreciate your accolades.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

ama83— Well I surely agree with you. The mathematical odds of this machine of a universe just appearing out of thin air all by itself include so many zeros there is no space for them here. Thank you for your insightful remarks. I appreciate the support.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

James, this is your another outstanding hub involving the history of the past. We, the people of the globe understand a scientists a bit late. We never hesitate to punish Galileo when he said the Earth moves round the Sun because he was saying against the God. Today in this world we are separated and segregated by the undercurrent dictum of religion. One day scientist may discover there are no God and no religion. But there is ideals of life to proceed towards life under discipline. It is nothing but superstation. Life is a kind of evolution of particles as the evolution of light by the striking of two particles. Of course time has not yet reached to say so otherwise his or her fate would be like that of Galileo.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury—Thank you for your gracious compliments, my gentleman friend. I don't think Galileo was saying anything against God. God never told us directly how the universe works. He told us through men, like Galileo. Galileo's ideas (discoveries) were opposed by SOME in the Roman Catholic Church; but some also agreed with his ideas. I do not think science can prove there is no God. I believe in God. But those who don't are entitled not to.


libby101a profile image

libby101a 5 years ago from KY

James I loved reading this. Science/biology was my major in college. I will always be a student! Amazing work!!! This is my first time reading a hub of yours. I'm going to check out the rest now!

Thanks again!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Interesting.

The submarine is a lot older than I suspected.

I knew there was a diving bell invented before the 17th Century that worked but a submarine in the reign of James the first?

Incredible!

Previously the earliest submarine that actually worked I have come across was a prototype for the Yank navy during the American Civil War.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

libby101a— I am glad you did. Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I appreciate your warm words. Welcome to HubPages! And you are welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— I am glad to have surprised you a bit. Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate your readership. :D


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

That was one neat submarine. Again, I tried to be first to comment , but I was a little late. Love you with all my heart sweet prince and brother , and servant of God in Heaven.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439— Yes, it is. You are right on time. I enjoyed hearing from you anytime, my brother. I have an abiding affection for you. God Bless You!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

James A. Watkins, Wonderful literary work on science and history! As always you have a marvelous, concise presentation! Excellent posthumous array of scientist, inventors, mathematicians & physicists and a queen! How fitting!

“I BELIEVE Divine Providence, that by chance I obtained what I could never obtain by my own efforts. I believe this all the more because I have constantly prayed to God that I might succeed." I especially love the quote by Johannes Kepler he was a brilliant man! No doubt He trusted in the Lord!

This is quite insightful and profound! “ I dare say that women are more objectified today than they were then. They were respected and their unique qualities widely admired and lauded. To suppose that since antiquity women have been uniformly oppressed, and treated as chattel by their husbands, is utter nonsense that truly diminishes womanhood by negating their innate powers of intelligence, self-respect, and resourcefulness.” Quite true..!

It is always a pleasure! Thank you for sharing your gift of the pen. You continue to bring us wonderful, educationally sound narratives! Bravo professor! In HIS Love, Prace, Joy, Peace & Blessings! WONDERFUL!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— And here is my favorite Hubber! Thank you for coming to see me. I appreciate your compliments and encouragement. This is quite a group of people.

I too love that quote by Johannes Kepler. He was a devout man of God. He loved the Lord. As did all of these folks. I am glad you liked my ode to womanhood. You are wonderful, my dear. God Bless You!


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 5 years ago from South Lanarkshire

Marvellous James.

I really enjoyed it. Especially your mention that: "Palladio had invented the truss in the 16th century, which proved to be of enormous consequence to the architecture, buildings, bridges, and canals of the 17th century."

Indeed! Lifting all those heavy stones with a hernia must have been a real pain.

Sorry James! - Couldn't resist that one! :))


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Allan McGregor— Thank you, kind sir! I am glad you enjoyed this one. No need to resist it, my friend. I always look forward to savoring your words. Thanks for coming by!


stephane86 5 years ago

James, you are a wealth of encyclopaedic knowledge. I really think that you should write a book. Have you written one?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

stephane86— Thank you for your kind compliments. I have two books written but both are too long and I have yet to figure out how I am going to cut them down to size. I do hope to have a book published by the end of the summer. I appreciate you asking. :D


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Wow, awesome look at history. This was facinating. Thanks!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

tlpoague— You are quite welcome! I am glad you liked it. Thank you for your kind compliments. :D


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

James, you know I love your work. I think this one might possibly be my favorite. I am amazed that you were able to take such a leap from science to politics. Then again, why would I be surprised! There were no laws on the books about rape or domestic violence then. The term "rule of thumb" refers to the first law related to domestic abuse that basically states that a man can be charged if he leaves a mark larger than his thumb on his wife, which was his chattel. I like the idea though that there might have been such a time when women were revered; and I suspect that has been true of some men, maybe most men, since the beginning of time. I think I'd want to see more research on this. I did find this excerpt from wikipedia under "rule of thumb":

Thumb used for regulation

Caricature condemning Buller: Judge Thumb - Patent Sticks for Family Correction - Warranted Lawful!

It is often claimed that the term originally referred to a law that limited the maximum thickness of a stick with which it was permissible for a man to beat his wife.[2][4] British common law before the reign of Charles II permitted a man to give his wife "moderate correction", but no "rule of thumb" (whether called by this name or not) has ever been the law in England.[8][9] Such "moderate correction" specifically excluded beatings, only allowing the husband to confine a wife to the household.[10]

Nonetheless, belief in the existence of a "rule of thumb" law to excuse spousal abuse can be traced as far back as 1782, the year that James Gillray published his satirical cartoon Judge Thumb. The cartoon lambastes Sir Francis Buller, a British judge, for allegedly ruling that a man may legally beat his wife, provided that he used a stick no thicker than his thumb, although it is questionable whether Buller ever made such a pronouncement (poor record-keeping for trial transcripts in that era make it difficult to determine whether such a ruling may have existed). The Body of Liberties adopted in 1641 by the Massachusetts Bay colonists states, “Every married woman shall be free from bodily correction or stripes by her husband, unless it be in his own defense from her assault.”[11] In the United States, legal decisions in Mississippi (1824) and North Carolina (1868 and 1874) make reference to—and reject—an unnamed "old doctrine" or "ancient law" by which a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb.[2] For example, the 1874 case State v. Oliver (North Carolina Reports, Vol. 70, Sec. 60, p. 44) states: "We assume that the old doctrine that a husband had the right to whip his wife, provided that he used a switch no larger than his thumb, is not the law in North Carolina." In 1976, feminist Del Martin used the phrase "rule of thumb" as a metaphorical reference to describe such a doctrine. She was misinterpreted by many as claiming the doctrine as a direct origin of the phrase and the connection gained currency in 1982, when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report on wife abuse, titled "Under the Rule of Thumb."[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thumb

Just the same, I enjoyed your hub immensely, James, as usual. Thanks for daring to defy political correctness, and take on a controversial issue:)

Best regards 2 U:) kimh039


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

kimh039— I humbly thank you for loving my work. I submit to your judgment as to the crassness and barbarity of medieval men. Perhaps my Hub overly romanticized the conditions of the middle ages. If I have affronted you, I apologize. I love everybody—including those who lived during these times.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

no offense taken, James.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

kimh039— Your research on "the rule of thumb" is amazing. I thought there was an English law to that effect and I am surprised that it is a myth.

I am happy that you enjoyed my work on this Hub. I sincerely appreciate the affirmation and encouragement. Thank you and you are welcome.

James A Watkins


Jei Han 4 years ago

thanks for the infos, i need it for our reports...fantastic...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Jei Han— You are quite welcome! Thank you for the compliment. I am glad you found this article to be useful. I appreciate the visit and your comments.


yo yo girl 4 years ago

its very informative.if i would have not visited this site i would have been in a confused state and ya i like the way you post


tinku 4 years ago

i had a great time here . thank you for your information


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

yo yo girl— Thank you very much for your warm words. I appreciate this visitation from you. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

tinku— You are quite welcome. Thank you for coming! :D

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