Science in the Renaissance: my essay talks about the discoveries that da Vinci and Galileo made. I compared and contrasted their discoveries to Aristotlean theory and each other.

Essay by NelthariusHigh School, 10th grade February 2004

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Before the Renaissance, everything was governed by the Pope, the Bible, and the Catholic Church. Everything the Pope said was the absolute truth since he was the one who knew God's word. Aristotelian philosophy was the prevailing explanation for everything since it related most to the Bible: the Earth was the center of the universe, and the heavens were perfect, and everything besides Earth was made of ether. The only forms of science present at that time were alchemy and astrology. Even then, the two sciences still stayed within the limits of the Catholic Church.

However, everything changed when a great rebellion against the Catholic Church started in 1517. The Reformation sparked all kinds of challenges to Catholic dogma. Free from the confines of the Catholic Church, a new era called the Renaissance began.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) were very important scientists of the Renaissance. They differed from each other because Leonardo studied before the Scientific Revolution while Galileo studied while it was occurring.

Their works varied in that Leonardo studied Aristotelian ideas and Galileo studied to disprove Aristotle's philosophies.

In Florence, Leonardo da Vinci was studying something very similar to Aristotle's studies. He knew a lot about Aristotle's works, and had a great interest in continuing them. His main study was the four elements of the time: earth, fire, wind, and water and the body of the Earth.

Leonardo defined gravity on the Earth as a condition of weight and mass, with the heaviest object located at the center of the cosmos. Gravity stabilized all the elements held everything in place. He asserted that gravity was accidental. All the elements of the Earth shifted, thus its center of gravity always shifted. Since the Earth was a mixture of all the elements, he presumed that the...