By: Stefan Schindler
In the late 17th century, Isaac Newton synthesized the European scientific discoveries of the previous two hundred years. This scientific revolution had been built on the scientific method formulated by Francis Bacon, who insisted that nature’s secrets could be unveiled through a combination of rational theorizing and rigorous empirical testing. This was called the experimental method. All previous knowledge was thrown into question in what Descartes called “methodical doubt.”
The point was to establish science on a firm foundation. Assumptions and superstitions were to be replaced with certainties. Accordingly, mathematics was the language for the formulation of the laws of nature.