Manfred Weidhorn. The Person of the Millennium: The unique impact of Gilileo on world history, iUniverse, 2005


Time magazine chose Einstein as the Man of the Century; Weidhorn (Yeshiva University) desc has had the most drastic impact on human history. The gist is that the scientific revolution brought about the most dramatic changes in human thought and culture. Weidhorn lists some major shifts resulting from the scientific revolution: from revelation to experimentation, from faith to doubt, from uniformity/authority to diversity/multiculturalism, from truth to multiple truths, from status quo to meliorism, from male-female to sexuality. Weidhorn’s thesis is interesting except for two points. Though Galileo’s telescopic observations, testing of theories, and quantitative analysis of motion played important roles in the emergence of modern science, many others participated in the process. Galileo is the most outstanding–a symbol–in the edifice of modern science that could not have arisen without many other masons and architects. In medieval times, Robert Grosseteste suggested testing theories with observations. In the early 17th century, Francis Bacon forcefully articulated empirical philosophy. Many paradigm shifts are fruits of 20th-century postmodernism, entirely different from that instigated by Galileo et al. Insightful and well written. None of this is to diminish the genius and greatness of Galileo.

October 27, 2013

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About Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.
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