Benjamin Franklin The Science Of Lightning And The Enlightenment Analysis
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Benjamin Franklin, The Science of Lightning and the Spirit of Enlightenment.
It took a brave hand to light the fire of science while the furnace of faith, religion and mythology still burned bright. Many such bravehearts overcame the beliefs instilled into them by society and gathered the courage to question the myths and discover answers to their questions on their own by placing emphasis on the scientific method of research, which was what the spirit of the Renaissance and Enlightenment period was. The changing attitude was aptly represented by the coinage, ‘Sapere Aude’, meaning ‘dare to know’. One such person was Mr. Benjamin Franklin, who asked questions and went about answering them too.
These questions were asked by him and answered at a point when, even though there was a considerable growth in the area of science, the phenomenon of lightning was so deeply sheltered under the umbrella of myths that it was something almost impossible to question. Each religion and sect had their own explanations for the flashing, terrifying ands supposedly supernatural occurrence that killed their people. For the Native Americans, it was the flashing feathers of a mystical bird, while for the Vikings it…show more content… His presumptions about the attitude of people turned out to be right. In spite of its life saving capabilities, the churches mocked Benjamin for his invention, ridiculed his ideas, and even called him a sinner for going against Gods ways. The cause for the earthquake of 1755 was openly blamed on Franklin's lightning rods as Rev. Thomas Prince, Pastor of the Old South Church had said that the frequency of earthquakes had increased due to these rods and this fact was accepted by the people due to his explanation that the earthquake had affected Boston the most which was also the region in New England that had the most number of lightning rods