America and the Scientific Revolution

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari argues that the European discovery of America was the foundational event of the Scientific Revolution. It forced these would-be explorers and conquerors to admit their ignorance of the world, and figure out the gaps in information they needed to know: 

It not only taught Europeans to favor present observations over past traditions, but the desire to conquer America also obliged European s to search for new knowledge at breakneck speed. If they really wanted to control the vast new territories, they had to gather enormous amounts of new data about the geography, climate, flora, fauna, languages,cultures and history of the new continent. Christian Scriptures, old geography books and ancient oral traditions were of little help.”

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