Why did the Scientific Revolution occur in Europe rather than in China or the Islamic world?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no way to answer this question definitively as there is no way to prove what factors affected the rise of the Scientific Revolution.

One major theory is that China did not have the revolution because it lacked competition.  According to this theory, countries in Europe could not afford to reject science.  If one country did, another would accept the science and use it to defeat the first country.  China had no competitors to endanger it in this way.

With regard to the Muslim world, there is no clear theory.  There is no objective reason why Muslim rulers like those of the Ottoman Empire should have rejected science as they did.  Their religion was dogmatic, but so was Christianity at different times and places.  The most logical explanation is that it was just the luck of what social forces were strongest at a given time and place.

parama9000 | Student

The main reason was due to Christianity.

THe church leaders at that time, who were then influential people, believed that we should not find out about the secrets of creation.

Many religious people at that time felt that science might lead human beings away from God.

etotheeyepi | Student

I read about Zheng He, the Chinese Admiral who explored as far as Africa in the fifteenth century. The book offered the theory that the Chinese government stopped the voyages because of a decrease in food supply in China, which must have been due to a decrease in temperature. 

I don't remember the name of the book or the author, but maybe the scientific revolution happened in Europe because it reacted differently to the change in the climate.