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0px; font: 12.0px Baskerville; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}Every great shift in human thinking has its founding prophecy. “A man ahead of his time”, “a true visionary.”  In the sixteen hundreds amongst other interesting philosophers there was one whom of which we still use his principles in every laboratory of every institution, world wide.

If anyone were a true visionary, this author is comfortable with admitting it is Sir Francis Bacon. Sir Francis Bacon lived in an era wherein the Holy Bible was considered the ultimate law and authority, a time where the geocentric model was the most accepted astronomical theory. The intertwinement of science and religion was so entangled, philosophers would spend their days measuring space consumed with amounts of angels instead of creating objective measurement systems. Even in Bacon’s century, philosophers to come would be convicted of going against the Church for scientific observations made.

Thus, the scientific propositions made by Bacon would come with elegant structures and meanings in efforts to not be abrupt and raise question of his role in society. One of his novels to be released unfinished after his lifetime had an abstract story telling manner where eloquently placed was idealisms to the optimism science holds while functioning synergistically with religion. It also shares a glimpse of the scientific model which he later was pronounced the father of such incredible works.

This novel, entitled New Atlantis is to be deciphered carefully with great note on its hidden messages and ideologies, but most importantly with an open mind.  New Atlantis released in 1627, just one year following the death of Sir Francis Bacon, and published by his secretary who was confident in his works even while it remained unfinished. His secretary truly felt that Bacon’s initial goal of describing the functioning of a society inspired and working for science was ready to be seen by the worlds eyes. Thus, it was. Bacon immersed the reader in a fictitious utopia of an incredibly well versed society to explorers arriving at an island named Bensalem where they were welcomed with open arms while nearing and expecting death. Some sailors of the ship were diseased and all reaching wits end, to be accepted and cured by the people of Bensalem which they discover the exceptional functioning of this unknown company through their own eyes and how the society became so “wealthy” through vivid storytelling of Bensalem’s history by inhabitants about a place called New Atlantis. Where, The people of New Atlantis do not collect gold or other materialistic goods. Everyone has everything they need, provided by the advances of science.

Instead, they trade these natural resourced goods around the world, in exchange for the greatest treasure of all, knowledge. Through his writings of a clearly completely unheard of society to his era, Bacon vividly paints a picture of a functioning society on Bensalem, where two common denominators prevail, science/knowledge and religion. In the introduction of New Atlantis the first point of exchange between the narrator’s people upon landing on Bensalem and the representatives of Bensalem is based on their shared christianity, and the Governor tells them the story of the revelation which had brought christianity to their society. Their acceptance to the island is solely based on a religious commonality prior to any other information shared. “When we were come within six yards of their boat, they called to us to stay, and not to approach farther; which we did.

And thereupon the man, whom I before described, stood up, and with a loud voice, in Spanish, asked, “Are ye Christians?” We answered, “We were;” fearing the less, because of the cross we had seen in the subscription.” (1)However, the commonality of religion was discovered only after learning the native language of the sailors. The Bensalem’s proposed various languages written on a scripture for the sailors to choose and agree to their terms of compensation and care. Thus, the Bensalem’s were fluent in multiple languages, undeniably leading to insight on their experience and vast knowledge of the world. This was important as it emphasized the power of knowledge, and the establishment of fear of those who hold such power. The narrator, a sailor among many showed the reader the uncomforted feelings they had in accepting help from the educated peoples of Bensalem.”We were much perplexed. The denial of landing and hasty warning us away troubled us much; on the other side, to find that the people had languages, and were so full of humanity, did comfort us not a little.

“(1)The knowledge of multiple language was just the tip of the educational iceberg the Bensalem’s posses. Throughout the writing of New Atlantis the layering of the power of knowledge within a functioning society and its benefits continue to be depicted. The Governor an inhabitant who converses with the sailors describes Bensalem as a relic of a more advanced time. One in which many societal advancements live .

For example, their medicine is able to quickly cure the sick sailors. Where, initially they were offered vitamin C rich fruits and later an actual pharmaceutical with a routine to consumption that led to the betterment of the diseased sailors.  The novel read about establishment of their order of Salomon’s House which is described as a house, or college and reflects their dedication the “study of the works and creatures of God.” As, it was established based on a religious miracle, hence underlying the importance of religion, while striving for education and scientific advancements. Another societal advancement mentioned, the Feast of the Family which mirrors a cultural reverence of the familial institution which could be likened to that of Confucius the Asian principle of morality, connectedness justice and sincerity. These idealisms and advancement are linked to cultural awareness as the governor describes the voyages which they make for the purpose of sustaining these very advancements and bringing back, “Knowledge of the affairs and state of those countries to which they were designed, and especially of the sciences, arts, manufactures, and inventions of all the world; and withal to bring unto us books, instruments, and patterns in every kind”(1)At this point the reader should have an idea of the great significance of collaboration and acceptance of various ideas and discoveries in the betterment of society and social construct.

Again, linking to the underlying principles that is  the knowledge is power revolution. Bacon had a vision in which he employed in New Atlantis, one where it was understood that science is indeed the basis of an informed and functioning society. One in which all individuals of a society can better from as it elevates the standard of living. In achieving such great success, constructs must be formed. Institutions where knowledge is shared through a system.  Just as it is inquired nobly through voyage and exploration, it is equally important to educate the citizens regardless of status.

This can be achieved through organizations, methods and setting and changing standards of excellence, Bacon wrote about these colleges of systematics he envisioned,”Our purpose is to know the causes, and the secret movement of things; and to retreat the limits of the human empire in order to realize all possible things.” (1)This describes informally the way experimentation should remove subjectivism and create tangible results in scientific advancements. The Bensalemian’s try first to understand how nature works,  then they imitate it and finally transform it to working modalities. They are able to do this on their fictitious island through institutions each working on various specialities, without fear of conviction of disobeying the Lord. These “colleges” grant individuals to pursue passions and use new found discoveries for endless positive doings such as predicting weather patterns, curing disease, aiding the body nutritionally, purifying water for sustenance, growing crops that do not wither in poor soils without the use of seeds, all of these are to be seen as the doings of dedication and scientific involvement, the sharing of knowledge but not miraculous events.In a world who’s modes of thinking would not change unless presented an idea so farfetched to begin some shift, such that the fictitious world of New Atlantis. Bacon hits heavy topics and ideas and displays essentially a perfectly harmonized world where religion does not inhibit science but allows it to proliferate and reaps the benefits by still holding true to religious principles. This allows readers to envision a world where both ideas can exist, where observation and experimentation does not have to clash with the scriptures.

An idealism where populations no longer have to compete for the best of all things, a land where collaboration and education constructs can uplift even the most common of folk, bounty for all, power for all, all through science.  Bacon thought science would fix all of mankind’s problems in the case of New Atlantis it at least came close to resolving many issues mankind faces. He envisioned an age of constant invention, where every day brought new technology to make man’s life better and easier. With science we could feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick. By understanding nature, we could transcend her limits, and forge a new world, a better world for everyone. Bacon’s enthusiastic optimism inspired generations of thinkers to make his vision a reality. In many ways the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution are all examples of humanity trying to fulfill Bacon’s lofty dream of the future. Their efforts built the world we know today.

He envisioned change before anyone else did and allowed dreamers to do. 

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