Francis Bacon was born January, 22, 1561, the second child of Sir Nicholas Bacon and his second wife Lady Anne Coke Bacon, daughter of Sir Anthony Coke, tutor to Edward VI and one of the leading humanists of the age. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and at Gray’s Inn in London in 1576. From 1577 to 1578 Francis Bacon accompanied Sir Amias Paulet, the English ambassador, on his mission in Paris; but he returned when his father passed away. Bacon’s small inheritance brought him into financial difficulties and since his maternal uncle, Lord Burghley, did not help him to get a lucrative post as a government official; he embarked on a political career in the House of Commons. In 1581 he entered the Commons as a member for Cornwall, and he remained a Member of Parliament for thirty-seven years.
Francis Bacon was the founder of the modern scientific method, that science is related to religion. The focus on the new scientific method is on orderly experimentation. For Bacon, experiments that produce results are important. Bacon pointed out the need for clear and accurate thinking, showing that any mastery of the world in which man lives was dependent upon careful understanding. This understanding is based solely on the facts of this world and not as the ancients held it in ancient philosophy. This new modern science provides the foundation for modern political science. Bacon’s political science completely separated religion and philosophy. For Bacon, nothing exists in the universe except individual bodies. Although he did not offer a complete theory of the nature of the universe, he pointed the way that science, as a new civil religion, might take in developing such a theory. Bacon divided theology into the natural and the revealed. Natural theology is the knowledge of God, which we can get from the study of nature and the creatures of God. Convincing proof is given of the existence of God but nothing more. Anything else must come from revealed theology. Science and philosophy have felt the need to justify themselves to laymen. The belief that nature is something to be vexed and tortured to the compliance of man will not satisfy man or laymen.
An indication, that science is the building block to religion. Bacon stresses the importance of light as the precursor of fruit to suggest that they are following the divine instrument. There are two images used by Bacon to refer to knowledge, torture and light. The torture refers to the violent twisting of nature’s secrets. Nature must be conquered but is not adverse to the conquest. The forces of Nature are against us, but in a rather passive manner. Light, on the other hand, is the meaning for natural philosophy. The light in Bacon is primarily the light of Nature. The main contrast is between gold and silver and light. Light, here is noble where gold and silver is base. The noble light is for the benefit for all mankind. Bacon took the modern spirit and weaved them together so as to suggest a method by which man could master the universe. He did this to the end that he might exhibit in a model or description of a college instituted for the interpreting of nature and the producing of great works for the benefit of man.
The prime function of knowledge is to serve mankind. “Without doubt we are paying for the sin of our first parents and imitating it. They wanted to be like Gods we their posterity, still more so. We create worlds. We prescribe laws to nature and lord it over her. We want to have all things as suits our fatuity, not as fits the Divine Wisdom, not as they are found in nature. We impose the seal of our image on the creatures and works of God; we do not diligently seek to discover the seal of God on things. Therefore not undeservedly have we again fallen from our dominion over the creation; and though after the Fall of mans some dominion over rebellious nature still remained to the extent at least that it could be subdued and controlled by true and solid art seven that we have for the most part forfeited by our pride, because we wanted to be like gods and follow the dictates of our own reason. Wherefore, if there by any humility towards the Creator, if there be any reverence and praise of his works; if there be any charity towards men, and zeal to lessen human wants and sufferings; it there be any love of truth in natural things, any hatred of darkness, any desire to purify the understanding; men are to be entreated again and again that they should dismiss for a while or at least put aside those inconstant and preposterous philosophies which prefer these to hypotheses, have led experience captive, and triumphed over the works of God; that they should humbly and with a certain reverence draw near to the book of Creation; that there should make a stay, that on it they should meditate, and that then washed and clean they should in chastity and integrity turn them from opinion. This is that speech and language which has gone out to all the ends of the earth, and has not suffered the confusion of Babel; this must men learn, and resuming their youth, they must become as little children and deign to take its alphabet into their hands”. History of the Winds 1623.
The island township of Bensalem also has two galleries. In one gallery the native place all manner of patterns and samples of rare and excellent inventions. In the other gallery are placed statues of inventors. It is interesting to note here that while the island, acts in a civil fashion. Professing to be Christian and religious that they place science so high on their list. Science is placed so high that instead of having statues of God and his works, they erect statues of inventors of the western world thereby showing their commonness and baseness to human preservation. Bacon states in The Great Instauration,” for which the rest are but a preparation, will reveal the philosophy which is the product of that legitimate, chaste, and severe mode of enquiry which I have taught and prepared. But to perfect this last part is a thing both above my strength and beyond my expectation. What I have been able to do is to give it, as I hope, a not contemptible start. The destiny of the human race will supply the issue, and that issue will perhaps be such as men in the present state of their fortunes and of their understandings cannot easily grasp or measure. For what is at stake is not merely a mental satisfaction but the very reality of man’s well-being and all his power of action.”
Bacon’s plan of The Work runs as follows divisions of the sciences, the new directions concerning the interpretation of nature. The phenomena of the universe; or a natural experimental history for the foundation of philosophy, the ladder of intellect, the forerunners or anticipations of the new philosophy, the new philosophy; or active science.