During the seventeenth century Europe was in turmoil, the Scientific Revolution coupled with the Enlightenment caused a great stir, challenging authority and tradition. Over the course of the seventeenth century, scientific method changed and evolved into a more complex and involved process. The scientific method defied the tradition of medieval science of logic and physical sight by using experimentation as a basis for knowledge. .
The scientific method began with the new ideology and attitude toward once "proven" facts. Since the new view was that ancient knowledge could be wrong, scientists began wanting proof, physical proof of things, not just a logical view of the world. Take Francesco Redi's experiment with meat, it was thought that flies originate from decaying meat since they are always seen hovering around it, Redi did not believe that spontaneous generation could happen, so he tested it. Redi tested his theory by placing out four tightly sealed flasks with meat in them and four with the same meat but open mouthed, soon the open bottles were infested with fly larva, but the sealed ones were not. This proved his point indisputably using scientific method. Now, lets examine what Copernicus did at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Copernicus studied the stars and ancient Greek philosophy about them and found that some Greeks believed that the Earth moved around the Sun rather than the other!.
way around. This started him thinking and he used math to prove that the Earth and planets move around the sun. This was one of the first times that someone had done this, he did not just look into the sky and explain what he saw, he added an invisible dimension to it with math, something not physical, something you have to imagine in your head and prove on paper. Scientific method may have started with the likes of Copernicus, but it is ever changing and never ending. .
Before the seventeenth century the main authority was still the church, government was limping along at a distant second, but nobody thought that scientific thought could have such an impact on traditional authority.