Recent ideas about how science operates suggest a new approach to the way in which John Milton assimilated the impact of the Copernican Revolution. Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific paradigms suggests Milton's characterization of God's progressive revelation of truth and the implications Milton depicts in his epic for the individual. Kuhn describes any given scientific framework of thought as an allegory which is “true” only in the sense that it permits creative work. Controversies in science lead to new formulations of truth. When contradiction arises, individuals should wait patiently for the new paradigm. Milton similarly believes that God accommodates truth to man's abilities. Areopagitica suggests that truth changes and that conflicts between opposing truths lead to a wider vision. Be Doctrina details the radically different characteristics of God's dispensations. In Paradise Lost, Milton feels free to choose the scientific paradigm which allows him creativity. He depicts conflicts between characters who have explored fully their particular dispensations and who must acknowledge at the moment of conflict the need for a wider truth. Because the creature can never know absolute truth, his patient waiting must be prompted and sustained by a positive and soul-testing allegiance to truth.

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