So, it appears that the worldviews of Descartes and Newton were fighting for power over the period. Not sure what belonged where, but generally I think the idea is a world that can be explained and a world that is less about god than man.
Newton: Math, experiment, mechanistic - but also with fluids and invisible gases, Gravity really was a big deal, and ideas about how things had density and pull
Descartes: Reason, induction, mechanistic with no invisible stuff
Pope epitaph on Newton ... "Nature and Nature's Law, lay hid in night / God said 'Let Newton be!' and all was light", Pope was also interested in gravity and gravitas - and he and Swift were unhappy with the dull pedantry of minor scientists. Fight between ancients and moderns and between prose and poetry writers. (See www.ourcivilization.com/smartboard/shop/hornecj/litsci.htm for more). So is wit and poetry an attempt to balance prosaic study of nature - art against science?