The Scientific Revolution questioned and ultimately challenged conceptions and beliefs about the nature of the external world and reality that had crystallized into a strict orthodoxy by the Later Middle Ages. This intellectual movement taught Europeans to view the universe and their place in it in a new way. Thus the Scientific Revolution, popularized in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, stands as the major force in the transition to the largely secular, rational, and materialistic perspective. In one sense, the Scientific was not a revolution. Rather it changed Europe gradually and in a piecemeal fashion.