Robert Boyle is today seen as the supreme experimentalist of his era. Boyle believed in practical analysis and was more concerned with how a phenomenon occurred, rather than why it happened.
Boyle tried to unite elements of Descartes's philosophy of a mechanistic universe with the revived atomic theory, but he did not subscribe to the contention that God had no role in the physical world.  After God initiated primal movement, like Gassendi, he held that God's 'general concourse' was continually needed to keep the mechanical universe working. But a greater contribution to the study of matter and energy was his demonstration of the fallacy of Aristotle's notion of the four elements.
Boyle illustrated how fire could not be considered a basic element and that Aristotle's claim that fire could resolve things into their elements was false. He demonstrated that, contrary to Aristotle's belief, gold can withstand fire and can also be alloyed with other metals and then recovered in its original form, suggesting the existence of unalterable 'corpuscles' of gold. He also showed that even when fire did break down materials it required different degrees of heat and different time periods to succeed, and more often than not it produced new substances that were also complex. Finally, he showed that some materials could not be reduced by fire alone.