Frankly, this is to obfuscate the reality of the situation rather than to clarify it. There is no new, well-defined thing called “the scientific method” that suddenly gets invented in the 17th century (or any other time), and there is no sharp, clear line to be drawn (historically, conceptually, or otherwise) between ‘philosophy’ and ‘science’. In fact, the actual practitioners did not start calling what they were doing “science” rather than “philosophy” until well into the 19th century. The newly invented distinction was then projected back into history to place the transition from philosophy to science in the 17th century, but the actual conceptual innovators of the 17th century recognized no such distinction (and if they had, their innovations would very likely have been stymied).
I am not saying there is no difference, but it is not a sharp, well defined one, more a matter of degree (probably varying along several independent dimensions). Furthermore, merely pointing to the difference does not explain anything, but, rather, tends to conceals the actual problematic issues.
In general, even in more recent times, the greater the ‘scientist’ - that is, the more conceptually innovative there work was - the more more the actual methods they used, when examined closely, tend look as much or more like our stereotypical idea of ‘philosophy’ rather than our stereotypical idea of ‘science’. This certainly applies to people like Einstein and the founders of quantum mechanics (and probably will apply to the people currently working in areas like string theory and quantum gravity, should they turn out to be right) quite as much as it applies to the people like Galileo, Descartes, Kepler, and Newton who collectively brought ‘modern science’ into being in the 17th century. If any of these people, or even many lesser scientific innovators, had truly relied on the caricature ‘scientific method’ of “think of a hypothesis then test it experimentally”, science as we we know it would not exist.
Perhaps instead of saying “science is hard, although hindsight is easy,” I should have said “advancing our understanding of the universe is hard, although hindsight is easy,” but that would be to buy into the notion that there is some marvelous new “method” suddenly invented in the 17th century that, all at once, transformed what had been philosophy into science. It is much less misleading, I think, to use the modern term “science” to mean (as it does now) the enterprise of trying to understand how the universe works, and to recognize that there were people usefully engaged in this enterprise before the 17th century, just as there have been since. Certainly we see a huge increase in the rate of scientific progress from the 17th century onwards, but that is not because people started doing something fundamentally different in kind, but more because it is about then that the exponential(ish) curve of increasing knowledge turns from being near horizontal to near vertical, simply because the more you know the more you can apply that knowledge to the enterprise of discovering more. (Also, of course, an improved economy and the development of a less rigid and hierarchical society in that era meant that many more people had the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.)
Also, what Half Man Half Wit said (although I don’t know anything about Rovelli’s work).