Renaissance Figure: Nicolaus Copernicus Essay

986 words - 4 pages

When you hear the word Copernicus, what do you think of? Are you reminded of the famous man who lived during the Renaissance of the 15th-16th Century? Do your thoughts bring you to the revolutionary theories of our universe? Or do you merely wonder what such a word’s significance could be? No matter what comes to mind when Copernicus is said, it is important to learn who Nicolaus Copernicus was, and why he was such an influential man in history. Although some may believe that other scientists have surpassed him with their ideas and inventions, I, personally, consider Copernicus to be the most influential scientific figure ever to have lived and produced during the Renaissance for the ...view middle of the document...

He disagreed with the geocentric (“earth-centered”) model of the universe—which had been common scientific knowledge at the time—made by Ptolemy over a thousand years prior, because it didn’t make sense mathematically. In Ptolemy’s model, the positions of the celestial bodies had no true correlations with their individual orbits. Nicolaus decided that the solar system could only make sense if it was heliocentric, or sun-centered (Rabin, Nicolaus Copernicus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)), and if the planets’ orbits were rediscovered.
Another reason for my opinion is because Copernicus lived during the Renaissance. He was born in Thorn, Poland on February 19, 1473 and died on May 24, 1543 (Dejoie and Truelove, The StarChild Team). As we’ve learned, the Renaissance took place during the 15th and 16th Centuries, so we can assume that Copernicus lived within this period. The Renaissance was an amazing time for Europe because thousands of writers, painters, sculptors, explorers and scientists were contributing to the advancement of society, alongside the students, scholars and humanists who devoted their time to learning. Simply Copernicus’s existence during such a spectacular historical period of creation makes him a much more appealing scientist to me than one of our modern society. He was privileged to have been born during the Renaissance.
Finally, I admire Copernicus more than any other scientist because he was way ahead of his time, in terms of what he was able to accomplish with the tools he had at his disposal. Remember, he lived from 1473 to 1543—there were no fancy telescopes, satellites or computers to observe and capture images of our solar system. All Nicolaus had for resources were his mathematical skills and his own eyes. Even Galileo, the first to build a telescope, did not do so until more than fifty years after the time of Copernicus. Yet, despite this, Copernicus could still form his heliocentric theory. And although society was slow to accept the scientific and religious changes the new theory...

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