The Scientific Revolutions and Copernicus' Book
In the sixteenth and seventeenth century a Scientific Revolution swept over Europe. The start of this Scientific Revolution has been atributed to Nicolaus Copernicus and his Heliocentric Model of the Universe.
Copernicus was born in Torun Poland on February 19, 1473. His parents both died when he was very young so he was sent to live with his uncle who was a high ranking official in the Church. Copernicus studied canon law, medicine, astronomy, Greek, philosophy, and mathematics. His diversified fields of study led him to hold the positions of physician, teacher, member of parliament, and canon law expert for the Church. At the age of twenty Copernicus left Poland for Italy for the purposes of schooling and work. Copernicus released his theory of a sun centered universe in his book "On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres" which was published in 1543. This is the same year in which he died at the age of 70. Copernicus waited to release his book until on his deathbed because he feared reprisal from the Church and his peers. Copernicus said he "saw his completed work only at his last breath apon the day that he died." Before Copernicus the world believed in the Ptolemaic model of the universe. Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer who developed his model in 150 A.D. This model held that the Earth was at the center of the universe and that all of the planets, moons, and stars rotated around the Earth in different spheres. It also said that everything in space was made up of "perfect" material that was unchangeable. Ptolemy based his model on the teachings of Aristotle.
He released his theory in the book "The Mathematical Collection." For over 800 years the Ptolemaic model of the universe went without question and as a result stagnated scientific discovery. The main reason for this was that the Catholic Church adopted the Ptolemaic model as proof of the Nature of Divinity. The Church felt that the earth as the center of the universe showed the special place that man had in the eyes of God. The Church believed that this model was divine and therefore any criticism on the Ptolmaic model coud be viewed as direct criticism on God. As a result of the Church's strong view many scientists were scared from disagreeing with it for...