The Scientific Revolutions and Copernicus' Book Essay

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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
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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 fear of being labled as a heretic and possibly being excommunicated. Copernicus feared the Church so much that he left Italy and returned to Poland so that he could continue his work without fear of persecution. No one seriously dismissed the Ptolemaic theory of the universe until 1616 when Galileo began to teach the Heliocentric Model of the Universe. Galileo proved Copernicus's theory to his students by showing them the planets through the use of telescopes. The Ptolemaic Model of the Universe stated that the Earth was at the center of the universe, the planets, stars rotated around the Earth in a perfect uniform circular motion, and that all of the objects in the "Heavens" were made of perfect material that could not change.

Nicolaus Copernicus was not the first person to develop the theory of a sun centered universe. Aristarchus of Samos was the first to propse the theory of a Heliocentric Universe in 200 B.C.. This theory is very similar to the Ptolemic model of the universe. The major difference is that the sun not the

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