The Philosophy Of Revolution: Galileo And The Copernican Revolution

1186 Words 5 Pages
Whitney Noonan
Philosophy of Revolution
At the beginning of the scientific era people were not only shocked but also spiritually threatened by the new discovery that the Sun was actually in the center not the Earth. The “new philosophy” (since there was no word for “science” at the time) is the Copernican revolution. In 1610 Galileo had published the world’s first scientific bestseller, The Starry Messenger. This revolutionary work argued that the heavens are not organized the way astronomers, philosophers, and theologians had taught for ages (Alvarez & Leitão, 2010). As far as was concerned, however, Galileo’s ideas threatened not only the origin and development of the universe, but of Plato, Aristotle, and Ptolemy but also the
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But it brought more scientists to investigate further and came up with supporting theories and evidences. One of them was Galileo Galilei, who wrote a defense of the heliocentric system. But in 1633, Galileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for “following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture”, and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life (Gibson, 2011). It was Isaac Newton in 1687, who completed the Copernican Revolution and published Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica which provided a consistent physical explanation which showed that the planets are kept in their orbits by the familiar force of gravity (Gibson, 2011). Newton was able to derive existing laws to prove the solidity of the heliocentric model. Suddenly, all the maths worked, the theories made sense after all. And suddenly, it became obvious that the Sun is the center of the solar system, not the …show more content…
Tycho Brahe, for example, demonstrated to his shocked contemporaries that comets and supernovae (both implying change and novelty) existed beyond, rather than beneath, the Moon’s orbit (Gibson, 2011). Thus the superlunary heavenly vault showed itself to be imperfect after all and could no longer accurately represent the unchanging perfection of God. Johannes Kepler calculated that planets move in “ugly” elliptical patterns rather than perfectly circular orbits. Careful new observations revealed that the heavens, like things on Earth, are ordinary after all. It was left to Galileo to find the truth about the heavens (although even he still believed that the orbits were perfectly circular). His writings brought to surface the news that the Moon is pocked with craters, Venus goes through phases, Jupiter has satellites, and the Sun is blemished with dark spots (Alvarez & Leitão, 2010). This discovery brought into question that the planets may not be perfectly circular disproving the Church 's

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