It was during the 16th and 17th centuries when man's view of the unvierse and himself
changed drastically. This came after a millenium of repetition and stagnation in the
development of science. People finally began questioning what they were told, and they
went out to find proof rather than assuming on the basis of authority and common sense.
These advances in astronomy and medicine came about in the same era, and were not
unparallel in their development. In both fields were some very notable people who
contributed greatly to the devolopment in these areas. In the field of astronomy
Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo shed Aristotle's, Plato's, and Ptolemy's views of
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Ptolemy was able to
correct this by the use of epicycles. This said that not only do planets orbit the Earth, but
they also have smaller circular moton which they perform during their orbit. This did
solve the problem, but it was still imperfect and very complicated, it was un-Godlike.
Nicolaus Copernicus believed in the heliocentric model of the universe. It was his
belief that the sun was a copy of God, God gave us life and the sun kept us alive. This
view was also a lot more aesthetically pleasing, although it was still not perfect. Most
other people only looked at his work as being a tool and not reality. This was because
when the book was published an introduction was added saying that the contents weren't
really true. Also people didn't observe any shift in the stars throughout the year, which
meant the world couldn't be moving around the sun because they should shift when
looked at from different sides of the sun. Unless of course they were really far away, but
that didn't make sense because God wouldn't waste that much space.
Tycho Brahe spent most of his life studying the movements of the celestial bodies.
His calculations led him to create a third view of the universe. He said that the planets
revolved around the sun, and the sun, moon, and stars revolve around the Earth. It had
the same flaws as Copernicus' model, but it didn't go against the church. When Tycho
died he gave all his calculations to Johaness Kepler. Kepler revised Copernicus's model
of a heliocentric universe. The big difference was that he said that the planets moved in
ellipses, with the sun at one focus. To account for the planets' motion he said that they
must move a variable speeds.
It was Galileo Galilei who came up with the 'proof' for a heliocentric universe. In
1609 he pointed a telescope into the sky. He saw four things which made the traditional
view of the universe wrong. He saw...