Astronomers therefore stated that, "The earth is at the centre of the universe. The sun, the moon and the stars all move around the earth." Nicholas Copernicus, (1473-1543) a Polish monk and astronomer trained in medicine, law and mathematics, believed that the sun, not the earth, was at the centre of the universe. He believed this to be true because mathematics fit in nowhere with the explanation of how our world came to be. He formulated mathematical calculations that provided the basis for a new view on the world.
He is even labeled as the founder of modern astronomy for the proposition of his heliocentric theory (“Nicolaus Copernicus”, Scientists: Their Lives and Works). The heliocentric theory was revolutionary for Copernicus’ time. Copernicus lived during the Renaissance. “The era of the Renaissance (roughly 1400-1600) is usually known for the “rebirth” of an appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman art forms, along with other aspects of classical teachings that tended to diminish the virtually exclusive concentration on religious teachings during the preceding centuries of the “Dark Ages.” New thinking in science was also evident in this time…” This time period became known as the scientific revolution (“Copernicus: On The Revolutions Of Heavenly Bodies). In other words, old ideas were revived in the arts and other means and less emphasis was placed o... ... middle of paper ... ... On The Revolutions Of Heavenly Bodies).
Galileo Galilei was one of the most influential scientists of the Renaissance period. He was a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, a philosopher. He integrated the independent sciences of math and physics, and unified them. The popular view of the world, due to the Church overall power, at the time was Aristotle's theory that the the universe was geocentric or that the Earth was at the center of the universe.. Galileo went against that common belief and declared to the world that the Earth is not the center. This idea that humans are only a tiny speck in a boundless universe and that they are not the center of this boundless universe frightened most religious leaders.
Sir Isaac Newton, quite possibly one of the most intelligent men to exist, played a key role in the development of the enlightenment. He supplied the foundations on which all sciences since him have been built. Without science and reason the enlightenment would have been unthinkable. In fact, historians quote the publishment of Newton's masterpiece Principia in 1687 as the most logical and fitting catalyst to the enlightenment. The scientific advances made by Sir Isaac Newton contributed immensely to the movement of the enlightenment; however, his primary purposes for discovery were not for scientific advancement rather all for the glorification of God, thus Newton's incredible religiousness will be seen in this paper.
The scientific revolution was one of the greatest times in the 16th century and its ideals have proved to last to this very day. The great minds of the scientific revolution brought forth new concepts and vastly complex while each one is rooted in a basic fundamental. Some of these ideas and fundamentals were of the outside world, aka space, the planet and the stars, motion, and physics. One of the best minds of this time was, of course, Galileo Galilei. This great astronomer was a marvel at his work, he introduced controversial concepts that the church did not accept but those that he believed were to be true.
Another theory that the Church supported was that the Earth stood still while the sun rose and set every day. Society in the 1500’s believed that the Pope spoke for God through a divine connection and to against the church was to go against God. To speak out against the church in this time was strictly taboo. If one was to speak against the church was considered to be heresy, which is exactly what happened to Galileo. Galileo invented the telescope and began studying the heavens above and noticed that changes within the stars and planets.
He stresses, however, the importance that the bible still has, and says that the bible should be appreciated for its messages rather than its statements. “But Nature, on the other hand, is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares whit whether her abstruse treasons and methods of operation are understandable to men.” This is a very bold passage for Galileo to state to the church at this time. He is trying to tell the church nature rarely reveals its ways to men, and that answers must be sought out. Galileo ends the letter by saying God has given us senses so that we may discover, that He does not want us to simply have the answers. This docu... ... middle of paper ... ...ere suspended for this, and sued the school, stating that it violated their right to free speech (Robinson).
His conviction was legendary. His willingness to suffer for his beliefs exemplify true courage in the name of truth, and has inspired others to venture intellectual independence from the Church‘s creeds, edicts, and proclamations. Perhaps these contributions led to the call for an investigation into Galileo's conviction, eventually calling for its reversal, in 1979 by Pope John Paul II. But regardless of his standing in the annals of the Catholic church he will always be the man who began the separation of science and religion. Bibliography White, Andrew Dickinson, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology, New York: D. Appleton and company, 1996.
He studied Saturn and observed the phases of Venus and the sunspots. In between his studies and discoveries Galileo began to encounter serious opposition of the motion of the earth. He discovered that it was earth that roll around the sun. “By that time, with any luck, they will be learning that the earth rolls round the sun, and that their mother, the captains, the scholars, the princes, and the Pope are rolling with it'; (Galileo, pg49). Galileo’s theory about motion of earth was judged as erroneous by Cardinal Bellarmino because it went against the doctrine of the Church.
The heavens was nothing that the church or Ptolemaic system explained it would be and he concluded that the church teachings and the Ptolemaic system were wrong. He published his findings called Dialogues on the Two Chief Systems of the World (1632). This publication brought disapproval from the Roman Catholic Church and Galileo was forced to retract his findings. Galileo continued however, to attempt to explain the planets and stars. He came up with a theory that everything in the universe is subject to mathematical laws; everything can be explained with math and therefore is not magical or “Godly”.