Nicolaus Copernicus By: Berenice Alvarez

Background

Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland on February 1473. Nicolaus had lived in the time period of the Scientific Revolution. He discovered that everything did not revolve around the Earth, but in fact the Sun. Copernicus is best known for his sun centered theory.

Summary of Ideas

After studying astronomy for 25 years, Copernicus came up with a theory called The Heliocentric Theory. In this theory it is believed that the Sun is in the center of the universe and everything revolves around it. This goes against the Geocentric Theory, the one the church came up with.

Impact of his Ideas on Society

In fear of prosecution and ridicule, Nicolaus did not release his findings. "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies" was given to Copernicus on his deathbed which was a copy of his book. It was published the same year of his death. Not many people favored this idea because it went against the church. No one really took interest into it until other astronomers continued his studies and took it a step further. When the theory began to influence people, it caused quite a stir.

To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

My interpretation of Nicolaus' quote is; to realize that we comprehend almost everything, and that we have limits on our knowledge is astounding, people with true knowledge will understand that.

How he challenged traditional beliefs

The church had told everyone that the Earth was in the center of the universe. Copernicus' had different thoughts. When people started to become influenced by his theory the church had gotten angry, when Nicolaus had released his ideas the church persecuted him. His new theory of heliocentrism didn't get much attention at first because nobody believed him and only trusted the church's teachings. Eventually scholars began to observe his new theory and take it into consideration. Now people began to experiment and use scientific knowledge instead of just listening to what the church had to say.

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