Monday, March 03, 2003

I've decided that the essay for the Renaissance science course will be on Copernicus as I want to read some more on it. The essay title asks about the different sorts of arguments and evidence he uses which is fascinating stuff. Basically, if you try to imagine Cop as a modern scientist you are going to come badly unstauck because although he has this revolutionary idea - the justification for it is almost entirely medieval. Hopefully I'll be able to bring in what I've read on scholasticism and religious discipline as well. I don't think Cop was woriied about censure from the church but rather from his fellow academics. To them, heliocentricism seemed as daft as creationism does to Richard Dawkins and they could certainly have made things uncomfortable. But Cop was never in any danger from the Inquisition and delayed publishing for intellectual rather than religious reasons as his manuscripts (rediscovered in the 19th century) prove.

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