The Copernican Revolution. Moving the earth away from the center of the universe had its consequences…
…the heretical runaway monk and pantheistic philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600, though not for accepting Copernicanism. But his death reflects the growing and bitter religious tensions of the sixteenth century, which made it more difficult for Protestants and Catholics alike to dissent from the literal truth of the Bible. Copernicus had pointed out that in his time no one seriously followed Lactantius in denying the sphericity of the earth on Biblical authority, and hence, he argued, one need not reject the mobility of the earth on Biblical authority.
But others were less sure, especially when they reflected upon the physical arguments that could be advanced against a moving earth:its heavy, sluggish nature, the enormous size of the Copernican universe, the belief that a stone dropped from a tower could not land at its foot if the earth were rotating.
The heliocentric theory, by putting the sun at
the center of the universe, … made man appear
to be just one of a possible host of wanderers
drifting through a cold sky. It seemed less
likely that he was born to live gloriously and to
attain paradise upon his death. Less likely, too,
was it that he was the object of God’s ministrations.
— Morris Kline
These were the arguments that moved the Danish Lutheran Tycho Brahe, the first great observational astronomer of modern times. Tycho was no Copernican, but his own system, geocentric and geostatic, was really more revolutionary than that of Copernicus. For Tycho did more than anyone to destroy the Aristotlelian heaven-earth dualism. His observations of the nova of 1572 convinced him that its appearance meant that the heavens were not perfect and unchanging; and his observations of the comet of 1577 convinced him that, since it traversed the regions where the planets lay, there were no solid, crystalline spheres to hold the planets in their orbits. Many Copernicans accepted his reasoning, and the Copernican system was expanded thereby.
But if there were no crystalline spheres, what kept the planets in position, and how did they move? Answers to these questions were attempted at the very end of the sixteenth century by brilliant, original scientists. William Gilbert, born three years before Copernicus’s publication of De revolutionibus, saw no difficulty in accepting at least the daily rotation of the earth, for had he not discovered that the earth was a magnet, and therefore capable of rotating on its axis? And he further postulated that magnetism was responsible for keeping the moon in its orbit- a view that was to be extended to all the planets by Kepler…. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…In summary, what disturbed the Reformers about heliocentrism and why they tried to combat it was that they recognized however dimly, that moral relativism and superstition would have a more favorable climate to grow in a heliocentric culture than in a geocentric one. The Reformers foresaw that heliocentrism would weaken man’s perception of the Bible as the authoritative Word of God.Read More:http://www.geocentricity.com/geocentty/primer.pdf
(see link at end)…According to Spinoza, the results of this Copernican revolution are the following:
(1) Nature is totally unlike our spontaneous anthropomorphic vision of it;
(2) God is Nature, not a Superman, king or lawlord;
(3) Man is not the centre of things, but rather just part of nature;
(4) Notions like ‘free will’ or ‘purpose in nature’ (teleology) are illusory.
Spinoza’s interpretation of the Copernican revolution was much more radical than that of Descartes and even Hobbes. Hence, there are compelling reasons to speak here of radical enlightenment. In contrast, Descartes attempts to vindicate the traditional views on God, man and immortality, while Hobbes still sees man as having special natural rights and obligations vis-à-vis God, even in the state of nature.Read More:http://www.hermandedijn.be/viewpic.php?LAN=E&TABLE=PUB&ID=1454