The discovery of Copernicus was a scientific discovery about the solar
system and has nothing to do with humans. He may have displaced the earth,
but we know nothing about displacing humans. Moorad
From: Ted Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sunday, August 05, 2001 10:39 PM
Subject: Copernicus was wrong?
>Glenn Morton writes (correctly) that Copernicus is usually credited with
>moving humans out of the center. However, as I have noted in other forums
>several times, this very common notion is very wrong. In short, Copernicus
>did not move humanity from the center--because we were never there!
>and others since antiquity were well aware of the earth's approximate size
>and shape, and medieval intellectuals were fully aware that we are a very
>significant 4000 miles from the "center" of the universe. Furthermore, it
>was not desireable to be in the center at all, for that's where hell was
>thought to be. This feature of Copernicanism--moving humanity away from
>center--did not bother people at the time; what bothered them was the
>ridiculous claim that the earth is moving.
>The myth that Copernicus assaulted human dignity may have been invented by
>Freud, as part of a selve-serving idea that Copernicus moved us out of the
>center, Darwin reduced our uniqueness, and he (Freud) had assaulted our
>rationality. I say "may have been," b/c I am not confident this part of
>the story is right. But I'm confident the first paragraph is right.
>Edward B. Davis
>Professor of the History of Science
>Grantham, PA 17027
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