ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
#10 OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL SCIENTISTS
#10 NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
Life Dates = 1473-1543 A.D.
DISCOVERY OF HELIOCENTRIC UNIVERSE
The posthumous publication in 1543 of the book, On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies, by Copernicus helped diminish the Ptolemaic system of describing the universe with a stationary earth at the center of the universe and stars and planets circulating overhead.
Thus Copernicus helped the whole theological interpretation of the place of human beings at the center of the universe collapse in favor of his heliocentric version of the true relationship of the earth and the sun, which was one of the biggest scientific revolutions in human thinking!
It was a revolution in thinking about the revolutions of the sun and earth and moon as well as the revolutions of the other known planets around the sun.
Copernicus as a cosmological genius gets credit for starting the "copernican revolution" but Kepler and Newton contributed the major developments that became the Copernican Revolution as it is known today.
Note: Ptolemy's brilliance (he lived for 78 years, from 90 AD to 168 AD), considering the limited instruments (no telescopes) that he had for looking at stars and planets almost got him on the list of the 100 Most Influential Scientists in History, since his view was influential for hundreds of years. (page 55 of The Scientific 100 book)
The Scientific 100 by John Simmons (pages 55-58); Britannica Encyclopedia; and Wikipedia.
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