Blog #41: We’re not the center of the universe.

The geocentric model was developed by Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE and it was widely accepted for over 1500 years. People believed that the sun, and the other stars and planets revolved around the Earth, hence “geocentric”. People simply saw that the stars were in a different place each night and assumed that they must be moving around the Earth and that the Earth was staying in place. They solely relied on their empirical observations to form these beliefs. Since they didn’t feel the Earth moving, but saw the stars moving, they assumed that everything must be revolving around the Earth.

However, in the late 16th century, the heliocentric model, proposed by Copernicus, superseded the geocentric model. Copernicus used scientific and mathematical ideas to back up his model and refrained from relying solely on empirical observations, as are our senses are fallible. The problem with Copernicus’ proposed model was that nobody believed him at first. People were convinced that the Earth wasn’t moving because they couldn’t sense that it was. Plus people had been living according to the geocentric model for so long and were hesitant to all of a sudden listen to and accept Copernicus’s theory. However, with the Copernicus Revolution came support from other scientists. Advancements from scientists like Galileo (who used a telescope to help support Copernicus’s theories) helped legitimize the heliocentric universe.

*shadows comparable with people seeing the stars moving and thinking that Earth was not

*sun is comparable to Copernicus’ theories and the scientific and mathematical reasoning behind it

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