Don’t ya just hate it when you make a mistake?
I know I do, on the rare ocassion when I do, and I discover it on the blog or elsewhere, I cringe. Really, I do. It makes me turn “reddish”!
Imagine how the Catholic Church feels!
You know, Copernicus – the 16th century astronomer who said the universe didn’t revolve around the earth, and that we were part of a heliocentric universe. That guy, Nicolaus Copernicus. Yeah, you remember him. He was from Poland.
A little know (at that time) astronomer, Nick lived in northern Poland and used “the naked eye” to observe the heavens as the telescope had not been invented yet. He surmised that the earth orbited the Sun and not that the earth was the main ball in the park.
Copernicus’ epochal book, De Revolutionibut Orbium Coelestium, or On the Revolutions of the Celtial Spheres was putblished shortly before his death in 1543.
The Church was not happy.
The book, as we will call it, is regarded as the launching point of modern astronomy which began a scientific revolution.
He theorized that with the Sun at the center of the universe, the motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations.
Some by the local Priests.
He was excommunicated.
Branded a Heretic.
Voted off the island.
After his death, his remains rested in an unmarked grave beneath the floor of the cathedral in Frombork, on Poland’s Baltic coast, the exact location unknown. He had been a canon there.
His revolutionary model was based on complex mathematical calculations and his naked-eye observations of the heavens.
But, alas, they found him, dug him UP, and on a Saturday, his remains were blessed with holy water by some of Poland’s highest-ranking clerics before an honor guard ceremoniously carried his coffin through the cathedral and lowered it back into the same spot.
All that was left were a few bones and his skull.
They identified him with DNA, it matched a hair left in one of his books. I guess he was a shedder; can you say manscaping?
He is getting some “cred” though, a black granite stone marks the spot where he rests. It not only identifies him as the founder of the heliocentric theory, but also a church canon, a cleric ranking below a priest. The tombstone is decorated with a model of the solar system, a golden sun encircled by six of the planets. Yes, I know there are nine eight. Not all of them were discovered yet, apparently his eyes weren’t all that good, and then there’s poor Pluto!
This event comes 18 years after Galilelo was rehabilitated by the Vatican. Galilelo was persecuted during the Inquisition for carrying the Copernicus Revolution forward.
BTW, Poland is also the home of the Late John Paul II who said in his day that the church was wrong for condemning Copernicus.
The funeral is considered as having symbolic value in that it is a gesture of reconciliation between science and faith.
Gee, I wonder where Scopes is buried?
ps. I am guest posting at http://realworldvenusmars.blogspot.com/ today. Check it out!