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Breakthroughs in Astronomy and Medicine in the 16th and 17th Centuries

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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It was during the 16th and 17th centuries when man's view of the unvierse and himself

changed drastically.   This came after a millenium of repetition and stagnation in the

development of science.   People finally began questioning what they were told, and they

went out to find proof rather than assuming on the basis of authority and common sense.

These advances in astronomy and medicine came about in the same era, and were not

unparallel in their development.   In both fields were some very notable people who

contributed greatly to the devolopment in these areas.   In the field of astronomy

Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo shed Aristotle's, Plato's, and Ptolemy's views of

the universe.   In medicine Paraclesus, Vesalius, and Harvey did away with Galen's

ancient practices.

    Ancient Greeks believed that the Earth was stationary, they concluded this by

making some basic obsevations.   One being that the Earth cannot be part of the 'heavens'

because celestial bodies are bright points of light, whereas the Earth is a nonluminous

sphere of mud and rock.   Also in the heavens there is very little change, the same stars are

there night after night, only five planets, the sun, and the moon.   On Earth however things

are constantly changing and reforming.   Their senses also told them that the Earth wasn't

moving.   They believed that the air, the clouds, and the birds would all be left behind if

the Earth spinning around, therefore it couldn't be moving.   Also if the Earth were

spinning everything would fly off due to the centrifugal force.   It was thought that with

all this evidence there was no way that the Earth could be moving.

    There were however a few descrepencies in this Earth stationary or geocentric

view.   The most apparent being the five planets.   They moved unlike anything else, they



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