Cosmic Order, the Movement of the Earth, and the Scientific Revolution
To us inhabitants of the earth it seems as though the earth stands still, while the stars make a full circle around it every twenty-four hours. The stars appearing in the east in the evening are closer to the west in early morning; the sun rising in the east in the morning, moves across the sky towards the mountains and sets behind them in the evening; the moon follows a similar path.
Little wonder then that we cannot shake the habit of talking about the ways of the stars in such a manner; of talking about the sun as though it were a tiny lantern that indeed travelled across the skies. Yet, upon closer reflection, reason prevails once again over perception and teaches us: the stars are immeasurably distant; but how are they to circle the earth in twenty-four hours, given this tremendous distance?
On account of such remoteness, it may flash across everyone’s mind that there must be other explanations for the ways of the stars. And it is as follows: The earth, this gigantic orb soaring free in the heavens, makes a full rotation about its axis in twenty-four hours, leading us, its inhabitants, to believe that the stars revolve around us. This appearance is not deceptive in itself, for in the morning the sun is indeed in the east, and in the evening it truly appears where it is seen, in the west. However, the cause of such a change is...
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