Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This Day in History February 19, 1473


Today I am featuring one smart cookie--Nicolaus Copernicus--since he was born on this date in 1473.  What's the big deal about him?  He was a scientist who said that the earth revolved around the sun.  Okay, so we know that, but remember.  We didn't always know that.  He was born in Poland, and he never used a telescope to determine his findings (this was almost a century before Galileo's telescope).  As you might know, the Roman Catholic Church often took issues with findings such as these.  They said that Copernicus' claims were heretical.  Reformer Martin Luther even denounced these findings.  Copernicus was careful to point out that this was a theory.  It would appear that this saved him from the fate of some scientists of the era and following (look up Galileo and what he went through).

I did find an interesting tidbit of information.  In 2005, a skeleton that was believed to be his was found under  a floor tile of a cathedral in Poland. They checked out the DNA, and the skull was reconstructed.  Three years later, they confirmed that the skeleton was indeed his.  How strange!

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