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Monday, September 03, 2007

Undead materialist myths: Copernicus “demoted” humans from the center of the universe

Following on the Christians’ flat earth myth, another friend notes that it is likewise untrue that Copernicus somehow “demoted” humans from the center of the universe. University of British Columbia professor Dennis Danielson notes in a 2001 article in the American Journal of Physics, “The Great Copernican Cliche” (69 (2001), p. 1029):
ABSTRACT: For more than three centuries scientists, historians, and popularizers of science have been repeating the claim that Copernicus "dethroned" earth from its "privileged" central position in the universe. However, a survey of pre-Copernican natural philosophy
(which viewed the earth as located in a cosmic sump) and of Copernicans' own account of the axiological meaning of the new heliocentric astronomy (which exalted earth to the dance of the
stars) demonstrates that the cliche about earth's "demotion" is unwarranted and fit to be discarded. %October, no. 10

Here’s a popular piece on the same subject. And yes, Dennis Danielson did appear in The Privileged Planet film.

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