November 30, 2016

Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes

“Accordingly, since nothing prevents the earth from moving, I suggest that we should now consider also whether several motions suit it, so that it can be regarded as one of the planets. For, it is not the center of all the revolutions.”

“After I had addressed myself to this very difficult and almost insoluble problem, the suggestion at length came to me how it could be solved… if some assumptions (which are called axioms) were granted me.”

“Although all the good arts serve to draw man’s mind away from vices and lead it toward better things, this function can be more fully performed by this art, which also provides extraordinary intellectual pleasure.”

“Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe. All this is suggested by the systematic procession of events and the harmony of the whole Universe, if only we face the facts, as they say, with both eyes open.”

“For a traveler going from any place toward the north, that pole of the daily rotation gradually climbs higher, while the opposite pole drops down an equal amount.”

“For I am not so enamoured of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them.”

“For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study.”

“I am aware that a philosopher’s ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavour to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God.”

“I can easily conceive, most Holy Father, that as soon as some people learn that in this book which I have written concerning the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, I ascribe certain motions to the Earth, they will cry out at once that I and my theory should be rejected.”

“I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle.”

“If there be some who, though ignorant of all mathematics… dare to reprove this work, because of some passage of Scripture, which they have miserably warped to their purpose, I regard them not, and even despise their rash judgement.”

“In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth’s mobility.”

“Let no one expect anything of certainty from astronomy, lest if anyone take as true that which has been constructed for another use, he go away… a bigger fool than when he came to it.”

“Let us put these new hypotheses [in] public appearance among the old ones which are themselves no more probable, especially since they are wonderful and easy and bring with them a vast storehouse of learned observations.”

“Moreover, since the sun remains stationary, whatever appears as a motion of the sun is really due rather to the motion of the earth.”

“Not a few other very eminent and scholarly men made the same request, urging that I should no longer through fear refuse to give out my work for the common benefit of students of Mathematics.”

“Pouring forth its seas everywhere, then, the ocean envelops the earth and fills its deeper chasms.”

“So far as hypotheses are concerned, let no one expect anything certain from astronomy, which cannot furnish it, lest he accept as the truth ideas conceived for another purpose, and depart from this study a greater fool than when he entered it.”

“So, influenced by these advisors and this hope, I have at length allowed my friends to publish the work, as they had long besought me to do.”

“The center of the earth is not the center of the universe, but only of gravity and of the lunar sphere. All the spheres revolve about the sun as their mid-point, and therefore the sun is the center of the universe.”

“The earth also is spherical, since it presses upon its center from every direction.”

“The earth together with its surrounding waters must in fact have such a shape as its shadow reveals, for it eclipses the moon with the arc of a perfect circle.”

“The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens.”

“Therefore I would not have it unknown to Your Holiness, the the only thing which induced me to look for another way of reckoning the movements of the heavenly bodies was that I knew that mathematicians by no means agree in their investigation thereof.”

“Therefore, having obtained the opportunity from these sources, I too began to consider the mobility of the earth.”

“Therefore, in the course of the work I have followed this plan: I describe in the first book all the positions of the orbits together with the movements which I ascribe to the Earth, in order that this book might contain, as it were, the general scheme of the universe.”

“Therefore, when I considered this carefully, the contempt which I had to fear because of the novelty and apparent absurdity of my view, nearly induced me to abandon utterly the work I had begun.”

“Those things which I am saying now may be obscure, yet they will be made clearer in their proper place.”

“Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest in the middle of the heavens as its center, would, I reflected, regard it as an insane pronouncement if I made the opposite assertion that the earth moves.”

“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.”

“We regard it as a certainty that the earth, enclosed between poles, is bounded by a spherical surface.”

“Yet if anyone believes that the earth rotates, surely he will hold that its motion is natural, not violent.”