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Copernicus And The Banned Book

On This Day In History…

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” -Wernher von Braun

Food For Thought

And Around And Around We Go

On this day in 1616, the book De Revolutoinibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) was banned by the Catholic Church.

Written by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543, the book revealed a theory that we now know to be true: that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Copernicus postulated that the Sun was the center of the universe — a theory that directly challenged the religious philosophy that man was the center of all creation.

(Today, we know that both of these claims are false. Neither the Earth nor the Sun is the center of the universe… but the Earth does revolve around the Sun.)

Ironically, Copernicus dedicated the book to the pope, and at the time of its publication, there wasn’t much controversy within the Catholic Church.

In fact, Protestants were the first to show heavy opposition. Philip Melanchthon, a collaborator of Martin Luther, wrote:

“Some people believe that it is excellent and correct to work out a thing as absurd as did that Sarmatian astronomer who moves the earth and stops the sun. Indeed, wise rulers should have curbed such light-mindedness.”

But even while theologians had a hard time accepting it, astronomers quickly adopted Copernicus’s discoveries and updated their calendars, maps, and theories accordingly.

It wasn’t until 1616 — and more than 70 years after Copernicus’s death — that the book was officially banned.


Because at that time, Galileo had begun work to confirm Copernicus’s research and was publishing his findings more publically.

In 1633, the Catholic Church convicted Galileo of heresy for “following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture,” and placed him under house arrest for the rest of his life.

More than 200 years later, in 1835, the ban on the book was finally lifted.

Copernicus’s discovery and Galileo’s continued research didn’t just create a more realistic model of the solar system; they also drew into question much of what the scientists of the time thought they knew about physics. Their theories would go on to help build our current understanding of modern astronomy and physics.

But… this was not the first time this theory had been expressed!

Eighteen centuries before Copernicus, Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer, had formulated the same model that put the Sun at the center of the known universe. His theories, however, were rejected in favor of the geocentric theories of Aristotle and Ptolemy.

Copernicus’ book was banned, Galileo was placed under house arrest, and Aristarchus’ research was lost to time…

All of these stories to show that even something as intuitive to us as the statement “the Earth revolves around the sun” went through centuries of controversy and discussion before it was widely accepted.

Now, you may not be the next Galileo and you may not discover something that completely changes how we view the world — or, you might! 😄 — but you do have perspectives, thoughts, and theories that can change your world.

Don’t let conventional thinking stop you from pursuing what you believe to be true. Don’t let others stop you in your tracks because they aren’t able to see your vision.

Popular reasoning has been wrong before. It will most certainly be wrong again.

Mission Daily

The Courage To Prevent Tragedies

Speaking up is hard. It’s even more difficult when the chance of doing so could lead to you being disliked. Chad and Stephanie talk about why it’s so important to have the courage to speak up, and Chad gets personal about times he did and didn’t speak his mind that have affected him to this day.

🎧 Listen to the Episode 🎧

Deep Dive

It Doesn’t Just Take One

Worldchanging discoveries don’t just happen all at once — they are a result of years, decades, and even centuries of collaborative research. One theory builds off of another builds off of another… etc.

In the case of our modern understanding of astronomy, here are 11 of the most famous astronomers and physicists throughout history.

The Journey

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

At some point in life, just about everybody struggles with imposter syndrome — a feeling that you don’t belong where you are or that you aren’t qualified to be doing what you’re doing. This is especially true for many small business owners. Marcus Carey, the founder and CEO of Threatcare, has been dealing with imposter syndrome his entire life.

“I wanted to do what I was called to do… So the big setback was not having that confidence initially.”

Listening to Marcus’ journey, you’ll learn how he overcame his circumstances and found the confidence to not just survive in business, but thrive.

Listen in.


Speaking Of Eye-Opening Discoveries…

On today’s edition of “How can that possibly not have any side effects?” we bring you a story from China.

A team at the University of Science and Technology of China gave mice shots of nanoparticles to the eye. These injections allowed the mice to see infrared light (i.e. give them night vision).

The craziest part?

After 10 weeks, the injection wore off and there were no side effects. 😲

Enter The Giveaway

Did Someone Say ‘Free Stuff’?

Yes, we did… 😏

Upgrade your home or office with the hottest tech of 2019! Enter now for a chance to win:

  • The Top Toy Tech 2019 Gift Set
  • A LUNAR Augmented Reality Notebook
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Sign Off ✌️

Happy Tuesday!

Today’s question of the day…👇👇

If it became available to humans, would you get that injection? Tweet your answers at us @TheMissionHQ! 👀

Catch you tomorrow!

This was originally published on March 5, 2019 as The Mission’s daily newsletter. To subscribe, go here.

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Copernicus And The Banned Book was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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