You will prepare and submit a term paper on Inventions and Discoveries. Your paper should be a minimum of 1000 words in length. A brief description of each discovery will be included in this discussion as well as how each discovery has challenged traditions and changed society for the good. Telescope Telescope is a device used to form magnified images of distant objects. Telescope is undoubtedly the most important investigative tool in astronomy. Galileo was the first person who used the telescope to study extraterrestrial bodies (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011). The exact history about the invention of telescope is still unknown and controversial. However, it is believed that the first practical telescope was invented in Netherlands in the 17 th century. Astronomy and astrophysics developed a lot after the discovery of telescope. Heliocentric Model The Heliocentric Model was originally discovered by Nicolas Copernicus in 1543. The model assumed the Sun lies at or near the central point while the Earth and other bodies revolve around it (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). Copernicus was able to prove that all the planets are revolving around the sun in fixed orbits. He assumed that in the solar system, sun remains as the nucleus and the planets are rotating around the sun. The centripetal force towards the nucleus exerted by the sun was keeping the planets in their orbits. This model was in opposition of Claudius Ptolemy’s Geocentric Model which asserted the Earth was the central point. Ptolemy’s Geocentric Model assumed that Earth was at the nucleus and all the other planets and sun were rotating around the earth. He assumed that we are seeing sun at the east in the morning and at the west in the evening because of the rotation of the sun around earth. With the development of the telescope, Galileo was able to question the above belief and confirmed that Copernicus’ Heliocentric Model was accurate. The discovery that the Earth was not the central point of the universe would prove to be epic and would go on enhance human understanding of nature. The model challenged the Protestant and Catholic positions as well as the geocentric view of the universe. The long-standing societal tradition was that the Holy Bible super ceded all in regard to human discovery. The discovery of the Heliocentric Model certainly challenged this tradition. After all, the word written by God himself was recorded in the Bible, how could God’s word be wrong? The question “is the Bible is wrong or not” is debatable. It is not necessarily that the Bible was wrong. it is certainly plausible that its contents may have been misinterpreted or taken out of context. Nevertheless, the discovery forced a resistant society to examine how the Bible was interpreted and it also challenged previous assumptions made about the universe up to that point. Earlier, people believed that earth is stationary whereas sun is rotating. However after the discovery of telescope, Galileo assumed that sun remains stationary whereas earth is rotating. In Bible, there is a contradictory statement against the above belief. The Israeli leader Joshua once asked the sun to remain stationary in order to defeat the Palestine in an ongoing war. Bible says that because of Joshua’s prayer, the sun remained stationary for 24 hours in order to help Joshua in defeating the Palestine.
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