The Science of Settled Science

Remember back in the good old days when the Geocentric Model of the universe was the authoritative view? (Of course, you don’t remember those days, nor do I … I’m old but not that old!) History tells us geocentrism was the accepted model from about 150 AD when astronomer/mathematician Ptolemy developed this view to explain the Earth being the stationary center of the universe around which the known planets and Sun revolved. This concept remained the predominant view until the 15th century.


Look closely at the image above to understand what was considered “true” for centuries. When men like Galileo (1564-1642) began to question conventional wisdom, they faced opposition and vilification. As the “father of modern science,” Galileo’s advocacy of a heliocentric model (the Sun as center) positioned him in direct conflict with religious authorities. His books were banned, he was accused of heresy and forced to recant his views. For many years he lived under house arrest.

The idea of a geocentric universe seems laughable to those of us looking back from our 21st century perspective. From our earliest school-days, we’re taught the planets (including Earth) revolve around the Sun on an elliptical path. How silly those early scientists were to have thought otherwise! — But that could never happen today, right?

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