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.*
- Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik) was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
- Copernicus’ epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published just before his death in 1543, is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the scientific revolution. His heliocentric model, with the Sun at the center of the universe, demonstrated that the observed motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations, becoming a landmark in the history of science that is often referred to as the Copernican Revolution.
- Among the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, quadrilingual polyglot, classical scholar, translator, artist, Catholic cleric, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat, and economist. Among his many responsibilities, astronomy figured as little more than an avocation — yet it was in that field that he made his mark upon the world.**
*I first came across this quotation in The Language of God (2006) by Francis Collins pp. 230-31.
It is also in quoted in Poland: The Knight Among Nations (1907) by Louis E. Van Norman, p. 290; which can be found online here: http://openlibrary.org/books/OL20436595M/Poland_The_Knight_Among_Nations
**The biographical information is copied from: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Nicolaus_Copernicus