High on the list of the most famous and legendary scientists of past history is the name Galileo, who was a great astronomer and physicist.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was born in Pisa, Italy. His father was descended from one of the leading families in Florence, but whose family fortunes had declined. The struggle for money to take care of his family obligations was a constant problem throughout Galileo's life.
He was the first modern scientist, and one of the primary founders of modern science. He was the first to completely work out the scientific method. He is credited with inventing physics, and made Copernicus' imagining of our solar system undeniable.
The period between approximately 1500 and 1650 witnessed one of the most profound intellectual transformations in human history. It was an era of experimental evidence and attacks on cherished beliefs and institutions that ushered in the scientific revolution. This was to change forever how humankind viewed the world.
Galileo played a timely and significant role in this new way that people viewed the universe and their place in it. This became a historic collision between the new discoveries and findings of science and the enduring power of orthodoxy. No single event embodied the confrontation as dramatically as the prosecution of Galileo by the Catholic Church authorities over the place of the earth in the solar system.
Both in print and in 1633 before Catholic Church officials, his all-too-vivid defense of Copernican cosmology got him into serious trouble. Under the threat of torture, he recanted his beliefs and lived the rest of his life basically under house arrest.
However, the spirit he represented could not be subdued through out the Western World, and a new way of viewing the world around us arrived for good. Eventually, scientific evidence and rational argument, made it apparent that many of the ideas postulated by such ancient authorities such as Aristotle, Ptolemy and Galen were simply not correct.
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