The Heliocentric Theory

The Heliocentric theory is the “theory” that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. It was made by Copernicus. And it made more sense than the Ptolemaic model. The Heliocentric theory predicts the motion of the planets and, also shows where the planets and the stars and moon are in the universe. It took 150 years to prove to the world that this theory was correct. This theory inspired many people to become scientists and that spread investigation disciplines. Without Copernicus there would have been no GPS.


Nicholas Copernicus was born in 1473. His father died when he was 10 so his Uncle took care of him. He developed an interest in astronomy. He went to a Catholic school and read Aristotle and books full of star charts. It was there that he began figuring out the problems and contradictions of Aristotle’s vision of the universe, and Ptolemy’s deviations from Aristotle’s theories. Then when he was around 30 he became his Uncle’s secretary and doctor. And there he came up with the Heliocentric theory. And he made his first draft in 1514. He thought it made sense that the sun would be in the middle to give light to all of the planets. He always avoided the pagan influence and stuck to biblical world views. Copernicus’ Christian faith provided a basis for the Scientific Revolution. He also made other astronomical discoveries by using inventions that he made!


Andreas Vesalius was born in 1514 in Brussels. His father and grandfather and great-grandfather were all doctors for the German empire. His father put him in a Catholic school to be a doctor and then he went to the Netherlands and went to the University of Leuven. But then moved to Paris to pursue a career in the military and later he got into anatomy. He learned of Galen and his critics. He did human dissection and found out that Galen did not actually study the human body and that he was incorrect about many things. Galen was not able to dissect because it was illegal to go to the cemetery and dissect a body, so instead Galen used animal bodies like pigs, monkeys and other animals to study. Vasalius was the first person to contradict Galen’s theories. In 1543 he wrote a book about anatomy that had detailed descriptions and pictures. Vesalius inspired people to study anatomy.

The Pencil

Writing tools have been around since the beginning of time. People used to use parchment and ink, but that was not that good to use because you could not erase the ink. Clay tablets were one of the earlier forms of writing. There would be a square mold full of clay and you would use a dry reed to write into the clay, and if you made a mistake you could just smush the clay back into place. When you where done with the writing you would bake it into a hard tablet. The Chinese used to carve into hard surfaces like turtle shells. The Romans used wax which worked sort of like clay. In 1500 a large graphite mine was found in England. Graphite became very popular because it was easy to use, and it was soft so you could break it into little sticks. Since the graphite was so soft is broke too easily people encased it in string and sheep skin. In 1560 an Italian couple invented the pencil that we use today. They encased the graphite in wood. The pencil made it easier to write and draw.


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