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Donald R. Perry

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 37: Interpreting Evidence

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Interpreting Evidence
Interpreting evidence

The Copernican revolution, which had its beginning in 1543, represents a case study of how intuitive knowledge is ultimately replaced by scientific empiricism to produce a new theory of nature. From the time of Ptolemy, observations that planets, stars, sun, and moon traverse the day and night skies led to the misconception that these heavenly bodies circled a stationary earth. However, planetary orbits tabulated by Copernicus indicated that in actuality planets revolved around the sun. Known as the solar system, this understanding of nature was resisted for over a century as astronomers grappled with a succession of empirical observations by Tycho Brahe (1577), Galileo (1610), Newton (1687), and others who ultimately established the solar system as scientific fact.

The curious match between North ...

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