Physics, Earth & Space Icon Physics, Earth & Space

Science Historian Michael Keas on the Copernican Promotion

David Klinghoffer

Michael Keas

One of the myths that science historian Michael Keas writes about in his new book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion, is the Copernican demotion. As promoted by atheists like Neil deGrasse Tyson and the last Christopher Hitchens, that’s the notion the old exalted idea of man’s stature in the cosmos was knocked down by the news that the Earth goes round the Sun rather than the other way around.

As Professor Keas explains here, though, Copernicus and others in his time welcomed the revelation since it indicated that Earth was not stuck at the “bottom” of the pure, dazzling stars but, instead, danced among them. In other words, Copernicus offered our planet and mankind a promotion, not a demotion. 

Keas, a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, does a wonderful job of setting the myth-makers straight, including folks like Tyson who think they have a superior source of human significance to substitute for the outdated, “childish” Judeo-Christian one. Unbelievable is a great read and an important book.