By Marie Boas Hall
Nature and natures legislation files of the clinical revolutions.
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Additional resources for Nature and Nature’s Laws: Documents of the Scientific Revolution
The rest of the Planets' motions ••• 3 shall more largely be hereafter spoken of. Herein good Reader, I have waded farther than the vulgar sort demonstratively and practically, and God sparing life, I mean, though not as a judge to decide, yet at the mathematical bar in this case to plead in such sort, as it shall manifestly appear to the world whether it be possible upon the Earth's stability to deliver any true or probable theory, and then refer the pronouncing of sentence to the grave senate of indifferent discreet mathematical readers.
Besides, what genius ever has found in one same (Ptolemaic) sphere those stars which we call fixed, or ever has given rational proof that there are any such adamantine spheres at all? No man hath shown this ever; nor is there any doubt that even as the planets are at various distances from earth, so, too, are those mighty and multitudinous luminaries ranged at various heights and at distances most remote from earth: they are not set in any sphaeric framework or firmament (as is supposed), nor in any vaulted structure.
Thus the suppositions and purely imaginary spheres postulated by Ptolemy and others for finding the times and periods of movements, are not of necessity to be accepted in the physical lectures of philosophers. It is then an ancient opinion, handed down from the olden time, but now developed by great thinkers, that the whole earth makes a diurnal rotation in the space of twenty-four hours. But since we see the sun, the moon, and the other planets, and the whole heavenly host, within the term of one day come and depart, then either the earth whirls in daily motion from west to east, or the whole heavens and all the rest of the universe of things necessarily speeds about from east to west.