Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Earth is the center of the solar system, right?

I know, you probably look at this and say, "This is wrong." The sun is in the center. Well, you are right.

Ptolemy came up with this model actually and he was wrong. We all know this. But I was reading about this guy and he did some great things too. I think this is really interesting and it has really made me think. Maybe you have heard of this guy before. If you ever took physical science or astronomy, you surely have heard of him. But you probably only heard about him being wrong. As you see the image above, you know that geocentrism is wrong. Yep. Copernicus proved him wrong back in 1514. The Earth revolves around the sun. Okay Ptolemy was wrong about a couple of things...

What I think is interesting is that most people only remember him for having gotten it wrong and having come out with a bunk theory. And most textbooks really don't go into much more depth about all the amazing discoveries and breakthroughs that he DID make. For example, his principle works were used for over a thousand years and some still hold strong today! His discoveries blew peoples' minds and he was one of the first documented mathematicians who was impressively accurate in much of what he calculated.

It just makes me think about how many times we see someone and make snap judgements of them based off of one thing that happened or some thing that they may have done wrong. We might just overlook a thousand years of why they deserve a little more credit and why they might just be an amazing person.

As Clive Staples Lewis said:
It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.
President Hinckley also said:

Sir Walter Scott was a trouble to all his teachers and so was Lord Byron. Thomas Edison, as everyone knows, was considered a dullard in school. Pestalozzi, who later became Italy's foremost educator, was regarded as wild and foolish by his school authorities.

Oliver Goldsmith was considered almost an imbecile. The Duke of Wellington failed in many of his classes. Among famous writers, Burns, Balzac, Boccaccio, and Dumas made poor academic records. Flaubert, who went on to become France's most impeccable writer, found it extremely difficult to learn to read. Thomas Aquinas, who had the finest scholastic mind of all Catholic thinkers, was actually dubbed "the dumb ox" at school. Linnaeus and Volta did badly in their studies. Newton was last in his class. Sheridan, the English playwright, wasn't able to stay in one school more than a year.

All of this seems to say to me that each of these men, every one of whom later become great, might have done much better in his studies had he received less of criticism and more of encouragement.

Who can you encourage today? Are you encouraging those around you toward becoming a worshippable being or pushing them down to becoming a horror and corruption from a nightmare? Think of the Ptolemies out there.

There have been many who have lifted me helped me during difficulties. They encouraged and loved and reminded me who I am and inspired me to become better and instilled a warmth of spirit with a hope-filled twinkle in their eyes. I love them all for it. Thank you.

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