A Paradigm Shift Essay.
A Paradigm it is what we all see as a world view. Paradigm shift is defined as being a radical change in underlying beliefs of theory (Kuhn, 1922). What this means is we believe and rely on something our whole life, but then new science discoveries test our beliefs. A good example of this is the paradigm that separated the revealed truth of the Bible from scientific truth. In today’s world science has been our only means to determining truth. In the 16th Century Galileo Galilei, an Italian pioneer, was a very famous person in time that tried many theories we had believed about our very own planet Earth.
Although, before Galileo made his discoveries about the universe there were many other beliefs. These are some of the pioneers and theories that made an epic paradigm shift through time. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, had accepted the idea that there were four basic elements – earth, air, water, fire. Aristotle believed that heaven was perfect and it was unchanging.
He put the Earth in the center of the universe and said that all these elements were under the moon, which was the closest celestial body.
Aristotle envisioned the earth as the true center of all the circles or ‘orbs’ carrying the heavenly bodies around it and all motion as ‘uniform,’ that is, unchanging (Nicolaus Copernicus: Minor Works, 1985). Copernicus was the source of Galileo’s difficulties. Nicolaus Copernicus, a mathematician and astronomer, proposed that the sun was stationary in the center of the universe and the earth revolved around it. This went against all beliefs people had about Earth being the center of the universe.
Galileo found his discoveries to be all incorrect. After many scientific observations of the moon he had proved Copernicus theories to be correct and supported his theory. To prove his theories he took the leaders to the tower of San Marcos. He used his telescope to show the discoveries he made in the night sky that verified that Earth revolved around the Sun (Joel Barker, 1990). Cardinal Ballarmine, the defender or Catholic Dogma, was not convinced of Galileo’s arguments and found him to be dangerous to Catholicism.
He was not allowed advocate nor teach Copernican astronomy anymore because it was contrary to the accepted understanding of the Holy Scriptures. He then was sentenced to life in prison, but because of his poor health he served his sentence in house arrest. Galileo had made many interesting discoveries like the discovery of Jupiter’s moon. Because of his theories and his courage he had, he was going to make a revolutionary change. Galileo then went blind, because of so much use of his telescope. He then died in his house at the age of 78, from the cause of natural death.
This point in history is a perfect example of a paradigm shift. People at that time believed one thing for so long that it made Galileo’s findings pushed off to be taken as a mere hypothesis. Everyone was afraid of accepting and adapting to a new way of perceiving the earth and the universe. Even now people still resist change, no matter for what reason, whether it’s for science, social, personal ideas or no matter what it is. We have to learn to make paradigm shifts to have a better future and to have courage to come up with new ideas that can change the way everyone in the world thinks.