Tycho, Kepler and the Modern Philosopher’s Stone

Awhile back, I read Tycho and Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership That Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens.

Today I read the Modern Philosopher’s Stone and was reminded of what I wrote in my novelist’s notebook:

Kepler said, about himself, that he was in a state of “permanent repentance about lost time and a permanent loss of time through my own fault.”

Naturally, this has nothing to do with what my fellow blogger writes about hydrogen and taxes. Why should it? I am merely reminded that Johannes Kepler — who was hired by Tycho Brahe — is considered by some to be the father of modern science because he was one of the first men to ask “why”.

Why did the sun revolve around the earth? Before Kepler, no one was very much concerned with the question “why”, because there wasn’t very much hard evidence, nor was any way to add to the evidence that had already been collected. So, for hundreds of years scientists and scholars pretty much ignored the problem.

Everything changed after Kepler published his Laws of Planetary Motion between 1609 and 1619.

The fact that I’m writing this blog entry, instead of continuing my novel, is my own damn fault. And even though I am not, nor will I ever be, like Johannes Kepler, I can’t help feeling that permanent sense of repentance.


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