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Confucius (Chinese: 孔夫子; Pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ; Wade-Giles: K'ung-fu-tzu), lit.

"Master
Kung,"[1] 551 BCE – 479 BCE) was an esteemed Chinese thinker and social philosopher,
whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and
Vietnamese thought and life.

His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social


relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other
doctrines, such as Legalism (法家) or Taoism (道家) during the Han Dynasty.[2][3][4]
Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as
Confucianism (儒家). It was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was
the first to Latinise the name as "Confucius" .

His teachings may be found in the Analects of Confucius (論語), a collection of "brief
aphoristic fragments", which was compiled many years after his death. Modern historians
do not believe that any specific documents can be said to have been written by
Confucius,[5][6] but for nearly 2,000 years he was thought to be the editor or author of all
the Five Classics[7][8] such as the Classic of Rites (editor), and the Spring and Autumn
Annals (春秋) (author).

Nicolas Copernicus
(1473-1543)
Copernicus is said to be the founder of modern astronomy. He was born in Poland,1 and
eventually was sent off to Cracow University, there to study mathematics and optics; at
Bologna, canon law. Returning from his studies in Italy, Copernicus, through the influence
of his uncle, was appointed as a canon in the cathedral of Frauenburg where he spent a
sheltered and academic life for the rest of his days. Because of his clerical position,
Copernicus moved in the highest circles of power; but a student he remained. For relaxation
Copernicus painted and translated Greek poetry into Latin. His interest in astronomy
gradually grew to be one in which he had a primary interest. His investigations were carried
on quietly and alone, without help or consultation. He made his celestial observations from
a turret situated on the protective wall around the cathedral, observations were made "bare
eyeball," so to speak, as a hundred more years were to pass before the invention of the
telescope. In 1530, Copernicus completed and gave to the world his great work De
Revolutionibus, which asserted that the earth rotated on its axis once daily and traveled
around the sun once yearly: a fantastic concept for the times. Up to the time of Copernicus
the thinkers of the western world believed in the Ptolemiac theory that the universe was a
closed space bounded by a spherical envelope beyond which there was nothing.
Claudius Ptolemy, an Egyptian living in Alexandria, at about 150 A.D., gathered and
organized the thoughts of the earlier thinkers. (It is to be noted that one of the ancient Greek
astronomers, Aristarchus, did have ideas similar to those more fully developed by
Copernicus but they were rejected in favour of the geocentric or earth-centered scheme as
was espoused by Aristotle.) Ptolemy's findings were that the earth was a fixed, inert,
immovable mass, located at the center of the universe, and all celestial bodies, including the
sun and the fixed stars, revolved around it. It was a theory that appealed to human nature. It
fit with the casual observations that a person might want to make in the field; and second, it
fed man's ego.

Alfred Wegener. The Origins of Continents and Oceans (4th edition) Some truly
revolutionary scientific theories may take years or decades to win general acceptance
among scientists. This is certainly true of plate tectonics, one of the most important and far-
ranging geological theories of all time; when first proposed, it was ridiculed, but steadily
accumulating evidence finally prompted its acceptance, with immense consequences for
geology, geophysics, oceanography, and paleontology. And the man who first proposed this
theory was a brilliant interdisciplinary scientist, Alfred Wegener. Born on November 1,
1880, Alfred Lothar Wegener earned a Ph.D in astronomy from the University
of Berlin in 1904. However, he had always been interested in geophysics, and
also became fascinated with the developing fields of meteorology and
climatology. During his life, Wegener made several key contributions to
meteorology: he pioneered the use of balloons to track air circulation, and
wrote a textbook that became standard throughout Germany.