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Moving the Earth: Why Copernicus' Theory Was So Hard to Accept

A free lecture sponsored by The Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science and Messiah College Friends of Murray Library

Featured speaker: Dr. Edward B. Davis, Distinguished Professor of the History of Science, Messiah College

Nicolaus Copernicus is famous today for introducing the idea that the Earth goes around the Sun, rather than vice versa. Although almost everyone believes this now, at the time it was highly controversial and impossible to prove from the evidence then available. In this lecture, Dr. Davis reviews Copernicus’ theory of a moving Earth and explains why it was so difficult to accept. He concludes by answering this question: How do scientific theories gain acceptance, if they can’t be proved?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 7:00 pm.  Location: Frey Hall 110, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA.  Directions and a campus map are at

Dr. Edward (“Ted”) Davis is Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College. With the English historian Michael Hunter, he edited The Works of Robert Boyle. He has also written dozens of articles about aspects of the history of Christianity and science for academic journals and popular magazines, including an essay on modern Jonah stories that has been featured on two radio programs from the British Broadcasting Company. A devotee of classical music, he also enjoys cycling, travel, and baseball.


The Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science is based at Messiah College.  For details about all Forum events, please visit or contact Dr. Ted Davis (, 717-766-2511, ext 6840.