On this day in history, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy. In a number of carefully reasoned treatises, Galileo provided evidence that the earth was not in fact the center of the universe.
He knocked epistemology, theology, history, as well as science on its head.
Much of the evidence provided by Galileo came from his use of the telescope. Many people are unaware that Galileo did not invent this instrument himself. A Dutch eyeglass maker, Hans Libbershey, was at least the first person to apply for a patent in 1608. But Galileo was a very early adopter, and improver, of the telescope.
Both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have called Galileo the father of modern science. But he did more than that, by showing us that we must look beyond ourselves to have a full understanding of the universe and how it works. As author John Green often argues, one of the best ways to do this nowadays is by reading books.