by PhilipJ on 31 May 2006
The times after Copernicus were times in which there were great debates about whether the planets in fact went around the sun along with the earth, or whether the earth was at the centre of the universe and so on. Then a man named Tycho Brahe evolved a way of answering the question. He thought that it might perhaps be a good idea to look very very carefully and to record exactly where the planets appear in the sky, and then the alternative theories might be distinguished from one another. This is the key of modern science and it was the beginning of the true understanding of Nature – this idea to look at the thing, to record the details, and to hope that in the information thus obtained might lie a clue to one or another theoretical interpretation.
It was such a good idea that we haven’t had to change the process yet, some 500 years later.