Page:Andrade truth.djvu/4

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relative positions of the stars on the soft sands. Presently, more interest appears to be taken in a study, so sublime; and men give more thought to it. Chaldean shepherds are superseded by the cultured. One after another discoveries are made, upsettlng false theories and giving correct and useful ones in their places. The Governments of Greece and Egypt give their aid to its development. Great men arise who attempt to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies upon the theory that the world is fixed in the centre of space, and that the stars are moving round it; but this theory, founded, as it is, on fiction, has to give way before the searching glance of a Coperuicus, who, in spite of the persecution and hatred with which he is received makes the bold assertion that the world is moving with the planets around the sun. People cannot believe it. They ask how it is, if the world is turning round, that they do not, fall off when it is turned upside down. Now, with a spirit almost unequalled, the brave Kepler comes to the front, and proves after years of toilsome and unceasing labour that the theory of Copernicus is correct. But all is not yet finished. It still waits to be accounted for how the earth manages to keep its inhabitants from falling to oblivion. Kepler, who applies a theory of attraction to certain phenomena of nature, leaves it to the master mind of Newton to apply this rule, without discrimination to every particle of matter in existence; and after mathematical demonstration of the correctness of his reasoning, proclaims it to the world. And thus truth rises. But, the reader may ask, "What good has all this done to man?" It has done this! It has taught him, in the first place, that a thing is not necessarily true because someone has said it is so. Further, that the truth cannot be arrived at without labour—that it is man's duty to try and find the truth; and when found, not to hoard it to himself as a miser does his gold, but to give it to the world for the benefit of humanity, so that his knowledge may be a foundation for other minds to build their knowledge upon. The force of our remarks are amply exemplified in the case of the question as to the fixity of the earth. What have been the consequences of these grand discoveries?