Joshua Vinbaytel
Hst 231
March 1st, 2017
Professor Powers
Stellar Parallax
Stellar Parallax is one of the most important arguments in advancing the way our universe works. Both the Aristotelians and the Copernicans (Galileans) had their own views and ideas on how the notion of stellar parallax proves certain ideas. The Aristotelians believe that the Earth moves as these Copernicans say it does, there should be changes in the apparent position of the stars. They say that as the earth moves some stars should recede and others should appear. Unfortunately due to the observational skills of the human eye, the Aristotelians saw no such changes in the sky; rather they saw the same stars in the same spot every night. This made them conclude that since the stars stood still then like Aristotle himself had explained, the stars are fixed in the heavens. Unlike the Aristotelians, the followers of Copernicus, such as Galileo believed that no one on the Earth visually with the naked eye could witness stars move in the night sky. He stated that there was way to big of a special relationship with the stars and Earth. In other words the distance between the Earths surface where people are standing and the distance of the visible stars in the night sky is so big that no one can see them change with the human eye. Galileo's arguments are valid because he uses his invention of the telescope to see a more detailed and clear visual of the night sky and the stars.
Unlike Aristotle, Galileo actually used a technological invention that can show us a more magnified image than the naked eye, already making it sure that the observations by Galileo were more accurate than Aristotle's eye. Furthermore, Galileo proclaimed these arguments of Aristotle false because he was unable to use anything besides his eye and his interpretation of what he saw to draw his illegitimate conclusions. Galileo made his telescope out of a children's toy. The Dutch, who at the time were the leading technologically advanced country in Europe, manufactured this toy and Galileo further enhanced it eventually turning it into a microscope that could see twenty times larger than the human eye. Does this not make the observations of Galileo twenty times more accurate? Simply put if you were presented with two different arguments, one that since a stellar parallax was not observed with the human eye the Earth cannot move and is the center of the universe or by using a 20x microscope, the observations in the night sky show the stars moving very slowly, but never the less moving. This argument concludes with evidence that the Earth does move and that the special relationship between the human eye here on Earth and the background stars cannot be accurate as the stars are too far away.
I hope many of you especially those of you who are members of the Catholic Church, now understand that the ideas of Aristotle are too vague and misleading. He observed with his naked eye to conclude his observations, but Galileo used an infamous invention that I'm sure we can all agree provides us with much more detailed and specific evidence and shows us that his rebuttal towards Aristotle is true and that the Aristotelian model is absolutely outdated and irrelevant in these times.