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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Rhys Vaughan


As we have seen Copernicus correctly put Earth in orbit around the sun but his view was still medieval: he had nothing to say about the nature of the planets or what the stars were. But there had always been people who had glimpsed the truth.

Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600) had proposed that the stars were suns and had their own planets. He also believed that the universe was infinite and the world of humanity was not the most important but was therefore just a speck in infinity. Bruno was burned at the stake for these beliefs which he refused to disavow.

The English poet John Donne certainly believed in other worlds. In 1624 he wrote (modernising his spelling): "Men that inhere upon Nature only, are so far from thinking, that there is anything singular in the world, as that they will scarce think, that the world itself is singular, but that every planet and every star is another world like this. They find reason to conceive, not only a plurality of in every species in the world but a plurality of worlds."

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