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Man's insight into his relation to the physical world about him and to the universe of which his planet is a part, albeit a small one, has undergone as complete a change as is possible. Man, having seen himself as a relatively important figure on the face of the earth, lost this primacy when he came to realize that the earth revolved around the sun; and now with vast telescopes and such astonishing things as radioastronomy, we have emphasized more and more that man is very "small potatoes" indeed. In ancient times when travel from one part of the world to another limited if it did not wholly prevent the exchange of ideas and customs, and with the population of cities and countries very much smaller, each individual man was a much larger fraction of the population. He was indeed a more important element in his community than is possible
Bean WB. Galileo and the Scientific Revolution. Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):681–682. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290147033
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