>We often forget that the reason the Ptolemaic Theory of planetary motion lasted so long, and
>the Copernican Theory was resisted, was because the Ptolemaic system actually describes
>the motions of the Sun, Moon, and five planets you can see with the naked eye. It is complex
>and inelegant, but it fits the data.
Errrr, I may be mistaken, but doesn't the Copernican Theory also "actually describe the motions"
of the sun and the planets that you don't need a telescope to see, and it also fits the data?
The Ptolemaic Theory held on so long because it used (if memory serves) a perfect geometric
shape (the circle) to explain everything - or, rather nothing but circles, and circles within circles,
and circles within circles within circles - rather than that inelegant, illogical, Godless, messy
thing called an "ellipse".
....or something like that.