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Second Thought

Rene Descartes once began work on a book about the universe in which he endorsed the Copernican (or heliocentric) theory which postulated that the sun, rather than the earth, lay at the center of the solar system. Everything went swimmingly -- until Descartes learned that Galileo Galilei had been brought before the Spanish Inquisition and condemned for writing a similar book.

Descartes promptly abandoned the project.

["I hope that posterity will judge me kindly," Descartes once wrote, "not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery."]

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