Johannes Kepler, 1571 - 1630

Johannes Kepler was a famous German astronomer who discovered the three major laws of planetary motion.  Yet Kepler was interested in the heavenly bodies not so much for their general physical principles as for their celestial harmonies that reflected God's design for the universe.  Similarly, he became an advocate of the controversial Copernican theory of the solar system mainly because the idea of a sun-centered universe held a mystical appeal for him.  In the tradition of the legendary Greek philosopher Pythagoras, Kepler did not view science and spirituality as mutually exclusive.  The deeper significance of Kepler's laws is that they reconcile the emerging vision of a sun-centered planetary system with the ancient Pythagorean concept of universal harmony.