Although the Greeks knew a great deal about ellipses, and had carefully studied their mathematical properties, it never occurred to them as possible that the heavenly bodies could move in anything but circles or complications of circles, because their aesthetic sense dominated their speculations and made them reject all but the most symmetrical hypotheses. The scholastics had inherited the prejudices of the Greeks, and Kepler was the first who ventured to go against them in this respect. Preconceptions that have an aesthetic origin are just as misleading as those that are moral or theological, and on this ground alone Kepler would be an innovator of first-rate importance. His three laws, however, have another and a greater place in the history of science, since they afforded the proof of Newton's law of gravitation.
Source: Religion and Science, 1935
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