Descartes, René (1596–1650)
  • a French scientist and philosopher who developed theories of the origin of the planets. His view that planets are expired stars was proven wrong but his view of an infinite universe capable of logical explanation was original and far-sighted. He also worked on optics, including improved telescope manufacture, and the nature of light.
  • French scientist and philosopher whose astronomical thought – a small part of his life’s work – included developing coherent theories of the origin of the planets. His view that planets are expired stars was proven wrong later but his view of an infinite universe capable of logical explanation was original and far-sighted. He also worked on optics, including improved telescope manufacture, and the nature of light.

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