Of all the early proponents of the Copernican theory, Galileo was perhaps the most renowned and certainly one of the most effective.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was educated in the classical, Aristotelian manner. He showed good promise, and began the study of medicine. The medical sciences failed to hold his interest, and he became intrigued with the study of physics and mathematics. He progressed so well in these fields that when twenty-five he was teaching at the University of Pisa. Even as he studied and taught the current physics and astronomy, he became convinced of the inadequacies of many Aristotelian principles. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "3. Galileo. Pt. VIII: The Development of Modern Science." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 20-47.