Since Galileo, a series of revolutions have overturned our conception of the universe and our role in it. During the Middle Ages, the universe was seen as a dark and forbidding place. Earth was like a small, flat stage, full of corruption and sin, enclosed by a mysterious celestial sphere where omens like comets would terrify kings and peasant alike. And if we were deficient in our praise of God and church we would face the wrath of the theater critics, the self-righteous members of the Inquisition and their hideous instruments of persuasion.
Parallel Worlds, Michio Kaku 2005
Penguin ed pp345-6