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File:Justus Sustermans - Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636.jpg Galileo had the misfortune to become a poster boy for a cause he would never have espoused himself; he was a devout Catholic and all three of his children adopted the religious life.*

He honestly believed that Copernicus was right at a time when it was impossible to prove that and the Church had not made up its mind (on a question with which it should never have gotten involved).** Churchmen (and he hobnobbed with them) wanted him to keep quiet, but he wouldn’t.

Canadian literary journalist Wade Rowland offers some background:

As a man of no small ego, and a touch paranoid to boot, he would doubtless enjoy of the veneration in which he is held as astronomer and martyr to reason and science, victim of religious dogmatism and anti-intellectualism. But he would be greatly disturbed by the simple-minded version of his travails that has come down to us through three and a half centuries of myth-making and propaganda. He would want to insist that his argument with the Church was of far, far greater significance than a squabble over whether or not the earth moves, as most of us now suppose it was. The Copernican question had in fact been largely settled in the minds of the better informed Church leaders, including the pope and his chief theologian – not to mention the brilliant Jesuit mathematicians and astronomers of the Collegeo Romano – long before Galileo’s epic confrontation with Rome came to a head.

In the matter of his notorious trial by the Holy Office in 1633, he conceded his error and publicly – and sincerely – demonstrated his contrition. He had, as the Church charged, no conclusive grounds for claiming that the Copernican hypothesis was fact, and it had been a matter of serious insubordination for him to disobey a direct papal order not to go about behaving as if he did. As a deeply committed Catholic and the beneficiary of ecclesiastical favours, he was, after all, obliged to play by the rules. But to this day his admirers stubbornly refuse to accept him at his word, preferring in a bizarre twist of logic to see him as a moral weakling, cowed by threats of the rack, or, worse, a liar and perjurer who falsely confessed before God in order to save his mortal skin.

He was none of these things. (Nor, as he knew, were threats of torture more than an antiquated procedural formality – no threat at all.) He was a man captivated by his discovery that laws of mechanical motion could be derived from direct observation of the world, and then expressed in elegant mathematical formulae. The scales had fallen from his eyes and he could see with ecstatic clarity that the world was in some very real way composed of number. More.

That wasn’t, in isolation, untrue either. But he was willing to throw other equally important truths under the stoneboat, and it was by no means only religious dogmatists who opposed him. The essay is a breath of fresh air, as is Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter.

*Dava Sobel’s biography recounts that they were born out of wedlock (Galileo could not marry their mother due to class differences, which functioned in his day somewhat like castes, or so Dava Sobel tells us.) The religious life provided a respectable exit from the problem, but that should not be taken to mean that the family lacked piety. Quite the reverse.

** Which may be one reason it stays out of age-of–the-Earth conflicts today.

One of my favorite Galileo quotes (from Sobel's book) that shows how harmoniously the spiritual and the scientific mind of man can co-exist:
I render infinite thanks to God, for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries.
Yes Jerry, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I watch a Bergman presentation as to how well he has done his homework, no matter which topic he may be covering. But from a guy who has multiple PhD's, I guess that level of accurate detail is just the way he approaches any subject he studies. Moreover, he rarely talks over your head as many PhD.'s are prone to do. bornagain77
Excellent video. Illustrates the problems that exist today as it goes beyond Galileo to the problem of evolution with the main stream churches. Today, academic science defends bogus science just as academic science defended bogus science in the time of Galileo. They do it through intimidation. Again showing that the most interesting thing about these issues is not science but the behavior of those in power. Another interesting thing is two Protestants (are they YEC's) defending the Catholic Church in the area of science. Again for those interested in finding out what the "Galileo Affair" was all about, see the two Teaching Company courses I mentioned above which discuss Galileo in detail. Here are the links again: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=4691 http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?pc=professor&cid=1235 It was mainly about the politics of the 30 Years War and had little to do with religion or even science. This video adds the perspective of academic jealousy. jerry
Origins - Galileo with Dr. Jerry Bergman - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsaPvjKNXDA bornagain77
Thanks Barb, have found this on Dava Sobel and will give it a listen tonight: A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos Jennifer interviews Dava Sobel about her latest book, 'A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos'. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/firsttuesday/s3576835.htm bornagain77
BA77 @ 6:
Often times an atheist will try to deride a person’s Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, ‘Well, we also don’t believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?’, trying to mock the person’s Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science.
I find that whenever an atheist states something like this, I automatically assume that he/she knows little about the Bible or about the history of science. Oh, and "Galileo's Daughter" is a great read. Barb
Joe, It was Urban who suggested the title and content. He said it should be couched as an hypothesis. Galileo didn't do that and that is what got Galileo in trouble. And it was big time trouble because of the politics of the day. What got Galileo in trouble was that his treatise whose idea was suggested/approved by Urban was published under the authority/seal of a man who was trying to depose Urban. Galileo did include the hypothesis but it was put at the very end of the document in the mouth of someone named Simplicio who was as the name suggested, a simpleton. So the pope was identified with this person in a document that had the seal of the person trying to depose him. That was what it was all about. It was about the politics of the 30 Years War and the Aristotelians if they were a consideration were minor. Galileo got off lightly mainly due to his long time association with Urban. The Teaching Company courses cover this in detail. There were already people who were espousing heliocentric ideas. It just had to be put in the form of a hypothesis which means it had not been proven. (does the geocentric position sound like anything in modern science which is taken as Gospel but has no proof and cannot be criticized.) In fact the heliocentric hypothesis wasn't proven for almost 200 years until they solved the parallax problem in the 1820's.(hopefully the modern equivalent of the geocentric position doesn't take 200 years to get rid of) The Dominicans who pushed the geocentric view were really a side show. Urban probably considered them and used their positions when convenient but what he really cared about was the papacy. We covered this in detail, 5 1/2 years ago. jerry
It was the Aristoleans who convinced the church that their geocentric position was confirmed by the Bible. Joe
Galileo’s issues were brought upon him by the Aristoleans at the universities.
Not really true. There were some of these people around but they had no real power. The title and substance of Galileo's treatise was suggested by the pope, Urban VIII who could easily control those who opposed Galileo's ideas based on religious views. Galileo brought on his problems. He mocked his mentor and spiritual leader who was the pope. This was at a time when the person funding Galileo publication was trying to depose Urban. Galileo was arrogant and chose his own destiny and by the way was very gently treated by Urban. It was all about the politics of the 30 Years War and the rivalry between two Catholic powers, France and the Hapsburgs. It had almost nothing to do with religion or science. jerry
After all, it’s not as though they’d actually tortured Giordano Bruno for a similar “error” only 33 years previously.
No, that is incorrect. Bruno had many misgivings- many. IOW what happened to Bruno was brought upon Bruno by Bruno's actions. OTOH Galileo's issues were brought upon him by the Aristoleans at the universities. Joe
If my memory serves me correctly Galileo and the Pope were actually very good friends and his trial and punishment had more to do with him mocking the pope in the book he wrote than the actual theory itself. His "punishment was very "lenient" if I remember correctly. Andre
Kepler is said to have been a mystic; Wolfgang Pauli, also, is considered to have been a mystic, alluding to it in relation to his inspiration, on at least one occasion. They were all religious 'nuts', there's no getting away from that. They weren't just Sunday Christians or Christians on wheels. Axel
The concluding, 'take home' point, made by Wade Rowland at the end of a radio interview with Rick Vassallo: 'And so yes, I'm an optimist. And again it goes back to what little I know about the direction that scientific enquiry has taken us in. It's taken us right back in a loop, to where the church was in the seventeenth century, vis a vis the nature of reality. Given that that knowledge is out there and it's solid, sooner or later one hopes that people are going to start putting two and two together, beginning, I think with the one idea that could be attacked most fruitfully--this idea of linear progress. If people could start asking themselves,"Progress towards what?", I think that'll get us thinking about a lot of things.' Wake up, naive realists, there's good chaps. Axel
Jerry, despite the windspeed objections and such as that, I consider the geocentric model to have effectively been overturned with the finding of the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter. Of course many can say that the additional epicycles dealt with all that, but Lakatos remarks that once you are dealing with epicycles you are in fact dealing with a degenerate science program: Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) - "In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts" - Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/about/lakatos/scienceandpseudosciencetranscript.aspx bornagain77
The heliocentric theory of the solar system was not proven till 200 years after Galileo. It wasn't until then that they solved the parallax problem and also no one had an answer for the wind problem. The earth in the heliocentric model at the equator had to be traveling at a 1000 miles an hour and no one could justify this speed with no wind. Also it was thought that Tycho Brahe 's ideas explained the movement of planets better than Galileo's. Galileo thought the planets traveled in circles not ellipses. Galileo had a lot of screwy ideas even though he is essentially the father of modern physics. Newton stood on Galileo's shoulders and his work on gravity. And as I said it was all about politics. It was the pope's idea that Galileo talk about the heliocentric model vs. the geocentric model so why was the inquisition called. Why was the punishment so gentle? We spent a lot of time discussing this 6 years ago. jerry
corrected Bob Woodruff link: Mary Jo Rapini Sees the Light Part 1: Bob Woodruff meets a former nurse who went from skeptic to believer. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/mary-jo-rapini-sees-light-bob-woodruff-former-nurse-skeptic-believer-primetime-nightline-14227538 Don Piper's 90 Minutes in Heaven Part 2: A pastor, pronounced dead, hears music that was 'beyond spectacular.' http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/don-pipers-90-minutes-heaven-pastor-pronounced-dead-hears-music-beyond-spectacular-nightline-14227574 bornagain77
The Galileo Affair and “Life’ as the true "Center of the Universe" The Galileo affair has certainly turned out to be far different, and far more nuanced, than the simplistic 'science vs. religion' narrative that is told in popular culture today. Often times an atheist will try to deride a person's Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, 'Well, we also don't believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?', trying to mock the person's Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science. Yet, those atheists who say such things fail to realize, number one that atheism cannot rationally ground science in the first place (Plantinga EAAN), and number two that the geocentric (Earth centered) model of the solar system was overturned by three devout Christians, Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, the three primary scientists involved in overturning the geocentric model, were all devout Christians and it certainly was not an atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor even some other religion, involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus's, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system. Diana Severance (PhD, Rice University), a historian with broad experience teaching in universities and seminaries, stated this about Kepler
"About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit."[1]
In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared this very 'unscientific' thought:
‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’ [2]
In 1610, it was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilee (1564-1642), who was also a dedicated Christian to his dying day despite his infamous, and widely misunderstood, conflict with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church [3,4, 4a,4b,4c], who empirically verified the Catholic Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus's (1473-1543) heliocentric theory. Thus it is a undeniable fact of history that it was men of the Christian faith, and no other faith (especially the atheistic faith), who overturned the geocentric model. In fact, it can also be forcefully argued that modern science had its foundation laid during the protestant reformation of the 16th century, and also when the Catholic church had its own private 'mini-reformation' from pagan Greek influences over its central teachings during this era. The main point being that it can be forcefully argued that modern scientific thought itself, of a rational, approachable, intelligible, universe, a universe that could, and can, dare be comprehended by the mind of man, was brought to a sustained maturity when a more pure Christian influence was brought to maturity in the Christian church(es) of western culture, and when the stifling pagan influences were purged from it.[5,6,7,8,9] The heliocentric theory was hotly debated in Galileo's time, for it proposed a revolutionary idea for the 1600's stating all the planets revolved around the sun. Many people of the era had simply, and wrongly, presumed everything in the universe revolved around the earth (geocentric theory), since from their limited perspective on earth everything did seem to be revolving around the earth. As well, the geocentric model seems, at first glance, to agree with the religious sensibilities of being made in God's image, although the Bible never actually directly states the earth is the 'center of the universe'.[9a]
Job 26:7 “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”
Galileo had improved upon the recently invented telescope. With this improved telescope he observed many strange things about the solar system. This included the phases of Venus as she revolved around the sun and the fact Jupiter had her own satellites (moons) which revolved around her. Thus, Galileo wrote and spoke about what had become obvious to him; Copernicus was right, the planets do indeed revolve around the sun. It is now commonly believed that man was cast down from his special place in the grand scheme of things, for the Earth beneath his feet no longer appeared to be the 'center of the universe', and indeed the Earth is now commonly believed by many people to be reduced to nothing but an insignificant speck of dust in the vast ocean of space (mediocrity principle). Yet actually the earth became exalted in the eyes of many people of that era, with its supposed removal from the center of the universe, since centrality in the universe had a very different meaning in those days. A meaning that equated being at the center of the universe with being at the 'bottom' of the universe, or being in the 'cesspool' of the universe, as this following quote makes clear.
In addition, contrary to what is commonly believed, we now know that in the eyes of its contemporaries, the Copernican Revolution glorified the Earth, making it an object worthy of study, in contrast to the preceding view, which demeaned the Earth. Ironically, the Copernican Revolution is almost invariably portrayed today as having demoted the Earth from a position at the center of the universe, the main concern of God, to being merely one of the planets. Danielson(2001) made a compelling case that this portrayal is the opposite of what really happened, i.e., that before the Copernican Revolution, Earth was seen not as being at the center, but rather at the bottom, the cesspool where all filth and corruption fell and accumulated. [10]
Yet contrary to what is commonly believed by many people today of the earth being nothing but an insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space, there is actually a strong case that can now be made from science for the earth being central in the universe once again. In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, Einstein's General Relativity has shown that 4-dimensional (4D) space-time, along with all energy and matter, was created in the 'Big Bang' and continues to 'expand equally in all places':
There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a "Big Bang" about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. [11]
Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as 'center of the universe' as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered 'center of the universe'. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live. So in a holistic sense, when taking into consideration the 'Privileged Planet principle' of Gonzalez[12] which overturned the mediocrity principle, and which gives strong indication that the Earth is uniquely suited to host complex life in this universe, it may now be possible for the earth to be, once again, considered 'central in the universe'. This intriguing possibility, for the earth to once again be considered central, is clearly illustrated by the fact the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), remaining from the creation of the universe, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time of General Relativity, forms a sphere around the earth. I find the best way to get this 'centrality of the Earth in the universe'' point across is to visualize it first hand. Thus I reference the first few minutes of this following video to clearly get this 'centrality in the universe' point across:
Centrality of The Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879
Moreover, this 'circle' of the CMBR that is found by modern science to encompass the Earth, from the remnant of the creation event that brought the entire universe instantaneously into being, was actually predicted in the Bible centuries earlier:
Proverbs 8:27 (King James Version) "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he drew a circle upon the face of the depth:"
But as compelling as it is to use the privileged planet principle, in conjunction with the centrality of the Earth in the 4-Dimensional (4D) space-time of General Relativity, to establish the centrality of the Earth in the universe, this method of establishing centrality for the earth falls short of explaining 'true centrality' in the universe and still does not fully explain exactly why the CMBR forms an ‘almost’ perfect sphere around the Earth. The primary reason why the higher dimensional 4D space-time, governing the expansion of this 3-Dimensional universe, is insufficient within itself to maintain 3D symmetry becomes clear if one tries to imagine radically different points of observation in the universe. Since the universe is shown to have only (approximately) 10^79 atoms to work with, once a person tries to imagine keeping perfect 3D symmetry, from radically different points of observation within the CMBR sphere, a person quickly finds that it is geometrically impossible to maintain such 3D symmetry of centrality within the CMBR sphere with finite 3D material particles to work with for radically different 3D points of 'imagined observation' in the universe. As well, fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, seem to, at least from as far as I can follow the math, mathematically prove the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for the 'completeness' of 4D space-time within the sphere of the CMBR from differing points of observation in the universe. [13] But if the 4D space-time of General Relativity is insufficient to explain 'true 3D centrality' in the universe, what else is since we certainly observe centrality for ourselves within the sphere of the CMBR? Quantum Mechanics gives us the reason why. 'True centrality' in the universe is achieved by 'universal quantum wave collapse of photons', to each point of 'conscious observation' in the universe, and is the only answer that has adequate sufficiency to explain 'true 3D centrality' that we witness for ourselves within the CMBR of the universe. As well, whereas higher math refuses to give General Relativity clearance as a complete description of reality, higher math has recently (June 2013) confirmed the confidence we can have in Quantum Mechanics as an accurate description of reality. [13a] Moreover because of advances in Quantum Mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. [14] 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 'uncertain' 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]
Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
As to the fact that, as far as the solar system itself is concerned, the earth is not 'central', I find the fact that this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be a very fitting 'poetic reflection' of our true spiritual condition. Please reflect on this for a moment, in regards to God's 'kingdom of light', are we not to keep in mind that our lives are to be centered on the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God's kingdom of light? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on the temporal pleasure this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than the lasting pleasure of what heaven has to offer?
Matthew 16:26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Here is a quote from evangelist Louie Giglio which I think captures this 'poetic reflection' of our true spiritual condition
You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. - Louie Giglio [16]
Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparatively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for 'the privileged planet' principle which reflects God's craftsmanship, whereas the centrality found for each individual 'conscious soul/observer' in the universe is found to be of primary significance,,, In other words:
,,,"Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:26
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit footnote:
The Center Of The Universe Is Life - General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin - video http://vimeo.com/34084462
Verse and music:
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lrrq_opng
Here is the Near Death Experience documentary, with reporter Bob Woodruff who personally had a NDE as a war correspondent, that was on ABC in August 2011, that may give some a glimpse as to what heaven is like:
Beyond Belief: The Other Side - video http://abc.go.com/watch/primetime-nightline-beyond-belief/SH55131205/VD55138047/the-other-side?rfr=google
In the matter of his notorious trial by the Holy Office in 1633, he conceded his error and publicly – and sincerely – demonstrated his contrition. He had, as the Church charged, no conclusive grounds for claiming that the Copernican hypothesis was fact, and it had been a matter of serious insubordination for him to disobey a direct papal order not to go about behaving as if he did.
This is a rewriting of history. He wasn't charged with merely claiming that the Copernican hypothesis was "fact," the charge was for believing it at all. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/condemnation.html As the Papal Condenmation states, Galileo wasn't told to just stop teaching Copernicism, but "to abandon altogether the said false doctrine". And further, "in order that a doctrine so pernicious might be wholly rooted out and not insinuate itself further to the grave prejudice of Catholic truth, a decree was issued by the Holy Congregation of the Index prohibiting the books which treat of this doctrine and declaring the doctrine itself to be false and wholly contrary to the sacred and divine Scripture." As the Papal Condemnation states: "The proposition that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture." Galileo was therefore sentenced: "in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world." The confession that Galileo signed states that "with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, you abjure, curse, and detest before use the aforesaid errors and heresies". http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/recantation.html Is there anyone that really thinks that Galileo sincerely abandoned the belief in Copernicism? As to whether the threats of torture were an "antiquated procedural formality": Lucilio Vanini was arrested for heresy, tortured, had his tongue cut, and was strangled to death in 1619. (Some sources say burned at the stake, although other sources say he was strangled, and then had his body burned.) (Also, he was upper class). Ferrante Pallavicino was tortured and beheaded for heresy in 1644. (He was also upper class) goodusername
We have had some long discussions on Galileo in the past. Whatever you know it is probably wrong. It was all about politics and had little to do with religion or science. Galileo's trial took place smack in the middle of the 30 Year War and it was this more than anything which explains what happened. Here are two comments I made here 6 years ago on this topic. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/epistemology-its-what-you-know/#comment-161257 https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/epistemology-its-what-you-know/#comment-161801 A large part of the OP from which these comments were taken was about Galileo. The basis for my comments 6 years ago are from a couple Teaching Company courses on science. Science and Religion which has two 30 minute lectures on this topic http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=4691 and Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It which has a thirty minute lecture on the topic http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?pc=professor&cid=1235 How the average person acquired their erroneous perceptions of Galileo and the Church is an interesting phenomenon in itself. jerry
Indeed. And I duly quarrel. Elizabeth B Liddle
Actually, Galileo was upper class, and that usually counted for something. At any rate, your quarrel isn't with us but with Wade Rowland. News
Nor, as he knew, were threats of torture more than an antiquated procedural formality – no threat at all.
After all, it's not as though they'd actually tortured Giordano Bruno for a similar "error" only 33 years previously. Oh, wait, they did. And, as the journalist must well know, the church sanctioned torture throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth B Liddle

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