Thursday, February 15, 2007

On this date in 1564, Galileo Galilei was born

Whenever religious folks use the reasoning "how can so many people be wrong" when it comes to belief in god, I always think of Galileo in a time when most people believed the Earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it. Galileo was condemned by the church for daring to say the Earth actually revolves around the sun. It just boggles my mind that in the 21st century there are still those who prefer superstitious belief over scientific evidence and that there is still this "war" against science and knowledge in these modern times.

From FFRF: On this date in 1564, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy. Galileo was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Padua, where he lectured for 18 years. Galileo pioneered the experimental scientific method, building a thermoscope, constructing a geometrical and military compass, and building an improved telescope. His observations of the satellites of Jupiter, sunspots, mountains and valleys on the moon made him a celebrity, but his Copernican views were investigated and condemned by the Church. Diplomatically seeking Church permission, he published "The Assayer," describing his scientific method, which was tactfully dedicated to the pope (1723). It took Galileo nearly two years to persuade the church to permit him to publish "Dialogue on the two Chief Systems of the World - Ptolemaic and Copernican" (1632), in which he wrote about impetus, momentum and gravity. The Holy Office banned the book, summoning the frail scientist to Rome for trial. Galileo was ordered to abjure his theory and was condemned to house arrest for the rest of his life.

“I have been . . . suspected of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the universe and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the same, and that it does move . . . I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic church.”
-- Galileo Galilei's Recantation, June 22, 1633

Three hundred and fifty years after his death, the Catholic Church "forgave" Galileo. D. 1642.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Isn't it nice of the Catholics to "forgive" one of the greatest minds in recorded history? Arrogant pompous bastards.
It is any wonder anyone with an ounce of smarts has thrown the smothering yoke of religion off of them.