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Paranoid Android

Galileo and the church

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Paranoid Android

Below is an article on Galileo and the struggle with Christianity. Sorry for the length of the reading. Believe it or not, I have edited it significantly to make reading quicker. As you will note through the article, the world had no issue with Galileo’s work. The Church did not care (Cardinal Barberini even supported him in his ideas). It was not until a group of disgruntled scientists and philosophers, who did not want to lose their power and status, conspired together to bring the wrath of the Church down on Galileo. The wrath lasted as long as the Pope did. When the Pope died, Galileo gained support in the church from the new Pope, the one and the same ex-Cardinal Barberini.. Then he was hung out to dry as political infighting took its turn and Galileo was made scapegoat. Indeed, in Protestant countries, Galileo's ideas gained acceptance by many.

This article is eye-opening for any who believe the Galileo affair to be a matter of Chrisitanity silencing science!

Enjoy folks. I really do hope you take the time to read this :tu:

Regards, PA

Old science meets new innovation

What first becomes obvious in looking at the Galileo events is that the battle was not science against an outside foe, Christian or otherwise, so much as old science against new science. It is a battle which has been repeated again and again throughout history. Newtonian physics seemed definitive until Einstein presented a new theory. Heat was explained as an accumulation of phlogiston until thermodynamics was developed. In retrospect, it is easy to pick the winners, but at the time such debates are usually very confusing. There are always more bad guesses than good ones, so how does one tell if the new theory is actually better than the old? Should scientists merely extract the good bits from the new theory and incorporate them into the old? Should the old be overthrown entirely in favour of the new?

Such a competition was played out in the astronomy of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The old theory was geocentricism, in which the Earth was at the centre of the universe, with planets (including the sun and moon) and stars revolving around it. All physics, dynamics and matter theory backed up the cosmology. The new theory was heliocentrism, with the sun at the centre of the universe and the Earth, one of the planets, revolving around it. We, of course, know which theory won. The heroes of the story for twentieth-century viewers are those who supported the heliocentric universe. At the beginning of the seventeenth century however, the geocentric universe looked far more likely – and it was the scientists of the day who thought so.

In 1543, Copernicus published a speculative astronomical theory. It was different from the old Ptolemaic theory, in placing the sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe. It was like the old theory in that all the planets moved in circles around the centre.

Any theory which postulates circular motion for the planets cannot possibly fit what we see in the sky (the planets actually move in ellipses). In the old Ptolemaic system many adjustments and additions to the circular model had to be made. Theoretically, with enough additions, the model could fit observation exactly – but it was a very clumsy system. Copernicus, by putting the sun at the centre of the system, managed to reduce the number of additional adjustments necessary to make the theory work. Nevertheless, it was still a clumsy system. Copernicus’ theory was “better” from a scientific point of view, in the sense that it was slightly simpler and explained a few astronomical events more satisfactorily, but it was by no means overwhelmingly convincing (see Section I of Alexander Koyre’s “The Astronomical Revolution: Copernicus, Kepler, Borelli, Hermann, Paris”, Methuen, London. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1973).

Copernicus’ work is important in putting the Galileo debate in context. We speak of “the Copernican Revolution” as a crucial moment in Western history, when Copernicus discovered after centuries of error that in fact the Earth moves around the sun. Yet it was not quite like that. Copernicus’ theory was, from a purely scientific point of view, only marginally better. Of course he was right, but how could people know that at the time? Besides, he was not completely “right” – his commitment to circular motion meant that his theory necessarily had problems.

This helps to explain the fairly luke-warm reaction to Copernican theory in the years following its publication. The unpopularity of the theory was not due to Church interference, or Christian dogma – the theory was a matter of technical astronomy, and only of real interest to fellow astronomers. On the whole, they were not much impressed. Of those who showed any interest, most merely made use of Copernicus’ improved calculating techniques but ignored or rejected the theory as a new way of understanding the universe.

By 1600 only ten astronomers can be identified who thought Copernicus was right (see Robert S. Westman’s “The Astronomer’s role in the sixteenth century; a preliminary study”, History of Science, 1980, pp 105-147). In other words, Copernican theory was not the great overnight revolution. It was a relatively unsuccessful addition to astronomical knowledge, which the majority of professional astronomers failed to take up. The Church decision to reject it in 1616, though in hindsight wrong and made for the wrong reasons, was not at the time so very irrational. Galileo was not defending the forward march of scientific free-thought against reactionary dogmatism; he defended a speculative theory with little corroborating evidence, in opposition to the majority of scholars of the day.

There is a deep and important reason why Copernican theory was not convincing as a new scientific theory. It had no physics to back it up. It is all very well to hypothesize that the Earth moves around the sun, but what makes the Earth move? Copernicus had no answers. He had no laws of motion and no theory of gravity (that was to come two centuries later, when Isaac Newton finally developed his basic laws of physics). At the time, the only known physics was Aristotelian.

According to Aristotle ‘earth’ – regarded as an element in itself – does not fall ‘down’ but is attracted by nature to the centre of the universe. That is why the Earth is at the centre; it is the place where matter naturally congregates. In such a physics there no place for a moving Earth.

The theory was not worthless, by any means. It had a mathematical elegance that Ptolemaic theory lacked – enough to impress Galileo, who was a very competent mathematician. Without proper physical laws, however, it could not hope to gain widespread acceptance among the academic community; in particular, amongst the physicists, or natural philosopher’s.

This clash with Aristotelian thought is something we must take seriously. It is hard to imagine now just how immense a challenge Copernican theory was. If it were true, the entire body of received knowledge about physics would have to change. When Galileo began championing Copernican theory, he was not merely suggesting an interesting new technical piece of astronomy. He was challenging centuries of accepted knowledge.

Aristotle’s system of knowledge was remarkably satisfying and complete. He was regarded as having solved essentially all the problems of the physical universe. Aristotle’s laws worked, they explained everything, and civilised humanity had recognised that for centuries. If there was to be any differing opinion, it could perhaps come from those who preferred Plato to Aristotle; but that an astronomer could come up with an entirely new theory was ridiculous, and that Galileo would actually defend such a theory and teach it to his students was very worrying. It was quite natural that his fellow academics opposed him. It was, after all, the duty of established scholars to protect the young from dangerous ideas.

In Galileo’s day, nature was not thought of as mathematical. These days when we say we understand a natural phenomena scientifically, we generally mean we know the mathematics that describe it. We understand projectiles because we can describe the parabolic equations involved. In Aristotelian physics, however, to understand something as to know its inner essence and the end towards which it moved. In broad terms, nature was thought of as teleological, moving towards its purpose, rather than a machine that can be described mathematically. For Galileo to present mathematical arguments for the superiority of his theories was regarded as entirely irrelevant. He was wasting people’s time; it was as if he had failed to understand the basic premises of the problem.

It is easy to see how difficult it was for such scholars to accept Galileo’s work. For them, not only did Galileo have bizarre theories, but his very means of defending them was unscholarly. His theories had no justification which could be convincing.

Political leanings

No debate is ever conducted entirely on the basis of high ideals. That is why, to understand properly the opposition to Galileo we must delve into the murky waters of academic infighting. Galileo was not merely challenging ideas; he was challenging the people who held those ideas, and people in the sixteenth and seventeenth century were no less self-interested or status-conscious than they are now. This reality of human nature, though it takes some of the lofty ring out of the story, was probably one of the biggest obstacles to acceptance of Copernican theory.

Astronomers in the sixteenth century were regardedas “mere mathematicians”, and that was an insult. As we have seen, mathematics was not thought of ashaving anything to do with the real world. Consequently, astronomy was not about reality. It was about mathematical calculations. Astronomers created tables and star charts which would enable people to know where the planets were in the sky at any time, and draw up astrological predictions. In his lifetime, Copernicus was best know for his assistance in reforming the calendar. No one thought that astronomers necessarily knew how the universe really worked. Astronomers came up with answers – but they didn’t decide what really happened in the physical universe. That was the domain of the natural philosophers. The disciplinary difference was reflected in position and salary. Astronomers were mere calculators.

Galileo could not but be intensely irritated by this situation. He was a brilliant mathematician, with an international reputation for his observations and inventions. He had what he thought were sound theories about physics, yet he still not allowed to be thought of, or called, a “philosopher”. It was more than a title, as he knew – without it, he was simply not allowed to contribute to discussions about the way the world actually is.

Galileo quit his university job and made a lateral career move. Galileo’s battle was with Aristotelian philosophers, who were highly offended that mathematician would challenge them at all. Normally, this kind of academic battle would be dealt with internally, in the academic environment, thorugh debate, publication, and so on. Galileo, however, refused to play on their terms. He was not going to let a stagnant academic network stifle him. He moved out of the university system to become a court philosopher.

It was a brilliant career move, making political capital from his scientific work. In 1608 Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter. Though this is most often cited as the empirical vindication of Copernican theory, at the time the main use Galileo made of his discovery was political. He dedicated the moons to Cosimo II, the Medici Grand-Duke of Florence. His flattery paid off and in 1610 he was granted a position at the Medici court with the coveted title of “philosopher”.

Galileo was expected to perform. Patrons such as Cosimo II enjoyed participating in intellectual life through hosting debates on interesting or controversial topics. The patron gained credit when his philosopher won debates, especially if the philosopher did so with wit and cleverness as well as profundity. Galileo was on call to debate questions put by other nobles, with little time for preparation or consideration of the wider implications of what he said. What is more, the court audience applauded satirical, biting wi – which Galileo was only too happy to provide.

This combination of factors meant that Galileo was in a position to be highly offensive to university philosophers. He had deliberately rejected the university system and its status rankings. He had taken the title “philosopher” even though he was “only” an astronomer. He was encouraged to bypass the academic subtleties and niceties, instead approaching debates as a chance to score rhetorical points. He was in a position to be offensive and lived up to his potential.

Not long after his appointment, Galileo took part in a dispute with various leading Aristotelian philosophers on the nature of floating bodies, at which Galileo put forward his theory of why objects float. His views were, to say the least, in the minority; and it was claimed Lodovico delle Colombe, who was not present at the time, would prove him wrong. Colombe was an old enemy of Galileo, a respected Aristotelian who had suffered under Galileo’s sarcasm. They exchanged letters with increasing heat. At the same time, Galileo debated the question at court in the customary style before visiting cardinals. One of them, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, sided with Galileo and was impressed by his wit and learning – an incident which was to have important consequences later.

Nevertheless, Galileo’s relationship with the Aristotelian establishment was degenerating. Under Cosimo’s urging, he moved to official publication in 1612 with his forceful Discourse on Floating Bodies. This was followed by Aristotelian attacks by Giorgio Coresio, Lodovico delle Colombe himself, and Vincenzio di Grazia, a professor in philosophy. It was a debate about physics, but there was much more at stake – Galileo was arguing for his own theories against Aristotle, to the academics who relied on Aristotle for their position, prestige and worldview. What’s more, Galileo’s biting sarcasm thoroughly ridiculed his opponents. He made bitter personal enemies from what should have been a professional dispute.

Galileo had made bitter enemies in the academia world by treading on disciplinary toes and treating established academics with scorn and personal ridicule – but won the debates, and won respect as a philosopher amongst the court literati. He had taken on the academic establishment and won. Not many Aristotelians had been convinced by his arguments, but they had been unable to silence him. At this stage, he had no trouble with Church authorities; if anything, they respected him as a talented astronomer.

So – if the battle was not really “religion v science” but “old science v new science”, why did the Church get involved at all?

It is probably fair to say that Galileo’s enemies, unable to defeat him in logical argument or by social pressure, took the battleground to the Church. Galileo had not allowed his opponents to silence him in the normal ways, so they looked to sience him through creating theological trouble. There is evidence of a deliberate strategy used against Galileo. Certain of Galileo’s enemies formed the loosely organised group known as the “Liga”, apparently lead by Colombe (Olaf Pederson “ibid” pp. 6-8). The group also drew upon disgruntled clerics such as a certain Father Lorini who had received criticism from Galileo in the past, and the young Dominican Friar Tommaso Caccini. These men openly accused Galileo of contradicting the Bible, and set about creating popular suspicion against Galileo in order to catch the attention of the Church authorities.

It was an unfair move, and it is possible to speculate that without this deliberate opposition, Galileo’s trial may never have happened. Theologians had traditionally allowed philosophers space in which to develop ideas. Philosophical speculation and discussion was the province and lifeblood of the universities, and though the Church secured the boundaries of admissible doctrine, it did not normally dictate what could be discussed (see Peter Dear’s “The Church and the new philosophy”, in Stephen Pumfrey (ed.), “Science, Culture and Popular Belief in Renaissance Europe”, Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 1991, pp. 119-139). The Church was not out to silence Galileo. Indeed, Galileo’s telescopic discoveries had been accepted and endorsed by Jesuit astronomers when he travelled to Rome in 1611: he was not without Church support.

The trouble began with one of the impromptu court debates. A university professor announced to the Grand-Duchess Christina that the idea of a moving Earth contradicted Scripture. Galileo was not present, but an ex-pupil of his, Castelli, was; and Christian challenged him on the spot to defend Galileo against the charge. Castelli survived as best he could, and immediately wrote to Galileo explaining what had happened. Galileo took up the challenge. He wrote back to Castelli, knowing his letter would be circulated explaining how he thought the Bible should best be interpreted on such matters.

Galileo was not allowed to leave it there. In what appears to be an effort to incite public opinion against him, Thomas Caccini preached publicly against Galileo in Florence. Then Father Lorini managed to get a copy of the letter. He sent it, with a formal complaint, to the Inquisition.

It was not immediately a disaster. The letter itself was judged harmless. Caccini, however, not content with the lack of response to the letter, went to Rome personally and denounced Galileo to the Inquisition. It was time for Galileo to defend himself more publicly. He wrote a long treatise addressed to the Grand-Duchess Christina – a work of theology, explaining how the Bible should be interpreted, quoting from the Church fathers to back up his argument.

It appears he had gone too far. Whatever the cause, Galileo produced a treatise telling theologians ought to do theology. Coming from an astronomer/philosopher, with no theological training, this was not likely to be well accepted. It also brought him into direct conflict with Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the most influential cardinals in the Inquisition and indeed perhaps in the Church.

Bellarmine had lectured in astronomy early in his career. His lectures give some insight into why he could not possible have agreed with Galileo. Bellarmine considered theology to be far above astronomy. He was happy to let astronomers disagree over technical details, and considered it not the place of theologians to be involved in such disputes.

Galileo’s treatise challenged Bellarmine on his own ground, which was hardly tactful. He quoted extensively from Augustine as part of his argument, in the confident tone of a professional. Bellarmine, a serious patristic scholar, would have known far more about Augustine’s view of Scripture than Galileo, and would hardly have taken kindly to Galileo instructing him in what Augustine said. To make it worse, Galileo could not, or did not, hold back his sarcastic wit. He lampooned theologians as narrow-minded – not a good idea when Bellarmine was one of them.

The matter had become official and was dealt with quickly. Galileo came to Rome and the matter of Copernican theory was considered by a pane of theologians for a brief three days. All that the theologians saw, it seems, was yet another challenge to Church authority by an isolated troublemaker. Copernicus’ book was condemned, and Galileo was told not to hold or defend the theory. Galileo himself was not officially mentioned in any condemnation, nor was he disciplined.

For the time being, it was over. Although Galileo was not discredited or humiliated, he had been silenced – a victory for his opponents. In the battle of new science versus old science, old science had won this skirmish at least. The Aristotelians, who were not convinced about Copernicanism on scientific grounds, and who had failed to defeat it in academic circles, had finally seen it come to grief against Church power.

Remember that Galileo still did not have any proof for his theories. It so happened that Bellarmine held the power, so he won.

Papal politics

Old science had achieved its purpose. Galileo was silenced. There was no need for further trial. Why was it then, that sixteen years later Galileo would personally appear before the Inquisition, facing charges of heresy?

In the second stage of his career, the conflict moved away from old science defending itself against new science. Galileo’s downfall and condemnation was the result of a very messy political situation in which Galileo believed the wrong promises, pushed the wrong people too hard and made the wrong enemies. It was not all his fault. He was let down and deserted by the people he trusted. Once again, the intellectual content of the Copernican theory was almost incidental; the conflict was not Christian dogmatism out to stifle science. Nothing so simple.

Papal Rome in the early seventeenth century was a very volatile place. Few Christians would defend the Catholic Church in this matter. The papal court was a mess of political alliances under the absolute power of the Pope.

In 1618, three comets appeared in the heavens. Grassi, a Jesuit astronomer, gave a public lecture on the comets, which was published. Galileo, in bed with illness and mindful of his prohibition, said nothing. To stay silent, however, was not so easy. For one, there was the matter of professional pride. Also, Archduke Leopold of Austria asked Galileo for an answer about the comets. Galileo, still with political obligations at court, had to give one. He wrote under the name of a pupil of his, and then later more fully in a work of his own. As well as presenting his own theory of comets he gave his devastating sarcasm free reign. Grassi was made to look a complete fool, and was none too happy about it. Galileo had created another enemy – and one who was an important Jesuit astronomer. Galileo had managed to alienate one of the most powerful orders within the Catholic Church.

Yet Galileo had won the debate, and with it gained a rising tide of popularity. His book on the comets was loved by court culture. At the same time, he received what must have seemed a great stroke of luck. Cardinal Maffeo Barbarini, who had taken his side in the debate on floating bodies back in 1611, was elected Pope Urban VIII. Urban was renowned for his support of intellectualism and fine culture, and enjoyed giving patronage to those who would bring him credit with their brilliant and innovative ideas. Galileo found out about the election in time to dedicate his book on the comets to the new Pope. Urban was reported to like the book so much he had I read to him during meals.

Galileo’s star was on the ascendant again. Travelling to Rome in 1624, he was granted no less than six audiences with the Pope, in which Urban was prepared to discuss Galileo’s ideas. Encouraged, Galileo asked for permission to write a full treatise on the Copernican theory. Urban granted it – cautiously, with a strong condition: Galileo must include an argument which Urban framed himself. The argument ran that no physical system can be conclusively proven to be true, for that would limit the power and wisdom of God. Galileo agreed to this condition.

The result was, after six years, the Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, probably Galileo’s most famous work. The book is a dialogue between three friends – Salviati, the Copernican; Simplicio, the Aristotelian; and Sagredo, the unbiased layman who listens to both sides in order to make up his mind.

There was great difficultly gaining a license to print the book. Riccardi, the church official in charge of approving or forbidding the publication of books in Rome, was very cautious. He granted a provisional permission, on the condition that certain changes were made, in particular to the preface and conclusion. The changes were made, but still Riccardi hesitated, and the negotiations dragged on for ttwo years. Finally, under pressure from the Medici Grand-Duke, the licence was granted. In February 1632, Galileo’s book was printed. Then suddenly Galileo’s star halted and fell. Within a few months, the book was banned and all copies seized. Galileo was summoned to Rome to face the Inquisition.

What went wrong?

Galileo, it appears, had been fairly confident about the reception of the Dialogue. After all, had not the Pope loved The Assayer (his book on the comets)? Had Galileo not included the Pope’s argument as requested? Yet Galileo, for whatever reason, had made a mistake. In The Assayer, he had been very careful to present Copernicanism as an interesting hypothesis, no more, and it was the intellectual playfulness of it as much as anything else that the Pope had liked. The Dialogue was different. Galileo was now showing his colours, and despite lip service to the “hypothesis” idea, it was clear Galileo was arguing for Copernicanism as real. His wit and sarcasm were once again used at the expense of the Aristotelians – and naming the Aristotelian philosopher “Simplicio” had no less impact than it does today. Moreover, though Galileo had included the Pope’s argument, it was in the mouth of Simplicio, and right at the end of the book.

There have been many accounts of Galileo’s final trail. The main charge against him was that he had disobeyed the command of 1616: “not to defend or hold or to teach in any way” Copernicanism. Galileo was surprised (as indeed many were); for as he remember, he had only been commanded “not to defend or hold”, and had a signed certificate from Bellarmine with those words. But in what has been seen by some as evidence of conspiracy and by others simply as sloppy bookkeeping, the Inquisition had a record of the 161 trial – unsigned – which had the extra words “or teach in any way”.

Galileo’s defence throughout the trial was the at he had never believed that Copernican theory was true, and so was not in defiance of Bellarmine’s certificate. The lie was not good enough, especially given the unsigned document that the Inquisition had unearthed. The judges were determined to prosecute.

Why was the Pope so determined to see Galileo fall? It may have been because he genuinely felt personally insulted by Galileo; or this may have been a front for the political pressure he felt himself under. Urban had been favouring France for some time, and his bias had angered the Spanish court to the point where he was faced with the possibility of a rupture with Philip VI of Spain. The Spanish were the “conservative party”, strong advocates of the Counter-Reformation, and not at all pleased with Urban’s sponsoring of radical new intellectuals. Galileo’s fall may have been to appease the Spanish; or it could have been that Galileo’s enemies in Rome, knowing the Pope was in an awkward situation any way he turned, worked on his personal vanities to anger him against Galileo. Whatever the mix of motivations, Galileo’s fall appears more or less inevitable. It was inevitable because of the politics involved, not because of Christian antipathy to new learning. The Pope, the most powerful figure in Galileo’s final downfall, had nothing against the new science; he celebrated it and promoted it. What he objected to was that Galileo did not play the court game as he wanted him to.

Galileo was sentenced for heresy. This was in many respects an unfair descion; Copernicanism had never been infallibly pronounced heretical (see Langford, op. cit. p. 155). Galileo had actually been disobedient rather than heretical, in disobeying the request of 1616. After all, the Dialogue had been licensed for publication. If it really was against the 1616 injunction it should never have been allowed in print. Ricardi, who granted the licence, had bowed to Medici pressure, and Galileo had paid the price. He was the victim of court, academic, and papal politics.

Nevertheless, Galileo had played his own part in offensive politics over the years, so can hardly be thought of as an innocent victim. Maybe it was a gamble he took: if so, he lost. He was declared “vehemently suspected of heresy” and was commanded to state that he did not believe the Earth moved. His Dialogue was prohibited and he was sentenced to prison, with three years of a penance of repeating the seven penitential psalms weekly. Yet he was never sent to prison, and his daughter (a nun) was granted permission to say the penitential psalms in his place. Was the Pope thereby admitting Galileo was not really guilty, just a scapegoat? Or were Galileo’s court connections still at work? Whatever the reason, Galileo spent the rest of his life working at home, under a type of house arrest, producing sold scientific treatises, but never again enjoying the glittering celebrity he once had.

A few Galileo legends need to be laid to rest. Galileo was never tortured by the Inquisition. The Pope alone, in his official statement concerning Galileo said that Galileo should be made to abjure on the threat of torture; yet this was never part of the judges’ sentence, and Galileo was never tortured nor shown the instruments of torture. Galileo needed no prompting to deny the reality of Copernican theory; as stated above, his very defence was that he had never since 1616 thought Copernican theory true. Neither is there any record of Galileo muttering, as he left the courtroom, “and yet it turns”. It is unlike that the clearly frightened Galileo would do anything so foolish – at least in anybody’s hearing.

Christianity vs???

We have seen that Galileo’s story is far more involved – and indeed more interesting – than most caricatures reveal. There is still one more element to add, which is frequently overlooked. At no point did Galileo’s story involved Christianity opposing anything; it was the Cahtolic Church, egged on by Aristotelian scholars. What happened when Protestants came across the Copernican theory gives a wider context. There was no widespread horror or outcry against Copernicanism in Protestant countries. It was accepted for what it was: an astronomical theory, of little interest to theologians, but with some technical points to recommend it to astronomers. It was not something to cause a great reaction. Those who took the time to study Copernicanism were inclined to be mildly in favour of it. Melancthon, who was responsible for widespread educational reform in Protestant Germany, encouraged astronomy and lectured on Copernicanism. While he was not prepared to take on Copernicanism wholeheartedly, he acknowledged its technical improvements of the Ptolemaic theory and was content for his students to study it. It was possible for a member of a Protestant country to be far more enthusiastic – as was Rheticus, the Germal scholar who was “converted” to Copernicanism with as much zeal as he gave to religion. Though he did not have as many followers, he was certainly not persecuted for his ideas, and indeed continued in a respectable academic career.

Protestant reaction to Copernican theory is a whole research topic in itself. We need to widen our focus beyond Galileo and the Catholic Church if we are to make any conclusions about “Christianity and science”. Without the strict censorship of the Catholic Church, information was more easily disseminated and new ideas more likely to find a hearing in Protestant countries. Protestantism, with its fundamental tenet of individual interpretation of the Bible, did not develop in its institutions the level of control that characterised the Catholic Church.

”Galileo: History vs Polemic”, by Kirsten Birkett, Kategoria magazine (1996. pp. 13-42).

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Avinash_Tyagi

Did you know that the concept of a heliocentric system predated Copernicus by centuries?

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Paranoid Android

I didn't know that, Avinash. Thank you :tu:

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Avinash_Tyagi

I didn't know that, Avinash. Thank you :tu:

Yup it was an accepted theory in Asia long before that time

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Paranoid Android

Fair enough. It wouldn't surprise me though, since Asian beliefs werren't based around Aristotlean theories, unlike Europe (note: Aristotle wasn't Christian. I'm sure you knew that, but i wanted to point it out, anyway :D ).

- PA

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GIDEON MAGE

It was known by many authors whose works were destroyed when Emperor Theodosius burned the Library at Alexandria. We only know because there are quotes by later writers.

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Paranoid Android

But what about the article, Gideon? I wonder if you have any texts to prove your statement, but it's really irrelevant to the discussion either way, I think. What are your views on Galileo Incident? Reincarnated already gave us his interpretation - I'd like to know more reasoning behind that, btw Reincarnated - if I said something was a load of crap, I'd be expected to elaborate.

Thanks, PA

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Reincarnated

I don't feel like typing all the pages from my text books, it's not worth my time. This is the first time I have read something saying it's not the churches fault for trying to squelch Galileo and other scientists(they have been doing it for hundreds & hundres of years), it's obviously biased. This article goes against thousands of others which makes it pretty much inferior and just pro-Christian propaganda. Once again, I'm not wasting effort because you don't want to believe the truth.

Edited by Reincarnated

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Paranoid Android

^THis isn't pro-Christian propaganda. If it were, I'd have simply left it at "it was the Catholic Church and its laws that did this. Protestant areas had no issue with Galileo, therefore it's not Christianity but the institution of the Catholic Organization". But this is not pro-Christian propaganda. It's an historical account of what happened. If it is not historically accurate, please enlighten us all as to where it is wrong. Until then, the "I don't feel like researching" excuse just sounds like you're sidestepping.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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zandore

Galileo Galilei is considered the first scientist and he was censured by the church....go figure.

Do you happen to know what the punishment for heresy in the 17th century and you do not think that was not a form of torture?

That said.....your OP was kind of long for you to type it all out.

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Paranoid Android

^Galileo recanted his beliefs (in his trial he argued that he never held those beliefs in the first place), was kept under house arrest (much like Paul/Saul of Tarsus was supposed to have been arrested, actually - just a side note), and sentenced to recite penance psalms every day for three years (which his daughter was allowed to do in his place).

As for the last comment, Z - i guess it's lucky I can type at 90 words per minute with great accuracy - my mum's a secretary, so maybe it's in the gene's. I'm faster than her though - she had to learn on a manual type-writer - and she keeps urging me to learn shorthand and be a courtroom record keeper (the pay's supposed to be phenomenal).

:D - PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Avinash_Tyagi

^Galileo recanted his beliefs (in his trial he argued that he never held those beliefs in the first place), was kept under house arrest (much like Paul/Saul of Tarsus was supposed to have been arrested, actually - just a side note), and sentenced to recite penance psalms every day for three years (which his daughter was allowed to do in his place).

Well he recanted because he didn't wans to end up like Bruno :tu:

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Imaginary Friend

^Galileo recanted his beliefs (in his trial he argued that he never held those beliefs in the first place), was kept under house arrest (much like Paul/Saul of Tarsus was supposed to have been arrested, actually - just a side note), and sentenced to recite penance psalms every day for three years (which his daughter was allowed to do in his place).

Galileo was forced to recant under threat of death, because the Inquisition condemned his theses in 1633, because it clashed with the bible that said: God fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever.

So are you saying his 'beliefs' were invalid? Because the church, 359 years later, in a ceremony no less and with the blessing of Pope John Paul, admitted Galileo was right. (article)

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Imaginary Friend

I don't feel like typing all the pages from my text books, it's not worth my time. This is the first time I have read something saying it's not the churches fault for trying to squelch Galileo and other scientists(they have been doing it for hundreds & hundreds of years), it's obviously biased. This article goes against thousands of others which makes it pretty much inferior and just pro-Christian propaganda. Once again, I'm not wasting effort because you don't want to believe the truth.

Instead of being attacked with "sounds like your sidestepping" (Hey PA. don't forget many of us are aware of your own two step! Afforded with such phrases as; "We'll just have to agree to disagree" or, "It appears we're at an impasse".), would you provide the name of the textbook and perhaps a chapter/page reference. Those of us that are interested in truth are quite able to research the book our self if we know to what title you are referring. :)

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luckycanucky

I think there's a difference between "I'm not wasting effort because you don't want to believe the truth." and "It appears we're at an impasse". One is, of course, claiming absolute rightness and the other is giving up the argument as a hopeless case. heh.

I thought this was interesting, at any rate. Been a while since I studied any history of science. May have to poke through a few books myself. That's the nice thing about library work.. you can sit with your nose in book and it looks like you're working... :lol::innocent:

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Paranoid Android

would you provide the name of the textbook and perhaps a chapter/page reference. Those of us that are interested in truth are quite able to research the book our self if we know to what title you are referring. :)

These texts give plenty of information you'd like.

- Shea and Giorgio de Santillana - "The Crime of Galileo", Heinemann, Melbourne, London and toronto, 1958.

- Mario Biagioli, "Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism", The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1993.

- Robert S. Westman, "The astronomers' role in the sixteenth century; a preliminary study", History of Science, 1980.

- William R. Shea, "Galileo's Intellectual Revolution", Macmillan, London and Basingstoke

- William Wallace "Galileo and the Church", in David C. Lindberg and ronald L. Numbers, "God and Nature: HIstorical Essays on the Encounter between Chrisitaniyt and Science", University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1986.

- E.A. Gosselin and L.S. Lerner, "Galileo and the long shade of Bruno", archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences, 1975.

- Aristotle De Coelo. English translation available in Milton K. Munitz, "Theories of the Universe: from Babylonian Myth to Modern Science", The Free Press, New York, 1957.

- Olaf Pederson, "Galileo and the Council of Trent": the Galileo affair revisited" Journal of the HIstory of Astronomy, 1983.

- Jerome J. Langford, "Galileo, Science and the CHurch", University of Michigan Press, 19976.

- Richard S. Westafll, "Essays on the Trial of galileo, Vatican University PUblications, 1989.

- "Peter Dear "The church and the new philosophy', in Stephen PUmfrey (ed.) "Science, Culture and Popular Belief in Renaissance Europe", Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 1991.

- Maurice A. Finocchiaro, "The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History", University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1989.

- Harold L. Burstyn, "Galileo's attempt to prove the earth moves", Isis, 1962.

- John Hedly Brooks, "Science and Religion: SOme HIstorical Perspective", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991.

:tu:

btw, my 'sidestepping' as you call it, is done after we've been over the information and started the circular argument where nothing new will happen. At this point it's pointless to continue, so the 'agree to disagree' matter comes in. Not quite the same as making one post saying the theory is crap and has no merit without explaining anything.

- PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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zandore

These texts give plenty of information you'd like.

And which one did you get your information from?

BTW IF is right on both of his points.

Galileo was forced to recant under threat of death, because the Inquisition condemned his theses in 1633, because it clashed with the bible that said: God fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever.

So are you saying his 'beliefs' were invalid? Because the church, 359 years later, in a ceremony no less and with the blessing of Pope John Paul, admitted Galileo was right. (article)

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Paranoid Android

And which one did you get your information from? - I left a citation for the article at the end of my original post.

”Galileo: History vs Polemic”, by Kirsten Birkett, Kategoria magazine (1996. pp. 13-42).

The readings I listed here are a short selection I chose from an extended reading list at the end of the article.

BTW IF is right on both of his points. - I never claimed Galileo's theories invalid, nor claimed that the church never forced him to recant. Nor did the article I posted make such a claim.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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zandore

BTW IF is right on both of his points. - I never claimed Galileo's theories invalid, nor claimed that the church never forced him to recant. Nor did the article I posted make such a claim.

Just the fact he was made to recant :yes:

OH yeah on "Kirsten Birkett"

The author has a Ph.D. in the history of science, and is editor of Kategoria, an apologetics journal addressing common anti-Christian belief systems. She has written several other books published by Matthias Media. Both of these are strongly connected to Moore College, the most conservative Anglican seminary in Australia.

With her background, it’s not surprising that she’s written some good apologetic material, reaching many of the same conclusions as we have, e.g.

* Science grew out of a Christian framework (see Creationist Scientists).

* The alleged ‘warfare’ between science and Christianity was manufactured by 19th anti-Christian propagandists such as Huxley, Draper and White.

* Galileo’s main opponents were the defenders of Aristotelian cosmology, and the Church was unfortunately persuaded to link this pagan-invented cosmology with the Bible (see Q&A: Galileo).

* The play and film Inherit the Wind was a great distortion of the Scopes Trial (see Q&A: Scopes Trial).

* Analyzed the secular feminist movement in The Essence of Feminism, pointing out that it has let women down, while the Bible provides the real answers, which is why the earliest movements for women’s education and suffrage were overtly Christian. This book is also strongly pro-life; Birkett says she is ‘appalled at the power the pro-abortion lobby has had’ (see also Q&A: Human Life).

~answersingenesis.org

She has kind of a one sided agenda......besides the additional fact of what was her resource material was.....church documents :rolleyes:

Edited by zandore

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Paranoid Android

^ah the good ol' ad hominem argument - rather than find fault with the material, you resort to attacking the individual.... :no:

A (fallacious) ad hominem argument has the basic form:

1. A makes claim X.

2. There is something objectionable about A.

3. Therefore claim X is false.

Source

:rolleyes: Better luck next time, Zandore.

btw, her resource material is much wider than "church documents". Read over the source list again... :rolleyes:

Edited by Paranoid Android

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zandore

btw, her resource material is much wider than "church documents". Read over the source list again... :rolleyes:

Without a link or the book you used we have only your word that is the sources she used.

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Beckys_Mom

I like cookies

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Paranoid Android

I gave you the source reference. THe article was first printed in the Kategoria magazine, the "apologetics journal" referred to in your previous quote. You can also find the article in a book of selected works by Birkett, Archie Poulos, Roger White, and Edward J. Larson. The book is titled the Myths of Science (link). If you want, order a copy of the book from Matthias media (18 australian dollars). There's not an online version of this article available.

Until then, you could always read the source material yourself :yes:

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Reincarnated

I gave you the source reference. THe article was first printed in the Kategoria magazine, the "apologetics journal" referred to in your previous quote. You can also find the article in a book of selected works by Birkett, Archie Poulos, Roger White, and Edward J. Larson. The book is titled the Myths of Science (link). If you want, order a copy of the book from Matthias media (18 australian dollars). There's not an online version of this article available.

Until then, you could always read the source material yourself :yes:

^^^And that is why I did not want to type out all that info, just look at the link :lol: . PA isn't that special to get that much attention from me. If you want sources, they are in just about every astrology and quantam physic book I have read including a few by Stephen W. Hawking... people(scientists, doctors, ect.) who are a lot more trustworthy than some Christian website in australia selling propaganda books.

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Paranoid Android

In other words, you're falling back on the ad hominem argument *see my reply to zandore for details* :rolleyes:

The source list for her information is almost entirely secular. In the entire reference list, there's only one "religious" source, and that's the Vatican's transcript of Galileo's trial.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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