Friday, February 1, 2008

The Galileo Myth

From Taki's Top Drawer.
And that was the ultimate source of Galileo’s conflict with the church: he was teaching as fact what still at that time had only the status of theory. When church officials asked Galileo in 1616 to teach heliocentrism as theory rather than as fact, he agreed; however, in 1632 he published a new work, Dialogue on the Great World Systems, in which he presented heliocentrism as fact again.

That was why Galileo was put on trial for suspected heresy and placed under house arrest. Historian J. L. Heilbron notes that from the beginning the controversy was not understood the way it has been presented by many critics of the church since then. The condemnation of Galileo, says Heilbron, “had no general or theological significance. Gassendi, in 1642, observed that the decision of the cardinals [who condemned Galileo], though important for the faithful, did not amount to an article of faith; Riccioli, in 1651, that heliocentrism was not a heresy; Mengeli, in 1675, that interpretations of scripture can only bind Catholics if agreed to at a general council; and Baldigiani, in 1678, that everyone knew all that.”

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1 comment:

julygirl said...

As we all know this has just served as fodder the enemies of the Church have use to discredit it. But in my opinion it is one of the ways God has chosen to remind the Church to stick with matters of Faith.