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View Diary: Conservapedia Disproves E=mc² (343 comments)

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  •  Actually, no (6+ / 0-)

    Galileo's crime was publishing a book which stirred up political trouble.  He had high-ranking friends in the curia, the Jesuits' astronomers were largely won over and even the pope was friendly toward him.

    Urban VIII asked Galileo to present both sides of the heliocentric debate  in his book -- not an unreasonable request. Galileo responded with a dialog in which the advocate for the Geocentric position was named "Simpleton".  This opened Urban up to pressure for conservative Spanish cardinals for being "soft on heretics".  On top of that, Galileo put some of Urban's own arguments into the mouth of "Simpleton".

    Urban was an educated, cultured, but venal and corrupt man, an immensely unpopular spendthrift who came very close to being imprisoned and deposed by the Spanish contingent. All things being equal Urban was well-disposed toward Galileo, but not so well disposed that he'd lift a finger to save him from his own political folly.

    Galileo like a lot of brilliant people was a babe in the woods when it came to human affairs.  It appears he was surprised by the political shitstorm that De revolutionibus orbium coelestium raised. It's a mistake to think of the church as monolithic; it has its wings and factions like any other large institution.  Galileo had natural allies among the educated, open-minded Renaissance Humanists in the church, but his own colossal naivete caused the church to close ranks against him.

    In the long run this hurt the church but didn't harm heliocentrism one bit. As for what it did for Galileo's reputation, there's a bit of irony in that.  There's no doubt Galileo is remembered as a great scientific hero, but he would probably be distressed to learn that part of his hero myth was that he was an enemy of the church.  

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:34:03 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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