Well, That's Inconvenient

Regarding Galileo, "The Inquisition followed sound science," according to the Boston Globe.

There's an issue about punctuation.


MikeD said...

Reading this, I couldn't but help to think this is laying the groundwork for the inevitable retraction of that "consensus of support" for anthropogenic global warming. "They weren't right but they were practicing good science."

MikeD said...

And for the record, neither the geocentrists nor the modern day equivalents are practicing good science. They're altering the data to fit the conclusion. Mars moves retrograde and Venus has phases? No problem, those orbit the Sun, but the Sun still orbits the Earth. Global temperatures haven't risen for a decade in the satellite data? No problem, we'll just "adjust" that data and now look... there's an upward trend now.

Tom said...

The geocentrists were practicing excellent science. They did not alter their data. They altered their explanations of it when new observations didn't fit prior explanations. Very good stuff. The warmenists should take lessons from them.

Ymar Sakar said...

As I might have mentioned a few years ago, Galileo did not have sufficient evidence to overturn the current theories of the day. All Galileo did was insult the Pope in a copy of the Socratic dialogues, like any Asberger high functioning person would have. Got off lightly compared to Jesus and Jean de Arc, of course. So it wasn't that insulting to the local authorities.

Tom said...

That was an important part of the story.

In a way, there were two offenses. First, it was perfectly fine to teach heliocentrism as a hypothetical thing, but Galileo had taught it as actually true. He was ordered to stop. This was because he held an official position as a professor at a Catholic university.

Years later he published a novel, "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," in the form of a Socratic dialog between a geocentrist and a heliocentrist. In it, the reader is led toward the heliocentric system.

This would have been fine if Galileo had just been a university professor, but he wasn't. By that time he had a direct client-patron relationship with the pope. So, the pope was personally funding Galileo's work, and this lent the pope's prestige to anything Galileo produced. At the same time, it also meant the pope took a very personal interest in anything Galileo produced.

So, Galileo's novel goes to the Catholic censors and passes. He's clear to publish it. But, the pope wants to see it first. They go back and forth on some small changes. In the end, though, Galileo puts the pope's words in the mouth of the losing side, and the pope takes offense. So the Inquisition looked into it.

See Mario Biagioli's "Galileo, Courtier" for a book-length discussion of all this.