The Brilliant Crimes of Galileo

Topics: Galileo Galilei, Heliocentrism, Nicolaus Copernicus Pages: 6 (2502 words) Published: August 7, 2008
The Brilliant Crimes of Galileo

Galileo Galilei, was a man truly fit to be called the father of modern science, a man who became a symbol for the war between the Catholic Church and Science. As history shows us that the Catholic Church doctrines was against Galileo’s scientific discoveries in astronomy. It was one of the most important battles between religion and science, where faith and reason clashed. The Catholic Church regretted for the crime that had been committed against Galileo after proven his discoveries as facts. But regrets won’t redeem what had been done (Axelrode, 2002). This essay will show a brief introduction of this great man. Then, it will discuss about conflict between Galileo and the church, explaining the Copernican theory, which was a heliocentric theory and also was the main issue of the conflict. After that, it will explain why Galileo had to publicly denounce his beliefs on astronomy. Then it will explain how he became the symbol of the war between science and religion. Galileo, while being a student Studied Astronomy. Astronomy was an important subject; it was one of the seven basic subjects that were required from a scholar to finish in order to become a philosopher. Further more the Vatican considered astronomy as an investigation of god’s work (Axelrode, 2002). He moved to Padua University, which was privileged by enlightened freedom, freedom to express and discuss one’s ideas and thoughts. That is because it had no control from a king or a pope. During his time in Padua he made a lot of scientific discoveries in both pure and applied science. One of his achievements was the improvement of the telescope. At that time telescopes were hard to made, rare to find and had bad quality. Galileo succeeded in making his own and improved telescope. His financial stats have raised by selling his telescope to merchants and the naval arsenal of Vennesse. It was sold to the naval arsenal so they can spot enemy ships hours before their arrival to the shores (Axelrode, 2002). In 1609 Galileo pointed his telescope to the moon and started sketching what he saw. That was the turn point that started his crimes against the church. The philosophers described the moon as heavenly body but what Galileo saw and observed was not a heavenly body. It was an un-even body, filled with mountains and valleys, an earth like body, which was the opposite of perfection. He then observed another so called “heavenly body”, which was the planet Jupiter. He saw what he called then “fixed stars” right next to Jupiter. After few observations he saw that those “fixed stars” have changed their position relatively to Jupiter. He then realized that they were actually the moons of Jupiter. And as the earth’s moon revolves around it, so do Jupiter’s moons. Galileo now have discovered astronomical bodies that disagree with the idea that heavenly bodies revolve around the earth alone, that magnificent discovery that will lead him to the conflict with the church (De Santillana, 1902). As Galileo pointed out the flaws in the structure of the moon, which the Church considered it to be perfect heavenly structure, and discovered Jupiter’s Moons that revolved around Jupiter and not the earth, which contradicts with the Church Ideas that implied that every thing revolves around the earth. By pointing the fallacies of the Church’s Ideas, Galileo attacked the Church and it’s own foundation that is build upon. Galileo issued his book Sidereus Nuncius that describes his observation made by his telescope that gave the human race a new idea of what the world is. After the book has been published a new interest has aroused in the heliocentric theory, which will be mentioned later. Galileo became more famous. As his reputation was rising so is his arrogance. People were irritated by his arrogance and because of it he made a lot of enemies (De Santillana, 1902). Galileo Moved to Florence in order to concentrate on researching rather than teaching, as...
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