Four hundred and forty-six years ago, in 1564, a genius was born into our world. You may have heard of this genius, he was the first man ever to express his views on the belief that the Earth rotated around the sun. This mans name was Galileo Galilei. Galileo’s story began when he discovered his strong talent for maths. In 1660, Galileo heard about the spyglass, and by using his mathematical knowledge and technical skills, he invented the telescope. With this new invention, he was able to begin creating his theory that the earth rotated around the sun. But things were not so easy for Galileo back in his time, you see, most people believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe, and that the sun and all other planets revolved around it. At the time, the Catholic Church, which was very powerful and influential in Galileo's day, strongly supported the theory that Earth centred the universe. After Galileo began publishing papers about his space discoveries and his belief in a sun-centred universe, he was called to Rome to answer charges brought against him by the Inquisition (the legal body of the Catholic Church). Galileo was accused of being a person who opposed church teachings, which was a crime that sometimes was punishable by death. Fortunately, he was cleared of charges, but was told to stop publishing his belief. Regardless of the courts warnings, Galileo continued his studies about astronomy, and in 1632, published a book that stated, more or less, that his theory of a sun centred universe was correct. Again in 1633, Galileo was called before the Inquisition, and this time was found guilty of opposing the churches teachings. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and died still under arrest on January 8, 1642. The question here is, was Galileo’s treatment fair? Of course, we now know that Galileo was correct about his theories, though we can’t argue with how the law was back in his day. Although it was not known back then,...
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