archive: SETI FW: [ASTRO] FW: Sagan: FWD:[SciPhilos] The sentencing of Galileo

SETI FW: [ASTRO] FW: Sagan: FWD:[SciPhilos] The sentencing of Galileo

Larry Klaes ( )
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 10:29:22 -0400

From: TracyEllen
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 1998 2:05 PM
To: Sagan
Subject: Sagan: FWD:[SciPhilos] The sentencing of Galilao

From: Ron Hooft <> Add to Address Book
To: sciphilos <>
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:27:56 -0400
Subject: [SciPhilos] The sentencing of Galilao

From: Ron Hooft <>

Modern History Sourcebook:
The Crime of Galileo: Indictment of 1630

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, of Florence,
aged seventy years, were denounced in 1615, to this Holy Office, for
holding as true a false doctrine taught by many, namely, that the sun
is immovable in the center of the world, and that the earth moves, and
also with a diurnal motion; also, for having pupils whom you instructed
in the same opinions; also, for maintaining a correspondence on the
same with some German mathematicians; also for publishing certain
letters on the sun-spots, in which you developed the same doctrine as
true; also, for answering the objections which were continually
produced from the Holy Scriptures, by glozing the said Scriptures
according to your own meaning; and whereas thereupon was produced the
copy of a writing, in form of a letter professedly written by you to a person formerly your pupil, in which, following the hypothesis of Copernicus, you include several propositions contrary to the true sense and authority of the
Holy Scriptures; therefore (this Holy Tribunal being desirous of
providing against the disorder and mischief which were thence
proceeding and increasing to the detriment of the Holy Faith) by the
desire of his Holiness and the Most Emminent Lords, Cardinals of this
supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the
stability of the sun, and the motion of the earth, were qualified by
the Theological Qualifiers as follows:

The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and
immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and
formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures.
The proposition that the earth is not the center of the world, nor
immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also
absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least
erroneous in faith.

Therefore . . . , invoking the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ
and of His Most Glorious Mother Mary, We pronounce this Our final
sentence: We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo . . . have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy,
that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and
contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center
of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that
the earth does move, and is not the center of the world; also, that an
opinion can be held and supported as probable, after it has been
declared and finally decreed contrary to the Holy Scripture, and,
consequently, that you have incurred all the censures and penalties
enjoined and promulgated in the sacred canons and other general and
particular constituents against delinquents of this description. From
which it is Our pleasure that you be absolved, provided that with a
sincere heart and unfeigned faith, in Our presence, you abjure, curse,
and detest, the said error and heresies, and every other error and
heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome.
1630 A.D.


Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 10:22:20 -0400
From: Wu Li <> Add to Address Book
Subject: [SciPhilos] Re: Galilao

From: Wu Li <>

Thanks for sharing this with us Ron. Galileo played a major role in
shaping our modern world. It was partly because the Catholic Church
sentenced him that varifiable experimentation became fashionable among
the rebelous youth of his day. One of those fashionable youths was
Newton. The Catholic Church, of all people, you would expect would
know how inspirational Martyrs can be.

Noam Chompsky made another distinction related to this subject. He
asked what the difference is between a traitor and a hero? The answer
is, of course, who wins the war and writes the history books.

Likewise, the difference between a terrorist and a warrior is simply a
matter of perspective. Galileo stands as a reminder to me of more than
the conflicts between science and religion, but of conflict in general and
the problems inherent in dogmatism of any kind-- including the
scientific kind.

Wu Li

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