The Life and Times of Galileo - Illinois State University

The Life and Times of Galileo - Illinois State University

Galileo & the Church Dr. Carl J. Wenning ISU Physics Department Who was Galileo? Hero or villain? Saint or sinner? Martyr or victim?

A common man who, with his telescope and methodology, did many extraordinary things for science between 1609 and 1642.

Galileos importance 15 February 1564 8 January 1642 Galileo was an Italian physicist, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher who played

a major role in the Scientific Revolution. Perhaps more than any other person, Galileo was responsible for the birth of modern science. What role does

observation play in solving the mysteries of nature? What role does experimentation play in solving

the mysteries of nature? Invention of the telescope Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was first to turn it productively to the sky. Telescope was invented in the

workshop of Hans Lippershey of Holland probably in 1608. Galileo, a lens maker, immediately grasped the concept and made his own. Galileos telescopes: 9x, 20x

Optical Aberrations Other telescope problems Telescope powers: Magnifying Light Gathering Resolving

Limitations: Small field of view Lack of a suitable mount Sidereus Nuncius1610 Craters of the moon

Nebulous regions Moons of Jupiter Subsequent observations Phases of Venus

Changing size of Mars Triple-Starred Saturn Neptune Sunspots

The early antagonists The Pigeon league and Rev. Tommaso Caccini, Ye Galileans, why stand ye there looking up into the heavens? (cf Acts 1:11) German observer Rev.

Christoph Scheiner argues with Galileo about primacy of discovering sunspots. Galileo makes his case

in Rome Skepticism! How can a telescope show what the eye does not reveal? Galileo and the Church

Sidereus Nuncius was not the main source of Galileos problems with the Church. Origins of controversy Galileo denounced to Inquisition in 1614 Galileo meets with

Robert Cardinal Bellarmine in 1616 Maffeo Cardinal Barberini becomes Urban VIII in 1623 Galileo begins his magnum opus

Dialogues Concerning the Two Chief World Systems 1632

Implications of observations In Dialogues Galileo predicated the movement of Earth, placing the Sun at the center of the known universe - Copernicanism contradicted established

religious and scientific opinions of his day made incontrovertible arguments based on empirical evidence But does Earth move? Today commonly held as true, but is it?

Aristotle argued convincingly against it: constant motion is not natural any motion should be felt projectiles should be left behind prevailing winds should blow things should be flung off at the spinning Earths equator stellar parallax should be visible

from the east

Shouldnt Earth be at the center? The 1632 accusation Suspicion of heresy! Holding and promoting

the pernicious doctrine that the sun is the center of the world, and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world Galileos trial

Hinged on a literal interpretation of Biblical texts* (Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, over the valley of Ajalon. Joshua 10:12, KJV)

Condemnation based on faulty records of 1616 meeting with Robert Cardinal Bellarmine made by the Holy Office Also based on secret prohibition of 1623 arising from visit with

Pope Urban VIII * 1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 93;1; 96;10; and 104:5 Galileos defense Ecclesiastical approbation for publication of Dialogues Concerning Two Chief World Systems

The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach how to go to heaven, not how go the heavens. Cardinal Piccolomini A 1616 letter from Robert Cardinal Bellarmine Supposedly incontrovertible evidence was not admissible in the trial: telescopic observations of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter 1604 nova and explanation of the Earths tides

evidence showing Aristotle was wrong about motion The majority opinion 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 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. Galileo recants under threat Pope Urban VIII does not sign

the condemnation of Galileo The sentence Recite the seven penitential psalms once/week for 3 yrs Formal prison of Holy Office (changed to

house arrest for the remainder of his life) Dialogues put on Index of Forbidden Books Wide publication of his recantation What Galileo did not do

He did not set Earth in motion around the Sun He did not forsake the Church He did not lose all support of churchmen, friends, colleagues

Archbishop Piccolomini Suor Maria Celeste John Milton (Paradise Lost) Marin Mersenne (Dutch publisher of Two New Sciences in 1638)

John Paul II and Galileo In 1984 retracted the Inquisitions most unfortunate condemnation In 1992 vindicated Galileo In 2000 issued a

formal apology At fault for his trial Churchs reaction to Reformation Aristotlean scientists of the time (e.g. Magini, chair of astronomy) The Pigeon league and Rev. Tommaso Caccinis preaching

The grievances of co-claimant German Jesuit Reverend Christoph Scheiner Pope Urban VIII (Muffeo Barberini) who listened to Galileos Jesuit antagonists Unfortunate circumstances surrounding Galileos 1616 and 1623 discussions. Galileo also at fault

Galileos brash personality Use of the vernacular Italian in his scholarly writings rather than Latin Did more than teach heliocentric world view as a hypothesis Church not always antagonistic Thomas Aquinas warned against the dangers

of unqualified literal interpretation of the Bible Copernicus re-suggests heliocentrism (1543) Pius XII issues Humani Generis (1950) John Paul II saw the possibility of a fruitful harmony between science and faith, between church and the

world (1994) Lessons learned Religion and science are fundamentally different ways of knowing Empirical evidence is the final arbiter in science Scientific findings are tentative but resilient There will be no contradiction between faith and

science if both are properly understood Scientists need not be atheists Church supports science

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