Dialogue On The Two Great World Systems Essay, Research Paper

Does the test of Galileo indicate that the church was hostile to new thoughts in scientific discipline?

Galileo Galilei ( 1564-1642 ) proved to be the first dramatic illustration of struggle between scientific discipline

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and faith. Galileo introduced and right explained the idea- what is the acceleration of a

free falling object, by making this he quashed the old theories of his predecessor, Aristotle.

Aristotle came up with the theory that the weight of an object and the medium through which it

was traveling determined the downward velocity of the object. Galileo, after holding carried out

legion experiments concluded that in a vacuity, an object accelerated independent of its

weight. He proved this by turn overing a ball down a incline at different angles and calculated the

acceleration. He found that the rate of acceleration was changeless, harmonizing to the equation:

a=v/t. Aristotle s ideas tended to cover with the physical universe we live in, Galileo on the other

manus was more concerned with an ideal universe.

The modern age of scientific discipline began in 1543 with the publication of Copernicus s book On

the disclosure of the heavenly eyeball. A cardinal characteristic of the new scientific discipline was mathematical

logical thinking and quantifiable observations. Harmonizing to the Copernican theoretical account the planets and the

Earth go around around the Sun, this is accurate although mathematically simpler. One of the

of import alterations taking topographic point was that people began to see the Earth as a mathematical

construction, relationships were quantative, non qualative as they had been for Aristotle. The

scientific Revolution of the 17th century owes a batch to maths. Galileo found extra

grounds to back up the Copernican theory, with a combination of theory and experiment, which

was indispensable to his survey, this can besides be traced back to Archimedes in Ancient Greece.

At foremost the church didn Ts take Copernicus s theory really earnestly as uranology and maths

didn T seem to hold any important philosophical or theological relevancy although Copernicus s

book was dedicated to Pope Paul III and he received it appreciatively. Copernicus still made usage of

Ptolemy s rhythms and epicycles and he besides borrowed from Aristotle the thought that the planets

must travel in circles because it is the lone perfect signifier of gesture. In world Copernicus s book

marked a alteration in human idea. Owen Barfield, in his book Salvaging the Appearances calls it

the existent turning point in the history of scientific discipline. It took topographic point when Copernicus began to believe,

and others, like Kepler and Galileo, began to confirm that the heliocentric hypothesis non merely

saved the visual aspects, but was physically true It was non merely a theory of the nature of

heavenly motions that was feared but a new theory of the nature of theory ; viz. that, if a

hypothesis saves all the visual aspects, it is indistinguishable with the truth. Copernicus s book stated that

the Earth was non at the Centre of the existence with the Sun go arounding around it, this is

debatable for Christians who viewed the Aristotlian image of the Earth at the Centre as in the

bible the Sun moves around the Earth ; Joshua 10:13

And the Sun and Moon stood still, till the people revenged themselves of their enemies. Is non

this written in the book of the merely? So the Sun stood still in the thick of the Eden, and hasted

non to travel down the infinite of one twenty-four hours.

It took Copernicus four old ages to hold the assurance to print the book, he wasn T afraid about

how the church would respond but how faculty members would see it. He was afraid because Aristotle s

work was extremely praised whereas he was presenting a new, unproven system of cosmology

which seemingly went against the instructions of the Bible.

In 1609 telescopic observations of the skies were made by Galileo. After hearing about

the innovation of a telescope in Holland he built one for himself and what he found were to hold

major effects for the Aristotelean universe. Using the telescope he saw that the Sun is a

ball of stone like the Earth, non a perfect sphere and he assumed that other planets are the same.

He besides discovered that the planet of Jupiter had at least four orbiters and the stages of Venus,

significance that Venus moves around the Sun and non the Earth. What he was really stating was

that the Earth is merely an ordinary planet and that stars must be much further off, or you would

see the gesture of the Earth. Gesture is fiddling compared to the distance of the distance of the Sun

to the nearest star and stars are so bright, like our ain Sun. The job this posed was that the

Earth seems to be undistinguished physically as the existence is so large, so does this intend it is besides undistinguished spiritually?

Protestants found it really hard to come to footings with Copernicus and the Catholic

church were immune to alter. During the 17th century there were many jobs for

Christians coming to footings with these new finds. A taking Jesuit uranologist of the clip,

Christopher Calvius was at first skeptical of Galileo s observations but one time he saw the planet

Jupiter for himself through a telescope he knew what Galileo was stating was right. The Jesuits

so confirmed the theory about the stages of Venus although they came up with the system of

Tycho Brahe, which had all the planets revolving the Sun, except the Earth.

In 1611 Galileo visited Rome where Pope Paul V offered his support, so he returned to

Firenze where he became haunted with the Copernican theory and where he discussed, argued

and sold the Copernican theoretical account at every chance. Galileo wanted to change over the populace to his

manner of thought. Galileo s test by the Inquisition would non hold taken topographic point had he bee

n more

diplomatic although Galileo was excessively confident and non really tactile. The church were non

wholly hostile to science although they did hold jobs with this peculiar country. There are besides

strong intuitions that test was his ain mistake, he was insensitive and his book poked merriment at the

Catholic Pope. There wasn T a clang of rules but an unfortunate misinterpretation of how Galileo had

handled the church.

Galileo s state of affairs was highly dry, he was obsessed with the Copernican theoretical account and

purpose on pounding it down the pharynx of the Catholic Church yet at the beginning of his run

he was held in high respects by the church. His positions left the church with three options ;

I ) to accept the Copernican theoretical account ( even though it wasn t decently proven ) and to accommodate Bible to this theory,

two ) to reprobate it, or

three ) that the Copernican theory could be accepted but merely as a hypothesis until cogent evidence could be supplied. Galileo rejected this.

Equally far as the church was concerned the Copernican theoretical account was such a contention as it implied

that due to the enormousness of the existence, worlds might be peripheral to the creative activity and the fact

of biological development, development alterations our position of ourselves ( therefore we aren t a particular

creative activity ) . Several scriptural transitions were besides read as bespeaking a stationary Earth, this wasn T

what Galileo thought.

Galileo himself knew that he could non turn out heliocentricism. He couldn t even reply

an statement brought frontward by his predecessor, Aristotle. That is, if the Earth did travel around the

Sun so there would be a displacement in the place of a star observed from the Earth on one side of the

Sun, and so six months subsequently from the other side. This was non answered until 1838 by

Friedrich Bessel.

Another job which Galileo encountered was that he was inexorable that despite

finds by Kepler, that the planets orbit the Sun in perfect circles. Despite this Galileo sent

letters and articles throughout Europe and he was involved in differences with clerics which

merely proved to diminish his popularity among the church.

As Galileo was so confident and non afraid to talk his head he moved his argument from a

scientific background onto theological evidences. Had Galileo s statements remained strictly

scientific there is no inquiry that the church would hold shrugged them off but in 1614 Galileo

insisted that he had to reply questions about this new scientific discipline beliing certain transitions of

the Bible, some of the bible transitions cited are ;

Ecclesiastes 1:4-6,

the Earth abideth everlastingly. The Sun besides riseth, and the Sun goeth down and hastethto his topographic point

where he arose. The air current goeth toward the South and turneth about the North, besides


the universe besides is stabilished that it can non be moved

and Psalm 104:5,

who laid the foundation of the Earth, that it should non be removed everlastingly.

Besides Joshua which I have antecedently mentioned. The actual significance of these transitions would

hold to be scraped if the Copernican theoretical account was to be believed.

Galileo addressed this job in his missive to the Grand Duchess Christina in 1615. He

laid down readings of when scientific discipline theories seem to conflict with the actual reading

of the Bible. First of all Galileo claims that scientific discipline and faith are independent of one

another, that they have both dofferent ends and are irrelevant to each other, for illustration,

divinity is impersonal in regard to cosmology and he goes on to depict how these scientific

theories should be evaluated by scientific standards entirely. If Galileo had adhered to what he

proposed and the church had accepted it, a struggle between Galileo and the church would ne’er

have taken topographic point.

In December 1614 a Dominican priest named Thomas Caccini held a discourse in Firenze

which was anti-Copernican and which was a clear onslaught against Galileo. One month later and

another Dominican, Father Niccolo Lorini, read a transcript of Galileo s missive to Castelli and was

really irritated how he adapted Bible to accommodate his ain intents. He sent a transcript to the

Inquisition in Rome, somewhat changing Galileo s words although the instance was dismissed.

At this point Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the most of import theologists of the Catholic

Reformation proposed a face salvaging via media for Galileo. In 1615, he wrote a missive sketching

the church s place. He said that it was acceptable to maintain the Copernican theoretical account but merely as a

hypothesis and if there were existent cogent evidence that the Earth circles the Sun, so we should hold to

proceed with great discretion in explicating transitions of Bible which appear to learn the


Galileo was nevertheless determined to hold a confrontation and so he went to Rome to

confront Pope Paul V. He referred the affair to the Inquisition and seemingly an injuction was

sent to Galileo stating him to abstain wholly from learning or supporting this sentiment and

philosophy, and from even discoursing it. It is debated whether this is echt or was forged.

Sixteen yers subsequently Galileo wrote his celebrated Dialogue on the two great universe systems

which began the celebrated test of Galileo in 1633. Galileo was summoned before the Inquisition in

Rome, he was condemned and spent the remainder of his life under house apprehension.

It is unjust to state that the church has been hostile to new thoughts in scientific discipline. There have

been a figure of countries where faith has promoted scientific discipline, for illustration, Kepler s find

that the planets orbit the Sun in eclipsis. Besides Newton s thought that the pull of gravitation holds planets

around the Sun, the Catholic Church have paved the manner for people like Galileo and Newton.

four )


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