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Galileo Returns to the Vatican

Article Updated: 26 Dec , 2015
by

Four centuries after Galileo Galilei was ordered by the Catholic Church to come to Rome and stand trial on suspicion of heresy, a statue of the Italian astronomer will be erected at the Vatican. 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, which celebrates 400 years since Galileo first used a telescope to study the heavens, and the Vatican plans to join in commemorating the anniversary. Galileo was condemned to house arrest by the Catholic Church in 1633 because his belief that the sun was at the center of the solar system, and not the Earth, contradicted the bible.

The statue was commissioned by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and was paid for with private donations. The president of the Academy, Nicola Cabibbo, said the statue shows Galileo standing and gesturing as if he were teaching. Cabibbo, a particle scientist, said honoring Galileo in this way is important because the Academy considers Galileo to be one of the oldest members of their group. Galileo was a member of the National Academy of Lincei, from which the Pontifical Academy began.

At his trial, Galileo argued that his heliocentric beliefs and writings did not oppose the church’s teachings, and stated that the bible was not meant to provide scientific explanations. He once wrote that scripture does not reveal what is in the heavens, but rather how to get to heaven.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II acknowledged that that the church made a mistake when it condemned Galileo for maintaining that the Earth revolved around the sun. At that time the church officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary. The pope also said that theologians should keep informed on scientific advances to determine if there would be cause for “introducing changes in their teaching.”

The exact location for the statue has not yet been determined, but Cabibbo was confident that the details would be worked out in time for the start of the anniversary celebrations in early 2009.

Original News Source: The Catholic Times


59 Responses

  1. Yael Dragwyla says:

    All of which proves that religions are capable of growing up and acting responsibly, which the Roman Catholic Church really has done. The Church’s position on various scientific issues has evolved over the years such that it has arrived at conclusions that can be lived with. No, the Church, like any human agency, isn’t perfect, and doubtless there will have to be other changes to be made in its doctrine to balance scientific findings with spiritual needs. Now, isn’t it time a lot of scientists grew up and realized that pitching a fit over a 400-500 year old dust-up between the Church and a scientist, the philosophical version of holding your breath until you turn blue when you don’t get what you want, is more than a little silly?

  2. Dr Robert says:

    Deep respect. Churches should be ashamed. It was their clubs burning people like this in other times. Still not mention a word, but celebrate. It’s disgusting.

  3. Robert says:

    Actually, the belief that the Earth was the center of the universe did NOT contradict the Bible. It contradicted Church teaching. There’s a big difference…

  4. seanhogge says:

    Heliocentrism didn’t directly contradict the bible, but passages in which Joshua (I believe it was) force the sun to stand still in the sky seemed to imply that there was a solar motion to be arrested.

    Another of the horrible aspect of the trial of Galileo was that Galileo was a devout catholic, and openly supported any censure the church would impose. In fact, the book he was tried for was approved by the church years prior with minor alterations. Galileo was delaying in publishing by several factors, and the pope was finding himself rather out of favor with critics of papal conduct.

    This led to the pope who had previously expressed great interest in Galileo’s work to rail against him. The pope did not lead the Inquisition council that tried Galileo, he merely refused (or was unable, politically) to intervene on Galileo’s behalf.

    Galileo was convicted of the crime he abhorred most by the people he trusted and respected most in a fit of political and social intrigue. The end of his days found him cut off from all that he held dear by those he held dearest, in a sense.

  5. LLDIAZ says:

    the catholic church has grown up and taken responsibility!
    is that what you said?
    come on! lets try not to be so naive…..

  6. LLDIAZ says:

    priest, rabbi, guru whatever your calling your still a man no matter what you’ve learned you’ve only learned it from another man.

  7. Emil says:

    The main problem is what the leaders’ interpretations are. There is enough support in Judeo-Christian theology for persistence of orthodox branches. They did not give up the idea of Earth in the center and even 24 hr rotation, as well as Young Earth, etc. other issues put to rest by multitude of sciences. When it comes to heliocentricity, they ignore Foucault and Coriolis. Ignoring inertia was mentioned (allowing a longer day to let Jews win the battle.) If Sun was stopped, why bother with Foucault? They bring in Einstein’s relativity and conclude heliocentric concept is outdated, so since inferior science said it cannot tell where the center is, they take it from Bible to be the Earth. Never mind pictures of Galaxies – they all must rotate around the static Earth too.

    I believe in freedom, including religious freedom. Yet I spent too much time on protracted debates but think that every time knowledge is misinterpreted it must be confronted, or ignorance will spread.

  8. Charles Bell says:

    I work with many people who are quite “intelligent” but are so “anti-evolution” they believe that dinosaurs never lived and that the fossils were created when God created the earth in seven 24 hour days.

    There are some who believe that there were dinosaurs living when Adam and Eve were created, only because the list of ancestors back to Adam in the Book of Numbers is not long enough for the earth to be as old as the carbon dating suggests. The dinosaurs went extinct during the Great Flood they say.

    There are also many I work with who believe that all the stars we see now were all created at exactly the same time and there are none forming now. Novae and supernovae to them are just stars that were too dim to see until they exploded.

    You can not reason with people like that. You waste any time spent.

    There have bee people like this in all ages, in all religions, in all societies, everywhere.

    I am glad we at least had one smart Pope to come along and try to set a lot of things straight. I got to see him in person a few times in Rome at the end of 1999.

  9. David says:

    I am a Pastor, and I too agree that what happened to Galileo was a travesty. I am an amateur astronomer and have a passion for all things related to the subject. The more I discover, the more I am amazed.

    The behavior that resulted in Galileo’s persecution is still happening in our so-called modern age. People still do amazingly ignorant, cruel, thoughtless things to each other.

    I wish all of us would spend more time gazing at the stars and meditating on the wonders of the universe rather than investing time in dogmatic legalism.

    Every time I see a new picture from the array of instruments gazing into the heavens, I am drawn more into the wonder that there is an amazingly creative God who surpasses our wildest imagination.

    Not all Christians are radical fundamentalists. I am truly sorry that the actions of a few have damaged the faith of so many…

  10. rpsms says:

    Is it truly a 500-year-old-dust-up when the pope only concedes the point in 1992?

  11. NeoGuru says:

    I’m a Jew but am very much aware that the Catholic Church’s contribution to Astronomy is significant. The Vatican owns and operates one of the world’s foremost observatories. The statue is a fitting tribute.

  12. Voltair Jr. says:

    Don’t believe for one second that the Catholic Church has reformed. The only reason it no longer burns Jews and heretics is because it no longer has large armies loaned to it by Catholic kings of Austria and France to use to crush its enemies. If the Church ever again regains military power it will once again demand total Papal Supremacy over the world, and the Inquisition will return.

  13. Barry G says:

    Like Robin Williams said “Better latent than never.”

    No one can say that the Catholic Church is too quick to accept crazy scienticic speculation , Just think, another 400 years and they will be saying that Darwin could be onto something.

  14. Emil says:

    Darwin? I believe Craig Venter indeed has good chance to create artificial life within a decade, since his team already made Mycoplasma laboratorium with the synthetic chromosome in place. Yet I am not too optimistic that in the next 400 years science will have evidence that Adam had a belly button. So they will stick with their dogma.

  15. Emil says:

    “So they will stick to their dogma” is a better English, I guess

  16. Ray Bingham says:

    Mr Gallileo’s statue should be placed in the center of the Vatican and guaranteed that it will never be moved.

  17. Kevin M. says:

    Voltair Jr. is still fighting the 500-year old war with his tin-foil paranoia helmet intact. No forgiveness for long-past mistakes, Mr. Voltair? No opportunity given for sincere reform? Are you ready to be judged on the same terms? If the armies were loaned by Austria and France, then why do you blame the Church for them? Where is this threat of church armies remaining today, or is it only in your fevered imagination?

    The Church of middle ages Europe was indeed a state power, a position which fell upon it by the chance accidents of European history, namely its adoption by the Roman state for politically expedient reasons, followed by the total collapse of Rome, leaving the church as the sole organizing principle of society. A development so completely antithetical to the church’s character was never intended to happen, and was certainly co-opted and manipulated by ruthless individuals who abused spiritual authority for physical ends. Today’s church is still tainted by a remaining air of this political status and its abuses.

    But such abuse of spiritual authority is certainly not a European or Christian phenomenon, but a universal human tendency. Much of society agreed with persecution of heretics 500 years ago, and the extremes of the Inquisition you mention were largely in one country (Spain). The Church was only reflecting the society of its time and place. Therefore, it is not really the Church you have an argument with, it is the entirety of European history of which it was an integeral part, and the human nature of all the Europeans who were complicit in it.

    But those days are long behind us. As the Euro-centric world view shrinks in significance, so it’s church returns to its proper nature as a purely spiritual movement which reveals God’s power as consisting precisely in powerlessness. Rome and the Vatican itself may crumble, and perhaps they should, but the universal church instituted by its founder can never fall of fail, even in death. Most of the principles of democratic liberal society based on humanism and justice originated in the church, along with the rational principles which allowed the birth of the natural sciences, the renaissance and enlightenment.

    The Church accepted the results of Galileo a long time ago, it just didn’t make a formal statement about it. While we accept evolution as a general description of biological development, we will never accept that material forces alone are the drivers of this development. We are as against any purely technocratic materialism as we are against any purely disembodied spiritualism. Those fights I can promise you will continue until the end of time.

  18. Emil says:

    “While we accept evolution as a general description of biological development, we will never accept that material forces alone are the drivers of this development.”

    Kevin S., Would you please explain/expand on it? Are you stating “we” except Intelligent Design or “we” except common ancestry? Or “we” except both? Or none of these? And who are “we”? Thanks.

  19. ALOKMOHAN says:

    It is god sestur of Vatican to accept the reality.

  20. Bulldogstar says:

    Kevin M.
    Well Written.Voltair.Jr. shows te hatred
    carried around in his heart is motivated by his religious beliefs, and I’d be willing to
    bet he is a reformed jew rather than an orthodox jew. In other words, he only becomes religious when it is convienient
    to him.

  21. Brian Sheen says:

    The Earth centered theory of the solar system was proposed by Ptolemy circa 100AD and has no biblical basis. However is was generally accepted by all until Copernicus wrote De Revolutionibus orbium coelestrium in 1543. (Kopernigk was a Polish Canon.) Kepler’s Laws, (empirical), in1610 strengthened this position. Galileo demonstrated how it worked 1609/10.
    Newton in Principia 1687 added the theoretical underpinning. So the change from one system to another was gradual and took many years.

  22. jerryusc says:

    The bible is supposed to be the “word of God” and therefore infallible. It apears that God made a boo-boo when he implied that the sun revolved around the earth.
    I agree with a previous poster that the only reason the church doesn’t still burn people at the stake is only because it no longer has the power. The sins of the church are worse than other sins because they were done in the name of God. If the church was wrong about this, what else is it wrong about?
    Religions are a business and that is the way they are ran. If it requires hate, bigotry, prejudice etc. to fill the collection plate then that is what they will offer. It has been my experience that most “christians” aren’t Christ-like in any way.

  23. Keith Norfolk says:

    I wonder whether it would be a good idea to erect a statue of the Pope next to the VLT or the Keck II telescope. Nothing to do with religion, just a reminder to us not to hold on too tightly to our deeply held convictions.

  24. Tyler Durden says:

    Seems a little tasteless to me. Would be about the same if the Church of Scientology erected a statue of Lisa Mcpherson:

    http://www.lisamcpherson.org/

  25. Brian Sheen says:

    Hi Jerryusc,

    I will be teaching Galileo as part of IYA so would greatly appreaciate Chapter and verse where is says or implies that the Earth is the centre of the solar system.

  26. Emil says:

    Keith Norfolk, why limit the idea to telescopes? Unfortunately, science does not collect 10% income from population, so it cannot afford erecting statures of Nobel Prize recipients by sophisticated instruments. How about this: attach a little religious symbol to a ruler – just in case. Because uncertainty of the scientific method prohibits one to draw, with confidence, a straight line with the ruler alone.

  27. Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 include text stating that “the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” In the same tradition, Psalm 104:5 says, “the LORD set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that “And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place.”
    From the Galileo entry in Wikipedia

  28. Emil says:

    Brian Sheen,
    I googled “bible earth sun” and here is the first link: http://biblebabble.curbjaw.com/errors.htm
    In addition to Nancy Atkinson’s comment, it also points, “Bible reflects that we live on a flat earth.” For example, “Job 38:13 speaks of the earth being taken by the physical ends with “That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?”

    One from Job I like is “When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,
    10 And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors,
    11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?”

    I wonder, does it mean that God was confident that we will not fly above clouds on vacation, or only that we will not lend on the Moon?

  29. B. Keller says:

    I find it ironic that people who don’t attend the Catholic Church will speak with authority on it’s teachings and make statements like “it take another 400 years for it to accept Darwin.” The facts are that Roman Catholic accepted Darwin’s theory of evolution and the age of the earth in the late 1940s and has required all Catholic Schools to teach only evolution staring in the early 1950s. This is prior to many public schools in the US. Genesis is only taught in religion classes and read as it is intended, a parable of God’s love not a scientific thesis of how the earth was created. I know this for a fact because I went to a Catholic school and was taught evolution by a Nun, and that same Nun had extensive lectures on the Bible as a collections of literary texts and styles written thousands of years ago by a people who knew little of science and whose main point is to educate about God and love.

    It’s sad that so many scientist have been brain washed by atheistic attitudes that they can’t even realized that their greatest ally against the pseudo science of “Intelligent Design” is the Roman Catholic Church. “Intelligent Design” is not permitted to be taught in Catholic Schools, only Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. That can’t be said of all public schools, especially in states such as Kansas.

  30. Mike says:

    When will man put all this religious nonsense to bed, no, behind us, no, forget that it ever existed, no, keep it for history as something we should have never done. For look, what it has done from its beginning? Yes, we need it as the crutch to get to tomorrow, unless we can come up with another one, which is the reason we have it, or let us just define God, as all unanswered questions and be done with it.

    All religions are nothing more than the thoughts of men, trying to explain his existence. If you are looking for the purpose of life, let me suggest one, to me happy in all you do. There is no evidence of any kind that there is a supernatural–anything. At least the scientific method can relate to the physical sciences and show that it is currently real. We may have to make adjustments in the future, if there is a future, but at least we think we are moving in a positive direction.

    As time moves forward, we will find that man has made many mistakes, as we have already done. The questions are can he cure those mistakes, before it is too late, and no longer point to the past, comparing it to today, and do nothing to remedy the situation. It does no good, for time only has one direction–forward. Unless, of course, it provides jobs, reasons to argue, hate, fight, and kill, and create large businesses with lots of paid employees and no taxes.

  31. Steve says:

    So much for papal infallibility!
    Please, oh, please, Pope B.- tell me what else is right and wrong.

  32. redmond o@hanlon says:

    As a Catholic I am appalled, but not surprised, that a statue to a man found guilty of ‘suspicion of heresy’ should be chosen to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy. If there were to be a statue erected at the Vatican it should be that of Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) whose discoveries as director of the Paris Observatory set up by King Louis XIV contributed more to astronomy that Galileo ever dreamed about. Moreover unlike the suspected heretic Galileo, Cassini was an exemplary Catholic favoured by the popes of his time.
    No doubt Galileo was chosen for pragmatic reasons, yet another ‘apology’ necessary in the wake of that infamous U-turn of 1741 and 1822 when the new Copernican popes ignored their predecessors and exposed the Church of the seventeenth century to eternal ridicule. A brief visit to internet sites shows the proposal has done nothing but trigger off another round of abuse aimed at the Mystical Body of Christ.
    The TRUTH of course is that the 1616 Church has never been proven wrong, no matter what the consensus is. Any first year physics student knows that spatial relativity means science cannot determine the order of the earth-sun relationship. But Scripture has revealed it is geocentric. This was made a matter of Catholic faith in 1616. In 1741 faith was abandoned in favour of human preference. Galileo remains suspect of heresy no matter who says what, and I challenge anyone to show me an abrogation of the 1616 decree or Galileo’s guilt.

  33. giovanni abatematteo says:

    ignorance is the biggest enemy of the thruth
    gallileo gallilei told them so after his condemnation in his last encyclical “e pur si muove”

  34. Emil says:

    redmond o,

    Nobody can tell you how to feel, of course. The idea behind the selection is that it is 400 years since the famous trial. I have no say on the matter as I am not a Catholic, yet I would be happy if either / both great scientists (both exemplary Roman Catholics and humans) had their statues erected at Vatican.

    I doubt that any of four generations of Cassini astronomers would share your vies. They would appreciate the improvements in instrumentation with time and that Italian-French Cassini “was the first to make successful measurements of longitude by the method suggested by Galileo, using eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter as a clock.”

  35. Emil says:

    As to the physics, you mentioning relativity. You should appreciate that logic of what you said also prohibits one to subscribe Galileo was wrong – if they knew what you should today, they should rule inconclusive at best, correct? It is not that science “does not know”. Relativity also prohibits one to claim that any religious expression claiming opposite is right.

    Do not let half-science focusing on half of a picture fool you. If it does not show the whole picture, it does not show the right picture. For example, you can take gravitational force (a good law) together with F=ma to calculate electron mass and orbits (adding Bohr’s postulate of stationary orbits) in a hydrogen atom. But the resulting orbits and mass will not be anywhere close to experimental data – in fact one will see about 4 followed by 42 zeros error! The problem is that it is Coulomb law (that gives the force of electrical attraction) and not the gravity law that should be used.

    People who have adhered to your point of view are making the same category mistake as in this atom example (i.e. paring snow and chair instead of wood and chair).

    Fortunately, relativity is not the only established theory. Why the floor (and not the pendulum) is moving? — There is a law of conservation of momentum – that is why people could use gyroscopes before GPS era. You can repeat Foucault pendulum experiment at home, but you cannot exclude half the laws from a system of equations to solve it the way you want the result to appear. BTW, in case you also think that Earth is stationary, read facts on Coriolis effect. This is why river banks are not equal – despite that relativity cannot tell you that either.

  36. redmond o@hanlon says:

    Happy St Patrick’s day to you all. Thank you Emil for your courteous reply especially your respect for my Catholicism. I am new at this internet stuff but usually find it is plagued with smart-Alecs whose ignorance ruins any proper debate. View Giovanni above and you will see what I mean.
    First let me quote St Patrick, who chose the spotless emblem of a tree-leaf shamrock as a symbol of the Trinity, the Christian God. (Clover, another three-leaf plant has white markings so is not used) St Patrick’s Breastplate (a prayer) is said today: It is lengthy and begins thus:
    I BIND MYSELF TODAY
    THE STRONG VIRTUE OF THE INCARNATION OF THE TRINITY
    I BELIEVE THE TRINITY IN THE UNITY
    THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE

    Thus Christians believe God CREATED the universe EX NIHILO, that is out of nothing, whole and complete.
    St Patrick makes reference to
    THE STABILITY OF THE EARTH

    Now that is Christianity, not the heliocentric, evolutionary and relative creation spun by all – especially popes – in Catholicism today.

    Now Emil, if you were familiar with Domenico Cassini, his Catholicism, his demeanour, his knowledge, his expertise, his achievements, his reputation and his GEOCENTRIC beliefs, and compared them to Galileo, his mistress, his considering his two daughters unfit for marriage because they were illegitimate, his arrogance, his ignorance (tides are caused by heliocentricism), his cunning, his cowardice (had not the courage of his convictions) and his perjury, there would be no contest as to who SHOULD be honoured by the Vatican in the Year of Astronomy. The Vatican is after all, a symbol of Christianity, its beliefs and the Catholic faith.
    Galileo advanced astronomy not ONE INCH. Tycho de Brahe already knew the planets orbit the sun. Yes he was the first to PUBLISH evidence that Jupiter has four moons and that Cassini used them to show light was not infinite speed, but other astronomers had actually viewed these satellites at around the same time. History however belongs to the victors (in both Church and State) and they dictate who get the credit for what and who is forgotten in history and who is not etc.
    Now Emil, I agree with you that spatial relativity makes BOTH G & H possibilities. But as Catholics we have TWO sources of infallible knowledge, theology and empirical science. In this case theology (revelation in hundreds of places in the Bible, and the Church’s 1616 definition that the Scriptures say it is geocentric). Now theology takes precedence over human preference as that is why the Church made Heliocentrism formal heresy and condemned Galileo as suspect of heresy (Galileo, the coward, lied to the court, pretending he was a geocentricist but enjoyed pretending it is heliocentric).
    Now I have no intention of using heliocentric inventions (Newton’s universal gravitation laws , Einstein’s two theories of relativity, and the absurd quantum mechanics and mathematics) as relevant. These are all INVISIBLE mind-physics invented and used to fool the world into thinking heliocentricism has EMPIRICAL proof. Indeed Einstein would never have been heard of were it not they needed a ‘genius’ to get the earth moving again after the empirical tests of Airy and Mitchelson & Morley showed the EARTH DOES NOT MOVE.
    Again I condemn the proposed statue to Galileo as no more a deceit on Catholics world wide. It is an insult to the Church of 1616 and 1633.

  37. redmond ohanlon says:

    ion: for
    Galileo advanced astronomy not ONE INCH

    red Galileo advanced heliocentricism not ONE INCH.

  38. Hawkus says:

    I’m all for rational thought winning the day, but this smacks of even more papal hypocrisy. I was already aware that previous popes have accepted science, but the current incumbent seems determined to take the church back to the bad old days – lest we forget:

    How can they have the temerity to erect this statue while the guy in the big hat is happy to uphold the ruling of that inquisition?

    Like Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, can faith ever catch-up to fact?

    E pur si Muove, indeed.

  39. redmond ohanlon says:

    One thing I am learning from these sites is that ignorance prevails and prejudice prevails. The facts are that since 1741 POPES have allowed Christians to believe any sort of scientific nonsense once it is endorced by ‘scientists’.

    As it happens the present pope has allowed his cardinals to announce publicly that he agrees with Galileo and in no way wants to be seen as upholding the reuing of his predecessors of the Inquisition.
    Now look up Par. 32 in Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes and you will see them ridicule the Churchmen of 1616 and 1633. the above opinion then is nonsense.

  40. Adam says:

    Hi, all!

    Apparently not everyone has read the article very carefully. It states quiet clearly that the point with the statue was to commemorate the first leader of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (or to be more precise its predecessor). So that’s one thing.

    Another thing is that Galileo did a rather lousy job as an astronomer. He believed for instance that the tides are a proof of the heliocentric system. He took to insulting everyone who thought otherwise (his favored technique of debating science) hoping that he would be able to prove his ideas “very soon”. As he couldn’t and his day wasn’t coming along he used ever harsher language. So technically speaking he *was* wrong, though not on the heliocentric system itself. But then, it wasn’t his idea in the first place. Accidentally, he never uttered the infamous sentence “e pur si muove”. His real contributions came in stead in other fields, such as mechanics where he actually did some revolutionary work (with understanding of relationships between acceleration, mass and inertia).

    As has been pointed out already, those who criticize the Catholic Church in these matters don’t seem to know much about the Church’s position here. I come myself from a devoutly catholic *and* strongly scientific background. In my immediate family you’ll find nuclear physicists, an astrophysicist, engineers, doctors, a historian, etc. Yet there has never been any conflict between faith and reason in our family. The very suggestion that the catholic teaching is anti science is so ridiculous it isn’t even worth discussing. I’ll just point out that Nicolaus Copernicus, Gregor Mendel (“father of genetics”) and Georges Lemaître (the first one to suggest the idea which later became known as Big Bang) were all catholic clergymen. Accidentally, Lemaître became the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1960. The claims that the Catholic Church has been detrimental to the science are based at best in distortions of the truth at best.

    For more details see for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontifical_Academy_of_Sciences
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendel
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre

    Kind regards,
    /Adam

  41. Todd says:

    “I find it ironic that people who don’t attend the Catholic Church will speak with authority on it’s teachings …”

    Indeed.

    The Galileo statue is an appropriate honor. Good for the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences.

  42. alphonso richardson says:

    I can’t say I can match the intellectual highs (or lows) of these comments, all I can say is ‘It’s about bloody time!!’

  43. redmond ohanlon says:

    I am a practicing Catholic. Indeed in a moment i am off to Tridentine Mass and lenten retreat. All the more reason why I do not want my church to sink ant further into apostasy.

  44. Bob says:

    Relativity has nothing to do with morals or anti-morals or some of the misinterpretations represented above. Understanding relativity begins with understanding what constitutes motion; what constitutes “rest”; what constitutes changes in motion; what constitutes shared motions and how experiments have changed our views of motion over the years.

    Galileo laid some of the groundwork with his ball and trough experiments. A ball that goes uphill must slow down. A ball that goes downhill must speed up and, if one side of the trough is straightened out and the ball is let go from the highest part of the trough it will continue on forever in a straight line in the absence of friction or any head wind or collisions. He then concluded there is an equivalence principle between “rest” and uniform motion. The pendulum experiment in a previous post above has nothing to do with relativity. Galileon relativity simply states that the laws of motion are the same in all uniform motions. Einstein’s special relativity states that the laws of physics (which includes the laws of electromagnetism which limit the speed of light) are the same in all uniform motions (also referred to as inertial reference frames). General Relativity states that the laws of physics are the same in all accelerating reference frames.

    Go to the following for the math introduction:
    http://www.black-holes.org/numrel1.html

    As for another apology to Galileo from the church? It is after the fact. Was an apology to Giardano Bruno set forth? Would Bruno care? Nobody explores science because they want a statue of oneself erected anywhere.

    Science is based upon seeking falsification to realize ideas that are less false. Science is dynamic. It does not seek a truth. Religion does. Truths are dead ends to its upholders who do not wish that so-called truths can be questioned.

  45. it is really intresting for me that in muslim world nobody attacked to heliocentric model. It is true that all of the muslim sientists in islamic golden period believed in geocentric but not because of religious reasons!
    even you see in a book al-Biruni says it is possible to belive in heliocentric model but it seem there is no good reasons.
    nobody in islamic period condemned because of scientific ideas against Quran.
    even you see a philosopher and chemist -Al-Razi- just bekieved in God and no in the Prophet, but he didn’t been “arrested” !!
    I am a Muslim but believe in any new discovery and theory in science, even Darwinism! We have some scriptures from the Propher and his Sons which state about people before the Adem and Eve!! Adem’s sons married with them!! and there is no problem.
    But I am sorry that all of the world is against us! because there are a tissue of big lies
    about Islam…

  46. Emil says:

    Bob,
    Good writing and I totally agree with what you said. My explanation must be unsatisfactory if people of your view can misinterpret what I was trying to say through a number of my posts above.

    I was not brining pendulum up to confuse with relativity, but to refute an opinion that since Einstein’s concepts, science itself cannot determine the issue and thus allows to favor “Earth in the center of Universe” system supported by Torah/Bible. Also, it might be hard to imagine, but there are people who do not except that Earth is rotating (24 hr period.) That is why my 3/15 post mentioned Foucault and Coriolis. For the benefit of the readers, Foucault’s experiment was different from what Galileo observed with pendulum period (and allowed to make pendulum clocks.) I hoped that in the totality of my posts I made the point that conservation of momentum by pendulum and unequal banks of rivers tells us that Earth is not stationary, regardless what people wish to believe in. With science (as well as a religion) it is inconsistent to pick and chose as with dinner a la carte. What I mean is that other laws cannot be ignored to one’s favor when one considers implications of Einstein work.

  47. Emil says:

    Redmond O,
    I was not trying to bring up Galileo’s achievements in physics or otherwise. People who think he was not a great man in science go against “According to Stephen Hawking, Galileo probably bears more of the responsibility for the birth of modern science than anybody else, and Albert Einstein called him the father of modern science.” (Wikipedia) I hope his achievements more important to people than his personal family issues. I am also glad that he, unlike Bruno, saved his life and did more science work for the benefit of us all.

    I shall never try to prove a point to a person who tells me he believes in his position. Facts, logic, inference, and scientific achievements cannot overcome a belief system by the definition. Thus, I’ll not try to prove anything where I think your positions contradicts what I would consider is no longer questionable in science. (I am already having an exchange with a faithful person that flares up for about a dozen years, and our list of issues is simpler than claims you made against science in a paragraph.) Just few comments, please, above merely mentioning a general disagreement.

  48. Emil says:

    Over 20 years ago, I was staying in front of Michelson-Morley experiment display at the place it was first conducted, now Case Western Reserve University. It did not occur to me it proved Earth is stationary and it is not what it did for science at all. Would it succeed instead of failing, perhaps Einstein would not be known for relativity and E=mc^2. However, he would be in human history of science, for as long as it will be maintained, for two other 1905 papers (Brownian motion and photoelectric effect.) One ended up the debate on existence of atoms, another started quantum mechanics as a physics’ discipline. I got it you do not take the QM seriously. Ironically, if not for it tremendous achievements, I would not be able to get your disaproval via email, as transistor, integrated circuits, and computer would not be invented. I recall designing tunnel diode oscillators over 30 years ago. Today they are cheap, and it is a component that works by utilizing quantum mechanical effects. Leo Esaki in 1973 received the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the electron tunneling effect used in these diodes.

    On a different note, I enjoyed reading your post and am sure we would have wonderful intellectual discussions, if met. Keep helping people who are in need; that is an honorable life to have.

  49. redmond ohanlon says:

    Adam,
    Galileo did not found the Lincean Academy. He was one of its first members yes. The linceans helped Galileo in every way in his defiance of the church’s position. In other words it was in effect ANTI-CATHOLIC run by a group whose reputations were exposed by one of the founding member’s father.
    What you must know is that everything you know or have learned about this academy and the Galileo case was written to comply with the great betrayal, Pope Benedict XIV’s and Pope Pius VII’s U-turn on the geocentric interpretation of the Bible.
    Your second myth is that Galileo was correct with regard to heliocentricism. The fact is that there is no human way to determine whether the earth moves relative to the sun nor whether the sun moves relative to the earth. Galileo knew this as he admitted in his Dialogue. Now if there is no way of proving this, only a fool would waste his time trying and an even bigger fool thinking he has proved one system or the other. Geocentricism is revealed in the Bible, the Church confirmed this in 1616. Geocentricism is therefore a faith confirmed reality.
    Heliocentricism is an ANTI-faith preference. Theories as to how it might work were thought up by the Royal Society of London and given to Newton who worked out a maths that suited their purpose. He made everything fit but couldn’t explain or show how his universal gravitational theories actually work.
    Next they used every ‘consequent’ as a PROOF for heliocentricism when in fact each consequent had a geocentric explanation. Foucault and Coriolis are two of these so-called proofs. Foucault in particular is the greatest hoax in history. Nearly every pendulum is RIGGED to do what it is supposed to do naturally. The few that do work only turn a little, caused of course by the same effect as the Coriolis. This effect could be a turning earth or a turning universe around an immobile earth. Now these are SCIENTIFIC realities. Heliocentricists then are the ones that disregard SCIENTIFIC realities.
    Trouble is, the heliocentric hoax is so good that the mind of a heliocentricist is closed to the very possibility that it might not be a proven science. It is like a drug.
    Finally Quantum. My brother achieved his PhD in quantum Maths. He was hired as a professor in two universities, one in Canada, one in Ireland. He gave it up after two years as “The most useless career ever invented by man’. Watch any TV programme on quantum and they ALWAYS explain that quantum is not REALITY.
    Now watch as the Copernicans completely ignore the facts and try to contradict the facts, unless anyone thinks he can prove to me that Galileo went ONE INCH to prove heliocentrism.

  50. Emil says:

    Redmond Ohan,

    Again, I respect your faith and dedication. I suspect we would share the love of Irish music and many art and science achievements of men inspired by love to God. As humans, we would share a great deal. However, in my research I learned to separate my feelings from conclusions I can draw based of facts and inference.

    Your faith is infallible, but your statements on physics, frankly, would be refutable by what I knew when I was back in high school. Fortunately, I do not compel to respond in details. I’m sure your brother can explain to you conservation of energy and momentum, gyroscope, the meaning behind photoelectric effect and Plank’s discovery that energy is not “analog”, and much more. In return, with your conviction, you can master to enlighten him on conspiracy (behind of quantum theory) and ACTUAL working of a tunneling diode.

    Personally, I would be interested to learn how “a turning universe around an immobile earth” etches opposite river banks in Northern and Southern hemispheres. Please do not hesitate to give a detailed explanation or a serious reference on the subject (should include explanations of geostrophic wind, why cyclones cannot form on the equator, why a mass flow meter based on Coriolis effect works, and why Germans adjusted the Paris gun for the Coriolis effect in WWI to correct the trajectory calculations.)

    Thanks.

  51. redmond ohanlon says:

    Hi Emil,

    It seems we have two different interpretations of the word ‘SCIENCE and PHYSICS’. For me, I accept empirical science and physics as conducted on earth. I have learned however, that heliocentricism is built upon theoretical invention, from Galileo’s idea of a motion independent of divine concursis, through Isaac Newton’s ‘laws’ and on to the physical inventions conjured up by the Earthmovers to worm their way out of the empirical results of the Airy and Mitchelson & Morley experiments, that is relativity theories. I also know that the atom is so small that they cannot be seen, let alone what they consist of. Experiments devised to test theories if successful do not prove theories, as something else could be the cause of these same results. Let me give one of the great examples. A total eclipse of the sun produces dark streets, yes? Does this mean that dark streets prove there is an eclipse of the Sun? I therefore see no purpose in debating the pros and cons of these theories as though they were facts that could prove something. Now it is not I who first stated that the universe rotating around the earth could produce the Coriolis effect and all other effects now used by the heliocentricists as ‘proof’ for their belief system. It was Einstein himself and a host of other ‘relativists’. I can get you chapter and verse but I refuse to do so for the following reason.

    Geocentricism is the only useful model for man. All our calculations, from predicting eclipses to space flight are conducted GEOCENTRICALLY. The universe is viewed geocentrically by every astronomer that ever lived. Heliocentricism is USELESS for science but necessary for propaganda. It is a religion first and foremost going back to the first pagan Mysteries. It was it that SPAWNED THEORETICAL SCIENCE under the pretence it was empirical science. geocentricism does not need theories to prove its reality. It is, and every man that lives will experience nothing else. The same sky that the first men saw is what we see, minus a few stars that have exploded out of existence. Cosmology exists in book and theories, but have no real use or purpose except to take man further away from God Who is its Creator and Sustainer. Cosmology is atheistic, with a few crumbs put God’s way now and again by theists.

    The suspected heretic Galileo was the first to try your ploy Emil, PLACE THE ONUS ON THE GEOCENTRICISTS TO PROVE GEOCENTRISM. The Church of 1616 did not fall for his tactics, tried again by the Papal Commission of 1981-92. The cosmos is geocentric to man. It is therefore up to the heliocentricists to PROVE what we see is not what is the reality.

    You see Emil this debate is really about concepts, reason and religion. I sincerely hope you and others will take time to see my position. As such you must see how frustrated I get when I see the great BETRAYERS – the Churchmen who now profess belief in what their predecessors defined and declared to be FORMAL HERESY – sanction a statue of Galileo to be erected in the Vatican while the greatest astronomer of all time Domenico Cassini is ignored by all. Perhaps it is because he too was a geocentricism, faithful to the Scriptures, the Church’s definition and to the doctrine of geocentricism composed by the Fathers of the Church and completed by St Thomas Aquinas.

    Our Lady at La Salette forecast that ROME WOULD BECOME THE SEAT OF THE ANTICHRIST. Now they will have TWO such symbols, the phallic obelisk in St Peter’s ellipse and now the perjurer Galileo.

    For you and 99.999% of the human race,

  52. Emil says:

    Hello Redmond Ohanlon,

    Thanks for taking time and so eloquently presenting your view here. I for one, take time to understand. I also hear your frustration, as within your system, you your position is sound.

    I agree that we perceive world in a conceptually different way, and agree with your view of limitation of science to prove its findings in an infallible way. As you know well, I presume, scientists view that limitation as its advantage.

    As it is just two of us left on this thread, bit of personal trivia: As a teen, I once dodged a bullet from a gun fired at my head from about two meters away. I was in a plane that had emergency landing after its single engine quitted. I felt asleep behind a wheel in a rainy night on autobahn, going about 130 mph. (BTW, when I woke up going straight still, I said, “Thanks God for saving my life.”) I also once smashed a vertebra and broke my hip in three places in an accident. My whole body was black/dark blue, and internal bleeding was serious. Unconscious for 45 minutes, I saw my body from above. (Yet I cannot ignore that I broke headrest off, of the seat in the car, with the back of my head, and that where visual info is processed. So, a little hematoma might shift the perception.) Again, a fraction of a second difference, and I could be completely smashed. I went on, and my pursuits were rewarded in a way that I was a bit instrumental to improve human condition. Millions of people are having my invention implanted in their bodies to help their hearts so they can be live lives that are more active.

    Some say, it was planned that way so I would do good later. Not me. I am just another follower of the scientific method, and am trying to live my life as a decent man the best I can. We have a natural tendency to see patterns; that is a well-researched feature of our brain.

    Personally, I take scientific conclusions seriously, regardless is it from ice cores, cell’s DNA, space probes, or particle accelerators. It was no use for radioactivity and X-ray discoveries at first, but then medicine benefited from both. Helping needed is (not uniquely) but a Christian concept as well. So, I’m sure a religious man like you appreciates a reason behind humans having inquisitive brains. A human has a brain that needs to explore, and I disagree that cosmology “but have no real use or purpose except to take man further away from God Who is its Creator and Sustainer.” One day it might become fruitful too. As was said, “God works in mysterious ways.”

    Sorry if my email is not specific enough for you – I cannot offer much on this level. As you said, “You see Emil this debate is really about concepts”. You are obviously a smart man, and I truly enjoyed the discussion.

    Best wishes,
    Emil

  53. redmond ohanlon says:

    And thank you Emil, it has been a pleasure. I will take my leave of this site now and never return to such a forum. Before i go i will tell you a little secret not yet published.

    i am fortunate to have as a friend a man of great intellect. Among his studies he has investigated the work of Domenico Cassini, God’s astronomer as I call him. did you know that Cassini falsified the ellipse of Kepler and produced the true curve of orbits. This of course in turn falsifies the theories of Newton as they are based on the maths of ellipses. Now further investigation of Cassini’s discovery (Cassinian ovals) open up a science untouched by man. this is where objective science should have been investigating for the last 300 years. All science has gone down the heretical path of darkness whereas true science should have been investigating ALL POSSIBILITIES.

    Now here is our secret, not yet published. We have established a direct link between the orbits of the sun and planets to electromagnetic effects.

    I go now to be with our Christ in His passion and death on the Cross. Slan leat Emil.

  54. Emil says:

    Dear Redmond Ohanlon,

    Just in case you return one more time – big thanks. I’ll have to (slowly) learn about the challenge of your previous post. I started to post only recently and too have to tune it down – I am guilty – as I have to use all my time on the (medical device) project that I set to be my goal.

    What said in confidence, stays in confidence. I am looking forward to the news; science will be excited to have a revolution with such publication.

    I am truly wish you the very best,

    Emil

  55. Anne Danielson says:

    Regarding heliocentric vs.geocentric- Science “appears” to be changing as we discover more about the Truth of the conditions of the God created Universe. The Earth’s position is indeed relative. The Earth, simply because it has the ability to sustain Life, has the obvious PREFFERED position in the Universe, which is what God intended.

    Regarding Evolution- This theory is still in the process of evolving and changing as we discover more about the Truths of the God created universe. ” All THINGS are passing, only GOD remains. Time, is relative. Time is evolving. Only God, who is separate from both Time and Space remains.

    Regarding relative creation- Everything that exists, exists in relationship to God. The purpose of everything is what God intended. We are all called to Love one another in relationship and Communion with Him, God, The Blessed Trinity. These are the Truths of the Catholic Church as revealed by the Word Made Flesh.

  56. James B. says:

    I have read through all this mail here and not one has come up with any suggestions or ideas of how to celebrate IYA 2009.

    Why can’t we just leave religion out of all this for once huh? Let’s concentrate on how to expose the universe more to the public rather than sit here grandstanding on who did what and said what.

    What has happened is history. Let’s just move on and come up with ideas of what YOU would like to see happen around the world during the IYA.

    If you were an owner of a public observatory what do you think would be a good PR move without loosing money? This IYA 2009 is a one-off situation. Like a bright (not Halley’s) comet: It only comes around once.

    One suggestion is to put pressure on govts. to perhaps have a night of reducing Light Pollution. Like Earth Watch when govts.asked everyone to turn off lights to save the planet from carbon and greenhouse emissions.

    There are thousands of amateur astronomy clubs on this planet and I am sure they too, will be wanting to do their bit. What are YOU going to do?

    So let’s band together and come up with ideas and suggestions to make 2009 a year of understanding and appreciating a star-studded night sky. To stand under a this blanket of starlight is an experience one never forgets which akin to sipping the best wine or the best coffee ever made.

    Astronomy is the only science that does not recognise age, creed or colour. So why try to change it? Enjoy what you have around you because you can not take it away, only the memories of what you saw and experienced..

  57. James B. says:

    My last posting here was sent to wrong department. Sorry about that. Perhaps Fraser Cain can swap this into the IYA blog?

  58. Bott says:

    Redmond O’Hanlon, read a book or two have you? Idiot.

  59. Joël COL says:

    Condamnation of Galileo.

    In 1633, Galileo was condemned by the Church for biblical and scientific reasons. Subsequently, science gradually proved that Galileo’s theory was correct.
     
    I reconsidered the ultimate phase of the trial of the astronomer: the contradiction of his new thesis with regard to the biblical verses sustained by the Church.
     
    In my French book “Entre Galilée et l’Église : la Bible” (Between Galileo and the Church, the Bible…) I analyse the conflicting verses. And I demonstrate, through a comprehensive semantic study, that in the Hebrew and Greek Texts, the sun does not turn around the Earth, contrary to what the versions assert. I conclude that if the translations of the Bible had been faithful to the original Texts, Galileo would not have been condemned for “having held and believed a doctrine which is false and contrary to the divine and Holy Scripture.”
     
    As a result of his study, I clarify the many debates held through the centuries and endeavour to align the translations of the Bible with their original Texts and to officially rehabilitate Galileo.

    Joël Col

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