Galileo Theory Related

Galileo solar system theory


Galileo.jpgHow can the Catholic Church claim infallibility when it officially condemned Galileo for heresy when he declared that the earth revolves around the sun? Add to this the fact that Galileo was cruelly imprisoned and forced to recant under the pains of torture. Modern science now shows that Galileo was right and the "infallible" pope was wrong.

Many have unwittingly embraced the myth that Galileo Galilei, a 17th-century Italian astronomer, discovered the heliocentricity of the solar system and, because his discovery conflicted with Catholic teaching, was tortured until he recanted. It's often said that after recanting Galileo obstinately muttered under his breath, "E pur si muove" (Italian: "And yet it does move"). All this is pure fabrication.

Here are the facts. First of all, Galileo was a brilliant physicist and astronomer, but he didn't discover heliocentricity — the ancient Greeks and Romans advanced the theory at least 2, 000 years before him. We know this because both Aristotle (d. 322 B.C.) and Ptolemy (fl. ca. 150 A.D.), attempted to refute the idea. Aristarchus of Samos (d. ca. 160 B.C.), Cicero (d. 42 B.C.), Seneca (d. 65 A.D.), and Eusebius (died 339 A.D.) all discussed the idea in their writings. This is why the Polish scientist Copernicus (d. 1543), who happened to be a Catholic priest, didn't fancy himself the "discoverer" of the theory named after him.

Second, the Catholic Church has never defined — nor could it ever define — any theory of physical science as a matter of faith. There never was any "dogma" which said the earth was the center of the universe or the solar system. The next time people claim Galileo bravely challenged such a "dogma, " ask them to identify its official name, the name of the pope who defined it, and the date it was defined. If they can't provide you with this basic information, demand that they cite the source of their "facts."



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