Thursday, March 27, 2014

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The Galileo myth and the Humanist invention of conflict

Galileo's affair is a standard fabrication of Atheists and deniers of fact.

by Ferdinand III

An essential element for the theology of the modern 'Humanist' [aka the Marxist, the Socialist, the Atheist, the Secularist]; is the concept that the 'Church' is 'against' what is termed 'science'. As if Atheism-Marxism or Evolution, not to mention 'warming' is about science. Science is itself a very slippery term, which in our modern age we can easily equate with, using confidence and proof, arrogance, fraud, corruption of tax money, greed for grants, and the need for publication and tenured professorship. Precious little science exists in the cult of anthropogenic warming for example, or in the science-fiction of Darwinism. Science today lies in a parlous, degraded state of debacle and disinformation. Pre-10th century in many ways.

Enter Galileo.

The quite absurdly named 'Humanists' own the education system. Every textbook taught to children will have the fictional and sad story of the 17th century hero-scientist Galileo, who like Prometheus, brought science and reason – not to mention life itself - to human existence. Before him all was dark. The semi-divine nature of Galileo, striding telescope in one hand, scientific data in the other; a sun of reason, suffused with wisdom and clarity, battling the dark forces of Christian ignorance and superstition, and a Church who believed in a flat earth, geocentricity and all manner of Aristotelian nonsense, suffuses every description from school yarns, to Hollywood.

None of it is true of course. Christianity never opposed 'science' and the Church was in the beginning very supportive of Galileo – until he exited science and entered theological polemics. [see here]

Christian writers from the 5th c [Boethuis, Cassiodorus] to the 8th c [Bede, Alcuin], knew and taught that the earth not only rotated or 'moved around', but likely orbited the Sun. They were echoing the claims of Aristarchus from the 3rd century BC whilst offending Aristotleian 'law' [Aristotle believed the earth was immobile and the Sun rotated around the earth]. Not a single literate Christian in the 17th century believed in a flat earth, nor had any Christian scientist posited such a belief for over 1000 years [see here].

Indeed by the 8th c the spherical nature of the earth, according to Bede, was a known fact, accepted by all. Columbus, though his numbers were wrong, based his calculations on Christian scientists regarding the earth's spherical circumference [based on Ptolemy and Eratosthenes]; and who developed elaborate tools to measure distance [for sailing]and latitude and longitudinal calibrations [see here].

From the 13th century onwards Christian scientists had been busy proving, using higher mathematical calculations, that the earth was a sphere which rotated, and given the law of 'economy', likely orbited the Sun [see here]. Indeed without 300 years of previous development in physics, motion, math, astronomy and methods, including the invention of the telescope [another Christian-only creation]; there is no Galileo. [see here]

What about the trial of 1633 so celebrated by 'Humanists' ? The true facts do not support what is taught in our modern dark age of mis-informed superstition. [see also here] Some facts:

-The Catholic Copernicus in the mid 16th century had developed [independently of Aristarchus' works]; helio-centricity. He was certainly a product of his Medieval predecessors in science, a fact which he sourced and noted throughout his works, commenting on his debt to Christian Scholasticism for example.

-The Church funded and supported Copernicus. This is simply a fact. Copernicus delayed the publication of his book for years because he feared not the Church, but the mockery of academics. Does this not sound familiar to modern ears ?

-The opponents to helio-centricity were university and academic Aristotelians who imbibed and believed every fallacious tale told by the 'great philosopher'. This nonsensical Aristotelian universe comprised two worlds, the superlunary and the sublunary. The first consisted of the moon and everything beyond; which Aristotle had deemed perfect and immutable. It never changed, nor was it disturbed. The sublunary [below the moon] was the earth and its atmosphere, and this reality was subject to change, decay and death.

-Galileo, aided by the new invention of the telescope, supported heliocentric explanations for cosmic organization. His astronomical observations of the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and the paths of Venus and Mars around the Sun; confirmed the Copernican theory of the universe.

-When Galileo started to publish his findings he had no conflict with the Church. In fact he was feted and received by the Vatican as a hero.

-When Galileo turned from science to 'activism' to promote helio-centricity he enjoyed almost universal good will among the Catholic hierarchy. But here his personality enters the fray. Arrogant, disdainful, boastful and a hyperbolic exaggerator, Galileo began to alienate former friends and allies.

-Initially the Church's position was supportive of Galileo. The Church correctly held that Copernicanism might well be true, but it still needed proof. This is called the scientific method. Galileo had not yet provided enough evidence to overthrow the Ptolemaic-Aristotelian Universe.

-The mathematical proves had been developed by Kepler. Galileo had been in correspondence with Kepler and had received his enthusiastic support. Kepler was a colleague of Brahe [who developed his own hybrid Copernican-Ptolemaic Universe model]; who had used elaborate and difficult to understand higher mathematics to show how planets elliptically moved about the Sun. Galileo never used Kepler's detailed models. He should have done so. [Keep in mind that the Church had funded and sheltered Kepler against the persecutions of Calvinists].

-Galileo's other problem was that he insisted, despite the discoveries of Kepler, that the planets orbit the sun in perfect circles. This was false and the Jesuit astronomers of the time could plainly see that this was unscientific. Galileo nonetheless launched a campaign with a series of pamphlets and letters, circulated all over Europe, mocking the Jesuits and the Church. Hardly a strategy to win friends.

-In 1611 a 'ban' never enforced, had been put on Galileo not to openly defend Copernicanism without proof. The Church wanted facts not philosophical musings.

-Cardinal Bellarmine, an eminent and reasonable Church theologian, in April 1615, wrote a letter which amounted to an unofficial statement of the Church's position. Bellarmine pointed out that: 1) it was perfectly acceptable to maintain Copernicanism as a working hypothesis; and 2) if there were "real proof" that the earth circles around the sun, "then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary..." Galileo's response was to produce his theory of the tides, which purported to show that the tides are caused by the rotation of the earth, a theory that was utterly wrong and proven by others during this time to be erroneous.

-In the 1623, Galileo's friend and supporter Cardinal Barberini was elected Pope Urban VIII. Instead of embracing this change and providing real proof for his ideas, Galileo decided to write political pamphlets mocking his friend naming him in his main work 'Simplicio' an idiot who defended Aristotle and who quoted verbatim words that the Pope had spoken to Galileo [out of context of course].

-At the same time, Galileo alienated the Jesuit order with his violent attacks on one of its astronomers, Horatio Grassi, over the nature of comets [and, in fact, the Jesuit was right — comets are not exhalations of the atmosphere, as Galileo supposed.]

-The result of these ill-advised tactics was the famous second trial, of 1633. Historian Giorgio de Santillana, not a supporter of the Church, writes that "we must, if anything, admire the cautiousness and legal scruples of the Roman authorities" in a period when thousands of "witches" and other religious deviants were subjected to juridical murder in northern Europe and New England.

-Galileo was condemned in 1633 as 'nearly' a heretic. There was no 'trial', no 'torture', nor any violence. It was 4 men in a room deciding how much to pay Galileo per month as a stipend to continue his work, and where he should be located in Tuscany; and how to neuter his polemical denunciations of any who opposed Copernican ideals.

-Galileo's condemnation was certainly unjust, but in no way impugns the Church. Heliocentricism was never declared a heresy by either ex cathedra pronouncement or an ecumenical council. Copernicanism was later represented by the Church, as a physical fact and no longer just an hypothesis. This was when sufficient proof, much of it based on Kepler's calculations, was thoroughly presented and understood.

The Galileo affair is thus, to use a favourite 'Humanist' word much more 'nuanced', than the caricature cartoon of modern culture. Science must have proof. Polemics are not science. Neither is denouncing 'deniers' through simplistic Socratic dialogues of much use. If Galileo had only developed and supported his science using real proof, and abstained from politics and theology, his views would have won the day. Instead, like many modern 'scientists', he decided that unscientific methods, slander, calumny and ridicule would do instead.

See also source