Heard of Galileo? They often talk of him as though it is another simple ‘science vs faith’ story. I saw a statue of Galileo recently and remembered that in his day he got into so much trouble that he would never have got a public monument. So I have been reading about it, and while he was definitely a strong personality, and did not get what his genius deserved, he was also a man of strong faith. Cheers
Galileo Galilei 1564-1642 Italy
Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".
His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.
Galileo’s championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, and they concluded that it could be supported as only a possibility, not an established fact.
Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Holy Office, then found "vehemently suspect of heresy", was forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences, in which he summarised the work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.
The Roman Church has recently officially retracted its condemnation of Galileo, saying: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” Pope John Paul II
It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.
The holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word.