All Change?

In 1592 Galileo moved to the University of Padua, which served the then independent (and powerful) republic of Venice. His time there was said to be happy and productive, even though he suffered from a lack of funds for most of the time. A familiar tune if you’re a student! I recently read a book containing the letters of Johannes Kepler, seems he had similar experiences getting work, and managing to feed himself and his family. Nothing changes?

In his book ‘The Starry Messenger‘ (Siderius Nuncius) published in 1610, Galileo described his discovery of the four moons orbiting Jupiter, the Milky Way’s stellar composition, the mountains on the moon, and spots on the sun. In the same year he moved to Florence, the domain of the Medici family who were ruled by the Catholic Church. He was criticised for supporting the Copernican idea that the Earth orbited the Sun. Eventually summoned to Rome, he was warned to stop his support for such blasphemous ideas. Eventually he published his ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World’, which defended the Copernican view: He thought he’d get away with it because the old Pope had been recently replaced, but in 1633 he was condemned to the inquisition. The ever tolerant church! Why is it that if your beliefs are so deeply held, they cannot stand up to questioning? Maybe things do change, just very slowly :-/


~ by jamesdow2013 on March 22, 2013.

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