It is truly paradigm shattering when empirical evidence confronts one to up-end a fully-realized meme. What is more well known than the epic battle between Galileo and the Catholic Office of the Inquisition? How he was tried and would have had a death sentence executed* for teaching that the Earth was not the center of the Universe in contradiction to the teachings of Catholicism at the time! How heroic he was to stand there, alone in his principles, and face the wrath of narrow-minded mental midgets, steeped in their religion and world-view–who were simply unable to see things any other way. What a triumph Science made that day!
What if I told you that it didn’t happen…well…anything like that?
- What if I told you that the Copernican model had been well-accepted as a working model by the Catholic church for years before Galileo?
- What if I told you that Galileo was probably on trial because he made fun of a pope who didn’t possess much of a sense of humor?
- What if I told you that Galileo strongly believed that God Himself gave astronomical revelations only to him?
- What if I told you that at the time of trial Kepler’s theories had so far out-moded Galileo’s that the models to which he held were no longer even relevant?
Read it for yourself. Look up the footnotes. And if you can catch the reference in the title, you’re doing well. Ticket to the moon.
* Is the phrase, “Jones has been executed,” proper English? Wouldn’t it be better to say, “The death sentence upon Jones has been executed.”