Colin Blakemore - Jacob Bronowski TV - Thomas Hardy - Allan Chapman TV - Catholic Charge Against Galileo - Galileo Galilei - Arthur Berry - Frank Wilczek - Bonnie Buratti & Encyclopaedia Britannica - Horizon TV - Days that Shook the World TV - Secrets of Florence TV - Christopher Hitchens -
For more than 1,500 years Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge. But in the seventeenth century a new movement emerged that challenged the Christian view of the world. What we now call science emerged about 400 years through the work of a group of European thinkers who discovered new ways of interpreting the world. They no longer relied on the delivered word of God. The scientific revolution put individual curiosity, enquiry, reason, and experiment above religious dogma. And to my mind science is quite simply the biggest challenge that Christianity will ever have to face. Professor Colin Blakemore, Christianity: A History s1e7: God and the Scientists Channel 4 2009
The Vatican realised that Capurnicus’s speculations contradicted the Biblical view that the Earth is stationary. At the centre of the universe. But it was willing to tolerate his ideas for now. Capurnicus’s new theory soon pitted Christianity and Science against itself. In the scientific revolution’s darkest hour. ibid.
Galileo Galilei was one of the most respected scientists. He helped the Vatican set up its first observatory in Rome and taught astronomy at the finest universities in the Catholic world. ibid.
Galileo is the creator of the modern scientific method. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 6/13: The Starry Messenger, BBC 1973
Galileo seems to me to have been strangely innocent about the world of politics. ibid.
The trial of Galileo in 1633: but every political trial has a long hidden history of what went on behind the scenes. ibid.
When Galileo worked the opening pages of The Dialogue he said twice that Italian science and trade was now in danger of being overtaken by northern rivals. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 7/13: The Majestic Clockwork
If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone. Thomas Hardy
Galileo was the father of modern physics. He was also a man with an extremely abrasive personality. Dr Allan Chapman, Great Scientists: Galileo, Channel 5 2004
The greatest challenge of all came from one man ... Galileo finally put Aristotle to the test. ibid.
Galileo was able to work out a uniform law of acceleration. ibid.
Galileo was living at the height of the Italian Renaissance. ibid.
Galileo refined his telescope. ibid.
Every single one of Galileo’s telescopic discoveries seemed to undermine the accepted view of the universe. ibid.
For a time his book was even banned. ibid.
Whereas you, Galileo, were denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the centre of the world. Following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture. Catholic Church Charge Against Galileo
And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will? When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the whim of others? When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please? These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin of commonwealths and the subversion of the state. Galileo Galilei
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. Galileo Galilei
You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself. Galileo Galilei
I do not feel obliged to believe God endowed man with reason and intellect and intended for him to forgo their use. Galileo Galilei
In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei
Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes – I mean the universe – but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth. Galileo Galilei
Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. Galileo Galilei
Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. Galileo Galilei
What was observed by us in the third place is the nature or matter of the Milky Way itself, which, with the aid of the spyglass, may be observed so well that all the disputes that for so many generations have vexed philosophers are destroyed by visible certainty, and we are liberated from wordy arguments. Galileo Galilei
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
Wine is sunlight, held together by water. Galileo Galilei
I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves: Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error, heresy, and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church. Galileo Galilei
The credit of first using the telescope for astronomical purposes is almost invariably attributed to Galilei, though his first observations were in all probability slightly later in date than those of Harriot and Marius, is to a great extent justified by the persistent way in which he examined object after object, whenever there seemed any reasonable prospect of results following, by the energy and acuteness with which he followed up each clue, by the independence of mind with which he interpreted his observations, and above all by the insight with which he realised their astronomical importance. Arthur Berry, A Short History of Astronomy, 1899
In Galileo's time, professors of philosophy and theology – the subjects were inseparable – produced grand discourses on the nature of reality ... all based on sophisticated metaphysical arguments. Meanwhile, Galileo measured how fast balls roll down inclined planes. How mundane! But the learned discourses, while grand, were vague. Galileo’s investigations were clear and precise. The old metaphysics never progressed, while Galileo's work bore abundant, and at length spectacular, fruit. Galileo too cared about the big questions, but he realized that getting the genuine answers requires patience and humility before the facts. Frank Wilczek, The Lightness of Being, 2008
Galileo in 1610 was the first to observe Saturn with a telescope. Although he saw a strangeness in Saturn’s appearance, the low resolution of his instrument did not allow him to discern the true nature of the planet’s rings. Bonnie Buratti, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2014
Galileo’s masterstroke was to discover that what goes on around us depends on mathematical laws. Horizon: The Anthropic Principle, BBC 1987
April 12th 1633 ... In Rome 70-year-old Galileo Galilei is on trial for heresy. Days That Shook the World s2e6: Reach for the Stars, BBC 2004
There can be no ultimate proof of God’s design. ibid. Pope to Galileo
The Dialogue is being printed not in Rome but in Florence. ibid.
The Inquisition makes its intentions unmistakably clear. ibid.
The Dialogue is banned by the Catholic Church, and will remain so for the next two hundred years. ibid.
An inventor, mathematician and philosopher Galileo was fascinated with the telescope and its parts. He made his own lenses. Secrets of Florence, National Geographic Channel 2012
We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centred or man-centred (let alone God-centred) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge. Christopher Hitchens