What exactly happened in the Galileo Affair?

Okay, so here's what I think I know about the Galileo Affair:

- Galileo proposed the heliocentric model that had the sun as the centre of the universe

- Catholic Church said it was an interesting theory but it needed more evidence

- Galileo published it anyways

- Catholic Church gave him house arrest

- Galileo died and now his finger is in a museum

Then I'm reading different things like the Catholic Church hating the theory from the beginning, Galileo being tortured, him insulting the Pope, and apparently the Catholic Church denies that it happened. And of course the Illuminati is in there somehow.

What actually happened? I don't care about the religious part.

8 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), a Catholic clergyman and scientist theorized a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which placed the Sun at the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth (which, by the way, was wrong). This theory was widely accepted as a legitimate theory in the scientific world of the time. Tools like telescopes had not yet been invented to help prove the theory.

    Galileo (1564–1642) improved the telescope and was able to record astronomical observations that supported but did not prove Copernicus. In 1611, he made a triumphant visit to Rome, where Pope Paul V assured him of his support and good will.

    Galileo felt that he had to convince the world that heliocentricism was true without further evidence. If he had just stated that Copernicanism was a hypothesis, one superior to the Ptolemiaic (geocentric) system, until further proof could be found (as the scientific method requires) then he would not have gotten into trouble.

    Instead Galileo said that the scientific community and the Church either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and change Church doctrine as Galileo wanted; or they had to condemn it. He allowed no middle room. It was Galileo's pride and arrogance that got him into trouble, not his science.

    By the way, the heliocentric theory that claimed the sun was the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth, was also incorrect. The sun is the center of the solar system but not the universe and the sun itself moves, it is not fixed.

    The Church quickly got over Galileo's excesses. Pope Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur (an official approval) to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo in 1741.

    “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112. From the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/enc...

    For more information, see:

    + http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Issues/Gal...

    + http://www.catholic.com/library/Galileo_Controvers...

    + Galileo, Science, and the Church (1992) by Jerome J. Langford

    + The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2009) by David Berlinski

    + Seven Lies About Catholic History (2010) by Diane

    With love in Christ

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    Your first summary is the historically accurate one. You could add:

    First off, the heliocentric model had been proposed by Copernicus nearly a century earlier, and without controversy. It is estimated that roughly half of the clergy (who also happened to be the academic community at the time) already believed that the earth orbited the sun. What set Galileo's work apart was that he claimed to have proved the heliocentric model using the tides as evidence. That is the part with which the Pope disagreed. Of course, we now know that Galileo was wrong about his proof. It wasn't until advanced telescopes were invented in 1830 that science was actually able to prove the heliocentric model.

    The Pope was also Galileo's patron, and was sponsoring the book. And when Galileo published the book, he openly mocked the Pope in it. The Pope, of course, overreacted in a big way, placing Galileo under house arrest and banning the book.

    At the time when Galileo's book was published, the Roman Catholic Church officially maintained that scientific proofs outweighed Christian doctrine (on the grounds that doctrine is more likely to be misunderstood). Science was granted an equal footing with doctrine, and statues of Plato and Aristotle (as the founders of western science) were added to the statues of the saints on the walls of many cathedrals. According to the Catholic view, all truth was God's truth.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the Church, at that time, did not attempt to suppress dissenting views. In fact, in order to earn a doctorate degree, candidates were frequently required to construct a thesis against the accepted view.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Galileo wrote a booklet that set out his observations and the conclusions they lead to. The church never really denied his ideas, but because it conflicted with church teaching, the Pope (a personal friend of Galileo) basically said "Ole buddy, ole pal, we can't have the people in the cheap seats questioning the word of God. You have to retract this" Rather than do that, Galileo wrote another booklet that insulted the Pope directly, basically forcing the church to lock him up. To him it was more important to hold his science as hold his science as incorruptible than it was to get out of prison.

    There is no evidence that he was ever tortured physically.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • martin
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    If Galileo were subjected to horrible torture, this fact would have come out in the history books. Therefore, the version of the story entailing only mild personal retaliation by the Church seems most plausible.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 years ago

    Galileo proposal replaced some religious superstition that the earth was the center of the universe and challenge the churches power and control over minds.

    Basically he was saying, church your beliefs are BS and here is why.

    Not a thing to do in the early 1600's.

    Of course now the church has no real power and it's nonsense is open for all to criticize.

    • Moondoggy
      Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      Gee, I thought that was Copernicus a century earlier. Boy is my face red.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    Catholic philosophy for 1000+ years is that the earth was the center of the universe. Galileo directly contradicted that, he was persecuted, punished, brought up on charges.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    Nothing to do with any "illuminati" : the catholic church could NOT allow anyone to change their view of the universe : they did place mankind and earth in the center of the creation. The sun was suppose to turn around earth. Galileo prooving it wrong was a threat. And so was Copernic. Any churches got issues with science.

    • Moondoggy
      Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      Wow, you answer is the least historically accurate so far. Congratulations on that, I guess.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    There are books available giving the whole true & interesting story. I suggest you get one from your library or buy one. The heliocentric model was proposed before that by Copernicus. Galileo presented evidence. That is what caused the trouble..

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.