Galileo Galilei, teaching math at the University
of Pisa, drops two spheres of different mass from the Tower of Pisa to show
time of descent is
independent of mass.
As Aristotle theorized objects fall at speed
proportional to mass this exhibition by Galileo falsifies
comes to the attention of
the Inquisition for the first time for his Copernican views.
Dominican friar, Niccolo Lorini,
criticizing Galileo in
private conversations, files a written complaint with the Inquisition against
Galileo' Copernican views.
writes a defensive letter to
Monsignor Piero Dini, a well connected
official in the Vatican; he also writes a letter to Grand Duchess Christina
arguing for freedom of inquiry traveling to Rome to defend his ideas
A committee of consultants declares
to the Inquisition the proposition the Sun is
the center of the universe and the Earth has an annual motion is
absurd in philosophy,
at least erroneous in theology, and
formally a heresy.
orders of the Pope Paul V, Cardinal
Bellarmine calls Galileo to his residence and administers a warning not to hold
or defend the Copernican theory.
Galileo is forbidden to discuss
Galileo meets repeatedly with his patron
Pope Urban VIII, he is allowed
to write about Copernican theory as long as he treats it as
a mathematical hypothesis.
A complaint against Galileo's
publication The Assayer is lodged at the Inquisition by a person
The complaint charges atomistic theory embraced by Galileo
cannot be reconciled with official church doctrine regarding the
Eucharist, in which
bread and wine are
"transubstantiated'' into Christ's flesh and
After the Inquisition investigation Galileo is exonerated.
Dialogue Concerning the Two
Chief World Systems, in which the
Ptolemaic and Copernican models
are discussed and compared, is cleared (conditionally) to be published by the
Pope Urban VIII,
convinced by the arguments of
various Church officials, stops the distribution of Dialogue Concerning the
Two Chief World Systems.
The case is referred to the Inquisition and
Galileo is summoned to Rome despite his infirmities.
Galileo is ordered to stand trial on suspicion of
heresy, "for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the sun is
the center of reality".
Galileo is interrogated and threatened with
June 22, 1633
Galileo is found
guilty of heresy, and the sentence of the
Inquisition is in three parts:
1) Galileo is found "vehemently suspect of heresy:"
Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe;
the Earth is not at
the center of the universe and moves;
one may hold and defend an
opinion as probable after it has been
to Holy Scripture.
He is required to "abjure, curse, detest" these
2) He is sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of
On the following day this is commuted to house arrest,
in which he remains under for the rest of his life.
3) His offending
Dialogue is banned; and in an action not announced at the trial,
publication of any of his works is forbidden, including any he might write in
Galileo's work advocating
Copernicanism remains on the
Index of banned books until 1758.
His sentence prohibited him from
"teaching, defending or discussing" Copernicanism.
In Germany, the
works of Johannes Kepler are
also banned by papal order.
"The distance and size of the celestial bodies can
be found by determining the size of their eccentric and epicyclic circles relative
to the radius of the Earth.
The spherical Earth
can be projected onto a plane map using geometrical techniques; localities can
be plotted on a standard grid of latitude and longitude lines.
Problems in plane and
spherical trigonometry can be solved with the help of a table of the chords
subtending the arcs from 0° to 90°.
The data derived from
experiments can be
represented by mathematical
equations and can be presented in tabular form." -
Ptolemy I Soter
"Contemplate all the events in the sky; how
the lights in the sky do not change their courses, how each rises and sets in
order, each at its proper time, and they do not transgress their law." -
Book of Enoch
| "Motion is relative.
The Earth is not the
Center of the Universe.
The Sun, the
and Stars revolve not
around the Earth; the Earth is a planet, revolving around the Sun, as do the
The apparent "loops" that the planets make in their
motions across the heavens are not real motions; they are mere
appearances, caused by our position on the
Earth and motion around the sun relative to the other planets.
appearance of heavens rotation
about the Earth is due to the fact that we are on the surface and the Earth is
rotating about its axis once every twenty four hours." - Nicholas
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