Angela Croft

Galileo Galilei

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The topic I plan on discussing is Galileo and the controversy over heliocentrism.

The argument that Galileo had was that the Earth and other planets revoled around the stationary sun at the center of the universe. The thoughts of the earth revolving around the sun first took place in the 3rd century BC.Galileo made improvment to the telescope and the telescope is what he used to observe Earth geographical features, Venus, the Earth's moon and Jupiters moons. He recored his findings in the Roman Catholic Church. The church did not agree with him and they eventually put him on house arrest.

Anyone who stands an look up at the sky will notice that the Earth seems to sit still and not move. When Gailieo first invented the telescope and started exploring the Earth and the skys. He noticed how somethings seemed to always stay in the same place. So Gailieo started studying the things around him. Then he started repotring his finding to people of the churches and different places. Martin Luther said "This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.'' So many people did not believe what Gailieo was trying to teach. I could see were Gailieo would have thought that the Earth was the center of all things. When this was one of the first times that the Earth, Sun, moon and stars had been studied. A stationary Sun and moving Earth also clashed with many biblical passages. Protestants and Catholics alike often dismissed heliocentrism on these grounds. Galileo's discoveries changed all that. Beginning with Sidereus Nuncius in 1610, Galileo brought the issue before a wide audience. He continued his efforts, ever more boldly, in his letters on sunspots, and in his letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. He actually interpreted the biblical passage in the book of Joshua to conform to a heliocentric cosmology. More importantly, he argued that the Bible is written in the language of the common person who is not an expert in astronomy. Scripture, he argued, teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. This is a very good point and I can understand. Several people throught this whole thing ecluding Luther said that the Bible said one thing and Gailieo was saying another. But I think Gailieo has a good point. The point that the Bible was wrote by a common person and not an astronomer. The Bible does teach us how to get to Heaven but not how Heaven, the sun, moons and stars are made of how they work. Gailieo took the scripture by not taking every passage literally, particularly when the scripture in question is a book of poetry and songs, not a book of instructions or history. Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems of 1632 was a watershed in what had shaped up to be the "Great Debate." Galileo's arguments undermined the physics and cosmology of Aristotle for an increasingly receptive audience. His telescopic discoveries, although they did not prove that the Earth moved around the Sun, added greatly to his argument. There were many agruments that the Earth was the center of everything. It went on for many years.

Gailieo used many different things to prove that the Earth moved around the Sun. One main thing that he used was that the sun had to rise and set and it rose in the East and sets in the West. He also used the tides. Galileo considered his theory of the tides to provide the required physical proof of the motion of the earth. For Galileo, the tides were caused by the sloshing back and forth of water in the seas as a point on the Earth's surface speeded up and slowed down because of the Earth's rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun. He first introduced the tides theory in 1616. But even after this theory was introduced several still did not believe. THey thought that there should only be one high tide a day, when there are usally two a day. Gailieo studied many different things to help prove his point. He throughtout this whole time studied not only the stars, sun, tides and moons, but comets and even scribtures in the Bible. By 1616 the attacks on the ideas of Copernicus had reached a head, and Galileo went to Rome to try to persuade the Catholic Church authorities not to ban Copernicus' ideas In the end, Cardnail Bellarmine acting on directives from the Inquisition, delivered him an order not to "hold or defend" the idea that the Earth moves and the Sun stands still at the centre. This did not keep Gailieo from discussing Heliocentric hypothesis. Gailieo decideed to stay far away from all of the controversy. After the controversy Gailieo wrote The book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, and it was published in 1632. After his writings were published Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings. With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. His sentence had three essential parts:
One being he was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture.
Two being that he was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
The third was His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
Gailieo was returned to his villa in 1634 were he was on house arrest for the rest of his life. Galileo was ordered to read the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years. As a result of this work, Galileo is often called the "father of modern physics". He went completely blind in 1638 and was suffering from a painful hernia and insomnia so he was permitted to travel to Florence for medical advice. Gailieo died on January 8, 1642, at age 77. Pope Urban VIII and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini, protested, because Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church for "vehement suspicion of heresy". He was buried in a small room next to the novices' chapel at the end of a corridor from the southern transept of the basilica to the sacrist. He was reburied in the main body of the basilica in 1737 after a monument had been erected there in his honour. So a far as I can tell Gailieos theory of the sun being the center of all things and that the Earth moved around it was first purposed in the third century BC, but it was not until the sixteenth century that a fully predictvie mathmatical model of Heliocentrism system was presented.

A few things about Gailieo:
February 15,1564 – January 8, 1642
Galileo's full name was Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei.
Was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution.
Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy. Father of modern physics, Father of Science, Father of modern Science, the single person that was responsible for the birth of modern science.
He invented and made improvements to the telescope.
Confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest statlites of Jupiter, the observation and anaylsis of sunspots, inventing and improveing the milarty compass and other instruments.
After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman inqusestioning early in 1615.

1. Galileo, Sunspots, and the motions of the earth, Redux.
David Topper
Isis, Vol. 90, No. 4 (Dec 1999) pp. 757-767

2. Light on the Galileo Case?
David Topper
Isis, Vol. 88, No. 3, (Sep 1997), pp. 484-504

3. Reading thought Galileos telescope
Elizabeth A Spiller
Renaissance Quarterly Vol. 53, No. 1, (Sring 2000) pp. 192-221