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June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

Posted June 22, 2007 6:00 AM by julie

On this day in engineering history, the Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his scientific view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the universe. The heliocentric theory of the solar system was first forumalted by Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer who refuted the geocentric models of Greek scholars Ptolemy and Aristotle.

Galileo Galilei first argued for the Copernican, sun-centric view of the universe in 1610 after observing the moons of Jupiter. At the time, the dominant view was still an earth-centric, Ptolemaic and Aristotelian theory. In 1612, opposition grew for a heliocentric view of the solar system. Two years later, Galileo was denounced by a Catholic priest who described his beliefs as dangerous and close to heresy. Galileo went to Rome to defend himself, but was warned never to teach nor advocate Copernican theory again.

In October of 1632, Galileo Galilei published Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a work which compared the Copernican system to the traditional Ptolemaic system. Upon publication, Galileo was ordered to appear before the Holy Office in Rome. In 1633, he was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy. On the morning of June 22, the Inquisition, a Church tribunal which suppressed heresy, delivered its public sentence in three essential parts:

  • Galileo was required to recant his sun-centric ideas
  • He was ordered to be imprisoned
  • His offending Dialogue was banned.

Galileo Galilei died from natural causes on January 8, 1642 while under house arrest. Although an unannounced part of his sentence prohibited the publication of his past or future works, he dedicated his final years to one of his finest works, Two New Sciences, a book which later earned him the title of "father of modern physics."

Resources:

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/galileoaccount.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei

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Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Good Answers: 16
#1

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/22/2007 11:33 AM

Well, finally the Catholic Church recognized Galileo was right... problem is they did it 400 years too late!

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Anonymous Poster
#2
In reply to #1

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/23/2007 1:32 AM

One has to wonder where the human race would be, what accomplishments we would have achieved, if the Church hadn't retarded science for 1000 years.

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Power-User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Austraila, the Land Down Under
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/24/2007 8:35 PM

It may not be as clear cut as you think:

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html

Davo

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Guru
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/25/2007 3:40 PM

Thanks, Davo. This is great. - Moose

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Guru
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#6
In reply to #3

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/27/2007 12:51 PM

There seems to be some confusion between Jewish as a race and Jewish as a religion.

One guy is quoted as being a Jewish atheist, my life!

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Commentator

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 60
#4

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

06/25/2007 7:55 AM

A sentence atributed to Galileo when leaving the court is:

"I puo si muove". in italian, tha means:

" And despite this, it moves" referring to relative Sun and earth movement.

Regards

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11
#7

Re: June 22, 1633 – Galileo Recants his Heliocentric Theory

07/05/2007 11:47 AM

This blog touches on a very important point. Seperation of science and religion has been the point of contention for centuries. Almost 400 years later we're still struggling with sectarian morality limiting scientific freedom. Thankfully we're passed the time when God sat on a cloud and the Earth was the center of the universe, but that's only because the religious institutions had to evolve with the rest of us. Here's an interesting article from the BBC on the subject…http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/vaticanscientists.shtml.

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