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Galileo’s Newly-Discovered Letter - The Catholic Astronomer
This past September the journal Nature reported on how a long-lost letter of Galileo has been recently found by a science historian at the University of Bergamo, Salvatore Ricciardo. And Nature said Galileo lied. Lied? So what was the letter, and what was he lying about?
Before we get to the lying, let us consider the situation surrounding the letter (some of this will borrow material from an earlier post). The story gets started in about 1608, with the invention of the telescope. Copernicus’s book about his heliocentric theory (saying the Earth circles around the sun and revolves on its own axis), a book entitled De Revolutionibus, had been published in 1543; seven decades had passed with no great interest in that book from outside the world of science. But the telescope and the discoveries Galileo made using it—like the phases of Venus, which demonstrated that Venus must circle the sun, or the moons of Jupiter, which showed that celestial bodies could circle other celestial bodies—had made astronomy into something that was on the minds of people who probably would not have had astronomy on their minds otherwise.
church  history  astronomy  science  religion 
5 hours ago by rgl7194

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