Essay on Galileo 's Advocacy Of Copernican Heliocentrism

1091 Words Oct 31st, 2016 5 Pages
Today, the condemnation of Galileo’s advocacy of Copernican heliocentrism is often cited as an example of how the medievals were inherently hostile to science. However, a closer examination of two factors of the Galileo controversy shows that the modern conception is incorrect. First, the history: Galileo had enjoyed the pope’s support until Galileo attacked the pope personally, and even once convicted, Galileo did not suffer under substantial persecution from the church. Second, it is necessary to understand the philosophical component of the controversy: The reason that the medievals resisted Galileo was because his claims did not have good empirical evidence, because they contradicted the empirical data of the time, and because they contradicted the established authority of Aristotle, who had provided a coherent worldview for centuries. Galileo’s main conflict with the church was only when he tried to apply his theories to the Bible, which the church saw as inappropriate considering how weakly supported his theories were. By examining these historical and philosophical factors, we can see how the modern narrative of Galileo is false, and how the Galileo “controversy” is a perfectly understandable conflict.
The Historical Events of the Galileo Controversy
The Church and Galileo In order to fully understand the Galileo controversy, it is necessary to understand two main things. First, it is necessary to have a working understanding of the historical events. The narrative…

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