I was wrong… doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Especially since it is coming from a Christian?
Seriously, though today I ran across this post from Christian History that has corrected my perceptions of the life and times of Galileo Galilei. The items in the artcle make my writing about the events surrounding his life (here, and here), especially in regard to his heliocentric model of the solar system are not quite historical.
No doubt this will appear again in a later post, but I did want to point out this short passage that was quoted in the article from science historian Ron Numbers, editor of the recently published Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion (Harvard University Press):
Galileo suffered very little abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church. He was never tortured, he never faced death. In fact, he was never imprisoned. His penalty was house arrest at a pleasant villa on the outskirts of Florence, Italy.
Galileo’s problems with the church stemmed far less from his astronomical and physical views than from his lack of diplomacy, and from his impertinence in trying to instruct the church on how to interpret Scriptures, as some Protestants had attempted to do in the previous century.
It would seem that much of the contention between science and faith at that time are legendary, but interesting that the facts remain. At least in Numbers’ opinion, it was Galileo’s tact and lack of diplomacy that caused such a stir. There is a lesson in that somewhere.