Galileo's conflict with the Catholic Church began in 1610 when he published a series of newsletters titled Starry Messenger, which chronicled his astonishing observations. The most notable of his discoveries was the idea that the planets of our solar system revolve around the sun and not the earth known as the heliocentric theory. Church officials condemned his theory because it contradicted Holy Scripture and Christian teachings (Knoebel 2). This finding supported the Copernican model which the Catholic Church also rejected nearly forty years prior. In 1616, the Church warned Galileo not to defend or support the ideas of Copernicus. Although Galileo remained publicly silent, he continued with his studies. He went on to publish Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. This book made it clear that Galileo still supported the Copernican theory and the pope angrily summoned him toRome to stand trial before the Inquisition. Under the threat of torture, Galileo read aloud and signed a confession before the court stating that Copernicus' ideas were false.Galileo was sentenced to house arrest until his death in 1642.
Even though the Catholic Church strongly opposed his findings, Galileo's books and findings still spread all over Europe and in 1992 Pope John Paul II officially acknowledged that Galileo's assertion that the earth does in fact revolve around the sun. The Pope's pronouncement was the result of a 13-year study of Galileo's findings by a Vatican science panel. The panel concluded that the Catholic Church was clearly wrong to condemn Galileo but that it had acted in good faith. The church leaders were working within the knowledge of their time and therefore, could not see how Galileo's discoveries could coincide with their interpretation of the Bible.
[...] Church officials condemned his theory because it “contradicted Holy Scripture and Christian teachings” (Knoebel 2). This finding supported the Copernican model which the Catholic Church also rejected nearly forty years prior. In 1616, the Church warned Galileo not to defend or support the ideas of Copernicus. Although Galileo remained publicly silent, he continued with his studies. He went on to publish Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. This book made it clear that Galileo still supported the Copernican theory and the pope angrily summoned him toRome to stand trial before the Inquisition. [...]
[...] Although he made powerful enemies, Voltaire never resisted fighting for religious tolerance and freedom of speech. Galileo, Bacon and Descartes paved the way for Enlightenment thinkers, like Locke and Voltaire, and spurred on these philosophers to question the authority of the Catholic Church and its outdated beliefs. Knoebel, Edgar E. Classics of Western Thought: The Modern World. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Print. Outram, Dorinda. The Enlightenment. Cambridge University Press Print. [...]
[...] The revolution in scientific thinking that Copernicus and Galileo cultivated led to a new approach in science called the scientific method.This method is a logical procedure in which a question is formed arising from an observation, then a hypothesis, which is tested, and finally the data is analyzed to reach a new conclusion. This conclusion either disproves or confirms the hypothesis. The work of two important thinkers of the 1600s, Bacon and Descartes, helped to advance this new approach, as well as other major scientific revelations. Bacon was a politician and a businessman who took a scientific approach to philosophy. [...]
[...] He also criticized the way in which Aristotle and these scholars arrived at their conclusions. While they reasoned from abstract theories, Bacon argued scientists should experiment instead. He believed scientists should observe the world and gather information about it first and then draw conclusions from that information. Like Bacon, Descartes believed that the Catholic Church and scientists alike needed to reject old assumptions and teachings. However, rather than use experimentation, Descartes relied on mathematics and logic and through this, developed analytical geometry. [...]
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