[Marxism] Fwd: The beginning of modern physics - World Socialist W eb Site

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Fri Sep 12 07:17:32 MDT 2014

I think the author understates the force of Bellarmine's criticisms of Galileo. There were a number of holes in Galileo's arguments which Bellarmine ably exposed.  Often Galileo was more reliant upon rhetoric than logic. On the other hand, Galileo turned out to be right and Bellarmine was wrong. Feyerabend wrote about this in Against Method. BTW Feyerabend got most of his understanding of the Galileo case from the logical empiricist philosopher and physicist Philipp Frank.

Jim Farmelant
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---------- Original Message ----------
From: Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Fwd: The beginning of modern physics - World Socialist Web Site
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:40:48 -0400

Galileo's popularity and a newly established science academy in Rome 
ensured the continued publication of his works and a certain defense 
against the Church and other professional enemies. However, the issue of 
sunspots became the spark for an open clerical attack upon Galileo.

The story of how this debate unfolded is but one example of how the 
church and its privileged office-holders used the Bible to defame 
scientists like Galileo. Galileo himself believed that nothing that was 
discovered in any way conflicted with Scripture and quoted an 
ecclesiastical historian, Cardinal Baronius (1538-1607), who had 
commented: "The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not 
how the heavens go." This clever riposte did not save him. As Whitehouse 
points out:

�In his innate conservatism, Cardinal Bellarmine saw the Copernican 
universe as threatening to the social order. To him and to much of the 
Church's upper echelon, the science of the matter was beyond their 
understanding -- and in many cases their interest. They cared more for 
the administration and the preservation of Papal power than they did for 
getting astronomical facts right.�

full: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/09/09/gali-s09.html

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