Sunday, December 11, 2016

How Did Galieo Die?

Experiment: Go out to the street and ask randomly to the passers-by what is their opinion about the Church burning Galileo at the stake because he said that the Earth was round.

I bet that only a minority will respond that it was not because he said that the Earth was round, which was the conventional thesis from, at least, Eratosthenes, who bothered to measure it in the III century b.C.

And I bet even less will be those who remember that Galileo did not die at the stake, but in his bed at an old age, specifically in his house of San Giorgio, by the sea.

With Galileo there was a phenomenon that reproduces again and again in history, when the scientific establishment - that we tend to call "science" - shows that it is not composed of angels occupied alone in the discovery of truth, but by beings of flesh and bone who persist in their theories and respond to all the temptations common to the human being.

It was this establishment and Galileo’s colleagues who brought before the court that petulant who dared to contradict the scientific consensus of the time (do not think about climate change!), the Ptolemaic model, and used the ruling power, just as they could have taken him before the Politburo in different eras and places.

He was to turn 78 years old, when he died
in a Christian manner, in his bed and
 with the papal blessing and after
 receiving a plenary indulgence.
Copernicus, who was a Polish priest, published the thesis that asserted that the Earth revolved around the Sun... and he did so with all the ecclesiastical blessings.

Moreover, the legend that the Church could not conceive that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of being the opposite is denied by the fact that more or less at the same time Copernicus, a Polish priest, published the same thesis with all the ecclesiastical blessings.

We should stop and think that the Church cannot have persecuted scientists when the only name that comes to mind is that of Galileo. If it were as the legend says, there would be dozens of names.

We live among topics which do not even have the advantage of being like those clichés that come from the experience of centuries or the wisdom of grandmothers. They are only legends blackened more by consciences than by truth.

Talking only about human and historical aspects, the Church is vulnerable to all the errors and sins of men, and so it is absurd to be surprised or scandalized by everything that in her name has been wrongly done.

But among those things that she did wrong is not, in my view, the Inquisition and, much less, a 'confrontation' with science that exists only in the minds of her enemies, and that generates a narrative not different, but exactly opposite to the reality.

Professor and doctor Alfonso Carrascosa, a scientist at the CSIC, in his recent lecture at the Ecclesiastical University of San Dámaso entitled "Catholic Church and Science in the Twentieth-century Spain" argues that "some of the errors attributed to the Church with respect to the conciliation between science and faith, belong to the set of slogans called the black legend, which was built by her enemies as of the Western Schism. This can be said in a higher voice, but hardly in clearer one.

No culture has gone so far as to systematize scientific knowledge, none... except the Christian culture.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder why science has developed precisely where the Church has exerted an absolute cultural influence?

China knew things like gunpowder or paper, even printing, long before the West was known.

The Muslims distilled alcohol, and we owe one of them the development of algebra, and the Indians introduced zero in Mathematics.

However, none of these cultures systematized scientific knowledge, nor did they find the method with which to make the great leap in science, going from it being a private activity concerning only a few scholars, to becoming a massive and self-constructive process: the scientific method, designed for the first time by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, in the thirteenth century.

It is absurd to oppose Christian culture to a materialist and atheistic culture, simply because there has never been an originally materialistic and atheistic culture. But among real cultures, those that have existed in history, it has been the Christian one who, by sharply separating the Creator from His Creation and postulating a rational universe, has allowed the development of science.

Texto de la segunda imagen: He was to turn 78 years old, when he died in a Christian manner, in his bed and with the papal blessing and after receiving a plenary indulgence.

By Candela Sande
Source: Actuall. Translated from Spanish by Catholicity blog.

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