Galileo: Scientist, Scholar, Rebel Essay

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Seventeenth-century European study was controlled by two powerful forces: the Roman Catholic Church, headed by the Pope, and ancient philosophy dominated by the 2000-year-old ideas of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. The Church had an overwhelming influence on the lives of most Europeans. During Galileo’s time one in twelve people living in Rome was either a cleric or a nun.1 The Church forbid any teaching that deviated from what was taught in the Bible. To enforce this control, the Church set up the Inquisition. Galileo was targeted by the Inquisition for his observations and experiments. 2 Because his teachings differed from the socially accepted ideas of Aristotle, the Inquisition believed he should be persecuted. Even though …show more content…
Galileo found that after publishing this, a small physics book, he acquired a reputation as an astounding mathematician with profound unconventional views on scientific wisdom.11 In 1589 the college dropout found a job at the University of Pisa thanks to the help of his rich friends.12 Galileo taught his classes by experimentation, and found many of Aristotle’s theories to be incorrect. Galileo discovered that Aristotle’s predictions on motion were wrong and wrote a pamphlet that criticized Aristotle’s view. Although the pamphlet had ideas that are still respected today, it did not win the support of the university, and eventually, when Galileo’s contract expired the university did not renew it.
      In 1592 Galileo returned home to find work.13 He secured a teaching position at the University of Padua. The following year his family found themselves in financial distress. Galileo’s father died, leaving Galileo in need of an alternate sources of income. Galileo focused his spare time on inventing the military compass. The invention of the military compass helped boost his reputation and became a source of much needed income.

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