Essay about The Trial of Galileo

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The Trial of Galileo

The trial of Galileo is an important event in the history of science. We now know, the Roman Catholic church now recognizes, that Galileo's view was correct. What were the arguments on both sides of the issue as it was unfolding? Search the web for documents that chronicle the trial and discuss briefly the case for and against Galileo in the context of the times in which the trial occurred. Be sure to accurately reference your web sources! Your posting should be about 2 paragraphs long, and will necessarily need to be fairly concise. End with your opinion about whether or not a similar trial could possible occur in today's civilizations. Support your position.

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Even though Galileos beliefs were held in practicing Catholicsim, his writings were showing evidence for “Copernican heliocentrism.” The Catholic Church, however, disapproved of heliocentricity, feeling that it was contrary to the statements in the Bible: if God created human beings as His supreme creation, He would place man at the center of His cosmos. (At that time the more literal Biblical interpretation was prevalent with the church fathers, especially among the Dominican Order, facilitators of the Inquisition)2

However, real power layed with the Church, and Galileo's arguments were most fiercely fought on the religious level. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine insisted that Galileo furnish more adequate proof of his new theories before he would be allowed to teach them as true or even as probably true. Until the proof was put together, the ideas should only be taught as hypothesis. In 1623 Pope Gregory XV died, and Galileo's close friend Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII. The new Pope gave Galileo vague permission to ignore the ban and write a book about his opinions, so long as he did not openly support his theory. Galileo consented, and set to work writing his masterpiece, “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.” Galileo gave more emphasis to mathematical arguments rather than to experimental or physical arguments in

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