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02 Shroud of Many Myths

Galileo’s Problem

Galileo thought that he could convince church authorities and particularly Cardinal Bellarmine, by evidence and mathematics alone, of the correctness of Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the earth circling the sun. He was wrong. Ultimately, Galileo’s belief in the Copernican theory would lead to house arrest and being silenced by the Inquisition. It wasn’t that Bellarmine didn’t understand science or appreciate Galileo’s work. He did. Bellarmine was trained in science but gave it up when he encountered contradictions with the prevailing theologically-derived worldview, which included the Aquinas model of the sun and all heavenly bodies circling a stationary round earth. Bellarmine trusted his worldview. We all trust our own worldview. Today’s prevailing worldview, thoroughly infused with science, objective history, and the logic of Western philosophical thought, is very different. But our response to it is just the same.

 

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