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Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Inquisition Strikes Back

by ranfuchs (writer), CT, USA, February 28, 2011

Credit: McTutor History of Mathematics
Kepler and a philospher

As we have seen in a previous posting, Copernicus started the scientific revolution. It was a landslide that even the Inquisition could not stop. The power of the Church was about to end.

This posting follows: Copernicus and the Church

By claiming that the sun, and not the earth, was at the center of the universe, Copernicus directly challenged the Church's sacred Aristotelian worldview. But while Copernicus was the first one to publicly challenge the Church's view of the world, many followed. What he had started not even the Inquisition could stop.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), a German astronomer, expanded on the Copernican worldview, and developed it into a mathematical model. The three laws of planetary motion he conceived are still in use nowadays. These mathematical laws, based on elliptical motion, accurately explained all planetary observations. However, by suggesting that the planets were moving in elliptical orbits and not in the heavenly perfect circular motion, Kepler deviated even further from the Aristotelian model. He was excommunicated from the Lutheran Church in 1612.

Kepler's contemporary, the Italian scientist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), in his most renowned experiment dropped two bodies of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and demonstrated, once and for all, that all bodies fall at the same speed regardless of their weight. This was the first time that an experiment was used to determine scientific truth, and the result was an indisputable proof that Aristotle's theory and the Church's dogma were fundamentally mistaken.

But this was not enough for Galileo. Being the first person to apply the telescope to the study of the heavenly bodies, Galileo also revolutionized astronomy. His observations led him to discover the moons of Jupiter and the phases of the planet Venus, and convinced him that Copernicus' heliocentric model, with the sun at the center of the universe, was the correct one. In 1633, Galileo was brought before the Inquisition for a grave suspicion of heresy. He was forced to formally renounce his beliefs, and was sentenced to life-long house arrest.



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ranfuchs is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on The Inquisition Strikes Back

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By ranfuchs on February 28, 2011 at 04:44 pm

@askcherlock, indeed they were amazing people. Went against all known knowledge. Were not afraid to challenge it despite the risk for themselves, and for no reward other then truth seeking

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By PATRICK PETION on February 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

the begining of freedom or everything is knowledge. if you believe in something be ready to give you life for it. but before have the proper knowledge of it

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By sophia1 on July 18, 2011 at 07:40 am

the first time that an experiment was used to determine scientific truth, and the result was an indisputable proof that Aristotle's theory and the Church's dogma were fundamentally mistaken.<a href="http://www.luvsunglasses.com">cartier sunglasses</a>SOUNDS GOOD.

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