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Saturday, February 22, 2014

But, Like, It Moves

On February 22, 1632, Galileo delivered his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems to his patron.  That kinda got him in trouble with the Catholic Church.

What's of greater interest to me--in light of recent discussions--is Galileo's 1615 Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, wherein he argues that science and faith are not mutually exclusive (whilst getting some digs in at his critics):

[T]hey make a shield of their hypocritical zeal for religion. They go about invoking the Bible, which they would have minister to their deceitful purposes. Contrary to the sense of the Bible and the intention of the holy Fathers, if I am not mistaken, they would extend such authorities until even in purely physical matters—where faith is not involved—they would have us altogether abandon reason and the evidence of our senses in favor of some biblical passage.
But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them. He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before our eyes and minds by direct experience or necessary demonstrations.
I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree [the Venerable Caesar, Cardinal Baronius]: “That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how heaven goes.”



February 22, 2014 | Permalink


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