...Galileo, writing for the public in Italian rather than solely for the scholars in Latin, employed his immense prestige and rhetorical skill to teach that a rotating and revolving earth was not merely a fiction adopted for its convenience in scientific work, but was truly the way things really are, regardless of what the Church thought about the matter. By crossing that line, Galileo directly challenged the Church’s authority during a critical phase of the Counter-Reformation, and the Church understandably had objections, both scientific and theological. ...The aspect of the Intelligent Design movement that most irks the mandarins of science is that we do not limit ourselves to submitting papers to peer-reviewed scientific journals, accepting the inevitable judgment of the reviewers that the papers should not be published. The bishops and Jesuit scholars of Galileo’s time thought it was unfair and unprofessional for Galileo to appeal over their heads to the public, and the mandarins of science today are equally determined to confine thoughts that endanger their authority to professional circles they control. The cast of characters has changed, and the penalties are milder, but the drama is basically the same.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Johnson and Galileo...
Check Phillip Johnson's The Galileo Syndrome, in the March 2004 issue of Touchstone. He takes a slightly different spin on the oft-spoken of, and oft-misspoken of, story of Galileo and the Church. Some excerpts: