Brainy Quote of the Day

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tyranny of Authoritarians...

Image Source: The Graveyard Site
This was inspired by my read of the old COSMOS on my kindle. I happened upon this letter excerpt from Galileo to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615. Given the unbelievable, relentless assaults on the new show by Young Earth/Universe Creationists, Galileo might as well have been writing this letter in the 21st Century:

To the Most Serene Grand Duchess Mother:

Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors-as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts; not their diminution or destruction.
Now as to the false aspersions which they so unjustly seek to cast upon me, I have thought it necessary to justify myself in the eyes of all men, whose judgment in matters of` religion and of reputation I must hold in great esteem. I shall therefore discourse of the particulars which these men produce to make this opinion detested and to have it condemned not merely as false but as heretical. To this end they 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 m 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, though under the surface meaning of its words this passage may contain a different sense.

That's aspersions...without asparagus!

Fordham University
 Galileo Galilei: Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615

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