Wouldn’t it have been great if Facebook was available to record some of the most monumental discoveries of our time. Galileo’s discovery that the earth revolved around the sun is an indisputable fact these days. But, back in the early 1600′s when he published his findings it was quite controversial. In fact, it got him in a lot of hot water.
Not too long ago, someone imagined what Galileo’s Facebook status might have been like and how the church would have reacted.
Galileo’s Facebook Status Updates
Today Galileo is hailed as the “Father of Observational Astronomy” and the “Father of Modern Physics” but back in his day he was considered a heretic.
The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.
Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture”, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
You can read more about Galileo’s accomplishments and ‘heresy’ on Wikipedia.