Galileo Research Paper

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Trevor Brady

Robert Henry

History 101

18 November 2011

Historical Research Paper:

The Galileo Affair

“I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, arraigned personally before this tribunal, and kneeling before you, Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals … that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said false doctrine … I abjure, curse, detest the aforesaid errors and heresies” (Naess, 102). Galileo Galilei is known as the father of modern science and his clash with the ecclesiastical authorities of his day is perhaps the most dramatic incident in the history of the relationship between science and religion. Galileo was condemned by the Roman Inquisition in 1633 for teaching that the Earth moves. The reasons behind the churches opposition to the Copernican theory and prosecution of Galileo has been debated for many years. To the present day it is something of a puzzle why he was treated so harshly by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church condemned Copernican theory and prosecuted Galileo because the heliocentric view of the universe fundamentally went against the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church. Galileo went against the Church and championed the heliocentric model of the universe. Since Galileo challenged the traditional explanations of the universe by the Church and thought that the world around us should instead be explained through experimentation and science, he was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life and labeled a heretic.

In order to fully understand the Galileo Affair you must first be familiar with the life of Galileo Galilei. Galileo was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564. His father, Vincenzo Galilei, was a musician. Galileo was the first of six (though some...