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Back In Time: When The Catholic Church Refused To Accept The Sun As The Centre Of The Universe

Quarantined for being of scientific mind?

Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.


22nd June 1633:

Pope Urban VIII and the Church have put forth their verdict of Galileo Galilei’s heliocentric claim;

“We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the centre of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the centre of the world.”

The lass’ book ‘The Assayer’ and ‘The book of dialogues’ is not to be read no more folks!

The disgraceful fellow is being punished to stand against the holy beliefs.

“We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.

Under house arrest he is placed for the rest of his life only to be out for recital of the Psalms and will proclaim his works to be wrong for the Psalm 104:5 says “He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved.”

Twas! One might ask what was the mad man after going against y’er all mighty.


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The story behind: 

It took around 3 centuries for the Catholic Church of Italy to finally accept the sun as the centre of the universe. This view is known as Heliocentrism and the biblical one that believes that earth is the centre of all is called Geocentrism.

During the 16th-17th centuries going against the beliefs of the church was extremely risky, sometimes even the slightest mistakes could lead you to a death sentence.

Galileo was a very respected scientist of his time that is until he proved the biblical beliefs to be wrong.

For those of you who don’t know who Galileo Galilei is, he is the “Father of Modern Physics”, “Father of Observational astronomy”, “Father of the Scientific method”, and the “Father of Modern Science” as well.

It took some time for the world to accept his beliefs, the man was said to be ahead of his time for making discoveries when the technology to prove so was lacking.

His book “Dialogue on the two chief world systems” was under the prohibited and banned books just like the Copernican belief of heliocentrism for quite some time.

Before Galileo, Nicholas Copernicus and Johannes Kepler had worked on heliocentrism but failed to address the criticisms as adequately as him.

Galileo had encountered all the oppositions except one given by Aristotle thousands of years ago that if indeed sun is the centre why can’t we observe the parallax shifts in the position of stars and other such bodies when the earth moves around the sun in orbit.

His logical arguments are also one of the reasons why the church felt threatened by him.

Another intriguing fact is that he wrote his book during the plague of 1629-30 in Italy while he was in quarantine and then got quarantined for making possibly the greatest discovery of science and astronomy of that time.

Imagine being quarantined for something good you did!


Image Credits: Google images

Sources: Washington Post, Hindustan Times, History answers UK

Find blogger at: @divijajainn

This post is tagged under: Sun, Moon, Earth, physics, astronomy, science, father of modern science, galileo galilei, catholic, catholic church, geocentrism, heliocentrism, kepler, copernicus, nicholas copernicus, johannes kepler, church vs galileo, house arrest, Father of Observational astronomy,Father of the Scientific method, Father of Modern Physics


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Galileo did not prove any such thing. And neither have the modern astronomers. Every attempt to *prove* the motion of the earth has failed (see: Michelson Morley experiments). The heliocentric theory is popularly accepted, but not proven. Even Einstein admitted that either system could be true.

  2. The Principle Movie in all its glory has quite easily rebuked the total farce of this article.

    The stars are centered on the sun while the sun revolves around the Earth.

  3. While we all have been taught in school that the Earth revolves around the Sun, there really is NO physical evidence that unequivocally proves this belief. From my years in aerospace engineering, I know the insider’s trade secret is the calculations used to send satellites into orbital and space vehicles to interplanetary destinations use Earth-centric models. Even Einstein admitted there is NO proof that the Earth rotates around the Sun.

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