Sunday, December 2, 2012

New translation of anti-Galileo argument

Christopher M. Graney has just posted this paper:
In January of 1616, the month before before the Roman Inquisition would infamously condemn the Copernican theory as being "foolish and absurd in philosophy", Monsignor Francesco Ingoli addressed Galileo Galilei with an essay entitled "Disputation concerning the location and rest of Earth against the system of Copernicus". A rendition of this essay into English, along with the full text of the essay in the original Latin, is provided in this paper. The essay, upon which the Inquisition condemnation was likely based, lists mathematical, physical, and theological arguments against the Copernican theory. Ingoli asks Galileo to respond to those mathematical and physical arguments that are "more weighty", and does not ask him to respond to the theological arguments at all. The mathematical and physical arguments Ingoli presents are largely the anti-Copernican arguments of the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe; one of these (an argument based on measurements of the apparent sizes of stars) was all but unanswerable. Ingoli's emphasis on the scientific arguments of Brahe, and his lack of emphasis on theological arguments, raises the question of whether the condemnation of the Copernican theory was, in contrast to how it is usually viewed, essentially scientific in nature, following the ideas of Brahe.
Galileo is always the proof that religion is anti-science, such as in this recent
episode of Rationally Speaking. Sometimes the Pope is ridiculed for refusing to look into a telescope to see Galileo's proof of the Earth's motion. But it is hard to see how the Church could be blamed for using Tycho's arguments, as Tycho was a more accomplished astronomer than Galileo.

No comments:

Post a Comment