Galileo And Ptolemaic Astronomy

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In the year 1610, the overwhelming majority of European astronomers held a complex view of celestial matters which were an uneasy marriage of Aristotelian cosmology, Ptolemaic astronomy and Christian beliefs. This combination of theories was not without problems as Aristotelian cosmology and Ptolemaic astronomy actually contradict each other, and both were not exactly in agreement with the Bible. Copernican heliocentric cosmology was only accepted by a very small minority of scientist, including Galileo, as there were very serious empirical physical problems which needed to be addressed prior to a theory that concludes the earth is not stationary could be sold. Galileo published his findings in March 1610 as The “Sidereus Nuncius” the general…show more content…
To understand why Galileo’s view of math (“Triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; with these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth “) was so revolutionary in the 17th century, we must understand what type of government was in place and the culture (p. 138). Theology based on the Bible and the works of the Church Fathers were considered certain knowledge. Aristotelian physics was knowledge but mathematical astronomy was not knowledge and mathematical physics was a contradiction in terms. Galileo, essentially lived in a wide spread theocracy, and science was usually tailored to fit the scriptures of the bible (e.g. Aristotelian cosmology and Ptolemaic astronomy theories.) In the 17th Century astronomy was considered part of mathematics, while cosmology was part of…show more content…
183). Galileo proposed that God had written two books the Bible and the Book of Nature. The Bible was the word of God, and had to be interpreted by theologians whereas the Book of Nature “is written in the language of mathematics and therefore must be interpreted by mathematicians.” Galileo wanted his opponents to consider the two books as being of equal importance and equal significance, but two different subjects that should not be in conflict. Galileo believed it was our obligation to uncover the truths of the world that God created, and it is not at odds with religion. He was not an atheist, but Galileo had immense gratitude towards religion which he mostly expressed in the “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina.” Galileo stated God had given us reason, and intellect and expected us to use them as tools to interpret Scripture. “For since every truth is in agreement with all other truth, the truth of Holy Writ cannot be contrary to the solid reasons and experiences of human knowledge” (p.130). “The Assayer” also reinforces Galileo’s belief that religion and science are two separate subjects: “Sarsi says he does

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