GREATPURPLESHARK wrote:Ok, I am getting frustrated with what seem like pretensions of civility followed by clear insults. I am, in fact 56 years old and I write in a very precise and clear manner, as my formal training has prepared me to do. I go out of my way to be clear and precise about my definitions of terms and attempt to clarify the terms of others when they are unclear or committing an equivocation fallacy. I go out of my way to be clear about my intentions, such as noting that I removed a lengthy section of the historical essay I cited, and was specific about what that excluded content said. I do not write Like a young person, nor do I succumb to confirmation bias. Someone who did that would be prone to denying evidence that did not suit their narrative. What did I do ? I made all appropriate logical concessions to possible future objections to my points and I happily invited you to correct any scientific errors you think I may have committed so that I could be corrected rather than remaining incorrect. I really have no idea how you came to that ridiculous conclusion based on what I have written. I notice that you have not been able to find any science to correct me on and are content instead to attack my historical information, which I already noted, twice, was far more open to interpretational contention than even some scientific writings. And yet you say that Wikipedia is not a good source (which sometimes it is and sometimes it is not) without pointing out a single fact that is incorrect. I specifically chose those segments due to their essential lack of historical “commentary” and their foci on the dates and events that can be historically verified, as I said I would in my previous message. You also failed to acknowledge that I referenced Wikipedia only briefly to establish some historical context for those following the conversation that were not familiar with the basic framework of the events. The vast majority of my reply came from a research piece entitled, “February 2016: 400 Years Ago the Catholic Church Prohibited Copernicanism”, written by historian and professor emeritus Maurice Finoccio, as a shorter article regarding a book he wrote on this exact subject. Please do not condescend to tell me my sources are invalid when you didn’t even bother to notice the citation to his article that I clearly made before quoting anything from the article.
I am forced to agree with you that there are any number of biases that can, and often do, creep into virtually every piece of historical research (confirmation bias, recency bias, racial or cultural bias, etc.) and we must be on guard against believing any of it without at least acknowledging the possibility of these types of biases, but it is unfair for you to pretend that my sources are just all bad while you cite none of your own to refute mine, or even to point out a false fact among mine. You do say to “check out the actual historical records”, which is why I cited a work by professor who has, in fact, checked out the historical records on this issue and put his findings into his book.
I am starting to sense that you have a very strong inherent bias, perhaps because you are a religious apologist of some degree, otherwise you would not be attempting to deny the evidence I have laid out for you by asserting that, “sure it happened, but it was the exception not the rule”. And you can really say that with a straight face when the Inquisition alone lasted around 700 years and killed somewhere between 30,000 to 300,000 people just for the “crime” of not believing in someone else’s religion, and for having the guts to do real science and to promote genuine scientific discoveries in the face of this systemic and ongoing oppression and torture when all their religious torturers wanted them to say was, “God did it”. Sorry, but they were too principled and intellectually honest to bow to that pressure, despite knowing what their fate may be (Galileo knew Bruno had literally been burned alive for saying the same thing, so he was very brave to publicly make the same assertions). Also, you seem to scoff at the idea of religious book burnign being the norm and not the exception when there is far too massive a list of religious book burnings dating from thousands of hears ago right up 2019 when a Polish priest burned Harry Potter books because they represented witchcraft and the bible says you, “shall not suffer a witch to live” (witches ? Yes, the bible is clearly a great source of scientific knowledge, as I’m sure all the epileptics who were killed for being witches would agree.
If you are going to continue to be insulting and condescending without backing up any of your claims to errors I have made then I am not interested in having a dishonest discussion with you.
P.S. - if anyone can tell me how to cut down on the size of the previous quotes I would be grateful, these things are getting looooong !
I am sorry. Upon re-reading my post they definitely came across as condescending. I should have chosen my words more carefully. My apologies.
My response was colored by a personal pet peeve of mine which is the perpetuation of stereotype, myth, and oversimplification under the guise of historicity. For example, you cite above a Polish priest burned Harry Potter as proof that book-burnings still happen. I am certain that happened, but the actions of one do not represent the actions of the whole. That is the same type of logical fallacy that says that because one black person robbed a store, all black people therefore must be criminals. We no longer tolerate that kind of thinking for issues related to race because we know they are fallacious, but somehow we feel justified in making them for religious people. The inclination to cherry-pick the worst of religion as the central basis of your argument.
I am not a religious apologist. I am just as critical of wayward religion as I am of wayward scientism. There is good and bad in any human endeavor. Religion may have had the Inquisition, but it also set up charities to feed the poor. Science may have brought us medicine, but it also dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Good and bad have nothing to do with science or religion. They are both tools which can be used for good or for evil.
Now, to the point above about evidence, my assumption based on your professed love of science would be that you would be intrigued by the possibility that the Galilean conspiracy is half-truth and half-mythology and go research it for yourself to come to a more objective conclusion. I don't need to babysit or present any arguments as I'm not interested in winning some obscure forum argument. I'm simply letting you know you're perpetuating a pop-culture falsehood. Yes, there was some shady stuff with Galileo and the general claim on the surface is true, but the actual issue has far more nuance.
The issue was that at the time of Galileo, science, faith, and philosophy were not distinct entities but rather mixed up in a philosophical jumble. If, for example, natural evidence existed for a theory, and the theory was consonant with scripture and logic, then it would be adopted. If natural evidence existed for a theory, and the theory was consonant with scripture but logically fallacous, it would be rejected. If natural evidence existed for a theory, and the theory was inconsistent with scripture, the evidence should be bulletproof if it caused a need to re-interpret scripture. Heliocentrism - and in particular the Copernican model - failed on the logical front based on the understood science of that day, because Aristotelian physics decreed that the motion of a ball that would be dropped would move at an angle if the earth were moving, and it did not, so therefore the Copernican model did not properly explain how the earth could possibly be at motion. (Obviously, today we know a lot more abou tthis, but remember they were operating with the best knowledge they had at the time).
Gailleo's problem was that he didn't present heliocentrism as a conjecture, but rather as hard fact, despite the fact that he "fudged" the argument to overcome some of the logical problems with the Copernican model (which was later proven false in favor of Kepler's model, which was accepted). It was precisely that he taught it as fact and not theory, and used questionable evidence to "fit the claim", which rendered the theologians of the day unable to say that there was sufficient evidence to overturn the common interpretation of scripture, and forbade Galileo from teaching it.
Here's a comment from Feyerabend (from Wikipedia becuase you've used it):
Feyerabend was critical of any guideline that aimed to judge the quality of scientific theories by comparing them to known facts. He thought that previous theory might influence natural interpretations of observed phenomena. Scientists necessarily make implicit assumptions when comparing scientific theories to facts that they observe. Such assumptions need to be changed in order to make the new theory compatible with observations. The main example of the influence of natural interpretations that Feyerabend provided was the tower argument. The tower argument was one of the main objections against the theory of a moving earth. Aristotelians assumed that the fact that a stone which is dropped from a tower lands directly beneath it shows that the earth is stationary. They thought that, if the earth moved while the stone was falling, the stone would have been "left behind". Objects would fall diagonally instead of vertically. Since this does not happen, Aristotelians thought that it was evident that the earth did not move. If one uses ancient theories of impulse and relative motion, the Copernican theory indeed appears to be falsified by the fact that objects fall vertically on earth. This observation required a new interpretation to make it compatible with Copernican theory. Galileo was able to make such a change about the nature of impulse and relative motion. Before such theories were articulated, Galileo had to make use of ad hoc methods and proceed counterinductively. So, "ad hoc" hypotheses actually have a positive function: they temporarily make a new theory compatible with facts until the theory to be defended can be supported by other theories.
Feyerabend commented on the Galileo affair as follows:The church at the time of Galileo was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo's doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and revisionism can be legitimized solely for motives of political opportunism.
Later, Pope Urban became sympathetic and let Galileo continue his research in order to correct some of these problems, but then Galileo started poking fun at the pope (kinda stupid thing to do) and everything went haywire.
So yes, the church did forbid heliocentrism, but only on based on a fallacious Copernican model and Galileo's beligerence and sloppy science that didn't justify a re-interpretation of scripture. A generation later, Kepler fixed his problems and heliocentrism was accepted a century later because, frankly, his evidence was better.
Did the church screw up in their handling of this? Of course. Was it because they were scared of science? Not really. They just didn't think Galileo's argument was strong enough to overturn scripture. And, of course, it wasn't, becuase Copernicus was wrong.