ImageImageImageImageImage

OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus

Moderators: Duffman100, Morris_Shatford, DG88, niQ, Rhettmatic, Patman, pbj, Alfred

brownbobcat
Analyst
Posts: 3,693
And1: 1,196
Joined: Jun 09, 2006

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#121 » by brownbobcat » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:40 pm

Lateral Quicks wrote:I don't deny there will challenges - lots of them. I just think they will be solved. Even if it takes humanity a million years - that's barely a blink of an eye in cosmic terms.

Personally I think we're in the very early stages of colonizing the solar system. SpaceX/Musk are rapidly bringing down the cost of reaching space. So a fixed research or exploration budget goes further now because space launch is such a huge part of any space program. Eventually the costs will allow space tourism and the creation of hotels and private facilities in space. Our knowledge of and capabilities of living in space are going to rapidly accelerate from there - unless civilization collapses in the meantime, of course.

That's basically falling back on the same circular premise that all challenges will be solved because they can be solved. It's a big assumption to simply accept that technological progress will proceed exponentially forever. Even now, it's getting harder and harder to keep pace with Moore's Law of computing power.

Many of these issues wouldn't even be apparent right away, but only manifest after centuries or more when you've gone too far down the wrong path. Everything we've learned from scientific observation suggests that humans can only survive sustainably on Earth or on some planet with extremely Earth-like conditions in all respects (biology, chemistry, geophysically, etc.). Given the vast distances between stars and time scales involved in travel, this basically means we'd need the ability create another Earth or a mini-Earth. As I said, you might as well assume that humans will eventually be able to create entire solar systems.
shefcurry
Junior
Posts: 329
And1: 509
Joined: Mar 30, 2016

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#122 » by shefcurry » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:01 am

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.[5][6][7]


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.
Basketball_Jones
RealGM
Posts: 23,760
And1: 11,735
Joined: Mar 09, 2004
     

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#123 » by Basketball_Jones » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:05 am

xAIRNESSx wrote:
Basketball_Jones wrote:I’d say we are probably the only intelligent beings in our galaxy. Outside of that though, could be anything out there


Why do you think we're the only intelligent life in our galaxy?



Other planets just don’t seem habitable. Mars or Moon are the closest and haven’t seen anything there in terms of settlements or contact.
2019 Eastern Conference All Stars

Derozan
Lowry
Ibaka
Valanciunas
Van Vleet
Delon Wright
Lebron
Embiid

There are only 2 teams in the league that rank in the top 6 in offensive and defensive efficiency: the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.
C_Money
RealGM
Posts: 18,708
And1: 16,107
Joined: Jun 30, 2008
   

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#124 » by C_Money » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:45 am

Basketball_Jones wrote:
xAIRNESSx wrote:
Basketball_Jones wrote:I’d say we are probably the only intelligent beings in our galaxy. Outside of that though, could be anything out there


Why do you think we're the only intelligent life in our galaxy?



Other planets just don’t seem habitable. Mars or Moon are the closest and haven’t seen anything there in terms of settlements or contact.


You’re thinking of the solar system. Our galaxy has about 250 billion stars. There’s gotta be life somewhere.
Image
Tor_Raps
Lead Assistant
Posts: 5,631
And1: 7,726
Joined: Oct 14, 2018

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#125 » by Tor_Raps » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:55 am

We haven't made contact with another specie and another specie hasn't made contact with us. So either no specie out there is advanced as us (if one does exist) or they just haven't found us yet.

Doubt we get any answers in our lifetime...
User avatar
Lateral Quicks
RealGM
Posts: 17,504
And1: 12,672
Joined: Dec 05, 2002
   

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#126 » by Lateral Quicks » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:20 pm

brownbobcat wrote:
Lateral Quicks wrote:I don't deny there will challenges - lots of them. I just think they will be solved. Even if it takes humanity a million years - that's barely a blink of an eye in cosmic terms.

Personally I think we're in the very early stages of colonizing the solar system. SpaceX/Musk are rapidly bringing down the cost of reaching space. So a fixed research or exploration budget goes further now because space launch is such a huge part of any space program. Eventually the costs will allow space tourism and the creation of hotels and private facilities in space. Our knowledge of and capabilities of living in space are going to rapidly accelerate from there - unless civilization collapses in the meantime, of course.

That's basically falling back on the same circular premise that all challenges will be solved because they can be solved. It's a big assumption to simply accept that technological progress will proceed exponentially forever. Even now, it's getting harder and harder to keep pace with Moore's Law of computing power.

Many of these issues wouldn't even be apparent right away, but only manifest after centuries or more when you've gone too far down the wrong path. Everything we've learned from scientific observation suggests that humans can only survive sustainably on Earth or on some planet with extremely Earth-like conditions in all respects (biology, chemistry, geophysically, etc.). Given the vast distances between stars and time scales involved in travel, this basically means we'd need the ability create another Earth or a mini-Earth. As I said, you might as well assume that humans will eventually be able to create entire solar systems.


We went from the first powered flight to humans living in low Earth orbit for a year or more at a time in ~120 years. How much progress will we make in the next 120?

I don't think technological progress will proceed exponentially at all times in perpetuity. Nor do I think progress must be monotonic - the point about the Dark Ages is well taken.

Even if we spend centuries going down the wrong path, centuries are insignificant from a cosmic perspective. Even it takes thousands of years or even millions of years, I'm extremely confident these challenges will be overcome. I expect it will be much quicker.
Nick Nurse recounting his first meeting with Kawhi:
“We could have gone forever. (Raptors management) kept knocking on the door and I was like, ‘A couple more minutes.’ Because we were really into it."
GREATPURPLESHARK
Sophomore
Posts: 122
And1: 13
Joined: Oct 12, 2004
Location: Toronto

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#127 » by GREATPURPLESHARK » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:24 pm

kleatius_01 wrote:
GREATPURPLESHARK wrote: It was only after many years and too many instances to count of science debunking religious claims by the thousands, particularly ones that threatened their core beliefs direct from scripture (as opposed to claims made with reasons not mentioned in the bible) that the church began to suppress nw findings, and then actively oppose scientific research that disagreed with any scriptural positions.


What are these scriptural beliefs that have been debunked?


Hi Kleatius, There are a great many examples, so I will just list off a few, but as a general rule it is not an unreasonable position to take that the bible contains very, very little in the way of accurate science and that almost all of it has been exposed long ago. There are, of course, many religious apologists who have done extraordinary mental gymnastics and have twisted themselves into illogical knots trying to defend these obvious errors because the idea of biblical infallibility is a core concept in christianity and if some (or any) part of the bible can be shown to be incorrect it destroys the entire concept. I have read sooooooooo many of these absurd “explanations” and have always come away from them either laughing at their illogic and obvious obfuscation, but also shaking my head because I know that for many followers it does not matter that the explanations don’t even make sense most of the time (because, honestly, most people are not scientifically literate enough to be able to tell what makes good scientific sense and what does not. That is not any kind of failing on their part, it just reflects the reality that most people do not have any kind of even “semi-advanced” scientific understanding unless science is something they are independently interested in.) but it also doesn’t matter to many followers if it makes sense or not, they just want to know that there is some form of response to these flaws. Then they don’t have to understand it, they just feel better thinking that someone understands it and they are defending the bible.

Ok, here are a few examples:
The bible says there is a dome over the Earth called the Firmament (nope, we looked), that it has holes in it where heaven’s light shines through (nope, those are called stars), that the holes let “the waters above” come through as rain (sorry, rain comes from clouds), that the sun and the moon are both inside the dome (way wrong !), that the sun and moon are the same size (the sun is actually about 400 times larger than the moon), that the moon makes light at night (no, it just reflects light from the sun), the bible misclassifies bats as birds (they are not), it says that two cows having sex while looking at a striped stick will have striped calves (wow, god doesn’t know anything about genetics !). Jesus says not to wash your hands before you eat (Clearly the son of god had no knowledge of germ theory). Genesis says that god created light on the first day but didn’t create suns until the fourth day (so where did the light come from ?). Ship -building engineers have shown that the dimensions given for Noah’s ark would produce a ship that would quickly snap in half in rough seas. The account of the flood has been disproven by no less than 10 branches of science (geology, palaeontology, history, genetics, zoology, etc.), not to mention that during the time that the global flood was supposed to have happened the Chinese civilization existed and they were not only not wiped out by it, but they didn’t even seem to notice it at all.

These are just a few, and most came from only the first few pages of the bible, there are tons more. Suffice it to say that, despite the scientific leaps in logic apologists must go through to try to defend their holy book, there is very little accurate science in it for one very important reason. The bible (more than 60 books written by many different authors over the span of hundreds of years) was written by people who lived during the bronze and iron ages and were, for the most part, scientifically illiterate. It is extremely revealing that the bible contains no scientific knowledge that was not already known at that time, and it contains all the same incorrect information that the people of the time believed (such as the core biblical concept that the Earth and universe were created specifically for humans (actually just for jews, since they are god’s favoured people, who he often commands to destroy entire other tribes of “his children”) and so it appears that the sun and stars in the sky revolve around the Earth. That is not true but they would have observational evidence that would seem to support that claim. They can be forgiven for being fooled by this “observational illusion”, but the supposed creator of the universe can not.
Basketball_Jones
RealGM
Posts: 23,760
And1: 11,735
Joined: Mar 09, 2004
     

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#128 » by Basketball_Jones » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:34 pm

C_Money wrote:
Basketball_Jones wrote:
xAIRNESSx wrote:
Why do you think we're the only intelligent life in our galaxy?



Other planets just don’t seem habitable. Mars or Moon are the closest and haven’t seen anything there in terms of settlements or contact.


You’re thinking of the solar system. Our galaxy has about 250 billion stars. There’s gotta be life somewhere.


Oooooo lol. My astronomy is bad but yes I do mean our cluster of planets around the sun
2019 Eastern Conference All Stars

Derozan
Lowry
Ibaka
Valanciunas
Van Vleet
Delon Wright
Lebron
Embiid

There are only 2 teams in the league that rank in the top 6 in offensive and defensive efficiency: the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.
GREATPURPLESHARK
Sophomore
Posts: 122
And1: 13
Joined: Oct 12, 2004
Location: Toronto

Re: OT Breaking: Life Found on Venus 

Post#129 » by GREATPURPLESHARK » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:50 pm

shefcurry wrote:
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.[5][6][7]


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.




Hi Shefcurry, sorry for the delay in my response. This is an interesting discussion and I will respond properly as soon as I can make the time.

Return to Toronto Raptors