Info

consequences, was proved for the first time.

In some ways, Galileo was misrepresenting the current state of affairs among astronomers, virtually none of whom seriously entertained the world system of Ptolemy any more. As early as 1601 Kepler had written:

Thus today there is practically no one who would doubt what is common to the Copernican and Tychonic hypotheses, namely, that the sun is the centre of motion of the five planets, and that this is the way things are in the heavens themselves—though in the meantime there is doubt from all sides about the motion or stability of the sun.32

The real debate in astronomical circles was between the Copernican and the Tychonic systems, so it would appear somewhat surprising that Galileo chose not to mention the geoheliocentric scheme at all.33 Also noteworthy is Galileo's silence on Kepler's astronomy based on elliptical orbits. Instead, he defends the heliocentric system based on uniform circular motions.

The Dialogue was received enthusiastically by Galileo's friends and by more forward-thinking scholars. However, the meaning behind the words was clear enough for the Church authorities to be outraged, and the Pope agreed that Galileo had overstepped the mark. The Inquisition was unleashed. In 1633, Galileo was threatened (probably only half-heartedly) with torture and made to renounce his belief in the Copernican system; he was forbidden to write anything

0 0

Post a comment