February 26, 1616

On February 26, 1616 CE, esteemed Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, Galileo Galilei was delivered an injunction from the Roman Inquisition that demanded that he abandoned his belief in heliocentrism. Heliocentrism is the scientific theory that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. He was not expecting this as he felt that the theories explained in his book were where the evidence led. In hindsight, he should have expected something like this from the Roman Inquisition, as even the Spanish weren’t that naïve. And let’s be real, Romans are louder and more obnoxious than the Spanish and they should have been easier to spot. Why was heliocentrism so hated by the Roman Inquisition and the Pope in 1616? It’s because the Church taught that the Earth, not the Sun, was the center of the solar system and that all the planets revolved around the Earth, and not the Sun. Heliocentrism was in direct opposition to what several verses in the Bible said, such as Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30. The church at that time took those verses literally and was very willing to imprison people for questioning them. It didn’t matter if those people had verifiable facts and math behind their theories, if it contradicted the teachings of the church, it was wrong and evil. Did Galileo’s writings and theories about heliocentrism get him put on house arrest for the rest of his life? Yes it did. Did he recant his beliefs to try and keep from being imprisoned or put to death by the Church? Yes he did. Was he sincere in his recanting of his science beliefs? No, no he wasn’t, because after he was sentenced, he did mutter, ‘And yet, it still moves. Which the Earth did.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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