By Didar Ali
Geocentric and heliocentric schools of thought have played tremendous roles in the world of science and religion. Those scientists, who believed that the Earth is center of Universe ensued geocentric school of thought. Religious dons were among them. And those who believed the Sun is the center of Universe followed heliocentric school of thought.
Paradoxically, Mr. Galileo Galilei (born in Pisa Italy-1564, died in1642, was a highly controversial, rude and ridiculously egoistic in nature,)- who continues to be our all-time favorite scientist inventor, discoverer, revolutionist, or whatever you name it- took the whole credit for being the sole discoverer of heliocentric system. This was a completely biased approach of the so-called great scientist, never mind! History remained disloyal to those who have contributed truly and sincerely and stayed away from the limelight.
During this whole process, two scientists named Tycho Brahe and John Kepler remained in the shadows; sadly their contributions have disappeared in raped accounts of scientific history, yet their inputs have paved the road to the modern astronomy. Having religious feelings, Tycho Brahe believed in the geocentric and Aristotle’s systems, which he changed afterwards.
The man who carried further the work of Tycho Brahe was John Kepler, who wrote a book regarding structure of the Universe and motions of planets. He shared his thoughts with Galileo, which the later ignored at first and didn’t even respond to John Kepler’s work. However, later on the so-called scientist woofed that he has already done his research and experiments on the subject matter long ago.
The issue provoked when Mr. Galileo endorsed Nicolaus Copernicus’s (1473-1543) assumption/experiments/theory regarding the ‘new world structure’ which he had thoroughly discussed in his book “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.” Copernicus believed that the Sun is immovable center of the Universe and the Earth is a planet moving around the Sun. This was a total violation of Ptolemaic system. Aristotle and Ptolemy were the Duo who came up with Ptolemaic system, which most of us identify as Aristotle’s Ptolemaic System- it was ratified by the religious school of thought.
The real controversy was not that Galileo endorsed or believed in Copernican system, neither any grudge with Catholic Church’s belief. But, there was a thin line that steered an outrageous controversy between the Pop Urban VIII and Mr. Galileo.
The fact is that the Pop was the one who helped Galileo, showered his kindness upon him and brought him into the limelight, which later turned a nightmare to the Pop himself.
Since there was inquisition regarding Galileo’s changing interpretations,; therefore, a permanent institution within the Catholic Church had to charge eradication of heresies. The committee of consultants declared to the investigation that the Copernican proposition that the Sun is the center of the Universe was a deviation.
In 1624, Galileo was guaranteed by the Pope Urban VIII Gian Lorenzo Bernini that he could write about Copernican theory as long as he treated it as a mathematical proposition. When Galileo published his book, ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’, the scientist was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquiry again. The famous scientist Galileo was found guilty of deviation for his dialogue, and was sent to his home near Florence where he remained under house arrest for the rest of his life.
The Inquiry allowed Galileo to move to his home in Florence and stay closer to his doctors, until the famous scientist went sightless. In 1642, Galileo died at his home in Florence.
Interestingly, Galileo also wore the crown for being the inventor of telescope, which is not true. It was actually Holland’s (Netherland) famous scientist and philosopher Hans Lippershey who invented telescope, which later on Galileo modified to ease his experimental process.
But, the neutral critics have different opinion in this regard. According to them, the issue was not Galileo’s endorsing Copernican’s findings or deviation from the Church’s belief; It was the guilt with which Galileo couldn’t survive longer, as by nature he was arrogant and highly egoistic person.
When Mr. Galileo realized he couldn’t pay back the Pope for all the support he showered upon him, he then criticized the Pop unduly (in his book ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’), even directly attacked his personal life. This widened the gap between geocentric and heliocentric schools of thought, which we know call the gap between science and religion. In the eastern world they called the gap between East and West.
Arrogance and ego of the so called scientist did a great damage and injustice to both science and religion besides increasing the sourness between the two schools of thought- considered as a beginning of disagreements, polarization among religion and science.
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