Essay by viethelldragonHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2005

download word file, 9 pages 3.7

Galileo pushed the world into an age of scientific scrutiny and left the Church little option but to comply. Once a tool, thanks to the philosophies of Aristotle and Augustine, science became a constant thorn in the side of the Church.

My document demonstrates that the Church did in fact view Galileo as a threat to the catholic doctrine and felt endangered by his support and the growing evidence he provides to support the Copernican theory of heliocentrism. It will also give insight into the reason the Church deemed it necessary to eliminate this threat and why Galileo's argument was so detrimental to the catholic doctrine.

The Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilee lay down the principal rudiments of his mechanics in Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World (1632). It simulated a debate between the Copernican and Ptolemaic system of a heliocentric and geocentric universe respectively. Because of many factors, which will be examined in the essay, Galileo was tried for proclaiming a doctrine that went against that of the Catholic Church and was forced to recant his views at his trial in 1633.

The Dialogue is basically a conversation held between three people. One is Salivati who speaks for Galileo's position, then there is Simplicio who represents the Aristotelian philosophers who hold the earth to be immobile, and finally there is Sagrado, a Venetian nobleman who is eager to gain knowledge from the other two speakers. It is set up as a debate regarding the two theories of the universe, geo and heliocentrism and its official aim is not to judge which one is true but to explore both models. This fails however because there are multitudes of biases that can be seen and the entire Discourse is slanted to portray Galileo's view. The book is...