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Religion, Politics & Patronage: The Galileo Affair

Religion, Politics & Patronage: The Galileo Affair

By Alex Johnson ….
Galileo Galilei once said that, “There is no event in nature, not even the least that exists, such that it will ever be completely understood by theorists” (Drake 91). This is certainly true for natural phenomenon, even though they are constantly available to us for observation, but sadly, we find that this statement is often true of historical phenomenon as well, because they can only be observed through the surviving records. Despite this, or perhaps, in spite of this, we are in constant pursuit of an understanding of the past. The Galileo Affair is a prime example of this. Every facet of this event has fascinated historians and scholars of religion for almost 400 years. What happened? Why, and what does it all mean for us today?

The Pope's Astronomer:  In Conversation With Brother Guy Consolmagno

The Pope’s Astronomer: In Conversation With Brother Guy Consolmagno

The idea of a “split” between science and religion is a fairly modern one, mostly dating from the 19th century and the rise of professional scientists who were making a living independent of the Church. That’s why the Church specifically started funding an observatory, in 1891, to show the world that it supported science. Our duties at the observatory today are simply to “do good science” — we’re left to decide for ourselves what science to do — as a way of continuing to demonstrate that support.