25 Aug 2009


So... you make a tube thing, look through it at the sky and think ‘Wow, this may be able to further improve us as a species.’ Then the church gets involved...

Christian biblical references Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 include statements to the tune of: "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved." Similarly, Psalm 104:5 says, "the Lord set the Earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."

400 years ago today, On 25 August 1609, Galileo demonstrated his first telescope. He was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," i.e: of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest" those opinions.

He was ordered imprisoned; a sentence later reduced to house arrest. His ‘offending’ Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.