Friday, September 9, 2011

Galileo Got Outvoted

Divining Perry's Meaning On Galileo Remark

Galileo got outvoted? Outvoted?! I bet he wished he was only outvoted! When I heard this the other day I could barely believe it with my own ears.

“The science is not settled on this.  The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,” Perry said.  “Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” he said. 

His utter lack of knowledge of science has been apparent ever since he landed on the main stage but to get the gist of what Galileo went through so completely twisted, shows Perry has no understanding of history either. Not only did Galileo not get "outvoted" but he was charged with heresy by the church and sentenced to house arrest for the remainder of his life and all of his writings of the subject were blacklisted for many years. Some scientists did disagree with his ideas at the time, but this was for a few reasons. The first, Galileo had invented a new telescope and used this device to make readings and observations no one else in the history of mankind was able to make. Also, because of church restrictions, many knew that coming out publicly against such a position would be a terrible career move for the astronomers of the day even though the copernican theory had been around for some time. At that point in time one did not mess with the church. It took them 400 years to apologize for the Galileo Affair, which has long since been verified as describing the correct motions of the heavenly bodies around the sun.

Unfortunately for Mr. Perry, his strong connection to faith-based principles and total disregard for the overwhelming evidence supporting climate change being expedited by human processes make him seem terribly foolish with this comment. Maybe he should read my blog to learn more about it. Not only that, but if we don't solve this climate change issue soon, the irreparable damage and staggering cost globally will be incalculable compared to some minor tweaks of emissions and other regulations in industry that we can make now. What good is commerce if there is no planet to conduct it on?

Great quote by Galileo in a letter written to Johannes Kepler in 1610. It seems like it describes Mr. Perry to a T:

"My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not want to look at either the planets, the moon or the telescope, even though I have freely and deliberately offered them the opportunity a thousand times? Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth."

Here is another great quote, taken from Galileo's Letter To the Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615:

"Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill-suited to their purposes."

For more info on the Galileo Affair, see below:

Galileo Affair - Wikipedia

You can also learn more about Galileo in the Intellects section above. You can read his writings first hand. "The Starry Messenger" is really quite moving as you will discover a man's thoughts as he slowly realizes he is the first human to ever see what he is discovering with his new "spyglass" and he is in complete awe of the wonder of the universe! "The Letter To the Duchess Christina" also sheds light on Galileo's personal thoughts on this specific matter. So moving!

Stephen Colbert on Perry at the GOP debate:

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