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Galileo Essay

867 words - 3 pages

The scientific revolution was one of the greatest times in the 16th century and its ideals have proved to last to this very day. The great minds of the scientific revolution brought forth new concepts and vastly complex while each one is rooted in a basic fundamental. Some of these ideas and fundamentals were of the outside world, aka space, the planet and the stars, motion, and physics. One of the best minds of this time was, of course, Galileo Galilei. This great astronomer was a marvel at his work, he introduced controversial concepts that the church did not accept but those that he believed were to be true. Written by Galileo himself, this letter to the Grand Duchess professed his great discoveries and how they changed old ideas and thinking but received much criticism in the process. (Ch 16, Doc 4)
This time of discovery was a breath of fresh air to the people of Western Europe. Development in new technology and ideas had changed society forever as they knew it. It was like ‘out with the old [ideas] in with the new [discoveries].’ The printing press enabled people to read and learn by themselves. This was very important in changing how society thinks and interprets. It used to be that people would go to church and learn the Bible from the priest and learn science and philosophies from lectures and such. Now people can learn and interpret scripture and text on their own. The new thinking provided a base for new discoveries. The change in thought was brought about the scientists of that age. Of the great thinkers and scientists was Galileo, the creator of his own telescope, which allowed him to study the stars. By observing the stars and the planetary system he gained a vast amount of knowledge that proved the Catholic Churches perception on the world and its place in the Universe. His new heliocentric idea was the opposite of the common geocentric teachings of the Church and Copernicus. His discoveries made him infamous in the eyes of the Church and changed how people look at the earth with respect to the Universe. Being so proud of his remarkable discoveries he decided to Duchess Christina. “I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age.” (Ch 16, Doc 4) He writes of his findings and how they were criticized and he was ridiculed for his findings. They denounce his new perception of the world, but Galileo knew that new discoveries would have “consequences” and that people would turn against him.
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