Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Galileo's daughter

I plan to start blogging about Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel. I read this book a few years ago, and it has stuck with me, primarily because it upset the "science versus the Church" narrative I had learned in elementary school.

In my school-taught narrative, empiricial science (the "good") faces off against the Catholic church (the "bad"). The church refuses to accept Galileo's assertion that the earth revolves around the sun, because the assertion appears to contradict the Bible. Religious irrationality and superstition as well as blind adherence to tradition block rationality and the search for truth. More shockingly, the church uses the Inquisition and the threat of torture not only to silence Galileo but to force him to recant what he knows to be true.

Galileo's Daughter provides a much more nuanced picture of what really happened. I invite you to join in as we work through this book.

For today: Any thoughts on Galileo? On the collision of science and faith?

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