Galileo Term Paper

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Galileo Galilei was one of the most influential men of the Renaissance. He was a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, inventor, and among other things he was a philosopher. He integrated the independent sciences of math and physics, and unified them. The popular view of the public at the time was Aristotle's theory that the Earth is the center of the universe. Galileo stood against that common view and declared to the world that the Earth is not the center. This concept that humans are only a microscopic speck in a boundless universe and are not the center of it frightened many religious leaders. The use of a tool to study the skies was an extreme influence on his position of Copernicus's theory. He was the first to examine space through a functional telescope. From this he condoned Copernicus's theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Galileo inflamed several scholars and religious leaders with this "ludicrous" theory. He obtained approval by the Pope, who was an acquaintance of Galileo, to write about Ptolemy and Copernicus and their concepts of the universe. Galileo was not authorized to account for either principle, for no man can judge how the world is made. In 1632 Galileo introduced his new book to the world which did in fact support the theory of Copernicus, the Earth revolves around the Sun. When the Pope discovered this, he was outraged and instructed a prosecution. The church was afraid to accept his discovery because it would prove that humans are not the central focus and might not be that important in the whole scheme of things. He was forced to recant his statements on his discovery. He did not want to return to a dungeon, so Galileo eventually renounced his theory. His license to write was confiscated and Galileo was ordered to house arrest. There Galileo wrote another book, and discovered numerous other things before he perished in 1642 at the age of seventy-seven.

Galileo's impact on the beliefs of thousands of people was catastrophic. His ideas generated a persuasive movement of people's feelings on the universe. Galileo feared how people would retaliate to the truth about the universe, since it was contradicting the Bible. He went as far as visiting Rome to plead for the leaders to grant people an opportunity to change their views. Instead the Roman authorities acknowledged the Copernicus writings as "false and erroneous". Galileo and Copernicus were both accurate with their theories, and the universal belief that the Earth is the center of the universe will never be the same again. They revolutionized the beliefs of many people. It was difficult for society to grasp as they have only been taught that the Earth is the center and man cannot question it. Galileo completely went against the belief of the church, and proved them wrong. He could have been seen as a nemesis or as a hero. He didn't wish to be either, but he instead just wanted the truth to be known.

Word Count: 500

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