Galileo Galilei: Facts - History, Life - Planets and Moons Discovered, Church Conflict, Death
Galileo was an Italian physicist and astronomer. He developed the theory of inertia and described the laws that dictate the movement of falling bodies.
Galileo supported Copernicus views that the sun was the center of the universe. Galileo also stated the laws for falling bodies. These theories or laws contradicted the Bible teachings and threatened the Church’s authority. Galileo's public support of Copernicus disturbed Catholic clergymen and theologians. In 1616, the church condemned Copernicus for his conflicting theories.
Galileo took the new telescope and observed the 4 moons around Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the phases of Venus, which supported the heliocentric theory. He also discovered spots on the sun and craters on the moon contradicting the Church’s view that the heavens were perfect and the earth was the center of the universe. Galileo wrote his findings in the vernacular so most everyone could understand which further antagonized the Church.
Galileo was put on trial for heresy by the church for his controversial report on his findings. He was sentenced to house arrest and remained there until he died.
He was also threatened by torture, which forced him to recant his findings. However, Galileo’s findings and his ideas spurred others on to observe and reason, which led to the empirical method of observation and drawing conclusions.
Galileo wrote the Grand Duchess, Christina, justifying his findings by stating that the Bible and science were both right. The bible teaches about God and not the heavens above.