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  1. #46
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    He did imply that flat earth belief was widespread until 500 years ago, and he doubled down on this instead of admitting his error, this time showing that he was clueless about medieval maps.
    Tim and you both read far too much into a tweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    What would you know about what Christians should be? How do you know that the murderous mob were Christians? What we do know is that they were vicious political partisans.
    I know that every Christian sect dislikes something about every other Christian sect. Hence my assertion that someone say they were not acting as Christians does not mean that they are not Christians. They were Christians as the honest historian, Socrates of Constantinople says.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  2. #47
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Tim and you both read far too much into a tweet.
    Not really, when these tweets are consistent with what Tyson has written and said at length. Tyson has a lot of form for misrepresenting the Middle Ages, e.g. pushing the throughly discredited Draper–White "conflict thesis", and his adulation for Bruno, an "irritating mystical New Age kook" as Tim says, and who acknowledged his intellectual debt to "the divine Cusanus" aka Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I know that every Christian sect dislikes something about every other Christian sect.
    Certainly, but most of these differences are not thought to make the other sects non-Christian. E.g. Baptists and Presbyterians do not regard each other as heretical despite disagreements about the mode and subject of baptism, for example. But Socrates Scholasticus was not talking about any sectarian teaching but about the vicious partisan politics erupting in mob violence.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  3. #48
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Telescope observations contradicted Galileo: the forgotten big star problem

    Much of the Galileo hagiography paints him as the dispassionate observer through his telescope, while his opponents refused to look through it. As it turns out, there is no historical evidence that anyone refused. Further, what they did see contradicted Galileo, and they knew it.

    If he were right, and the earth tracked a huge orbit around the sun, then stellar parallax should have been detected. Since it was not, the only defence was the stars were extremely far away. But according to the telescope, the observed size of the stars’ image meant that if they were beyond the distance to show parallax, then they must be incredible enormous. Galileo's opponents thought that was absurd, while his allies basically resorted to a "God of the gaps" argument: God can create incredibly enormous stars. In this case, Galileo's opponents were the ones following the telescope observations to their logical conclusion.

    Of course, centuries after Galileo, stellar parallax was detected, which vindicates the geokinetic model. And it was shown that the apparent size of stars was an illusion caused by diffraction: a point source of light through an aperture produces a pattern of concentric circles, centred around the Airy disc. Both sides mistook the diameter of the Airy disk with that of the star itself.

    These are some of the many reasons why it's so simplistic to call this a "Science vs religion conflict". It was mainly science vs science. According to the evidence actually available at the time, the geokinetic case was not so watertight; it was winning on points and was more elegant, but there was hardly a knockout blow. Galileo's main "proof" was a fallacious theory of the tides.

    See Galileo was Right—But So Were His Critics and the two Nature articles on the topic, Galileo backed Copernicus despite data: Galileo duped by diffraction: Telescope pioneer foiled by optical effect while measuring distance to the stars (2008) and Stars viewed through early telescopes suggested that Earth stood still (2010).
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  4. #49
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Not really, when these tweets are consistent with what Tyson has written and said at length. Tyson has a lot of form for misrepresenting the Middle Ages, e.g. pushing the throughly discredited Draper–White "conflict thesis", and his adulation for Bruno, an "irritating mystical New Age kook" as Tim says, and who acknowledged his intellectual debt to "the divine Cusanus" aka Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.
    Perhaps you need to present that evidence if you want to judge Tyson on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Certainly, but most of these differences are not thought to make the other sects non-Christian. E.g. Baptists and Presbyterians do not regard each other as heretical despite disagreements about the mode and subject of baptism, for example. But Socrates Scholasticus was not talking about any sectarian teaching but about the vicious partisan politics erupting in mob violence.
    How about the religious wars? The people at the time obviously felt that the difference between Catholic and Protestant was worth dying for.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #50
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Much of the Galileo hagiography paints him as the dispassionate observer through his telescope, while his opponents refused to look through it. As it turns out, there is no historical evidence that anyone refused. Further, what they did see contradicted Galileo, and they knew it.

    If he were right, and the earth tracked a huge orbit around the sun, then stellar parallax should have been detected. Since it was not, the only defence was the stars were extremely far away. But according to the telescope, the observed size of the stars’ image meant that if they were beyond the distance to show parallax, then they must be incredible enormous. Galileo's opponents thought that was absurd, while his allies basically resorted to a "God of the gaps" argument: God can create incredibly enormous stars. In this case, Galileo's opponents were the ones following the telescope observations to their logical conclusion.

    Of course, centuries after Galileo, stellar parallax was detected, which vindicates the geokinetic model. And it was shown that the apparent size of stars was an illusion caused by diffraction: a point source of light through an aperture produces a pattern of concentric circles, centred around the Airy disc. Both sides mistook the diameter of the Airy disk with that of the star itself.

    These are some of the many reasons why it's so simplistic to call this a "Science vs religion conflict". It was mainly science vs science. According to the evidence actually available at the time, the geokinetic case was not so watertight; it was winning on points and was more elegant, but there was hardly a knockout blow. Galileo's main "proof" was a fallacious theory of the tides.

    See Galileo was Right—But So Were His Critics and the two Nature articles on the topic, Galileo backed Copernicus despite data: Galileo duped by diffraction: Telescope pioneer foiled by optical effect while measuring distance to the stars (2008) and Stars viewed through early telescopes suggested that Earth stood still (2010).
    Galileo not knowing everything about diffraction is not an argument that his critics were "correct". Only about one part of the telescopes observations. There were also other observations which demonstrated clearly that the planets were moving around the sun such as the phases of Venus.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  6. #51
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Galileo not knowing everything about diffraction is not an argument that his critics were "correct". Only about one part of the telescopes observations.
    But Galileo insisted on going by the telescope observations. In this case, his opponents were the hard-nosed empiricists, following the evidence at the time where it led. The Conflict Thesis proponents judge the controversy by what is known now, not what was known to Galileo and his opponents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    There were also other observations which demonstrated clearly that the planets were moving around the sun such as the phases of Venus.
    This destroyed the Ptolemaic model, but the Tychonian helio-geocentric model also explained the phases of Venus.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  7. #52
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Perhaps you need to present that evidence if you want to judge Tyson on it.
    Already done in Tim's post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    How about the religious wars? The people at the time obviously felt that the difference between Catholic and Protestant was worth dying for.
    What about them? Note that religion probably caused about 7% of all wars, and even the wars you talk about were city-states struggling for power and wealth/
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  8. #53
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    This destroyed the Ptolemaic model, but the Tychonian helio-geocentric model also explained the phases of Venus.
    The Tychonian model had its own problems and was basically motivated by religion-inspired earthly exceptionalism.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #54
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The Tychonian model had its own problems and was basically motivated by religion-inspired earthly exceptionalism.
    Actually, as shown above, also supported by some of the science of its day, while the geokineticists had some difficulties with some of that science. The geokineticists also appealed to religious considerations, e.g. God as a mathematician would create the most mathematically elegant system, and created gynormous stars, perhaps to guard the gates of heaven (as some proposed).

    Again, judge Galileo and his opponents by the evidence they had back then, not according to evidence that was discovered centuries after them. Making it science vs religion or good vs evil is way too simplistic.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  10. #55
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Already done in Tim's post.
    Where in the lengthy writings of Tyson is the claim that there was a general belief of flat-earth in the 16th century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    What about them? Note that religion probably caused about 7% of all wars, and even the wars you talk about were city-states struggling for power and wealth/
    The point is you not agreeing with someone is not sufficient for them to be claimed to be non-Christian, even if they act in a way that you claim to be un-Christian. After all, every Christian will at times do un-Christian acts, present company excepted of course.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #56
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    More bad atheist history: Neil deGrasse Tyson's hero Giordano Bruno

    The Great Myths 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science
    Tim O'Neill, 30 March 2017


    So the Atheists Against Pseudoscientific Nonsense group on Facebook … presented Bruno as a rational scientific thinker who held the idea that the stars were suns that had their own potentially-inhabited planets and who rejected the doctrine of Transubstantiation, all for scientific reasons, and so died a martyr for science. But while this group's fight against pseudo science is admirable, their perpetuation of New Atheist pseudo history is not.

    Bruno the Mystic

    To begin with, any knowledge of Bruno that goes beyond internet memes will make the idea that he was in any sense of the word a "scientist" immediately dubious. Bruno was a brilliant and eclectic thinker who ranged over a number of the disciplines of his day, and so is difficult to put into any one category. He was a metaphysicist, a magus, an expert in mnemonics, a neo-Pythagorean, a neo-Platonist and an astrologer. He advocated a kind of philosophical reasoning, but it was one focused on images and symbols and the use of visualisations and metaphors. He had a cosmology that included the physical universe, but he rejected the use of mathematics to explore it, considering that too limiting and preferring what he believed was his own intuitive sense for symbols, sacred geometries and what simply felt right. His eccentric melange of ideas included things like Copernicus' heliocentrism and Nicholas of Cusa's centreless infinite universe, but it also included magic, stars and planets with animating souls, ancient Egyptian religion and Pythagorean symbolism. Probably the best word to describe him in modern terms is to say he was a "mystic".

    [Heliocentrism]

    So, despite what PZ Myers would like to believe, heliocentrism does not seem to have been among the reasons Bruno was executed. Then again, Myers seems prepared to believe any number of pseudo historical myths about science being persecuted by religion and in his "Missing the Point" post manages to rehearse some classic New Atheist bad history. This includes the myth that Copernicus delayed publication of his book "out of fear [of the Church]", despite the fact that he had been patronised and encouraged by his local bishop, a prominent Cardinal and Pope Clement VII himself. Myers also dismisses Tycho Brahe as "a geocentrist", ignoring the fact that his geoheliocentrism was a purely scientific position that had nothing to do with religious dogma. And, bizarrely, he throws in the fact that Kepler's mother was accused of witchcraft, though without explaining how this is relevant to anything at all. Yet again, we find a New Atheist who, as a historian, makes a great biologist.

    Multiple Worlds

    As Yates notes the surviving summary of his trial "shows how little attention was paid to philosophical or scientific questions in the interrogations" (p.355) and the whole idea of the stars as suns and multiple worlds that may even be inhabited was not even one Bruno came up with. As he himself says, just as he got the idea of heliocentrism from Copernicus and blended that into his pantheist mystical cosmology, so he tells us got the idea of multiple inhabited worlds from "the Divine Cusanus".

    That was Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1454), who published his speculations about an infinite, unbounded universe with multiple worlds and possible alien inhabitants in them in his De Docta Ignorantia (Of Learned Ignorance) in 1440. Like Bruno, Cusanus' cosmology was speculative and intuitive rather than scientific and even the Catholic Encyclopaedia doesn't bother to try to claim otherwise, noting it was "based on symbolism of numbers, on combinations of letters, and on abstract speculations rather than observation". But Cusanus' writings had a clear and acknowledged impact on Bruno. Here is Cusanus on extraterrestrial life:

    "Life, as it exists on Earth in the form of men, animals and plants, is to be found, let us suppose in a high form in the solar and stellar regions. Rather than think that so many stars and parts of the heavens are uninhabited and that this earth of ours alone is peopled – and that with beings perhaps of an inferior type – we will suppose that in every region there are inhabitants, differing in nature by rank and all owing their origin to God, who is the centre and circumference of all stellar regions."

    So was Cusanus burned at the stake for this heresy? No, he wasn't. As Michael J. Crowe comments wryly:

    "A superficial knowledge of the plurality of worlds debate .... might lead one to suspect that these claims of Cusanus reveal a person with little sense of the politically acceptable, if not a man destined for imprisonment or burning at the stake .... (yet) eight years after his Of Learned Ignorance he was made a cardinal of the Catholic church." (p. 8)

    Cusanus was not simply a cardinal, but also a Papal Legate, second only in authority to the Pope himself. He was also a respected and renowned scholar and theologian and considered one of the great intellects of his day.

    At best, Bruno could be considered a martyr for untrammelled free speech and ideas - two concepts that were essentially unknown in the sixteenth century. We can look at the way sixteenth century people thought, their subservience to hierarchy and traditions of authority and their acceptance of social structures that we would consider oppressive and find all this alien and unpleasant. But to judge the past by the values of the present is a basic historiographical fallacy. At best, anti-theists can use the Bruno case as a stick with which to beat churches which make claims to universal authority and transcendent wisdom, but since those same churches also plead human fallibility, it's unlikely to be a beating that has much effect. Such a tactic usually has no purpose other than making the beater feel smug.

    However you look at it, a detailed examination of Bruno's life and work makes it quite clear that he was no martyr to science. The idea that his execution somehow set back science or even that it demonstrates some antipathy toward science by the Church is patent nonsense.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 04-04-2017 at 04:59 AM.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  12. #57
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    However you look at it, a detailed examination of Bruno's life and work makes it quite clear that he was no martyr to science. The idea that his execution somehow set back science or even that it demonstrates some antipathy toward science by the Church is patent nonsense.
    Seeings how science can only thrive in a environment which is open to free inquiry the conclusion of this article seems to be patent nonsense. I agree that Bruno was not by today's standards a scientist. But a public execution of an individual for theologically unpalatable ideas is going to suppress scientific inquiry in many areas including cosmology and historical sciences like geology and evolutionary biology, for fear that those inquiries may uncover dangerous ideas.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Seeings how science can only thrive in a environment which is open to free inquiry the conclusion of this article seems to be patent nonsense.
    Christian theology of the time had absolutely no problem with free inquiry into the natural world and no problem with adjusting interpretations of Scripture and Patristic writings if that rational inquiry turned up something new. But it was not going to do this with theories that were still full of holes and rejected by almost every scientist (eg Galileo's) or mystical speculation based on nothing at all (Bruno's).

    I agree that Bruno was not by today's standards a scientist.
    He wasn't a scientist by his day's standards either.

    But a public execution of an individual for theologically unpalatable ideas is going to suppress scientific inquiry in many areas including cosmology and historical sciences like geology and evolutionary biology, for fear that those inquiries may uncover dangerous ideas.
    Nonsense. See above.

  14. #59
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Hahaha.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Hahaha.
    Devastating reply. And one that displays the total ignorance of the relevant historical background and boneheaded ideological biases that have characterised all your weak little fizzing squibs in this thread. The fact remains that you have been blundering all over this topic and seem to think that glib blurts are going to be sufficient to sustain your positions. They aren't. Try actually backing your claims here up with detailed reference to the source material and relevant scholarship and let's see who really knows what they are talking about who is a weak faker.

    Your move.

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