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Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 11:12 AM
that is one of the shortest and most accurate things I have ever read:clap:
No it's not, it's just revisionist crap. Read the article I linked to (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1625/). Not too long afterwards, the Church taught Copernican astronomy to the Chinese, and allowed their own cathedrals to be used as giant sundials (meridiane). See John Heilbron's book, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999.

Rincewind
19-12-2008, 01:25 PM
No it's not, it's just revisionist crap. Read the article I linked to (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1625/).

Actually the article you liked to is more accurately described as revisionist swill.


Not too long afterwards, the Church taught Copernican astronomy to the Chinese, and allowed their own cathedrals to be used as giant sundials (meridiane).

That is because Galileo was undeniably right and there were elements within the church which were pro-Copernican, notably the Jesuits. However what you cannot deny is that the church which directly persecuted Galileo. No amount of spin doctoring can change the facts that it was the church that threatened torture, placed under arrest and had his works placed on the ILP.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 01:33 PM
Actually the article you liked to is more accurately described as revisionist swill.
I.e. Rincy can't refute the clear historical documentation that the Church was more sympathetic to Galileo than the scientific establishment of its day.


That is because Galileo was undeniably right and there were elements within the church which were pro-Copernican, notably the Jesuits. However what you cannot deny is that the church which directly persecuted Galileo.
Only because they did what you advise today: kowtowed to the scientific establishment, which taught errant Aristotelian science and absolute geocentrism.


No amount of spin doctoring can change the facts that it was the church that threatened torture, placed under arrest and had his works placed on the ILP.
No amount of real historical research by people like Heilbron, Drake and Schirrmacher can shake Rincy from his faith that the Galileo affair was a classic "science v religion" battle, when it was actually a science v science battle.

Rincewind
19-12-2008, 02:32 PM
I.e. Rincy can't refute the clear historical documentation that the Church was more sympathetic to Galileo than the scientific establishment of its day.

Yeah so sympathetic in fact that they threatened him with torture, locked him up and banned his book.


Only because they did what you advise today: kowtowed to the scientific establishment, which taught errant Aristotelian science and absolute geocentrism.

Whether they did that or not, they certainly vigorously sought to censure him through their arm of enforcing religious orthodoxy: The Inquisition.


No amount of real historical research by people like Heilbron, Drake and Schirrmacher can shake Rincy from his faith that the Galileo affair was a classic "science v religion" battle, when it was actually a science v science battle.

Not at all I have a lot of respect for Heilbron and Drake. However IMHO Schirrmacher is a no talent hack. That is, only slightly better than you.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 02:50 PM
Yeah so sympathetic in fact that they threatened him with torture, locked him up and banned his book.
A lot of that was politics since Galileo insulted the Pope who was a former close friend. Some Western countries lock people up today for saying the wrong things despite not advocating violence in any way, e.g. the Homonazi law in Sweden that resulted in a pastor being jailed for preaching about the wrongness of homosexual behaviour. Campus speech codes are not too different in principle either.


Whether they did that or not, they certainly vigorously sought to censure him through their arm of enforcing religious orthodoxy: The Inquisition.
Another thing atheopaths love to exaggerate (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html), although only about 2000 people were killed over three centuries, compared with the millions by atheistic regimes last century. It's common for both lefties and atheopaths (often but not always the same thing) to single out certain cultures or religions for severe shortcomings common to most of the human race.


Not at all I have a lot of respect for Heilbron and Drake.
Right, and both reject the usual "science v religion" revisionism.


However IMHO Schirrmacher is a no talent hack.
As if you'd know, and you have yet to refute him. It should be a lesson that the church should not try to twist the Bible to fit the science of its day (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=180020&postcount=2075), whether Aristotelianism or evolutionism.


That is, only slightly better than you.
Not that you're in much position to judge, as a totally unobjective atheopath.

pappubahry
19-12-2008, 02:57 PM
Another thing atheopaths love to exaggerate (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html), although only about 2000 people were killed over three centuries

:lol: :lol: :lol: An execution every two months for heresy. You're good value, Jono.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 03:04 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: An execution every two months for heresy. You're good value, Jono.
As opposed to christophobic regimes like the French Revolution, Nazi Germany, and the Communists killing thousands per day. Note that the left's favorite religion, Islam (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/6202/), on 11-9 killed more people than in the Inquisition's three centuries.

Also, secular "justice" was even worse than the Inquistions, and the secular prisons were also worse, so much that a monk in a secular prison uttered a heresy so he would be sent to the relatively cushy inquisition prison.

The cited article, relying on historian Henry Kamen's The Spanish Inquisition, points out:


Statistically, over the life of the Spanish Inquisition and in spite of spurts of major use, torture was "used infrequently" [K188] and only in cases of heresy [K189]; despite possible claims of Skeptics, there was not enough sophistication in the Inquisitors to use torture for the purpose of brainwashing. "A comparison with the cruelty and mutilation common in secular tribunals shows the Inquisition in a relatively favourable light. This in conjunction with the usually good level of prison conditions makes it clear that the tribunal had little interest in cruelty and often attempted to temper justice with mercy." [K192] One may as well credit Christianity for making the Inquisition less severe than it would have been had it been conducted by secular authorities addressing the same social fears and concerns! Prison sentences were often not literally observed; a "life sentence" could amount to only 10 years of incarceration [K201] and the term could be served at home, in a monastery, or in a hospital when prison space was limited. Kamen also notes that (despite Skeptical desires to see every Spaniard as cowering in fear awaiting a knock at the door from Torquemada himself!) that "over long periods of time and substantial areas of the country, [the Inquisition] quite simply did nothing." [! - K82] "In many Christian communities throughout Spain where internal discord was low and public solidarity high, fear of the Inquisition was virtually absent." A priest in Urgell, Spain in 1632 said that "he didn't recognise the Inquisition and didn't give a fig for it" -- and the Inquisition was "unable to take any action against him, nor indeed was it able to impose its authority on the people of that diocese." Resistance was not a matter of fighting off the Pope's armies, but of public cooperation: "Because the information available to inquisitors came not from their own investigations but almost exclusively from members of the public, it was in effect the public that dictated the forms of inquisatorial justice....where [ordinary people] refused to cooperate the tribunal was impotent and incapable of inspiring fear." [K178-9]

So, in conclusion: Blame Christianity for the Inquisition? Hardly. Blame human nature, yet again, which humanists are so proud of, and blame also a propaganda machine that was so effective that "even today it is difficult to separate fact from fiction." [K305]

Rincewind
19-12-2008, 05:35 PM
A lot of that was politics since Galileo insulted the Pope who was a former close friend. Some Western countries lock people up today for saying the wrong things despite not advocating violence in any way, e.g. the Homonazi law in Sweden that resulted in a pastor being jailed for preaching about the wrongness of homosexual behaviour. Campus speech codes are not too different in principle either.

I've posted the charges that the church laid at Galileo which were


Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by many, that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples to whom you taught the same doctrine; for holding correspondence with certain mathematicians of Germany concerning the same; for having printed certain letters, entitled “On the Solar Spots,” wherein you developed the same doctrine as true; and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this diverse propositions are set forth, following the hypothesis of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture:

:hmm:

Which confirms that the teaching of the Copernican system was widespread (which denies your position that it was resisted in academia) and that the church was mostly convinced of the system, when in 1633 they said explicitly it was against Holy Scripture.


Another thing atheopaths love to exaggerate, although only about 2000 people were killed over three centuries, compared with the millions by atheistic regimes last century.

As previously pointed out an execution every two month plus more besides who were tortured and recanted, just for religious unorthodoxy. You're right it's a storm in a tea cup and I can't see what Galileo was so worried about.


Right, and both reject the usual "science v religion" revisionism.

They may present cases in a restricted sense. However, it is not their work at issue here. It is the crappy little hack piece you linked to.


As if you'd know, and you have yet to refute him. It should be a lesson that the church should not try to twist the Bible to fit the science of its day, whether Aristotelianism or evolutionism.

More likely people shouldn't try to use a collection of bronze age myths to understand the natural world.


Not that you're in much position to judge, as a totally unobjective atheopath.

It is easy to see his quality by looking at his advertising (http://www.contra-mundum.org/schirrmacher/bio.pdf).

Schirrmacher studied theology from 1978 to 1982 at STH Basel and since 1983 Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religions at Bonn State University.

Studied but no mention of qualification...

He earned a Drs. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenics at Theological University (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1984,

This might qualify him to preach in a certain protestant churches but that is about it. I note too that in 1984 It was not called Theological University. It was called Theological College ("Theologische Hogeschool") until 1986.

and a Dr. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenics at Johannes Calvin Foundation (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1985,

and again some more general preaching qualifications.

a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Pacific Western University in Los Angeles (CA) in 1989

Pacific Western University is an non-accredited institution which is general regarded as a disreputable degree mill and it surprises me that anyone would list this on their CV. I also suspect this is Shirrmacher's claim to the prenominal of Doctor flows from this non-qualification.

and a Th.D. in Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland (FL) in 1996.

Another preaching degree.

In 1997 he got a honorary doctorate (D.D.) from Cranmer Theological House.

And an honourary preaching doctorate.

In summary even though he seems to have spent 20 years studying all he is qualified to do is be a protestant minister.

Now how about his other claims to fame...

He is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in the World,

Vanity press also known as The Hall of Lame (http://www.forbes.com/fyi/1999/0308/063.html). And it only goes downhill from there...

Dictionary of International Biography, International Who is Who of Professionals, EU-Who is Who, Who is Who in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2000 Outstanding People of the 21st Century, 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, International Who's Who in Distance Learning,

More random vanity press publications even less recognised than the first listed Hall of Lame. :)

Kürschners Deutscher Sachbuch-Kalender.

???

So in short he has tried to exaggerate by using an anachronistic name of one institution (from College to University) and he also sports a doctorate from the unaccredited (and disreputable) PWU. He also boasts inclusion in several vanity press publications as if they are genuine accomplishments.

Shirrmacher in nothing more than a village minister who seems to want to be an academic but lacks any credible academic qualifications.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 06:37 PM
I've posted the charges that the church laid at Galileo which were
And I've pointed out that Heilbron wrote:


‘Galileo’s heresy, according to the standard distinction used by the Holy Office, was “inquisitorial” rather than “theological”. This distinction allowed it to proceed against people for disobeying orders or creating scandals, although neither offence violated an article defined and promulgated by a pope or general council. … Since, however, the church had never declared that the Biblical passages implying a moving sun had to be interpreted in favour of a Ptolemaic universe as an article of faith, optimistic commentators … could understand “formally heretical” to mean “provisionally not accepted”.’

Heilbron supports this simply by documenting the general reactions by Galileo’s contemporaries and later astronomers, who:

‘appreciated that the reference to heresy in connection with Galileo or Copernicus had no general or theological significance’.

Galileo also made a mistake of ignoring Kepler, as Arthur Koestler writes in The Sleepwalkers:


‘Judging by Galileo’s correspondence and other records of his opinion of himself he was fantastically selfish intellectually and almost unbelievably conceited. As an illustration of the former there is the now well-known fact that he refused to share with his colleagues or with acquaintances [such] as Kepler any of his own findings or insights; he actually claimed to be the only one who ever would make any new discovery! In writing to an acquaintance he expressed himself as follows: “You cannot help it, Mr. Sarsi, that it was granted to me alone to discover all the new phenomena in the sky and nothing to anybody else. This is the truth which neither malice nor envy can suppress”.’

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 06:38 PM
Kepler, a devout Lutheran, saw no conflict between the Bible and Lutheran theology. He showed how Joshua 10:12 could be explained as phenomenological language, using Luther’s own principles of Biblical interpretation!


Which confirms that the teaching of the Copernican system was widespread (which denies your position that it was resisted in academia)
It was taught by Jesuits, but resisted by the Aristotelians at the universities. Koestler writes:


But there existed a powerful body of men whose hostility to Galileo never abated: the Aristotelians at the Universities … . Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed edifice might collapse. The academic backwoods-men have been the curse of genius … it was this threat—not Bishop Dantiscus or Pope Paul III—which had cowed Canon Koppernigk [i.e., Copernicus] into silence … .

The first serious attack on religious grounds came also not from clerical quarters, but from a layman—none other than delle Colombe, the leader of the [ardent Aristotelian] league … .

The earthly nature of the moon, the existence of sunspots meant the abandonment of the [pagan!] Aristotelian doctrines on the perfect and unchangeable nature of the celestial spheres.


and that the church was mostly convinced of the system, when in 1633 they said explicitly it was against Holy Scripture.
Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton disagreed that it was against Scripture. They were all young-earth creationists. The church made the mistake of following the lead of the Aristotelians who convinced them that their cosmology was taught by Scripture.

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2008, 06:39 PM
Schirrmacher studied theology from 1978 to 1982 at STH Basel and since 1983 Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religions at Bonn State University.

Studied but no mention of qualification...
More of Rincy's low-context mind. Was there any need to mention them, given that they are prerequisites for doctoral studies?


I note too that in 1984 It was not called Theological University. It was called Theological College ("Theologische Hogeschool") until 1986.
So what? QUT used to be called QIT.


and a Dr. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenics at Johannes Calvin Foundation (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1985,

and again some more general preaching qualifications.
Most likely church history as well in "ecumenics".


a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Pacific Western University in Los Angeles (CA) in 1989

Pacific Western University is an non-accredited institution which is general regarded as a disreputable degree mill and it surprises me that anyone would list this on their CV.
Me too, but that is hardly his only doctorate.


I also suspect this is Shirrmacher's claim to the prenominal of Doctor flows from this non-qualification.
Crap; the Dr comes from the Th.D. and Dr. Theol.


and a Th.D. in Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland (FL) in 1996.

Another preaching degree.
A genuine doctorate in ethics. A preaching degree would be called homiletics.


In summary even though he seems to have spent 20 years studying all he is qualified to do is be a protestant minister.
He is rector of Martin Bucer Seminary in Bonn.


More random vanity press publications even less recognised than the first listed Hall of Lame. :)
Sure, but lots of better known people seem to like being in these things.

[QUOTE=Rincewind]So in short he has tried to exaggerate by using an anachronistic name of one institution (from College to University) and he also sports a doctorate from the unaccredited (and disreputable) PWU. He also boasts inclusion in several vanity press publications as if they are genuine accomplishments.
In a fuller biography it's not too unreasonable. But they weren't mentioned in his bio at the bottom of his Galileo article.


Shirrmacher in nothing more than a village minister who seems to want to be an academic but lacks any credible academic qualifications.
More crap. He is clearly widely studied in church history and ethics, and one doesn't become a seminary rector with bogus qualifications.

So will Rincy finally play the board rather than the man (would make a change from his usual atheopathic tactic) and deal with the evidence in the article, regardless of how it upset the atheistic "science v religion" myth he loves?

Rincewind
19-12-2008, 08:42 PM
And I've pointed out that Heilbron wrote:


‘... Since, however, the church had never declared that the Biblical passages implying a moving sun had to be interpreted in favour of a Ptolemaic universe as an article of faith, optimistic commentators … could understand “formally heretical” to mean “provisionally not accepted”.’

That misses the point that in the 1633 charge personally addressed to Galileo the charge was specifically...

...following the hypothesis of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture

This sent a clear message to everyone that although not a Papal edict heliocentrism was sufficient charge for the Inquisition to come pay a visit.


Heilbron supports this simply by documenting the general reactions by Galileo’s contemporaries and later astronomers, who:

‘appreciated that the reference to heresy in connection with Galileo or Copernicus had no general or theological significance’.

It certainly was of specific theological significance as far as Galileo was concerned as evidenced by the charge in the 1633 letter from the Pope.

Rincewind
19-12-2008, 08:51 PM
Kepler, a devout Lutheran, saw no conflict between the Bible and Lutheran theology. He showed how Joshua 10:12 could be explained as phenomenological language, using Luther’s own principles of Biblical interpretation!

That's ironic since Luther himself said...

"People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."


It was taught by Jesuits, but resisted by the Aristotelians at the universities. Koestler writes:


But there existed a powerful body of men whose hostility to Galileo never abated: the Aristotelians at the Universities … . Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed edifice might collapse. The academic backwoods-men have been the curse of genius … it was this threat—not Bishop Dantiscus or Pope Paul III—which had cowed Canon Koppernigk [i.e., Copernicus] into silence … .

The first serious attack on religious grounds came also not from clerical quarters, but from a layman—none other than delle Colombe, the leader of the [ardent Aristotelian] league … .

The earthly nature of the moon, the existence of sunspots meant the abandonment of the [pagan!] Aristotelian doctrines on the perfect and unchangeable nature of the celestial spheres.

I don;t believ it. You're actually quoting Koestler at me!!! And you call me a post modernist. :lol:


Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton disagreed that it was against Scripture. They were all young-earth creationists. The church made the mistake of following the lead of the Aristotelians who convinced them that their cosmology was taught by Scripture.

Yep, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton were academics. You need to find churchmen who thought it wasn't. Don't try and change horses mid-stream. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
26-12-2008, 11:34 AM
That's ironic since Luther himself said...


"People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."
Luther’s only recorded comment on the issue is the above single off-hand remark (hardly a concerted campaign), during a ‘table talk’ in 1539 (four years before the publication of Copernicus’ book). The Table Talk was based on notes taken by Luther’s students, which were later compiled and published in 1566―twenty years after Luther’s death.

But the words I've bolded show that a major reason for Luther’s objection was Copernicus’ challenging the establishment and common sense for its own sake (as Luther saw it). At the time, there was no hard evidence for geokineticism. And Kepler, a devout Lutheran, saw no conflict between the Bible and Lutheran theology. He showed how Joshua 10:12 could be explained as phenomenological language, using Luther’s own principles of Biblical interpretation!


I don;t believ it. You're actually quoting Koestler at me!!! And you call me a post modernist. :lol:
So do you have any arguments against his arguments here?


Yep, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton were academics. You need to find churchmen who thought it wasn't. Don't try and change horses mid-stream. :lol:
What are you on about? The opposition to geokineticism first came from the Aristotelians at the universities. Contrast this with Cardinal Bellarmine who said it was ‘excellent good sense’ to claim that Galileo’s model was mathematically simpler. And he said:


If there were a real proof that the Sun is in the centre of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion false which has been proved to be true. But I do not think there is any such proof since none has been shown to me.
Galileo's own arrogance was his downfall here, rejecting Kepler's ideas and proposing a "proof" in the tides that was nonsense.


It certainly was of specific theological significance as far as Galileo was concerned as evidenced by the charge in the 1633 letter from the Pope.
Argue with Heilbron then. The letter from the Pope, Galileo's former close friend, is a matter of personal politics not church dogma.

antichrist
26-12-2008, 02:35 PM
I was quite disappointed when seeing "the opera Galileo" or some story about him at the Opera House that only used the texts of the threats made by the Church about him - about showing him the tools. At least they could have used shadows of Inquisition torture instruments if not replicas or a few good screams that opera is all about and famous for, and not for much else mind you.

I felt like GW Bush and yelling out "Bring it on!"

Rincewind
26-12-2008, 04:44 PM
Luther’s only recorded comment on the issue is the above single off-hand remark (hardly a concerted campaign), during a ‘table talk’ in 1539 (four years before the publication of Copernicus’ book). The Table Talk was based on notes taken by Luther’s students, which were later compiled and published in 1566―twenty years after Luther’s death.

It still shows that Luther believed that geocentrism was a true ordained in the scripture.


But the words I've bolded show that a major reason for Luther’s objection was Copernicus’ challenging the establishment and common sense for its own sake (as Luther saw it). At the time, there was no hard evidence for geokineticism. And Kepler, a devout Lutheran, saw no conflict between the Bible and Lutheran theology. He showed how Joshua 10:12 could be explained as phenomenological language, using Luther’s own principles of Biblical interpretation!

I'm glad the scripture are not open to interpretation. :lol:

Actually the geocentrists are like the YEC of today. Desperately hanging on to biblical "truth" to prop up a position which science was showing to be increasingly indefensible.


So do you have any arguments against his arguments here?

I have nothing to argue against. Sure Galileo was not liked well as he was an arrogant and undiplomatic personality. However, that does not change the fact that it was the church which silenced him and charged him with holding a doctrine which was against scripture.

If it was the church was without blame on this, why did the Pope feel the need to apologise? (albeit 400 years too late).


What are you on about? The opposition to geokineticism first came from the Aristotelians at the universities. Contrast this with Cardinal Bellarmine who said it was ‘excellent good sense’ to claim that Galileo’s model was mathematically simpler. And he said:


If there were a real proof that the Sun is in the centre of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion false which has been proved to be true. But I do not think there is any such proof since none has been shown to me.

Galileo's own arrogance was his downfall here, rejecting Kepler's ideas and proposing a "proof" in the tides that was nonsense.

Except that Galileo was ultimately much closer to the truth than the geocentrists and was persecuted by the Christians for promoting an theory which was against scripture as read by the Pope and Martin Luther.


The letter from the Pope, Galileo's former close friend, is a matter of personal politics not church dogma.

It wasn't a private letter between friends. It was an official letter from the Holy See charging Galileo with heresy for which he could have been executed had he not recanted.

Capablanca-Fan
30-12-2008, 07:05 PM
It still shows that Luther believed that geocentrism was a true ordained in the scripture.
If allegedly one off-the-cuff comment reported long after his death means anything. And at the time, geocentrism seemed to be the best supported scientificially.


I'm glad the scripture are not open to interpretation. :lol:
But only one is the right one, the grammatical-historical one which is what Luther taught even if the above alleged quote didn't practise it. This is also the interpretation of the Nazi-opposing Confessing church and the slavery-opposing evangelical abolitionists like Wilberforce (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/4932/). Rincy prefers the "anything goes" approach, or eisegesis, or reading things into Scripture like evolution, racism or absolute geocentrism.


Actually the geocentrists are like the YEC of today. Desperately hanging on to biblical "truth" to prop up a position which science was showing to be increasingly indefensible.
Yet the pioneers of geokinetic astronomy were YECs, precisely because the Bible does NOT teach absolute geocentrism, any more than we do today when we say, "look at the pretty sunset".


I have nothing to argue against. Sure Galileo was not liked well as he was an arrogant and undiplomatic personality. However, that does not change the fact that it was the church which silenced him and charged him with holding a doctrine which was against scripture.
Doing just what you praise them for: taking too much heed of the establishment scientists!


If it was the church was without blame on this, why did the Pope feel the need to apologise? (albeit 400 years too late).
Because of a modern PC fashion of being sorry for what someone else did (http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2008/12/15/i%e2%80%99m-sorry-for-what-somebody-else-did/).


Except that Galileo was ultimately much closer to the truth than the geocentrists and was persecuted by the Christians for promoting an theory which was against scripture as read by the Pope and Martin Luther.
The evidence for Luther is very limited, and with the Pope it was a case of feeling betrayed by his former friend. Nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible, and everything to do with personality politics and the machinations of the scientific establishment of the day.

Capablanca-Fan
30-12-2008, 07:08 PM
I was quite disappointed when seeing "the opera Galileo" or some story about him at the Opera House that only used the texts of the threats made by the Church about him - about showing him the tools. At least they could have used shadows of Inquisition torture instruments if not replicas or a few good screams that opera is all about and famous for, and not for much else mind you.

I felt like GW Bush and yelling out "Bring it on!"
Inquisition methods were far milder than the secular methods of the day. Indeed, some monks accused of an ordinary crime uttered a heresy so they could be transferred to the far better Inquisition prisons. The death toll was also minuscule compared to that of the evolution-based regimee. Finally, killing and torturing for the faith is inconsistent with Christ's teachings, while mass murder is consistent with evolution.

See also An Inquiry on the Inquisition (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html).

Rincewind
30-12-2008, 09:47 PM
If allegedly one off-the-cuff comment reported long after his death means anything. And at the time, geocentrism seemed to be the best supported scientificially.

I assume you are not arguing that he said it after he died. :)

The comment as to which theory was the best supported scientifically is misleading, Luther's quote made it clear his interpretation was supported by scripture, not science:


"...sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."


But only one is the right one, the grammatical-historical one which is what Luther taught even if the above alleged quote didn't practise it.

You have no more justification for your methodology than any other. In fact, yours is less appealing in the sense that it is not the mainstream way scripture is interpreted.


Yet the pioneers of geokinetic astronomy were YECs, precisely because the Bible does NOT teach absolute geocentrism, any more than we do today when we say, "look at the pretty sunset".

That's your position now, not the position of your biblical literalist predecessors who did not have the benefit of scientific knowledge of celestial mechanics.


Doing just what you praise them for: taking too much heed of the establishment scientists!

They justified their persecution with sacred scripture, not science. Only a fool would argue that they would say that something was against scripture a a pretext the settle a disagreement between academics.


Because of a modern PC fashion of being sorry for what someone else did.

Funny, I don;t see the catholic church as being all that PC. See for example the Pope's comments equating homosexuality with climate change.


The evidence for Luther is very limited, and with the Pope it was a case of feeling betrayed by his former friend. Nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible, and everything to do with personality politics and the machinations of the scientific establishment of the day.

Again your position requires one to believe that the Catholic church would pronounce something was against sacred scripture just to settle a disagreement between academics or to get back at a friend that had fallen out of favour. You draw a too long a bow.

Adamski
31-12-2008, 03:47 PM
Funny, I don;t see the catholic church as being all that PC. See for example the Pope's comments equating homosexuality with climate change.I can't quickly find the URL, but I read something yesterday (I think it was in The Australian) by a Catholic homosexual columnist who clearly said that the Pope's comments in the original speech were nowhere near doing that. He dreended the Pope as not actaully offending Catholics of his (the columnist's) persuasion at all by what he said. Someone with time on their hands might like to look it up. I read it in the physical newspaper but it may be on the web site.

Capablanca-Fan
01-01-2009, 01:59 PM
The comment as to which theory was the best supported scientifically is misleading, Luther's quote made it clear his interpretation was supported by scripture, not science:
He made it clear that his main objection was novelty for novelty's sake, for a theory that at the time had no scientific support:

Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing that others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down.



"...sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."
And Kepler argued from Luther's own interpretive method that this could be understood as relative motion. I guess Rincy never uses the term "sunset".


You have no more justification for your methodology than any other.
I do: it is the way we interpret texts in general.


In fact, yours is less appealing in the sense that it is not the mainstream way scripture is interpreted.
It's more appealing, because it is the corrective to misuses like Hitler's (since you claim he used Scripture) and the Church's when they read Aristotelian cosmology into Scripture.


That's your position now, not the position of your biblical literalist predecessors who did not have the benefit of scientific knowledge of celestial mechanics.
My grammatical-historical predecessors are the ones who developed geokinetic theory. Stephen Snobelen, Assistant Professor of History of Science and Technology, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada, wrote:


Here is a final paradox. Recent work on early modern science has demonstrated a direct (and positive) relationship between the resurgence of the Hebraic, literal exegesis of the Bible in the Protestant Reformation, and the rise of the empirical method in modern science. I’m not referring to wooden literalism, but the sophisticated literal-historical hermeneutics that Martin Luther and others (including Newton) championed. It was, in part, when this method was transferred to science, when students of nature moved on from studying nature as symbols, allegories and metaphors to observing nature directly in an inductive and empirical way, that modern science was born. In this, Newton also played a pivotal role. As strange as it may sound, science will forever be in the debt of millenarians and biblical literalists. [Isaac Newton and Apocalypse Now: a response to Tom Harpur’s Newton’s strange bedfellows; A longer version of the letter published in the Toronto Star, 26 February 2004.]


The only error is making the same mistake as Rincy in presuming that the grammatical-historical method they used was "literalist", but it gets across the right idea.

[QUOTE=Rincewind]They justified their persecution with sacred scripture, not science.
It was the scientists who first objected, then persuaded the Church that their "science" was taught in Scripture. You want the church to make the same mistake with evolutionary "science", and the liberal churches read eugenics into their theology in the first decades of last century.


Only a fool would argue that they would say that something was against scripture a a pretext the settle a disagreement between academics.
Not in that culture, where the universities were founded and supported by the Church, as part of their general fostering of learning.

Rincewind
01-01-2009, 03:47 PM
He made it clear that his main objection was novelty for novelty's sake, for a theory that at the time had no scientific support:

Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing that others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down.

Luther did chide them for being clever which was an insult in those days. But what Luther failed to realise is that they were actually turning astronomy the right way around. The evidence for heliocentric model was in the parsimony it offered over the geocentrism.


And Kepler argued from Luther's own interpretive method that this could be understood as relative motion. I guess Rincy never uses the term "sunset".

You would be wrong. I use the term both literally and figuratively but your probelm is you only understand it literally.


I do: it is the way we interpret texts in general.

Per it is the way a shallow reader like yourself reads texts but in generally the way people interact with texts is more complicated. An important idea in understanding a text is to compare it with the other works of the writer which provides a larger context than considering each work in isolation. The analogy of this is comparing scripture (which you take to be the work of God) and Nature (which you also take to be the work of God). Your problem is you consider scripture in isolation and ignore Nature which you believe to be of a no less divine origin as scripture.


It's more appealing, because it is the corrective to misuses like Hitler's (since you claim he used Scripture) and the Church's when they read Aristotelian cosmology into Scripture.

No it is the way a deep reading of scripture should be performed by contextualising with the other works of God.


My grammatical-historical predecessors are the ones who developed geokinetic theory. Stephen Snobelen, Assistant Professor of History of Science and Technology, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada, wrote:


Here is a final paradox. Recent work on early modern science has demonstrated a direct (and positive) relationship between the resurgence of the Hebraic, literal exegesis of the Bible in the Protestant Reformation, and the rise of the empirical method in modern science. I’m not referring to wooden literalism, but the sophisticated literal-historical hermeneutics that Martin Luther and others (including Newton) championed. It was, in part, when this method was transferred to science, when students of nature moved on from studying nature as symbols, allegories and metaphors to observing nature directly in an inductive and empirical way, that modern science was born. In this, Newton also played a pivotal role. As strange as it may sound, science will forever be in the debt of millenarians and biblical literalists. [Isaac Newton and Apocalypse Now: a response to Tom Harpur’s Newton’s strange bedfellows; A longer version of the letter published in the Toronto Star, 26 February 2004.]

That except seems to totally make the case on two points. One regarding a demonstration of causality, one could just as easily argue that scientific thought lead to the literalist tradition of Luther, and also citing Newton as example of theology influencing science when it is clear that Newton's legacy is almost entirely in his Scientific writing and not his theological, most of which are hair-brained.


The only error is making the same mistake as Rincy in presuming that the grammatical-historical method they used was "literalist", but it gets across the right idea.

Very accurately I would say on that point.


It was the scientists who first objected, then persuaded the Church that their "science" was taught in Scripture. You want the church to make the same mistake with evolutionary "science", and the liberal churches read eugenics into their theology in the first decades of last century.

Not at all. The academics needed to ensure they were not tried for heresy and it was the church that was driving the appeasement of science with scripture. The Galileo trial is proof of how serious the church was to ensure conformity and in whose hand the whip really was.


Not in that culture, where the universities were founded and supported by the Church, as part of their general fostering of learning.

The church took an interest because it was there job to ensure that only the right sort of thing was being taught (no heresy). Your argument is that the Holy See would interpret scripture willy-nilly to settle and old score with a jilted friend, which is ludicrous.

MichaelBaron
11-01-2009, 02:09 PM
No it's not, it's just revisionist crap. Read the article I linked to (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1625/). Not too long afterwards, the Church taught Copernican astronomy to the Chinese, and allowed their own cathedrals to be used as giant sundials (meridiane). See John Heilbron's book, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999.

But surely the fact that the burning has taken place can not be denied!

Capablanca-Fan
12-01-2009, 11:02 AM
But surely the fact that the burning has taken place can not be denied!
What are you on about? The fact remains that the church was the one that supported science in particular and learning in general. Their mistake was to wed their theology to the faulty Aristotelian science of the day.

Capablanca-Fan
12-01-2009, 11:22 AM
Luther did chide them for being clever which was an insult in those days.
In a passing remark, and as the context shows, Luther chided him for trying to invent something new for the sake of novelty, as he saw it.


But what Luther failed to realise is that they were actually turning astronomy the right way around.
Says Rincy with the benefit of centuries of hindsight, but this evidence wasn't know to anyone back then, including the geokineticists.


The evidence for heliocentric model was in the parsimony it offered over the geocentrism.
That's not evidence as such. Cardinal Bellarmine also agreed with Galileo that the heliocentric model was mathematically simpler, but this didn't constitute proof. He was right, as historians of science recognize. Galileo's main "proof" of the tides is now known to be fallacious.


You would be wrong. I use the term both literally and figuratively but your probelm is you only understand it literally.
Nonsense. If we can use the word "sunset" without error, then the same allowance should be made for the Bible writers in likewise using the Earth as a reference frame.


Per it is the way a shallow reader like yourself
A deep reader who studies the grammatical and historical context, rather than a shallow hyperliteralist like you, that is when you're not postmodernist.


reads texts but in generally the way people interact with texts is more complicated.
Of course, but I am interest in what the text actually says.


An important idea in understanding a text is to compare it with the other works of the writer which provides a larger context than considering each work in isolation.
Hence interpreting Scripture with Scripture.


The analogy of this is comparing scripture (which you take to be the work of God) and Nature (which you also take to be the work of God). Your problem is you consider scripture in isolation and ignore Nature which you believe to be of a no less divine origin as scripture.
No, I recognize that Scripture is propositional revelation and nature is not, and Scripture is the unfallen revelation of God while nature is cursed because of the Fall.


The academics needed to ensure they were not tried for heresy and it was the church that was driving the appeasement of science with scripture. The Galileo trial is proof of how serious the church was to ensure conformity and in whose hand the whip really was.
As amply shown, the Church was at first open to Galileo's ideas, and was open again to them shortly after his death. This shows that the hostility was political not religious, heavily involving personal issues between Galileo and his former close friend who felt betrayed, the Pope. Yet the establishment Aristotelian scientists' hostility to Galileo never abated.


The church took an interest because it was there job to ensure that only the right sort of thing was being taught (no heresy).
They encouraged learning in general, as part of the Dominion Mandate of Gen. 1:28, hence the preservation of ancient manuscripts and encouragement of translation. The monasteries were centres of innovation and industry. Galileo's idea of inertia, and indeed Newton's First Law of Motion, were anticipated by the Christian logician Buridan's concept of impetus:


...after leaving the arm of the thrower, the projectile would be moved by an impetus given to it by the thrower and would continue to be moved as long as the impetus remained stronger than the resistance, and would be of infinite duration were it not diminished and corrupted by a contrary force resisting it or by something inclining it to a contrary motion

In contradiction to Aristotle, Buridan argued that God had imparted impetus to the celestial bodies when He created them in Creation Week, and were made of ordinary elements not some quintessense.

Centuries earlier, John Philiponus had similar ideas, and was cited by the young Galileo.


Your argument is that the Holy See would interpret scripture willy-nilly to settle and old score with a jilted friend, which is ludicrous.
Yet many historians agree that the debate was political not religious, as documented.

Capablanca-Fan
20-02-2015, 07:19 AM
What is the most misunderstood historical event? (http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-misunderstood-historical-event/answer/Tim-ONeill-1)
The Galileo Affair
Tim O'Neill, Atheist, Medievalist, Sceptic and amateur Historian

Most people understand the trial of Galileo Galilei as a key example of religious bigotry clashing with the advance of science and the textbook case of "Medieval" ignorance and superstition being superseded by reason and science. In fact, the whole rather complex affair was not the black-and-white "science vs religion" fable of popular imagination and the positions of both Galileo and of the various churchmen involved were varied and complex. The popular conceptions of the Galileo Affair are marked by a number of myths:

1. "Galileo proved the earth went around the sun and not the other way around."

Actually, he did not. … So while Galileo argued strongly for the Copernican model, he did not "prove" heliocentrism conclusively. He was also wrong about several key details—particularly the shape of planetary orbits (he rejected Kepler's theory of elliptical orbits and clung to circular ones) and his idea that the tides were caused by the earth's rotation. The idea that he proved heliocentrism is myth.

2. "The Church rejected science, condemned heliocentrism and was ignorant of the science behind Copernicus' theory."

This is also a myth. In fact, many of Galileo's staunchest champions and defenders were churchmen and many of his attackers were fellow scientists. Centuries before Galileo the Catholic Church had rejected the idea that there was something wrong with the rational analysis of the physical world, accepting the argument that since God was rational, his creation was rational and so could be apprehended by rational inquiry. … Galileo himself was lauded and revered for his learning and the Jesuit Order, in particular, claimed him as one of their own, since he was Jesuit-educated. Initial objections to his telescopic observations were overturned when Jesuit astronomers of the Collegium Romanum made their own telescopes and repeated his results. …

3. "The Church condemned heliocentrism because it believed the Bible had to be interpreted literally."

The Catholic Church did not (and does not) teach that the Bible had to be interpreted literally. In fact, the idea of Biblical literalism is a very modern notion - one that arose in the USA in the Nineteenth Century and is exclusively a fundamentalist Protestant idea. [A mistake: most Church Fathers, including those that the Catholic Church regards as saints and even the exclusive subset of saints, Doctors of the Church such as Basil the Great (http://creation.com/genesis-means-what-it-says-basil-ad-329379), did mainly use literal interpretation, including of Genesis. Also, ‘literal’ at the time meant according to the grammar and historical context of the text itself, including figurative language (http://creation.com/augustine-myths-debunked).—C.F.] … As Cardinal Bellarmine noted in his 1616 ruling on Galileo's writings:


If there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the centre of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false. But this is not a thing to be done in haste, and as for myself I shall not believe that there are such proofs until they are shown to me.

Bellarmine was no scientific ignoramus, since he had previously been a university lecturer in natural philosophy in Flanders and was well acquainted with the state of the cosmological debate. So he knew, as Galileo knew, that most scientists of the time still favoured geocentrism and heliocentrism was far from proven. As it happens, once heliocentrism was proven, the Church reconsidered and reinterpreted those scriptures precisely as Bellarmine proposed they should. …

4. "Galileo was imprisoned in chains, tortured and threatened with being burned at the stake."

In November 2009 the comedian and actor Stephen Fry (actor) joined the late Christopher Hitchens in a televised debate with two Catholics on the question of whether the Catholic Church was "a force for good in the world." Fry and Hitchens won the debate hands down, but at one point Fry referred passionately to "the fact that [Galileo] was tortured" by the Inquisition. In his book The End of Faith, Sam Harris seems to be trying to refer to Galileo when he talks of the Church "torturing scholars to the point of madness for merely speculating about the nature of the stars". Voltaire famously wrote of how Galileo "groaned away his days in the dungeons of the Inquisition" and the idea that Galileo only backed down because of his (understandable) fear of being burnt at the stake is a mainstay of the fables about the Galileo Affair. All these ideas are nonsense.

In fact, far from groaning in any dungeons, Galileo spent all of his 1633 trial as the honoured guest of various senior churchmen in several luxurious palaces and apartments in Rome. Despite Fry's passionate claim, he was never tortured nor was he in any genuine danger of being so, both on account of his age but also because of the willing and even enthusiastic way he co-operated with the inquiry (though his friendship with many key players in the Church would also have helped if there had been any genuine risk here). The accounts of his trial show that at no stage was he ever in any danger of execution - a punishment reserved for what were considered the most serious cases of unrepentant or relapsed heresy. And he did not live out his days in any "dungeons".


5. Galileo was condemned simply for using science to question Church teachings, which was forbidden by the Church.

As noted above, the Church did not condemn scientific inquiry - in fact, most people at the time that we would call "scientists" (a term not used until 1833, when it was first coined by William Whewell) were also churchmen. And it was not even a problem for someone to show that a traditional interpretation of Scripture or a teaching of the Church had to be reinterpreted by reference to a new understanding of the physical world. The Church taught that divine revelation and the revelations of reason all came from the same ultimate source and so if they seemed to be in conflict, it was our understanding that was the problem. As quoted above, Cardinal Bellarmine noted to Galileo that if heliocentrism could be objectively demonstrated then the scriptures that seemed to support geocentrism should and would be reassessed. Though he added "but this is not a thing to be done in haste".


Conclusion

The Galileo Affair was a complex series of events which involved a lot more than just science and religion. It was set against the backdrop of the aftermath of the Reformation and the Catholic Church's aggressive attempts to shore up and reassert its authority. It was also bound up with the personalities involved: the rival scientists who started the suspicions about Galileo out of professional jealousy, the ambitious but scientifically illiterate preacher who fanned the flames, the sensitive Pope who felt snubbed and humiliated by one of Galileo's books and Galileo himself, who could be arrogant and abrasive to the point where even his allies despaired.

A careful examination of the evidence shows that the modern fable that is most people's understanding of the Affair bears little resemblance to historical fact.

Many of my fellow atheists, especially the ones of the more outspoken variety, would do well to brush up their history when it comes to Galileo and to tread carefully when invoking this subject.

Capablanca-Fan
20-02-2015, 07:21 AM
See also the detailed account:
Why the Universe does not revolve around the Earth (http://creation.com/refuting-absolute-geocentrism)
Refuting absolute geocentrism
by Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati
Published: 12 February 2015

Rincewind
20-02-2015, 09:38 AM
See also the detailed account:
Why the Universe does not revolve around the Earth (http://creation.com/refuting-absolute-geocentrism)
Refuting absolute geocentrism
by Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati
Published: 12 February 2015

Is that the same Bob Carter who was getting paid >$1,500 a month by the Heartland Institute to criticise mainstream climate science?

Edit: I see now that no it is a different Carter. This on if a creationist preacher like Jono but formerly a marine biologist.

Rincewind
20-02-2015, 09:49 AM
I suppose (unlike Carter and Sarfati) at least O'Neill has a background in history (MA in medieval literature) but he doesn't seem to know much about science. His blog post on why history is not science portrays a very narrow view of science and argues credibly that history is not like that but it is basically a strawman. I note too that the misconceptions listed above were not relied on in my arguments. I never claimed any of the point listed by O'Neill as misconceptions.

antichrist
20-02-2015, 10:05 AM
So Jono are you saying that the Catholic Church is much more sensible then the Prodo churches that your outfit has evolved from?

Capablanca-Fan
21-02-2015, 04:45 AM
I suppose (unlike Carter and Sarfati) at least O'Neill has a background in history (MA in medieval literature) but he doesn't seem to know much about science.
But then, Dr Carter and I are Ph.D. scientists. I note that RW couldn't fault the science in our paper defending geokineticism (is RW a closet geocentrist who didn't like our refutation of his theory? :P). O'Neill likewise didn't get any science wrong; it is a matter of history that there were many geokineticists in the church and geocentrists among the scientists, and that the science of Galileo's time could no conclusively prove geokineticism.


His blog post on why history is not science portrays a very narrow view of science and argues credibly that history is not like that but it is basically a strawman. I note too that the misconceptions listed above were not relied on in my arguments. I never claimed any of the point listed by O'Neill as misconceptions.
Very many people do in places of influence, and they really are common misconceptions. In any case, the only reason most atheopaths raise Galileo is to tell their mandacious story of a science vs. religion conflict.

Rincewind
21-02-2015, 09:08 AM
But then, Dr Carter and I are Ph.D. scientists. I note that RW couldn't fault the science in our paper defending geokineticism (is RW a closet geocentrist who didn't like our refutation of his theory? :P). O'Neill likewise didn't get any science wrong; it is a matter of history that there were many geokineticists in the church and geocentrists among the scientists, and that the science of Galileo's time could no conclusively prove geokineticism.

I'm not sure why you lie like this to my face Jono. I didn't even read your piece and I am not in the habit of reading let alone bothing to shoot down articles that appear in church newsletters.


Very many people do in places of influence, and they really are common misconceptions. In any case, the only reason most atheopaths raise Galileo is to tell their mandacious story of a science vs. religion conflict.

No because it actually is an example of the church exerting its influence to the detriment of human knowledge. The fact that there were other factors at play is not denied by anyone serious.

Capablanca-Fan
22-02-2015, 12:25 PM
[Silly whinge by RW deleted]


No because it actually is an example of the church exerting its influence to the detriment of human knowledge. The fact that there were other factors at play is not denied by anyone serious.
As even your fellow atheist O'Neill said, a lot of it was the scientific establishment exerting its influence to the detriment of human knowledge, while many in the Church used their influence to promote the geokinetic view to the

Rincewind
22-02-2015, 06:44 PM
As even your fellow atheist O'Neill said, a lot of it was the scientific establishment exerting its influence to the detriment of human knowledge, while many in the Church used their influence to promote the geokinetic view to the

That fact that science is not perfectly efficient or optimal does not lay it open to the charge of being detrimental to the collection of human knowledge. Science is the best way we know of to increase human knowledge and religion has occasionally been incidentally helpful in the promotion of science but in general is not interested in the collection of knowledge but rather concerned with the reinforcement of whatever is deemed to be orthodoxy by the religious organisation in question. And so more often than not will suppress any new knowledge that challenges the orthodoxy wherever it is able. Elements can been seen of this sort of suppression or attempted suppression of Galileo's work by both the Roman and Protestant churches.

Capablanca-Fan
21-03-2017, 07:39 AM
AS262: HISTORY FOR ATHEISTS (http://atheisticallyspeaking.com/as262-history-atheists/)
THOMAS SMITH, 27 July 2016
Joining me today is Tim O’Neill. Tim has a website called History for Atheists (find it here http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/)

But I thought religious people had a monopoly on biased and revisionist history? Well, if Tim is right, and he makes some pretty compelling arguments, then atheists are doing their share as well. Was Giordano Bruno really killed for his scientific curiosity? Was the library of Alexandria destroyed by Christians? Did those same Christians launch us into a Dark Age? Maybe not! [Also discusses the Galileo myth in detail, the murder of Hypatia, and touched briefly on the flat earth myth]

Rincewind
21-03-2017, 09:03 AM
But I thought religious people had a monopoly on biased and revisionist history? Well, if Tim is right, and he makes some pretty compelling arguments, then atheists are doing their share as well. Was Giordano Bruno really killed for his scientific curiosity? Was the library of Alexandria destroyed by Christians? Did those same Christians launch us into a Dark Age? Maybe not! [Also discusses the Galileo myth in detail, the murder of Hypatia, and touched briefly on the flat earth myth]

O'Neill's insistence that these myths are widely believed among atheists is curious and I would say wrong. Like any group there are misconceptions about a whole raft of subjects but is there evidence they are particularly widely held. Probably the greatest danger is regarding Bruno and Hypatia who were killed by Christians and so are taken up by some atheists as martyrs of religious intolerance and like any messiah, prophet or martyr - soon after their death legends become popular and are mistaken for history. Just look at the logical impossibilities in the gospels.

Capablanca-Fan
21-03-2017, 10:40 AM
O'Neill's insistence that these myths are widely believed among atheists is curious and I would say wrong. Like any group there are misconceptions about a whole raft of subjects but is there evidence they are particularly widely held.
Yet O'Neill has encountered many, as have I. The flat earth myth was even espoused by Obamov, and hardly anyone has NOT ‘learned’ that people thought that Columbus would sail off the edge of the earth.


Probably the greatest danger is regarding Bruno and Hypatia who were killed by Christians and so are taken up by some atheists as martyrs of religious intolerance and like any messiah, prophet or martyr — soon after their death legends become popular and are mistaken for history. Just look at the logical impossibilities in the gospels.
Hypatia was murdered by a mob, a victim of the politics of the day, as a reprisal.


Just look at the logical impossibilities in the gospels.
There are none.

Rincewind
21-03-2017, 10:45 AM
Yet O'Neill has encountered many, as have I. The flat earth myth was even espoused by Obamov, and hardly anyone has NOT ‘learned’ that people thought that Columbus would sail off the edge of the earth.

Anecdotes don't make good evidence especially when such anecdotes are self-serving.


Hypatia was murdered by a mob, a victim of the politics of the day, as a reprisal.

Yes a mob of Christians.


There are none.

Your mental gymnastics on the subject are well documented. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2017, 03:41 PM
Anecdotes don't make good evidence especially when such anecdotes are self-serving.
You deny that Obamov spruiked this myth?


Yes a mob of Christians.
Where is your evidence? The contemporary Christian historian Socrates Scholasticus admired Hypatia and was appalled by her violent murder that went against the teachings of Christ, as he said.


Your mental gymnastics on the subject are well documented. :lol:
One day RW might surprise us all and present evidence.

Rincewind
29-03-2017, 10:30 PM
You deny that Obamov spruiked this myth?

Are you drunk tonight? I was talking about the sentence...

"Yet O'Neill has encountered many, as have I."

Whether Obama said something incorect is neither for or against the belief being wide-spread and certainly not evidence of it being wide-spread among atheists (Which is Tim's shtick).


Where is your evidence? The contemporary Christian historian Socrates Scholasticus admired Hypatia and was appalled by her violent murder that went against the teachings of Christ, as he said.

Sure he did while describing her murder by Christians.


One day RW might surprise us all and present evidence.

That's rich.

Capablanca-Fan
30-03-2017, 02:20 AM
Whether Obama said something incorect is neither for or against the belief being wide-spread and certainly not evidence of it being wide-spread among atheists (Which is Tim's shtick).
When I give some talks, I often ask the audience who has been taught that flat-earthers opposed Columbus. Many hands always go up. And O'Neill writes (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-new-atheist-bad-history-great-myths.html):


Inventing the Flat Earth

Tyson can perhaps be forgiven to a certain extent. The idea that the knowledge of the shape of the earth was "lost to the Dark Ages" and only finally restored by Columbus' voyage is still commonly believed and is very much a part of the American foundation myth. No doubt like most of his generation Tyson would have have seen the 1951 Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare We Go" in which Bugs helps Columbus prove the earth is round in the face of a medieval king's scepticism. And as recently as 1983, when Tyson was in college, Daniel Boorstin was able to write:


"A Europe-wide phenomenon of scholarly amnesia .... afflicted the continent from A.D. 300 to at least 1300. During those centuries Christian faith and dogma suppressed the useful image of the world that had been so slowly, so painfully and so scrupulously drawn by ancient geographers." (The Discoverers, 1983, p. 100)

Boorstin goes on to pour scorn on the "legion of Christian geographers" who followed the path of the stupid sixth century flat-earther Cosmas Indicopleustes and so plunged Europe into this millennium of ignorance. So, for some at least, the idea of the medieval belief in a flat earth remains a useful stick with which to beat those detested "Dark Ages" and Christianity's dead hand on "progress".

Back in 2012 New Atheist blogger Donald Prothero took hold of the flat earth stick and gave Christianity a vigorous beating. Prothero is Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles and he had just seen Alejandro Amenábar's woeful tripe Agora, so naturally he felt these things qualified him to lecture the readers of Skepticblog about history. In a post entitled "Hypatia, Agora and Religion vs. Science", he praised Amenábar's highly distorted biopic of Hypatia and used that as a jumping off point for a sermon about the alleged suppression of science by religion that was peppered with classic New Atheist bad history howlers. As I've detailed elsewhere, the result was total butchery of the facts, but he finished in grand style, with a reference to "Christians suppressing the heretical notion that the Earth is round", showing that the Medieval Flat Earth Myth is alive and kicking at the more clueless end of the New Atheist paddling pool.

And it's easy to see why this myth is so hard for the New Atheists to resist—it conforms to every element of their pseudo historical metamyth. We have the wise and rational Greeks discovering the earth is a sphere using science. Then the terrible Christians destroying this knowledge (presumably by burning down the Great Library of Alexandria and murdering Hypatia), plunging Europe into a 1000 year Dark Age of Church oppression where the Bible must be interpreted literally at all times. And finally, a brave rationalist arising at the dawn of Modernity to boldly defy the Church and prove the Greeks right by sailing to the Americas.

But those of us who actually care to check facts—something the New Atheists preach about but, strangely, rarely do on matters historical—know that this is all complete crap. Anyone who can bother to read Jeffrey Burton Russell's Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians (1991), Google a Wikipedia article or even read Cracked.com can get a solid understanding of how the idea that the Medieval Church suppressed the concept of a spherical earth and taught that the earth was flat is a wholesale fiction that arose in the nineteenth century. They can read up on how, in 1828, the American novelist Washington Irving invented the whole idea of a conflict between the Church and Columbus to spice up the otherwise rather dull story in his fictionalised biography A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. This book, unfortunately, became the best selling biography of Columbus for the next century, and so fixed the myth in the English speaking world as something "everyone knows". Despite the fact it was completely made up.


Sure he did while describing her murder by Christians.
He just described the mob murder, and blamed it on the vicious partisan politics that engulfed even someone as respected as Hypatia:


Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles [oyster shells]. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them.

This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort. (Ecclesiastical History 7(15))

Rincewind
30-03-2017, 09:47 AM
Regarding the flat earth myth there is still no evidence that it is very widely believed. As Tim points out there are are plenty of good sources of information available so that the argument that new ones oare needed or that a crusade to convert the infidel hardly seems warranted,

Regarding Hypatia's murders, you don't seem to dispute that she was murdered by a Christian mob and so I'm n ot sure why you are continuing to discuss it. Was she murdered by Christians? Yes. Well that's the claim so move on.

Capablanca-Fan
30-03-2017, 09:52 AM
Regarding the flat earth myth there is still no evidence that it is very widely believed. As Tim points out there are are plenty of good sources of information available so that the argument that new ones oare needed or that a crusade to convert the infidel hardly seems warranted,
Yet his article showed that Neil deGrasse Tyson and many of his thralls do, and that this myth is widely disseminated.


Regarding Hypatia's murders, you don't seem to dispute that she was murdered by a Christian mob and so I'm n ot sure why you are continuing to discuss it. Was she murdered by Christians? Yes. Well that's the claim so move on.

It was a mob acting inconsistently with Christianity, as the cited historian says.

Rincewind
30-03-2017, 10:05 AM
Yet his article showed that Neil deGrasse Tyson and many of his thralls do, and that this myth is widely disseminated.

Claiming that Neil deGrasse Tyson is a victim is drawing a very long bow.


It was a mob acting inconsistently with Christianity, as the cited historian says.

It was inconsistent with the authors idea of what Christianity should be - but let's be clear they were Christians. A Christian don't stop being a Christian when they do something that offends another Christian. If that were so, then there would be no Christians.

Capablanca-Fan
31-03-2017, 11:52 PM
Claiming that Neil deGrasse Tyson is a victim is drawing a very long bow.
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.


It was inconsistent with the authors idea of what Christianity should be - but let's be clear they were Christians. A Christian don't stop being a Christian when they do something that offends another Christian. If that were so, then there would be no Christians.
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.

Rincewind
01-04-2017, 12:04 AM
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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2017, 01:52 AM
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 (http://strangenotions.com/gods-philosophers/), and who acknowledged his intellectual debt to "the divine Cusanus" aka Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/cartoons-and-fables-how-cosmos-got-the-story-of-bruno-wrong/).


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.

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2017, 09:03 AM
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 (http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2006/11/who-refused-to-look-through-galileos.html). 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 (http://strangenotions.com/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 (http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080902/full/news.2008.1073.html) (2008) and Stars viewed through early telescopes suggested that Earth stood still (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100305/full/news.2010.105.html) (2010).

Rincewind
03-04-2017, 12:58 PM
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 (http://strangenotions.com/gods-philosophers/), and who acknowledged his intellectual debt to "the divine Cusanus" aka Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/cartoons-and-fables-how-cosmos-got-the-story-of-bruno-wrong/).

Perhaps you need to present that evidence if you want to judge Tyson on it.


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.

Rincewind
03-04-2017, 02:03 PM
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 (http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2006/11/who-refused-to-look-through-galileos.html). 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 (http://strangenotions.com/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 (http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080902/full/news.2008.1073.html) (2008) and Stars viewed through early telescopes suggested that Earth stood still (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100305/full/news.2010.105.html) (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.

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2017, 02:45 PM
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.


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.

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2017, 02:49 PM
Perhaps you need to present that evidence if you want to judge Tyson on it.
Already done in Tim's 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/

Rincewind
03-04-2017, 03:01 PM
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.

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2017, 03:47 PM
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.

Rincewind
03-04-2017, 04:28 PM
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?


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.

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2017, 04:57 AM
The Great Myths 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/)
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.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 09:08 AM
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.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 10:58 AM
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.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 11:05 AM
Hahaha.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 11:09 AM
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.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 11:42 AM
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.

You are saying things that are simply wrong. Bruno was a philosopher and in the 16th century philosophy and science were essentially the same thing. Bruno however did more than philosophise on the metaphysical (which he did do) but also made claims as to the impact of his theories on nature. His rejection of mathematics was certainly not complete. While he did take exception to the infinite division of the continuum he did see it usefulness as a technique but denied it had physical consequences and he was more interested in those. But many of his arguments were framed in geometry and what would be called now optimisation which are branches of mathematics. But as a medieval uber nerd fanatic I'm sure you will reject all these as the wild accusation of someone who is not as widely read as your superb self.

To explain - my prior post was not directed at you it was just expressing my mirth at a would be historian who undermines his own thin veneer of authority by bothering to interject into a discussion on a bulletin board whose purpose is to allow those interested in chess to discuss that and other topics of mutual interest. Whenever we Beetlejuice someone I just find it amusing.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 12:24 PM
You are saying things that are simply wrong. Bruno was a philosopher and in the 16th century philosophy and science were essentially the same thing.

Nonsense. The thing that makes the new science of the sixteenth century distinctive is that it was not "essentially the same thing" as philosophy. It began to be a distinct way of examining the world using observation, experiment, measurement and mathematics - an empirical discipline. Bruno was doing something else entirely, as I explained in detail in my article. Historians of science reject the idea that he was doing "the same thing", and that includes ones like Hilary Gatti who feels that he was closer to actual scientists than earlier scholars like Frances Yates had concluded.


Bruno however did more than philosophise on the metaphysical (which he did do) but also made claims as to the impact of his theories on nature. His rejection of mathematics was certainly not complete. While he did take exception to the infinite division of the continuum he did see it usefulness as a technique but denied it had physical consequences and he was more interested in those. But many of his arguments were framed in geometry and what would be called now optimisation which are branches of mathematics.

Bruno's use of purely symbolic geometric analogies had as much to do with actual mathematics as Deepak Chopras' stuff has to do with physics - nothing.



But as a medieval uber nerd fanatic I'm sure you will reject all these as the wild accusation of someone who is not as widely read as your superb self.

I'll reject them as the desperate scrabblings of a sophist who has been called out for babbling on a subject he knows nothing about while desperately trying to defend an erroneous ideological position in defiance of historical evidence.


To explain - my prior post was not directed at you it was just expressing my mirth at a would be historian who undermines his own thin veneer of authority by bothering to interject into a discussion on a bulletin board whose purpose is to allow those interested in chess to discuss that and other topics of mutual interest. Whenever we Beetlejuice someone I just find it amusing.

I don't care about your local squabbles. I do care about history. If someone as ignorant and biased as you distorts it and then tries to claim I'm the one who is wrong, I'll sometimes bother to stop by and give them a kick in the head. And your bungling of the story of Bruno is just one of about four pseudo historical fairy tales you've been spinning here.

Feel free to shut up about history and go back to discussing chess anytime you like kiddo. Perhaps you actually have a grasp of that subject.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 03:02 PM
Nonsense. The thing that makes the new science of the sixteenth century distinctive is that it was not "essentially the same thing" as philosophy. It began to be a distinct way of examining the world using observation, experiment, measurement and mathematics - an empirical discipline. Bruno was doing something else entirely, as I explained in detail in my article. Historians of science reject the idea that he was doing "the same thing", and that includes ones like Hilary Gatti who feels that he was closer to actual scientists than earlier scholars like Frances Yates had concluded.

What you say could be true and not invalidate my assertion. Although experimental science had started to become the fashion the Aristotelian tradition was still alive and well and would not have stopped Bruno being classified as a scientist (if the word had been coined at the time).


Bruno's use of purely symbolic geometric analogies had as much to do with actual mathematics as Deepak Chopras' stuff has to do with physics - nothing.

So you are also an expert on maths and physics?


I'll reject them as the desperate scrabblings of a sophist who has been called out for babbling on a subject he knows nothing about while desperately trying to defend an erroneous ideological position in defiance of historical evidence.

More like the balanced explanation of someone without a barrow to push and not the fanatical rantings of an dellitante in search of self-validation.


I don't care about your local squabbles. I do care about history. If someone as ignorant and biased as you distorts it and then tries to claim I'm the one who is wrong, I'll sometimes bother to stop by and give them a kick in the head. And your bungling of the story of Bruno is just one of about four pseudo historical fairy tales you've been spinning here.

Feel free to shut up about history and go back to discussing chess anytime you like kiddo. Perhaps you actually have a grasp of that subject.

If you feel so strongly about history perhaps you should become an historian for real and not for play.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 03:16 PM
What you say could be true and not invalidate my assertion. Although experimental science had started to become the fashion the Aristotelian tradition was still alive and well and would not have stopped Bruno being classified as a scientist (if the word had been coined at the time).

What absolute gibberish. If the word in the modern sense had been coined at the time, Bruno would not have been "classified" as one because the word would mean someone who used measurement, experiment and mathematical language in an empirical way. At most, Bruno could be broadly classified as a "philosopher", but if we are applying modern words to him the only accurate one is "mystic".



So you are also an expert on maths and physics?

Irrelevant question. Ignored. Bruno's use of symbolic geometry was nothing like the use of mathematics by the actual scientists of the day.



More like the balanced explanation of someone without a barrow to push and not the fanatical rantings of an dellitante in search of self-validation.

"Balanced"?! And without a barrow to push apart from the threadbare remnants of the old Conflict Thesis that actual historians of science rejected a century ago. No actual historians accept any of your snivelling nineteenth century twaddle.



If you feel so strongly about history perhaps you should become an historian for real and not for play.

I have a day job thanks and it pays better than most academic salaries. So I'm happy to keep educating myself by reading widely in the scholarship of actual experts in the history of science and educating bumbling clowns who think their cartoon version of history is valid because equally historically illiterate New Atheist poster boys parrot the same outdated nonsense. But keep trying to attack me, by all means. That simply highlights the fact that you know you're out of your depth and are trying to distract from that ugly fact. Now run away and go talk about chess before I really bring down the hammer on you.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 04:13 PM
What absolute gibberish. If the word in the modern sense had been coined at the time, Bruno would not have been "classified" as one because the word would mean someone who used measurement, experiment and mathematical language in an empirical way. At most, Bruno could be broadly classified as a "philosopher", but if we are applying modern words to him the only accurate one is "mystic".

What complete nonsense. By your own language the experimental and measurement side to science had just begun and while there were some pioneers who did operate that way it certainly didn't prevent those who didn't to be considered a scientist. In fact in the language of the day both were referred to as Natural Philosophers.


Irrelevant question. Ignored. Bruno's use of symbolic geometry was nothing like the use of mathematics by the actual scientists of the day.

Hardly irrelevant at all to classify Bruno's extensive use of mathematical concepts and reasoning as "not real mathematics" is just a no-true Scotsman fallacy. We have also determined that you aren't an experts on the Scottish.


"Balanced"?! And without a barrow to push apart from the threadbare remnants of the old Conflict Thesis that actual historians of science rejected a century ago. No actual historians accept any of your snivelling nineteenth century twaddle.

I have no barrow to push I'm just discussing the Galileo affair and other related topics with a fellow chess player. The fact that CF finds your blog enlightening and frequently links to it is fine but I am only discussing your confused articles under duress. If I wanted to pull you apart in person I would do it by posting comments on your site. However I have no interested in such an activity which would be the online equivalent to pulling the wings off flies.


I have a day job thanks and it pays better than most academic salaries. So I'm happy to keep educating myself by reading widely in the scholarship of actual experts in the history of science and educating bumbling clowns who think their cartoon version of history is valid because equally historically illiterate New Atheist poster boys parrot the same outdated nonsense. But keep trying to attack me, by all means. That simply highlights the fact that you know you're out of your depth and are trying to distract from that ugly fact.

Sorry if I offended you but really you have a masters degree and have not produced any academic output as far as I can find. You have some training as a historian but I doubt you would make the shortlist for an academic position so no point wondering about how the salary compares.


Now run away and go talk about chess before I really bring down the hammer on you.

Sure, just don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 04:29 PM
What complete nonsense. By your own language the experimental and measurement side to science had just begun and while there were some pioneers who did operate that way it certainly didn't prevent those who didn't to be considered a scientist. In fact in the language of the day both were referred to as Natural Philosophers.

Bruno could be classified as a natural philosopher, though only just. But the idea that he was a martyr for science is based on the erroneous assumption that because his mystical cosmology accepted one thing being explored by actual empirical science of the time (heliocentrism) and something else that came to be confirmed by real astronomy much later (many worlds) he was a scientist in our sense of the word and did empirical science. And so was a martyr for science. This is all nonsense. He did no actual science at all. And he did not accept those two things for any scientific reasons. He was a muddle headed mystic, even by the standards of his own day.

Your "argument" seems to be:
1. Some people who fell into the very broad category of "natural philosophers" were doing real science and are today referred to as scientists.
2. Bruno wasn't one of them, but was a "natural philosopher" (well, kind of)
3. So because he fell into that broad category he can be considered a scientist despite not doing science, because others who were doing science are considered that way.

It's like you're actively trying to sound stupid.


Hardly irrelevant at all to classify Bruno's extensive use of mathematical concepts and reasoning as "not real mathematics" is just a no-true Scotsman fallacy.

He didn't use "mathematical concepts and reasoning", just mystical geometrical symbolism. It's not "reasoning" to start with a mystical "insight" and then try to explain it with some symbolic diagrams.



I am only discussing your confused articles under duress. If I wanted to pull you apart in person I would do it by posting comments on your site. However I have no interested in such an activity which would be the online equivalent to pulling the wings off flies.

Gosh, big tough words - you talk a great fight. When will your mighty attempts at showing how my articles are "confused" begin? Have they started yet?


Sorry if I offended you but really you have a masters degree and have not produced any academic output as far as I can find. You have some training as a historian but I doubt you would make the shortlist for an academic position so no point wondering about how the salary compares.

I left academia 30 years ago. But since I am the one with the actual experts in the field on my side, all this whimpering about me and my qualifications is also irrelevant. Strangely, you seem very keen on keeping it up rather than tangling with any kind of substance. It's pretty clear why.



Sure, just don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

I'm not going anywhere sonny. I've barely got started on you.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 06:43 PM
Bruno could be classified as a natural philosopher, though only just. But the idea that he was a martyr for science is based on the erroneous assumption that because his mystical cosmology accepted one thing being explored by actual empirical science of the time (heliocentrism) and something else that came to be confirmed by real astronomy much later (many worlds) he was a scientist in our sense of the word and did empirical science. And so was a martyr for science. This is all nonsense. He did no actual science at all. And he did not accept those two things for any scientific reasons. He was a muddle headed mystic, even by the standards of his own day.

Your "argument" seems to be:
1. Some people who fell into the very broad category of "natural philosophers" were doing real science and are today referred to as scientists.
2. Bruno wasn't one of them, but was a "natural philosopher" (well, kind of)
3. So because he fell into that broad category he can be considered a scientist despite not doing science, because others who were doing science are considered that way.

It's like you're actively trying to sound stupid.

It's your strawman so no wonder it sounds stupid. Actually my argument is that contemporaries of both Galileo and Bruno would call them both Natural Philosophers and considered them the same class. Imposing our concept of science on 16th century individuals is just a mistake.

Regardless of Bruno's methods his death was not a setback to scientific Natural Philosphy in itself since Bruno's contribution to what eventually became the scientific orthodoxy was marginal at best. However it was a demonstration of the Churches authority at least in some parts of Europe and would have weighed on the mind of any Natural Philosopher working in an area which the church might decide is a matter of heresy.


He didn't use "mathematical concepts and reasoning", just mystical geometrical symbolism. It's not "reasoning" to start with a mystical "insight" and then try to explain it with some symbolic diagrams.

I think if you did some reading on Bruno he was more sophisticated that you have been lead to believe.


Gosh, big tough words - you talk a great fight. When will your mighty attempts at showing how my articles are "confused" begin? Have they started yet?

Oh dear your comprehension skills are even more limited than I originally assessed them to be.


I left academia 30 years ago. But since I am the one with the actual experts in the field on my side, all this whimpering about me and my qualifications is also irrelevant. Strangely, you seem very keen on keeping it up rather than tangling with any kind of substance. It's pretty clear why.

Ipse dixit.



I'm not going anywhere sonny. I've barely got started on you.

:lol: Nice to know Beetlejuice.

TimONeill
04-04-2017, 06:54 PM
Actually my argument is that contemporaries of both Galileo and Bruno would call them both Natural Philosophers and considered them the same class. Imposing our concept of science on 16th century individuals is just a mistake.

Your problem remains. If Bruno is to be considered in any way a "martyr for science", he has to have been one of the natural philosophers of the time who were actually doing science or anything like it. He wasn't. End of story.


Regardless of Bruno's methods his death was not a setback to scientific Natural Philosphy in itself since Bruno's contribution to what eventually became the scientific orthodoxy was marginal at best. However it was a demonstration of the Churches authority at least in some parts of Europe and would have weighed on the mind of any Natural Philosopher working in an area which the church might decide is a matter of heresy.

Garbage. There was little danger of anything that was actually able to be demonstrated causing any such problems. Bruno's speculations were all just that - theological and metaphysical speculations. Things that could actually be demonstrated were not a theological issue - they were part of what was known as "the Book of Nature", open to be explored and always able to be reconciled with revelation because both were considered to come from God. Bruno's problems came because nothing he postulated fell into this category.



I think if you did some reading on Bruno he was more sophisticated that you have been lead to believe.

I've been "doing some reading" on and OF Bruno for decades thanks sonny. It was complex, but it was not mathematical. And it was not science. Complex mystical woo is not more than mystical woo just because it's complex. Even if it does have some symbolic diagrams.

Rincewind
04-04-2017, 09:55 PM
Your problem remains. If Bruno is to be considered in any way a "martyr for science", he has to have been one of the natural philosophers of the time who were actually doing science or anything like it. He wasn't. End of story.

I think you are labouring under the misunderstanding that Bruno was a martyr for science is my claim. It isn't other than in the sense that if Bruno hadn't been executed by the church no one would be discussing him 400 years later so he is obviously a martyr for something to someone. As already discussed using the word science for 16th century academics is problematic and so perhaps I would claim that he has become a martyr for natural philosophy.


Garbage. There was little danger of anything that was actually able to be demonstrated causing any such problems. Bruno's speculations were all just that - theological and metaphysical speculations. Things that could actually be demonstrated were not a theological issue - they were part of what was known as "the Book of Nature", open to be explored and always able to be reconciled with revelation because both were considered to come from God. Bruno's problems came because nothing he postulated fell into this category.

Bruno was hardly alone in this in the 16th century and the church did take a more active role in control cosmology in the 17th century even though that was in theory part of the book of nature.


I've been "doing some reading" on and OF Bruno for decades thanks sonny. It was complex, but it was not mathematical. And it was not science. Complex mystical woo is not more than mystical woo just because it's complex. Even if it does have some symbolic diagrams.

As you are barely qualified in history and not qualified at all in mathematics and none of your musings have been presented to your peers I guess that counts for nought. From what little I have read it is obvious that at times Bruno employed complex logical argument and from philosophical considerations made conclusions with natural implications. He also had a grasp of mathematics but distinguished between a mathematical device like the infinity of the continuum (although he rejected the physical implication) and the idea of an unbounded infinite universe.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2017, 01:53 AM
As you are barely qualified in history and not qualified at all in mathematics and none of your musings have been presented to your peers I guess that counts for nought.
You don't really care about qualifications or peers. For example, similar things were pointed out by James Hannam, Ph.D. in the history of science, and his book God's Philosophers was short-listed for Royal Society popular book award and for the Dingle Prize of the British Society for the History of Science (as TimONeill pointed out). But you dismissed him as a "Catholic apologist" although he was critical of some of the Church's actions. Before him, there was the historian Edward Grant, a world leader in the history of science, and his books such as the Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages and God and Reason in the Middle Ages.

But apparently, you have no problem with non-historian Neil deGrasse Tyson claiming that flat earth belief was widespread until 500 years ago and that medieval T-O maps portrayed a flat earth, and prattling ignorantly on Cosmos about Bruno.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2017, 06:28 AM
Medieval Christianity and the Rise of Modern Science, Part 2 (http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/medieval-christianity-and-the-rise-of-modern-science-part-2)
James Hannam, 31 Oct 2012

Medieval sources of Renaissance discoveries

Copernicus, of course, is famous for proposing that the earth rotates and orbits the sun, rather than being stationary in the center of the universe, as Aristotle had taught. It is perfectly sensible to believe that the Earth is at rest, especially given that we cannot feel it moving. However, in fourteenth-century Paris, the philosopher John Buridan and his student Nicole Oresme developed the arguments, later used by Copernicus, to explain why we cannot tell if the Earth is in motion. Aristotle proposed that the universe turns around the Earth each day. Buridan asked why it cannot be the other way around, realizing that what we observe would be exactly the same. He used the analogy of someone one a boat:


If anyone is in a moving ship and imagines that he is at rest, then should he see another ship, which is truly at rest, it will appear to him that the other ship is moved ... And so, we also posit that the sphere of the sun is everywhere at rest and the earth in carrying us would be rotated.

Compare that to the argument used by Copernicus in his book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres:


When a ship sails on a tranquil sea, all the things outside seem to the voyagers to be moving in a pattern that is an image of their own. They think, on the contrary, that they are themselves and all the things with them are at rest. So, it can easily happen in the case of the earth that the whole universe should be believed to be moving in a circle [while the earth is at rest].

Of course, like other Renaissance writers, Copernicus never acknowledges his debt to his medieval predecessors. Rather, he quotes a line from Virgil’s Aeneid, giving his argument a wholly bogus classical gloss. For what it’s worth, Copernicus also used the fruits of Islamic mathematical astronomy without attribution. As the fashion of his time demanded, he would only admit to using Greek and Roman sources.

Despite his correct argument about relative motion, John Buridan eventually decided that the Earth was not moving. He imagined that if it was rotating, an arrow fired straight into the air would land some distance away because the Earth would have moved before it reached the ground. His pupil, Nicole Oresme [a bishop—C.F.], realized this argument was false because the arrow inherits the motion of the Earth when it is fired. So, the Earth, bowman and arrow are all rotating together. Galileo covers these thought experiments in great deal in his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (for which he was put on trial by Pope Urban VIII). But you would never guess from Galileo’s text that his arguments are actually rather old hat.

Even Galileo’s most important work, Dialogues on Two New Sciences, contains strong echoes of ideas developed in the fourteenth century. The formula he derives for the motion of a uniformly accelerating body was really discovered in fourteenth-century Oxford at Merton College. And the diagrammatic proof that Galileo provides for this theorem was first illustrated by Nicole Oresme himself.

There can no longer be any doubt that the pioneers of early modern science were far more indebted to their medieval predecessors than they were inclined to admit. But by the sixteenth century, humanism, the political correctness of its day, meant that it was respectable to acknowledge the influence of the classical world while denigrating the Middle Ages. To a great extent, this is still true today.

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 06:32 AM
I think you are labouring under the misunderstanding that Bruno was a martyr for science is my claim.

No, I'm quite clear that you realise you can't defend that claim, so you're trying to salvage as much of it as you can with this nonsense about him being a "martyr for natural philosophy". Except that still won't work. Natural philosophy didn't extend into metaphysics and theology, and that is what got Bruno executed. The tiny amount of overlap with anything to do with natural philosophy in his metaphysical/mystical cosmology - his acceptance of heliocentrism - was not one of the ideas that got him killed.


It isn't other than in the sense that if Bruno hadn't been executed by the church no one would be discussing him 400 years later so he is obviously a martyr for something to someone.

He gets discussed because of the persistent myth that he was a "scientist" and was executed over "scientific ideas". He wasn't (as even you have to admit) and he was not.



As already discussed using the word science for 16th century academics is problematic and so perhaps I would claim that he has become a martyr for natural philosophy.

And you're wrong - see above.



Bruno was hardly alone in this in the 16th century and the church did take a more active role in control cosmology in the 17th century even though that was in theory part of the book of nature.

The Church did not. The Church didn't bat an eyelid at Copernicus and only got concerned at Galileo when he began to stray into theology and tried to interpret scripture. Before that the Church was happily lauding him for his telescopic discoveries, accepting their implications for the Ptolemaic system and didn't give a rat's about the well-known fact that he was a Copernican. Kepler was also known to be a Copernican and yet also remained unmolested despite being a Lutheran working at a Catholic monarch's court.


As you are barely qualified in history and not qualified at all in mathematics and none of your musings have been presented to your peers I guess that counts for nought.

Blah, blah blah. I don't need to be qualified in mathematics, though I'm literate enough in it to follow any of the relevant maths in these topics - it isn't complex. I'm perfectly well qualified in history, unlike you, and I have the historians of the subject on my side, also unlike you. Further attempts at this weak distraction will be snipped and ignored.


From what little I have read it is obvious that at times Bruno employed complex logical argument and from philosophical considerations made conclusions with natural implications. He also had a grasp of mathematics but distinguished between a mathematical device like the infinity of the continuum (although he rejected the physical implication) and the idea of an unbounded infinite universe.

All irrelevant. However he toyed with geometry, he rejected using it or mathematics generally the way Kepler, Brahe, Digges, Galileo and Bacon did. He was a mystic.

Which leaves you with your pompous but baseless assertion that, somehow, people who were doing science would look at the execution of someone who wasn't and who wasn't even executed for anything relating to natural philosophy in the broadest sense, and would have been concerned at persecution by the Church. Perhaps now would be a good time for you to stop flapping your ignorant hands around and back that claim up with some evidence. A comment by someone to that effect perhaps. Or some reference to Bruno's execution by Kepler, Brahe or Galileo that indicates or implies this. Try actually presenting arguments based on evidence rather than your usual flatulence. It would make a pleasantly fragrant change.

Desmond
05-04-2017, 09:21 AM
So why did the Christians kill him?

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 09:27 AM
So why did the Christians kill him?

Because he held a whole lot of religious ideas about their religion that they considered wrong. It had nothing to do with science. See my article for a detailed treatment of the question:

History for Atheists - "The Great Myths 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science" (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/the-great-myths-3-giordano-bruno-was.html)

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 12:27 PM
No, I'm quite clear that you realise you can't defend that claim, so you're trying to salvage as much of it as you can with this nonsense about him being a "martyr for natural philosophy". Except that still won't work. Natural philosophy didn't extend into metaphysics and theology, and that is what got Bruno executed. The tiny amount of overlap with anything to do with natural philosophy in his metaphysical/mystical cosmology - his acceptance of heliocentrism - was not one of the ideas that got him killed.

No Beetlejuice, I never made the claim. The whole martyr to science is a strawman of your invention. Perhaps you should find some who makes that claim before "demolishing" those who haven't.


He gets discussed because of the persistent myth that he was a "scientist" and was executed over "scientific ideas". He wasn't (as even you have to admit) and he was not.

You are confused again. Calling anyone from the 16th century a scientist is problematic since no 16th century person called themselves that. Bruno was a Natural Philosopher as was Galileo.


And you're wrong - see above.

I disagree and you have no special power to speak ex cathedra as far as we are aware.


The Church did not. The Church didn't bat an eyelid at Copernicus and only got concerned at Galileo when he began to stray into theology and tried to interpret scripture. Before that the Church was happily lauding him for his telescopic discoveries, accepting their implications for the Ptolemaic system and didn't give a rat's about the well-known fact that he was a Copernican. Kepler was also known to be a Copernican and yet also remained unmolested despite being a Lutheran working at a Catholic monarch's court.

Wasn't Copernicus' book placed on the index in 1616 until some offending sentences were removed? That would seem to be more than a batted eyelid.


Blah, blah blah. I don't need to be qualified in mathematics, though I'm literate enough in it to follow any of the relevant maths in these topics - it isn't complex. I'm perfectly well qualified in history, unlike you, and I have the historians of the subject on my side, also unlike you. Further attempts at this weak distraction will be snipped and ignored.

You delusions of adequacy are amusing but lack substance much like you scribbling. You have no qualification in Mathematics and barely more than the equivalent of an honours degree in History earned decades ago. Further you seem to have not been a practitioner in History ever and never published anything other than self-published blog posts.


All irrelevant. However he toyed with geometry, he rejected using it or mathematics generally the way Kepler, Brahe, Digges, Galileo and Bacon did. He was a mystic.

As already explained Bruno's understanding of mathematics and concepts like his handling of infinity was more sophisticated than you give him credit for.

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 12:40 PM
I never made the claim.

And I never said you did - try to focus. I said you didn't make that claim because you know it's nonsense. So you're prancing around trying to overlap natural philosophy of the empirical kind with the mystical woo of Bruno to get as close as you can to that claim.


Calling anyone from the 16th century a scientist is problematic since no 16th century person called themselves that. Bruno was a Natural Philosopher as was Galileo.

Except one was using the scientific method to approach nature and the other was using woo.


Wasn't Copernicus' book placed on the index in 1616 until some offending sentences were removed? That would seem to be more than a batted eyelid.

Yes, a whole century or so after his thesis was well known across Europe. And 83 years after Pope Clement VII invited one of Copernicus' students to give a private lecture on the whole idea in the Vatican gardens and rewarded him with a valuable gift because he enjoyed the lecture so much. And 80 years after Cardinal Schoenburg wrote to Copernicus expressing his fascination with his thesis, urging him to publish it in full and even offering to help cover any expenses. Wow - it really sounds like they hated that whole science thing. The 1616 ruling was in the wake of Galileo's use of Copernicanism to dabble in theology. And the corrections were simply to make the actually quite valid point that the model was not demonstrated and so should not be taken as proven fact. Which, in 1616, was absolutely true. Speculation about it and arguments for and against it continued without restriction.


As already explained Bruno's understanding of mathematics and concepts like his handling of infinity was more sophisticated than you give him credit for.

"His mystical woo was very complex mystical woo, with some woo diagrams. Therefore ... something or other."

And I notice you quietly snipped out my challenge to you to actually produce some evidence that supports your claim that Bruno's execution over his woo somehow chilled scientific inquiry. What seems to be the problem? Surely you have some evidence to back that claim up and aren't just bloviating. Put up or shut up time for you laddie.

Adamski
05-04-2017, 01:58 PM
Fascinating argument between 2 atheists. I'm with Tim on most of this.

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 02:28 PM
And I never said you did - try to focus. I said you didn't make that claim because you know it's nonsense. So you're prancing around trying to overlap natural philosophy of the empirical kind with the mystical woo of Bruno to get as close as you can to that claim.

Not at all you are just quibbling over a methodological difference when Bruno was using the othrodox methodology of the time and Galileo was pioneering something new. Regardless they were both Natural Philosophers and more alike one another then they were different. So much so in fact that no one would have need to coin a more precise term to distinguish them for centuries.


Except one was using the scientific method to approach nature and the other was using woo.

True that Bruno was more orthodox in his methodology but both made statements about Nature and in that respect were Natural Philosophers as you have already agreed.


Yes, a whole century or so after his thesis was well known across Europe. And 83 years after Pope Clement VII invited one of Copernicus' students to give a private lecture on the whole idea in the Vatican gardens and rewarded him with a valuable gift because he enjoyed the lecture so much. And 80 years after Cardinal Schoenburg wrote to Copernicus expressing his fascination with his thesis, urging him to publish it in full and even offering to help cover any expenses. Wow - it really sounds like they hated that whole science thing. The 1616 ruling was in the wake of Galileo's use of Copernicanism to dabble in theology. And the corrections were simply to make the actually quite valid point that the model was not demonstrated and so should not be taken as proven fact. Which, in 1616, was absolutely true. Speculation about it and arguments for and against it continued without restriction.

So then you withdraw your claim that the church did not bat an eyelid at the Copernicus. After all, placing his one book on the index (even posthumously) requires some effort, right?


"His mystical woo was very complex mystical woo, with some woo diagrams. Therefore ... something or other."

And I notice you quietly snipped out my challenge to you to actually produce some evidence that supports your claim that Bruno's execution over his woo somehow chilled scientific inquiry. What seems to be the problem? Surely you have some evidence to back that claim up and aren't just bloviating. Put up or shut up time for you laddie.

Since you have produced no evidence you back up any of your claims even the couple of true ones I don't see why I should be doing your research for you. Come back when you have read up and able to back up your claim.

After all the claim you are skirting around is that Bruno was not punished for his Natural Philosophy but for what you inaccurately call his "woo". As you are no doubt aware you cannot prove that as definitely true but you suppose it from the remaining evidence. However it is clear that he held ideas about the nature of the universe which he arrived at through his philosophical process which the church found disagreeable. One of these beliefs was to do with their being many worlds in the universe. By my definition that his part of his Natural Philosophy and if you agree that part of the reason he was executed then we don't have much more of a disagreement then about how important was his methodology at arriving at that claim. If you claim that that particular belief had no part to play in his execution then we do have a real disagreement on the reason for his execution.

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 02:54 PM
Fascinating argument between 2 atheists. I'm with Tim on most of this.

I think it is interesting that Jono manages to quote "experts" who are fringe enough that they are willingly beetlejuiced on here, and not for the first time. I can't imagine that anyone with bona fide credentials would think that defending their position on an chess bulletin board (even a very good one like this one) warrents the investment of time. I look forward to the day when Thomas Sowell signs up on chess chat. Perhaps Beetlejuice O'Neill might still be hanging around and would like to take Beetlejuice Sowell down for some of his historical revisionism. Oh what a glorious day that would be. :lol:

Or as xkcd would express it...
3417

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 03:23 PM
Not at all you are just quibbling over a methodological difference when Bruno was using the othrodox methodology of the time and Galileo was pioneering something new.

Galileo was not "pioneering" anything - he was working within an already established intellectual tradition. And it was nothing like Bruno's woo. Bruno wasn't using any "orthodox methodology" at all, but actually was trying to pioneer something new. it just turned out to be a total dead end the way intuitive mysticism usually does.



Regardless they were both Natural Philosophers and more alike one another then they were different. So much so in fact that no one would have need to coin a more precise term to distinguish them for centuries.


Nonsense. Kepler once noted something that Galileo had argued was like one of Bruno's ideas and Galileo was not happy. They already saw that what they were doing and what someone like Bruno was doing were not "more alike one another then they were different" and people like Galileo prided themselves on it.


So then you withdraw your claim that the church did not bat an eyelid at the Copernicus.

No. They did nothing to Copernicus in his lifetime and didn't even bother with any response to his thesis for decades after his ideas became even more widely known later. That was what I was referring to. Or are you now going to start telling me that you know what I was referring to better than I do?



Since you have produced no evidence you back up any of your claims ...

Says the guy who began this when he had his attention drawn to my fully-sourced and closely argued 5000+ word article on the whole issue.



After all the claim you are skirting around is that Bruno was not punished for his Natural Philosophy but for what you inaccurately call his "woo".

He was punished for his religious and metaphysical beliefs, not the one that overlapped with anything based on empirical observation and measurement - his acceptance of heliocentism (despite the fact he bungles his only attempt at explaining Copernicus' ideas)


As you are no doubt aware you cannot prove that as definitely true but you suppose it from the remaining evidence.

Also, known as "historical analysis". You really have no idea about how history is studied, do you?



However it is clear that he held ideas about the nature of the universe which he arrived at through his philosophical process which the church found disagreeable.

None of which were arrived at through any kind of empirical observation or measurement. Thus "woo".


One of these beliefs was to do with their being many worlds in the universe. By my definition that his part of his Natural Philosophy and if you agree that part of the reason he was executed then we don't have much more of a disagreement then about how important was his methodology at arriving at that claim. If you claim that that particular belief had no part to play in his execution then we do have a real disagreement on the reason for his execution.

And that was a purely metaphysical idea that he took from Cusanus and accepted because it fitted his woo. That's his "methodology" - the one used by mystics down the ages. What's this got to do with science? Nothing.

And your weak dodge above isn't going to save you. You were challenged to back up your claim that, somehow, his being executed for his non-scientific ideas somehow retarded the work of those who were actually doing science. This is the sole plank of your argument, since you know you can't pretend he was doing anything actually scientific himself. But you've failed twice now to back this up with ... anything. It's not like there isn't relevant material you could look at, if you had any clue at all about this topic. For example, we have a letter by at least one actual scientist of the day commenting on Bruno's execution. But you keep failing and dodging on this point. Why is that?

Oh, yes. Because you don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 03:26 PM
Or as xkcd would express it...
3417

If you feel you are wasting your time here, feel free to go away and talk about chess. Or maybe even crack a book by an actual historian of science - I have shelves of them to recommend to you on this subject. Given that at least one spectator has made it clear you're losing the argument and given your repeated failure to produce any evidence for your central claim, now might be a good time for you to disappear.

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 04:33 PM
Galileo was not "pioneering" anything

Wow, can I quote you on that?


Nonsense. Kepler once noted something that Galileo had argued was like one of Bruno's ideas and Galileo was not happy. They already saw that what they were doing and what someone like Bruno was doing were not "more alike one another then they were different" and people like Galileo prided themselves on it.

Doesn't the fact that Kepler in aware of Bruno's ideas and compares Galileo's ideas to it undermine your position?


No. They did nothing to Copernicus in his lifetime and didn't even bother with any response to his thesis for decades after his ideas became even more widely known later. That was what I was referring to. Or are you now going to start telling me that you know what I was referring to better than I do?

Well your original claim did not include the bolded qualifier. Now I can't claim to know what is spinning around in that confused collection of neurons you call a brain but you can hardly fault me for not considering qualifiers you did not include in your statement of a claim. If you want to make the claim that Copernicus was not persecuted by the church in his lifetime that is true but as the import of his work became more well known they did take exception to it (as they did to the works of other Natural Philosophers).


Says the guy who began this when he had his attention drawn to my fully-sourced and closely argued 5000+ word article on the whole issue.

Have you published it in an academic outlet with review? If not it is hardly worth comment.


He was punished for his religious and metaphysical beliefs, not the one that overlapped with anything based on empirical observation and measurement - his acceptance of heliocentism (despite the fact he bungles his only attempt at explaining Copernicus' ideas)

You seem obsessed with the idea of observation and measurement although they were not a prerequisite for Natural Philosophy of the day.


Also, known as "historical analysis". You really have no idea about how history is studied, do you?

Apparently you believe that means Tim is always right and everyone else (who disagrees) is not. Of and it doesn't involve presenting evidence of any kind. If you have published work in this area in a peer-reviewed outlet that would be good.


None of which were arrived at through any kind of empirical observation or measurement. Thus "woo".

If that is your definitino of woo then most of the Natural Philosophy being taught in the universities of the 16 century would qualify.


It's not like there isn't relevant material you could look at, if you had any clue at all about this topic. For example, we have a letter by at least one actual scientist of the day commenting on Bruno's execution. But you keep failing and dodging on this point. Why is that?

There is lots that I have looked at. But your argument from silence is not compelling since there is not compelling likelihood that such evidence should be present.

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 05:15 PM
Wow, can I quote you on that?

Not if you don't understand it, no. I'm saying that the old nineteenth century idea that Galileo was the original "father of science" and not someone working within an already established tradition of empiricism has long since been rejected by modern historians of science. He made many discoveries, of course, but he did so within a tradition that he inherited from others.


Doesn't the fact that Kepler in aware of Bruno's ideas and compares Galileo's ideas to it undermine your position?

That's like saying "Isn't the fact that a physicist was aware of Deepak Chopra's ideas and cautioned that a collegue's comments sounded like them mean they were all doing the same thing?"



Well your original claim did not include the bolded qualifier.

I thought it was clear enough in context. If not, you should understand now. Better go chase another tiny nit.



Have you published it in an academic outlet with review? If not it is hardly worth comment.

Goal post movement noted. First you tried to dodge the fact you haven't backed up your central claim with this pathetic dodge. Then when I note the carefully referenced and detailed argument in my article you try to ignore it because it isn't in the latest issue of Isis (look it up). Does this kind of pathetic low-grade high school sophistry usually work for you around here?


You seem obsessed with the idea of observation and measurement although they were not a prerequisite for Natural Philosophy of the day.

You seem to be incapable of grasping that they are the only elements of sixteenth century natural philosophy that is relevant to the key issue here - "Can Bruno's execution be said to have some effect on the advance of scientific knowledge?" You can weep for any impact it may have had on the advance of mystical hand waving, but few will be joining you.



Apparently you believe that means Tim is always right and everyone else (who disagrees) is not.

No. Read the words I wrote in response to you and try again.



If that is your definitino of woo then most of the Natural Philosophy being taught in the universities of the 16 century would qualify.

Indeed. But the only parts of the natural philosophy of the sixteenth century that is relevant to the point at issue here is the stuff that is based on empirical measurement etc. You can wriggle and twist but I will keep dragging you back and rubbing your little noise in that key point.



There is lots that I have looked at.

Gosh, "lots"!


But your argument from silence is not compelling since there is not compelling likelihood that such evidence should be present.

And now we have another bold assertion from the bold asserter of assertions! Okay, why is this, according to you? As I said, we have, for example, at least one piece of private correspondence commenting directly on Bruno's death and other correspondence where these early scientists discuss ideas, critics and problems. So if your claim is true, why wouldn't we find what you claim expressed in this material? And do try making a detailed argument that is sustained over more than two sentences - responding to your little squibs is like trying to get sense out of Trump's Twitter account.

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 05:53 PM
Not if you don't understand it, no. I'm saying that the old nineteenth century idea that Galileo was the original "father of science" and not someone working within an already established tradition of empiricism has long since been rejected by modern historians of science. He made many discoveries, of course, but he did so within a tradition that he inherited from others.

More strawman bashing? Perhaps you need to work through your issues somewhere more private as they don;t seem related to anything I have claimed (again).


That's like saying "Isn't the fact that a physicist was aware of Deepak Chopra's ideas and cautioned that a collegue's comments sounded like them mean they were all doing the same thing?"

Perhaps more like Amit Goswami than Deepak Chopra. Goswami has a scientific qualification but operates for outside of the standard scientific method.


I thought it was clear enough in context. If not, you should understand now. Better go chase another tiny nit.

I'll take that as an admission that your original claim was perhaps than you intended. The Church did censor Copernicus' work albeit posthumously.


Goal post movement noted. First you tried to dodge the fact you haven't backed up your central claim with this pathetic dodge. Then when I note the carefully referenced and detailed argument in my article you try to ignore it because it isn't in the latest issue of Isis (look it up). Does this kind of pathetic low-grade high school sophistry usually work for you around here?

How is it a goalpost movement. I want you to present evidence to my arguments. At present we have you wildly flailing around knocking down strawmen of your own construction. If you wish to present your post on some other place as evidence then it should be peer reviewed and thus can be relied upn or else it is just a thinly veiled attempt to bury your stupid arguments with even more stupid arguments. A bit like what CF does when he quotes your material here. I mean it's all very well to find someone on the internet ho agrees with your a priori position in their vanity blog but it is quite another for that to constitute evidence.


You seem to be incapable of grasping that they are the only elements of sixteenth century natural philosophy that is relevant to the key issue here - "Can Bruno's execution be said to have some effect on the advance of scientific knowledge?" You can weep for any impact it may have had on the advance of mystical hand waving, but few will be joining you.

That is just rubbish. The majority of 16th century Natural Philosophy was not obsessed with observation and measurement. At it is a moot point anyway since the Church's persecution of Bruno as a heretic would have given any Natural Philosopher reason to wonder if their ideas might be considered heresies.


No. Read the words I wrote in response to you and try again.

Projecting too? You are more pitiful than I thought.


Indeed. But the only parts of the natural philosophy of the sixteenth century that is relevant to the point at issue here is the stuff that is based on empirical measurement etc. You can wriggle and twist but I will keep dragging you back and rubbing your little noise in that key point.

You can try but it is patently false as already shown.


Gosh, "lots"!

Yes lots.


And now we have another bold assertion from the bold asserter of assertions! Okay, why is this, according to you? As I said, we have, for example, at least one piece of private correspondence commenting directly on Bruno's death and other correspondence where these early scientists discuss ideas, critics and problems. So if your claim is true, why wouldn't we find what you claim expressed in this material? And try making a detailed argument that is sustained over more than two sentences - this is like trying to get sense out of Trump's Twitter account.

Two reasons. Firstly one is not a large number (hardly surprising since the sort of Philosopher you are considering are in the minority at the time), and secondly, those fearing persecution and usually careful to not to draw attention to themselves like openly discussing that they might fear investigation by the Church.

TimONeill
05-04-2017, 06:19 PM
I'll take that as an admission that your original claim was perhaps than you intended. The Church did censor Copernicus' work albeit posthumously.

That first sentence is ungrammatical gibberish. The second is correct, but I never said otherwise. I said they didn't bat an eyelid at Copernicus - the man. While he was alive. At the time. Got it yet genius? I've been studying this stuff for three decades or more so I think I'm going to be just a teensy bit aware that they put a caveat on his work a whole 102 years after his Commentariolus first circulated.


How is it a goalpost movement.

Me: Give us some actual evidence that supports your claim that Bruno's execution retarded science.
You: (childish brat voice) Why should I? You haven't given any evidence for your claims, so there!
Me: I have. You're responding to a 5,000 word article full of detailed reference to the relevant evidence regarding Bruno and the history of science. Now, give us some actual evidence that supports your claim..
You: (childish brat voice) But your article's not published scholarship so ... *sticks out tongue*
Me: You're moving the goalposts. What has that got to do with anything? And you still haven't produced any relevant evidence.
You: (childish brat voice); No I'm not moving he goalposts, so there!

I've had more focused and coherent conversations with six year olds.



The majority of 16th century Natural Philosophy was not obsessed with observation and measurement.

The only elements of it that are relevant to the issue of whether Bruno's execution had any effect on the development of actual science was. Wriggle all you like, I'll keep dragging you back to this point.


At it is a moot point anyway since the Church's persecution of Bruno as a heretic would have given any Natural Philosopher reason to wonder if their ideas might be considered heresies.

And we get that asserted again without evidence. Do you think that continuing to repeat this assertion will somehow be a substitute for any substantiating argument based on evidence from the period? It won't.



Two reasons. Firstly one is not a large number

It's an example of the kind of material where we should find expressions of the sentiment you keep asserting without any substantiation. You claimed (asserted, actually) "there is not compelling likelihood that such evidence should be present". You need to explain why it would not be present in private correspondence where such affairs were discussed.


those fearing persecution and usually careful to not to draw attention to themselves like openly discussing that they might fear investigation by the Church.

We are talking about private correspondence. The Church didn't have some vast Gestapo capable of intercepting and reading all mail. And we DO find discussions of such matters in that kind of correspondence - we find it all over the correspondence between Galileo and his friends and allies throughout both his trials for example. So your claim above is more wishful thinking, hand-waving and weak excuse making. We should find the sentiments you assume in your baseless assertions in this kind of source material, but WE DON'T. So you are wrong.

You've failed here.

Rincewind
05-04-2017, 09:35 PM
That first sentence is ungrammatical gibberish. The second is correct, but I never said otherwise. I said they didn't bat an eyelid at Copernicus - the man. While he was alive. At the time. Got it yet genius? I've been studying this stuff for three decades or more so I think I'm going to be just a teensy bit aware that they put a caveat on his work a whole 102 years after his Commentariolus first circulated.

Yes you did have the add the caveat post hoc but the Church did have a problem with Copernicus which is why they censored his work.


Me: Give us some actual evidence that supports your claim that Bruno's execution retarded science.
You: (childish brat voice) Why should I? You haven't given any evidence for your claims, so there!
Me: I have. You're responding to a 5,000 word article full of detailed reference to the relevant evidence regarding Bruno and the history of science. Now, give us some actual evidence that supports your claim..
You: (childish brat voice) But your article's not published scholarship so ... *sticks out tongue*
Me: You're moving the goalposts. What has that got to do with anything? And you still haven't produced any relevant evidence.
You: (childish brat voice); No I'm not moving he goalposts, so there!

I've had more focused and coherent conversations with six year olds.

More strawmen. You are discussing my assertions here and if you want to discuss evidence it should be reliable. If you are so familiar with the subject then it should not be too difficult for you to present the information here in the context of this discussion. I'm not going to be distracted by your vanity publications. If I wanted that discussion I would do that on your blog comment section. So quoting yourself as evidence is not going to work. However you can reuse your research to quote others that support your position to the extent that they are relevant here.


The only elements of it that are relevant to the issue of whether Bruno's execution had any effect on the development of actual science was. Wriggle all you like, I'll keep dragging you back to this point.

Thanks for that because you have spectacularly failed to get any traction against the idea that the public execution of a Natural Philosopher would not worry other Natural Philosophers.


And we get that asserted again without evidence. Do you think that continuing to repeat this assertion will somehow be a substitute for any substantiating argument based on evidence from the period? It won't.

Unfortunately for you it is entirely reasonable and not mitigated by your argument from silence.


It's an example of the kind of material where we should find expressions of the sentiment you keep asserting without any substantiation. You claimed (asserted, actually) "there is not compelling likelihood that such evidence should be present". You need to explain why it would not be present in private correspondence where such affairs were discussed.

The type of evidence we should find according to you. As already mentioned the evidence from Bruno's trial is scant and as far as contemporary evidence you have alluded to one letter. As Bruno was more obscure and nearly a century before Galileo comparing the evidence in that case does not help your argument.

Time for you to find another angle, Beetlejuice.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 01:28 AM
Calling anyone from the 16th century a scientist is problematic since no 16th century person called themselves that. Bruno was a Natural Philosopher as was Galileo.
RW is rather desperate to compare Bruno with Galileo. But I will give him this: Bruno (1548–1600) was far better at acknowledging his sources than Copernicus (1473–1543) or Galileo (1564–1642).

Bruno freely stated that he borrowed ideas from Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464), whom he hero-worshipped as "the divine Cusanus". In contrast, as James Hannam and others have shown (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?9271-Galileo-(sf-picking-at-the-stitches)&p=422241&viewfull=1#post422241), Copernicus used basically the same explanation for why we don't notice the earth's motion as Buridan (c. 1295–1363) and Cusanus. Galileo's concept of inertia, which led to Newton’s First Law of Motion, was very similar to Buridan's concept of impetus—see Christopher Graney, Mass, Speed, Direction: John Buridan’s 14th century concept of momentum (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1309/1309.4474.pdf), Physics Teacher 51:411–414, October 2013.

Galileo also used the mean speed theorem to explain objects falling in a uniform gravitational field, but that was first shown by William of Heytesbury (c. 1313–1372/1373) (http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/rediscovering-the-science-of-the-middle-ages), one of the "Oxford Calculators" of Merton College. Then this was graphically proven by Nicole Oresme (c. 1325–1382)—in a practically identical graph to one Galileo later used. But in that reactionary period of history called the Renaissance, they didn't want to acknowledge anything of merit from what Petrarch (1304–1374) had smeared as "the Dark Ages". Copernicus instead made an appeal to Virgil’s phenomenological language, "We set out from harbour, and lands and cities recede" (Aeneid 3:72, a line also quoted by Kepler), and even to the Hermetic woo that was all the rage at the time.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 06:53 AM
RW is rather desperate to compare Bruno with Galileo. But I will give him this: Bruno (1548–1600) was far better at acknowledging his sources than Copernicus (1473–1543) or Galileo (1564–1642).

I simply point out that in the period both were termed Natural Philosophers and were indeed of the same category. This was uncontroversial at the time. Likewise the "Dark Ages" didn't exist in those terms but certainly the period during which Classical sources were relatively scant then people making any sort of contribution was rare. things pick up after that and by the time Bruno came along there universities and a learned society with access to classical knowledge as well as the new developments of academics of the age.

TimONeill
06-04-2017, 07:05 AM
Yes you did have the add the caveat post hoc

More grammatical gibberish, but you seem to be trying to pretend I wasn't referring to them not batting an eyelid at him, the man, when he was alive and somehow wasn't aware they ordered his work partially amended 73 years after his death. Anyone can see that makes no sense and you're desperately trying to scrape up at least a weak illusion of winning a point. Why you're doing this will become more clear below.


... but the Church did have a problem with Copernicus which is why they censored his work.

The Church had a problem with people like Galileo claiming that the Copernican model was fact when it was still full of holes in 1616. So they ordered his work be amended to note this. That's hardly unreasonable given that, in 1616, it was still wholly rejected by the overwhelming majority of astronomers for entirely scientific reasons. But I'm sure you don't want these pesky historical facts get in the way of your hysterical fantasy narrative. They didn't have a problem with his hypothesis, as the warm reception they gave it and him in his lifetime clearly shows.


More strawmen. You are discussing my assertions here and if you want to discuss evidence it should be reliable. If you are so familiar with the subject then it should not be too difficult for you to present the information here in the context of this discussion.

Which I've been doing for a couple of days now. You claimed I hadn't presented any evidence (though for what exactly you didn't bother to make clear). I noted that you were responding to 5000+ words with copious relevant evidence. If there is something else you feel isn't addressed there, why don't you spell that out. Oh yes - because this whole thing was another gambit trying to distract from your inability to produce any evidence to support your central claim. Throwing dust in the air to make it look as though you're achieving something fools no-one.



I'm not going to be distracted by your vanity publications. If I wanted that discussion I would do that on your blog comment section. So quoting yourself as evidence is not going to work. However you can reuse your research to quote others that support your position to the extent that they are relevant here.

More sophistic burbling and dust-throwing. Evidence is evidence and there is plenty of it in my article. If there is anything else you need, spell it out. Weak passive aggressive troll tactics like calling my article a "vanity publication" aren't going to help you. Just as your pathetic attempt at goal-post shifting with some ridiculous nonsense about how my evidence somehow wasn't valid unless it was professionally published - a comment so stupid that it's clear why you have been desperately avoiding it ever since. Do these weak gambits usually work here? I'd be surprised if they did, but it seems they are all you've got. As we'll see in a moment, when you stray into actually trying to make a historical argument, you really start to flail like a drowning man ...


Thanks for that because you have spectacularly failed to get any traction against the idea that the public execution of a Natural Philosopher would not worry other Natural Philosophers.

That "idea" would have some weight if you could back it up with some evidence.



Unfortunately for you it is entirely reasonable and not mitigated by your argument from silence.

Unfortunately for you, thousands of things are merely "reasonable". That doesn't mean they happened. So what these people called "historians" do is take these "reasonable" and merely possible things and then examine the evidence (there's that word again!). Then they use their analysis of that evidence to work out what is most likely to have happened. Things that are merely "reasonable" but are not actually supported by any evidence are rejected. Welcome to how history is analysed. Now let's have a look at you trying to do this ...



The type of evidence we should find according to you. As already mentioned the evidence from Bruno's trial is scant and as far as contemporary evidence you have alluded to one letter. As Bruno was more obscure and nearly a century before Galileo comparing the evidence in that case does not help your argument.

Hoo boy! What a bungled mess that is! Let's start with your most obvious hilarious error: "Bruno was .... nearly a century before Galileo"??!! Are you drunk? Bruno - born 1548 and died 1600. Galileo - born 1564 and died 1642. They were contemporaries and Galileo's first trial was a mere 16 years before Bruno's execution. So "nearly a century before Galileo"? On what planet?

Secondly, the evidence from Bruno's trial is not "scant" at all, it's just that the final eight points on which he was executed is missing. We have a detailed summary of the trial, depositions made by Bruno and others and we have his final condemnation (except it only refers to the charges as "you said that it was a great blasphemy to say that bread transubstantiates into flesh, etc. et infra.") I gave the letter where Kepler refers directly to the execution as an EXAMPLE of an obvious place where, if you're right, we should find reference to any fear on the part of scientists of the time. There is a mass of other material where such evidence should be found. As I've said, we have private correspondence between these scientists where they discussed all kinds of difficulties, opposition and debates. We have at least 150 surviving letters by Galileo, including letters dating to the time of Bruno's trials and his execution. Nothing in them to support your contention. We have 197 letters by Kepler, to a whole range of other astronomers and scientists. They mention Bruno just twice - once to reject one of his ideas and the second time to comment on his death and to note disapprovingly on his maintenance of "the futility of all forms of religion" (Letter to Johannes Brengger, April 5, 1608). Similarly we have no less than 505 letters by Brahe, which don't mention Bruno at all. We have letters by Michael Maestlin, Peter Crüger, Sethus Calvisius, Laurentius Gothus, Paul Guldin, Pierre Hérigone and about a dozen other astronomers and mathematicians and none of them express the misgivings you assert. It's also notable that while they discussed each other's work and referred to each other in their correspondence, Bruno is almost never mentioned, and only in passing. And none of them corresponded with him.

So not only is there a mass of relevant material that should show some support for you idea but does not, it also shows that Bruno was, at best, peripheral to these people and considered a metaphysical oddity if not an outright heretical lunatic. So much for him being part of some kind of natural philosophical mainstream.

So Mr "Galileo was a Century Later", have you done failing and making a total fool of yourself yet or would you like to be whipped some more?

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 08:00 AM
More grammatical gibberish, but you seem to be trying to pretend I wasn't referring to them not batting an eyelid at him, the man, when he was alive and somehow wasn't aware they ordered his work partially amended 73 years after his death. Anyone can see that makes no sense and you're desperately trying to scrape up at least a weak illusion of winning a point. Why you're doing this will become more clear below.

If you look at your quote in context it was clear you did not mean Copernicus the man in his lifetime. Afterall we were discussing Bruno and if the church would presecute someone for holding Copericus' ideas. In that context saying that the church did not bat an eyelid at Copernicus is misleading as they did censor his book 16 years after the Bruno trial.


The Church had a problem with people like Galileo claiming that the Copernican model was fact when it was still full of holes in 1616. So they ordered his work be amended to note this. That's hardly unreasonable given that, in 1616, it was still wholly rejected by the overwhelming majority of astronomers for entirely scientific reasons. But I'm sure you don't want these pesky historical facts get in the way of your hysterical fantasy narrative. They didn't have a problem with his hypothesis, as the warm reception they gave it and him in his lifetime clearly shows.

So the book was placed on the index because of scientific issues? :lol:


I noted that you were responding to 5000+ words with copious relevant evidence.

I never claimed to be doing that. As already discussed a vanity publication by a non Historian is not evidence. If you want to present some evidence here in response to this discussion (rather than bogging down the debate with copious scribbling) then you're welcome to do so. You have present very little evidence here most of your comments have been of the sort "we have a letter you know").


More sophistic burbling and dust-throwing. Evidence is evidence and there is plenty of it in my article. If there is anything else you need, spell it out. Weak passive aggressive troll tactics like calling my article a "vanity publication" aren't going to help you. Just as your pathetic attempt at goal-post shifting with some ridiculous nonsense about how my evidence somehow wasn't valid unless it was professionally published - a comment so stupid that it's clear why you have been desperately avoiding it ever since. Do these weak gambits usually work here? I'd be surprised if they did, but it seems they are all you've got. As we'll see in a moment, when you stray into actually trying to make a historical argument, you really start to flail like a drowning man ...

If peer reviewed publication was so irrelevant it is a wonder that real historians bother with it.


That "idea" would have some weight if you could back it up with some evidence.

That is true but the fact that we don't is not particularly surprising so that your argument from silence is not particularly compelling.


Hoo boy! What a bungled mess that is! Let's start with your most obvious hilarious error: "Bruno was .... nearly a century before Galileo"??!! Are you drunk? Bruno - born 1548 and died 1600. Galileo - born 1564 and died 1642. They were contemporaries and Galileo's first trial was a mere 16 years before Bruno's execution. So "nearly a century before Galileo"? On what planet?

Apologies not drunk just tired. The main point that we have less information on the Bruno trial than on Galileo's.


Secondly, the evidence from Bruno's trial is not "scant" at all, it's just that the final eight points on which he was executed is missing. We have a detailed summary of the trial, depositions made by Bruno and others and we have his final condemnation (except it only refers to the charges as "you said that it was a great blasphemy to say that bread transubstantiates into flesh, etc. et infra.")

That list which included mostly physical statements about the nature of the Universe such as the existence of many worlds for example?


I gave the letter where Kepler refers directly to the execution as an EXAMPLE of an obvious place where, if you're right, we should find reference to any fear on the part of scientists of the time.

Actually you just said a letter by a scientist. But regardless this is just a more argument from silence which is not very effective when arguing against the Church's censoring of science.


There is a mass of other material where such evidence should be found. As I've said, we have private correspondence between these scientists where they discussed all kinds of difficulties, opposition and debates. We have at least 150 surviving letters by Galileo, including letters dating to the time of Bruno's trials and his execution. Nothing in them to support your contention. We have 197 letters by Kepler, to a whole range of other astronomers and scientists. They mention Bruno just twice - once to reject one of his ideas and the second time to comment on his death and to note disapprovingly on his maintenance of "the futility of all forms of religion" (Letter to Johannes Brengger, April 5, 1608). Similarly we have no less than 505 letters by Brahe, which don't mention Bruno at all. We have letters by Michael Maestlin, Peter Crüger, Sethus Calvisius, Laurentius Gothus, Paul Guldin, Pierre Hérigone and about a dozen other astronomers and mathematicians and none of them express the misgivings you assert. It's also notable that while they discussed each other's work and referred to each other in their correspondence, Bruno is almost never mentioned, and only in passing.

So you are arguing that the Church burns an academic at the stake for his ideas and this has zero impact on all academics?
To begin with many of those you mention would have felt beyond the reach of the Roman Church as was Bruno until he was more or less forced to return to Italy. So it is far less likely that those communications would contain such a reference. Also you seem to be limiting your scope to references to Bruno by name. That may be true if Bruno was the one and only act of the Church in trying to control the invasion of academics on topics it considered matters of theology. Bruno's execution being just one of a number of such events means it is less likely to be mentions since it is business as usual.


So not only is there a mass of relevant material that should show some support for you idea but does not, it also shows that Bruno was, at best, peripheral to these people and considered a metaphysical oddity if not an outright heretical lunatic. So much for him being part of some kind of natural philosophical mainstream.

Your conclusion is ridiculous. The argument of silence merely shows that Bruno was not important in the development of the branch of Natural Philosophy involving measurement and experimentation. I agree that is true but it does not say that Bruno's death did not have an impact in encouraging the self-censorship of some academics (whether they be of the measurement/experimental type or not).

To believe the counter proposition we would need to believe that the church plucked out Bruno put him on trial and executed him for his many beliefs including many worlds, earth moving, and other statements about nature, and other people working in similar areas did not feel at all threatened. By your argument we can only assume such oppression was not in effect unless we can find evidence of someone referring to Bruno by name and not other sorts of evidence like delaying the publication of likely controversial works, uncharacteristic displays of religious piety and other behaviour that might indicate self-censorship.

Desmond
06-04-2017, 08:07 AM
RW is rather desperate to compare Bruno with Galileo. But I will give him this: Bruno (1548–1600) was far better at acknowledging his sources than Copernicus (1473–1543) or Galileo (1564–1642).

Bruno freely stated that he borrowed ideas from Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464), whom he hero-worshipped as "the divine Cusanus". In contrast, as James Hannam and others have shown (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?9271-Galileo-(sf-picking-at-the-stitches)&p=422241&viewfull=1#post422241), Copernicus used basically the same explanation for why we don't notice the earth's motion as Buridan (c. 1295–1363) and Cusanus. Galileo's concept of inertia, which led to Newton’s First Law of Motion, was very similar to Buridan's concept of impetus—see Christopher Graney, Mass, Speed, Direction: John Buridan’s 14th century concept of momentum (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1309/1309.4474.pdf), Physics Teacher 51:411–414, October 2013.

Galileo also used the mean speed theorem to explain objects falling in a uniform gravitational field, but that was first shown by William of Heytesbury (c. 1313–1372/1373) (http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/rediscovering-the-science-of-the-middle-ages), one of the "Oxford Calculators" of Merton College. Then this was graphically proven by Nicole Oresme (c. 1325–382)—in a practically identical graph to one Galileo later used. But in that reactionary period of history called the Renaissance, they didn't want to acknowledge anything of merit from what Petrarch (1304–1374) had smeared as "the Dark Ages". Copernicus instead made an appeal to Virgil’s phenomenological language, "We set out from harbour, and lands and cities recede" (Aeneid 3:72, a line also quoted by Kepler), and even to the Hermetic woo that was all the rage at the time.

Did he deserve to be burnt alive Jono?

TimONeill
06-04-2017, 08:20 AM
If you look at your quote in context it was clear you did not mean Copernicus the man in his lifetime.

You don't get to tell ME what I meant.



So the book was placed on the index because of scientific issues? :lol:

Yes. As the finding against Galileo in 1616 said, the issue was that Copernicanism as "absurd in philosophy; AND formally heretical". "Absurd in philosophy" means "scientifically wrong". As Cardinal Bellarmine said in his letter to Foscarini the previous year, if heliocentrism could be scientifically proven then the Church would have to reinterpret some scripture. But, he said, they weren't going to do this while the science of the day said Copernicus was wrong. Are you really this totally unfamiliar with the relevant material? This is basic stuff.

*weak quibbling about your stupid dust throwing deleted*


Apologies not drunk just tired.

"Tired" = clueless. But yet he stumbles on ...


The main point that we have less information on the Bruno trial than on Galileo's.

Big deal. We still have plenty on Bruno's trial and masses of correspondence that should reflect the fears you allege if you were correct. It doesn't. So you're wrong.


That list which included mostly physical statements about the nature of the Universe such as the existence of many worlds for example?

What "list"? And his belief in "many worlds" was a purely metaphysical and mystical insight.



Actually you just said a letter by a scientist. But regardless this is just a more argument from silence which is not very effective when arguing against the Church's censoring of science.

The scientist was Kepler, but I wanted to see if you had any grasp of the material and so could work that out. Unsurprisingly, you didn't because you don't have a clue. And an argument from silence is very effective if we have masses of material which should express the fears you allege but don't.


So you are arguing that the Church burns an academic at the stake for his ideas and this has zero impact on all academics?

I'm noting the FACT that no scientist mentions any such impact in their copious correspondence about science. Radical theologians may have felt bothered but that's not relevant here.


To begin with many of those you mention would have felt beyond the reach of the Roman Church as was Bruno until he was more or less forced to return to Italy. So it is far less likely that those communications would contain such a reference.

There are still plenty of Italian astronomers who don't mention any such fears or even comment that they don't feel threatened because of their orthodox ideas. There is simply no evidence to back up your baseless idea.



Also you seem to be limiting your scope to references to Bruno by name. That may be true if Bruno was the one and only act of the Church in trying to control the invasion of academics on topics it considered matters of theology. Bruno's execution being just one of a number of such events means it is less likely to be mentions since it is business as usual.

Okay, then produce evidence of that then. In fact, produce any evidence at all.



Your conclusion is ridiculous. The argument of silence merely shows that Bruno was not important in the development of the branch of Natural Philosophy involving measurement and experimentation.

Which is the only branch relevant to the issue of the development of science. You keep stumbling over that point, which is the whole point at issue.


To believe the counter proposition we would need to believe that the church plucked out Bruno put him on trial and executed him for his many beliefs including many worlds, earth moving, and other statements about nature, and other people working in similar areas did not feel at all threatened. By your argument we can only assume such oppression was not in effect unless we can find evidence of someone referring to Bruno by name and not other sorts of evidence like delaying the publication of likely controversial works, uncharacteristic displays of religious piety and other behaviour that might indicate self-censorship.

Other people "working in similar areas" clearly didn't include people doing actual science, thus your total failure to produce any evidence that his death concerned them at all. And they are the only people relevant to the question. How many more times before you understand this?

Or rather, how many more times are you going to spin in circles trying to avoid this so that you can pretend you didn't lose this argument about ten posts ago? You're pathetic. Give up.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 10:06 AM
Did he deserve to be burnt alive Jono?

No one here thinks so. The issue is, was he burnt for his science? Clearly no, because he had no science!

Similarly, the mob should not have murdered Hypatia, but likewise she was not murdered for her science (contra Sagan and the Agora flick) or even for her philosophy, which some leading Christians admired.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 10:20 AM
To believe the counter proposition we would need to believe that the church plucked out Bruno put him on trial and executed him for his many beliefs including many worlds, earth moving,
Yet Bruno clearly says got those ideas from the one he called "the divine Cusanus", who was not only NOT persecuted, but reached the highest position of the church hierarch after the Pope himself. Here are some of his teachings:

Therefore, the inhabitants of other stars — of whatever sort these inhabitants might be – bear no comparative relationship to the inhabitants of the earth (istius mundi ). [That is true] even if, with respect to the goal of the universe, that entire region bears to this entire region a certain comparative relationship which is hidden to us — so that in this way the inhabitants of this earth or region bear, through the medium of the whole region, a certain mutual relationship to those other inhabitants. (By comparison, the particular parts of the fingers of a hand bear, through the medium of the hand, a comparative relationship to a food; and the particular parts of the foot [bear], through the medium of the foot, [a comparative relationship] to a hand — so that all [members] are comparatively related to the whole animal.) Hence, since the entire region is unknown to us, those inhabitants remain altogether unknown.

The earth, which cannot be the center, cannot lack all motion. In fact, it is even necessary that it be moved in such a way that it could be moved infinitely less. … Since it always appears to every observer, whether on the earth, the sun, or another star, that one is, as if, at an immovable center of things and that all else is being moved, one will always select different poles in relation to oneself, whether one is on the sun, the earth, the moon, Mars, and so forth. Therefore, the world machine will have, one might say, its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere, for its circumference and center is God, who is everywhere and nowhere.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 10:38 AM
You don't get to tell ME what I meant.

Actually that is not what I was doing I just pointed out that you overreached with your original claim which you have subsequently corrected. I could argue that the Church did do more than bat an eyelid in Copernicus' lifetime too but that is just a tangential issue. The point is they did censor Copernicus and thus took issue with his work.


Yes. As the finding against Galileo in 1616 said, the issue was that Copernicanism as "absurd in philosophy; AND formally heretical". "Absurd in philosophy" means "scientifically wrong". As Cardinal Bellarmine said in his letter to Foscarini the previous year, if heliocentrism could be scientifically proven then the Church would have to reinterpret some scripture. But, he said, they weren't going to do this while the science of the day said Copernicus was wrong. Are you really this totally unfamiliar with the relevant material? This is basic stuff.

But the science of the day were predominately the guys you claim were not scientists. The fact that the church used "science" as justification for their actions is not evidence that it was completely motivated by it. Afteralll science is always contingent on the discovery of new evidence. Yes once enough people believed unorthodox ideas the church would have to change their position. However their dog in the fight was theological and by prosecuting people like Bruno and Galileo did have an impact on the atmosphere under which other academics worked.


"Tired" = clueless. But yet he stumbles on ...

No and if I could be bother I'm sure I could find a post on this BB when I give the dates of Galileo's trial. I just miststated the fact and apologised for it. That is how grown-ups behave Timmy.


Big deal. We still have plenty on Bruno's trial and masses of correspondence that should reflect the fears you allege if you were correct. It doesn't. So you're wrong.

Only according to you. The official proceedings on the trial is largely irrelevant since that was produced by the church. As already mentioned your requirement of the evidence if far to stringent and so you are requiring a very specific type of evidence and then arguing from its silence. Your level of evidence would be required if I made a very strong claim like "the academic community was in a upoar over Bruno's execution". That is clearly false but if it were true then we would expect to see the sort of evidence you demand.

As usual you are arguing against a strawman and not my claim.


What "list"? And his belief in "many worlds" was a purely metaphysical and mystical insight.

Yes I agree. But it is a conclusion about Nature and not "magical thinking". His method was not so different to that of Aristotle in Metaphysics which was still widely taught as "science" at the time.


The scientist was Kepler, but I wanted to see if you had any grasp of the material and so could work that out. Unsurprisingly, you didn't because you don't have a clue. And an argument from silence is very effective if we have masses of material which should express the fears you allege but don't.

No we don't for reasons already mentioned. You do not seem to be good at this.


I'm noting the FACT that no scientist mentions any such impact in their copious correspondence about science. Radical theologians may have felt bothered but that's not relevant here.

As already mentioned there are other factors explaining why much of the correspondence you cite are not the right places to look and why explicit mentioning of Bruno is not the only sort of evidence to look for.


There are still plenty of Italian astronomers who don't mention any such fears or even comment that they don't feel threatened because of their orthodox ideas. There is simply no evidence to back up your baseless idea.

Like Galileo you mean?


Okay, then produce evidence of that then. In fact, produce any evidence at all.

What was Galileo's working title for Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo?


Which is the only branch relevant to the issue of the development of science. You keep stumbling over that point, which is the whole point at issue.

We are not talking about the development of science per se but the impact of the Trial of Bruno on it's development. At the time Bruno and Galileo were Natural Philosophers and while their methods were different the both made statements about nature and they were both prosecuted by the church for very similar reasons. That Bruno was more what we would call a philosopher oday and Galileo is more a physicist is beside the point since both types of academics would be similarly impacted by both trials.


Other people "working in similar areas" clearly didn't include people doing actual science, thus your total failure to produce any evidence that his death concerned them at all. And they are the only people relevant to the question. How many more times before you understand this?

That is your attempt to impose present terminology on a historical debate despite the fact that in the language of the day they are far more alike then they are different.


Or rather, how many more times are you going to spin in circles trying to avoid this so that you can pretend you didn't lose this argument about ten posts ago? You're pathetic. Give up.

Self congratulatory claims of winning a debate might work on your blog but it doesn't work here. I will just keep correcting your woolly-headed reasoning until you realise that your argument from silence is not compelling and your requirement for evidence that disputes your a priori position is too stringent. Along the way you'll laugh, you'll cry and maybe one day you may eventually work out what I am claiming and not try to impose the strawmen you like to argue against on your vanity site.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 10:41 AM
Yet Bruno clearly says got those ideas from the one he called "the divine Cusanus", who was not only NOT persecuted, but reached the highest position of the church hierarch after the Pope himself. Here are some of his teachings:

Your argument only holds water if we assume the church is always consistent and rational. I think that is clearly not the case.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 11:05 AM
Your argument only holds water if we assume the church is always consistent and rational. I think that is clearly not the case.

Doesn't require total consistency and rationality, just a modicum. Did they ever punish or even rebuke Cusanus for those ideas? Did they later make a law against Cusanus' teachings that Bruno could be accused of violating?

TimONeill
06-04-2017, 11:08 AM
Actually that is not what I was doing I just pointed out that you overreached with your original claim which you have subsequently corrected.

Garbage. I told you what I originally meant, and you don't get to tell me otherwise. I did not "overreach" anything


I could argue that the Church did do more than bat an eyelid in Copernicus' lifetime too but that is just a tangential issue.

Was that in between sponsoring his research, offering to pay for its production and having him lauded by the frigging Pope, you idiot?


But the science of the day were predominately the guys you claim were not scientists.

Wrong. They put the science of the issue to the assayers to find out what the expert opinion of ASTRONOMERS was, idiot boy. At the time, that opinion was overwhelmingly AGAINST Copernicus - a survey of scholarship in the century before 1616 by Robert S. Westerman found just TEN who agreed with Copernicus. Out of thousands.

I've wasted enough time with you. You clearly have no detailed grasp of even the most basic elements of the relevant issues. You sure as hell have no knowledge at all of the source material. You've failed repeatedly to produce ANY evidence to back up your original central claim. And all your excuses for not doing so have been comprehensively destroyed by even the barest outline of the masses of material that SHOULD contain relevant evidence for your claim but does not. The same evidence shows that Bruno was not even part of the conversation among the actual scholars of science of the day, except in a tiny number of references to him as a total oddity.

Anyone with a brain can see you've failed here totally. Your pathetic tactic finding some weak, snivelling niggle about every single line, however ludicrous seems to be aimed largely at simply arguing your opponent into tedium. You are an ignorant self-deluded joke. I have better things to do with my time than spin in ever decreasing circles in pursuit of a giggling idiot like you.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 11:17 AM
I've wasted enough time with you.

Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 11:22 AM
Doesn't require total consistency and rationality, just a modicum. Did they ever punish or even rebuke Cusanus for those ideas? Did they later make a law against Cusanus' teachings that Bruno could be accused of violating?

Not that I am aware of but they did take issue with Bruno specifically for his many worlds conclusion which was criticised for reasons that could well have applied to Cusanus. Like I said, consistency was not a strong suit and there are many reasons why this is the case. Firstmost it is a collection of individuals and thus subject to political forces. They may not have been the will to overcome opposition to criticising Cusanus. One of the reasons Bruno and Galileo may have been prosecuted is that they were not politically well connected. They both reported had abrasive personalities and so they are easy targets for the church since there are fewer inside supporters of these sorts of individuals.

Patrick Byrom
06-04-2017, 12:52 PM
No one here thinks so. The issue is, was he burnt for his science? Clearly no, because he had no science!But one of the reasons Bruno was burnt alive was because of his refusal to renounce the idea of a moving earth. Which means that he was burnt for a scientific belief (among other reasons). And it seems obvious to me that burning someone alive for their beliefs (whether scientific or not) is going to have a negative effect on free inquiry.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 01:04 PM
But one of the reasons Bruno was burnt alive was because of his refusal to renounce the idea of a moving earth. Which means that he was burnt for a scientific belief (among other reasons).
Where is your evidence? Did you read Tim O'Neill's article on Bruno? It makes no sense because Bruno was born after Copernicus died, and the church sponsored his research and the Pope praised it. And Copernicus was born after Bruno's hero, "the divine Cusanus", died, and he was a Cardinal promoted to #2 in the church hierarchy. And before Cusa, Bishop Oresme refuted all the arguments that were thrown at Galileo 250 years later.


And it seems obvious to me that burning someone alive for their beliefs (whether scientific or not) is going to have a negative effect on free inquiry.
Definitely not a good thing, to say the least, and no one here disputes that. But the whole point of this debate was precisely the issue of "whether scientific or not".

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 01:09 PM
Definitely not a good thing, to say the least, and no one here disputes that. But the whole point of this debate was precisely the issue of "whether scientific or not".

Not really the point is whether Bruno's execution hampered the development of science. The effect of Bruno and Galileo is not direct since in both cases the accused were quite mature and you could argue that the majority of their contribution was already out of the bag. However it did create a climate in which other academics would self-censor to avoid scrutiny by the church. Thus even Bruno's execution was an example of the church hampering the development of science.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 01:18 PM
Not really the point is whether Bruno's execution hampered the development of science. The effect of Bruno and Galileo is not direct since in both cases the accused were quite mature and you could argue that the majority of their contribution was already out of the bag. However it did create a climate in which other academics would self-censor to avoid scrutiny by the church. Thus even Bruno's execution was an example of the church hampering the development of science.

Where is the evidence, when you have been shown that the real scientists ignored him, and Galileo went gung ho on it not long afterwards. Then Kepler, whose elliptical model finally made heliocentrist theory match observation, didn't face problems from either his own Lutheran denomination or his Catholic employer, Holy Roman Emperor Matthias.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 01:19 PM
Where is the evidence, when you have been shown that the real scientists ignored him, and Galileo went gung ho on it not long afterwards. Then Kepler, whose elliptical model finally made heliocentrist theory match observation, didn't face problems from either his own Lutheran denomination or his Catholic employer, Holy Roman Emperor Matthias.

What will you accept as evidence?

Patrick Byrom
06-04-2017, 01:42 PM
Where is your evidence?
Here (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/brunolinks.html):

The eight propositions that the philosopher refused to renounce were as follows: ...

5 - The idea of terrestrial movement, which according to Bruno, did not oppose the Holy Scriptures, which were popularised for the faithful and did not apply to scientists.

Note that the direct link doesn't work.

Although another source has a different view (https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_giordano03.htm):

Luigi Firpo lists them as follows: ...

Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.


In both cases, these are beliefs about the natural world.

Patrick Byrom
06-04-2017, 01:56 PM
Where is the evidence, ...Michael White, a biographer of Galileo, agrees that Bruno's execution did have a repressive effect on Galileo (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ark/galileo/3276484):

Galileo was far more conventional {compared to Bruno}. He went through the usual route of academia, and he expressed controversial views. And it was only very gradually as his career progressed, that he became more out of synch with the church line on things, and then eventually broke with the church completely and ended up having a trial and all that.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 02:15 PM
In both cases, these are beliefs about the natural world.

Indeed and in the matter of the Copernican model the Church it seems was more concerned with the physical implication than the theoretical reasoning. As a result of his first trial Galileo was instructed that he could hold or defend the Copernican system which would have prevent him from advocating it's physical truth but was not a barrier to discussing it hypothetically. This is why the church originally approved the publication of Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo until it was clear that it was a defense of the Copernican system and not a purely hypothetical treatment.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 02:35 PM
Here (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/brunolinks.html):

The eight propositions that the philosopher refused to renounce were as follows: ...

5 - The idea of terrestrial movement, which according to Bruno, did not oppose the Holy Scriptures, which were popularised for the faithful and did not apply to scientists.

Note that the direct link doesn't work.

Although another source has a different view (https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_giordano03.htm):

Luigi Firpo lists them as follows: ...

Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.


In both cases, these are beliefs about the natural world.

But how reliable are the sources? As Tim O'Neill says:


Part of the problem here is that we don't actually have the charges made against Bruno, because they were among the many Vatican documents lost when Napoleon carted most of the Papal archives to Paris between 1810 and 1813. What we do have are records of what Bruno was questioned about in his earlier trials before the Venetian Inquisition in 1591. And we have a summary of his trial in Rome, which also indicates what he was questioned about. These topics include a grab bag of heretical theological ideas, including denying the virginity of the Virgin Mary, declaring Jesus to have been a magician, denying the Trinity and denying Transubstantiation. He was certainly questioned about his heliocentric cosmology and his ideas about the infinity of worlds, but we don't have the final charges against him or the final eight statements that he was ordered to reject in his trial in Rome.

And the above doesn't take into account that at least one bishop and one cardinal in good standing with the church proposed a plurality of worlds and even geokineticism.

O'Neill continues:


The records of his trial in Venice show that he was certainly questioned about his heliocentrism. He was questioned about many things, including where he went and when and even what clothes he was wearing at the time, so it's hardly surprising that his unusual advocacy of what was then very much a fringe scientific theory rejected by almost all astronomers would have attracted some attention. But was this one of the eight items that he refused to reject and ultimately got him killed?

It seems it wasn't.

This is because of the way the Roman Inquisition operated. As Thomas F. Mayer details in his careful historical analysis of the workings of the Roman Inquisition, (see The Roman Inquisition: A Papal Bureaucracy and Its Laws in the Age of Galileo, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, p.152, 169 and extensively elsewhere), the Inquisition was a highly rule-bound institution that worked “not just by precedent but also by case law” (p. 162). This meant that it consulted two sources before going to the (considerable) effort of making a ruling on whether or not something was heretical: (i) it consulted canon law back to its beginnings in the tenth century and (ii) it consulted its own previous rulings. This means that if Bruno had been condemned for heliocentrism in 1599 it would be because heliocentrism had been ruled as being contrary to scripture and therefore at least formally heretical.

But this poses a problem for anyone wanting to claim Bruno was condemned for proposing a heliocentric cosmos. If the Roman Inquisition had ruled this was formally heretical in 1599, why did Cardinal Bellarmine put the question to assessment during Galileo's later trial in 1616? Not only would the precedent ruling have been there from just 17 years earlier, but Bellarmine himself had prosecuted Bruno's trial. After all, this was what happened in 1633 when Galileo came before the Inquisition again—they referred to the 1616 precedent. So did Bellarmine simply forget all about the Bruno trial?

The only logical conclusion is that Bellarmine put the issue of heliocentrism to assessment in 1616, because there had been no formal ruling on it in 1599. Bruno had clearly been questioned about it in relation to his many other weird and radical ideas, but it was obviously not one of the things he had been condemned for, or this would have set a legal precedent to be used in 1616.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2017, 02:38 PM
Michael White, a biographer of Galileo, agrees that Bruno's execution did have a repressive effect on Galileo (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ark/galileo/3276484):

Galileo was far more conventional {compared to Bruno}. He went through the usual route of academia, and he expressed controversial views. And it was only very gradually as his career progressed, that he became more out of synch with the church line on things, and then eventually broke with the church completely and ended up having a trial and all that.

Not sure how reliable a book like Galileo Antichrist would be. Just pushes the usual "conflict thesis" line, contra other biographers like Giorgio de Santillana and Stillman Drake, and books on the history of science by James Hannam.

Patrick Byrom
06-04-2017, 03:03 PM
But how reliable are the sources? As Tim O'Neill says:

... He was certainly questioned about his heliocentric cosmology and his ideas about the infinity of worlds, but we don't have the final charges against him or the final eight statements that he was ordered to reject in his trial in Rome.
I agree that there isn't a lot of reliable information about the trial. However, it seems we all agree that Bruno was questioned by the Inquisition about his ideas about the natural world. The fact that you might be interrogated by the Inquisition about your beliefs concerning the natural world must have had a chilling effect on free inquiry.

Rincewind
06-04-2017, 03:33 PM
But how reliable are the sources? As Tim O'Neill says:[/INDENT]

Unlike O'Neill, Firpo was a qualified and respected historian. I believe the source is from the Summary of the Venetian Inquisition although I haven't read Firpo's book the Italian Wiki page is more detailed on the trial than the English one, see

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Processo_di_Giordano_Bruno

If you go down the the section titled "Le censure" this is the pertinent section. If you can't read Italian you should be able to get the gist from a google translation.

The page seems to be mainly sourced from Firpo's book and also cites Angelo Mercati's Il sommario del processo di Giordano Bruno.

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2017, 03:17 AM
Anyone with a brain can see you've failed here totally. Your pathetic tactic finding some weak, snivelling niggle about every single line, however ludicrous seems to be aimed largely at simply arguing your opponent into tedium. You are an ignorant self-deluded joke. I have better things to do with my time than spin in ever decreasing circles in pursuit of a giggling idiot like you.

Sorry to lose you. Most likely, the next time you write a Bad Atheist History article, Rincewind will double down on defending that bad history, as he has with 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-great-myths-3-giordano-bruno-was.html) (italics added for his consistently missed point), "The Dark Ages" (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-dark-ages-popery-periodisation-and.html), Hitler was a Christian/Pope supported Hitler (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/02/serious-inquiries-only-podcast-did.html), Jesus never existed (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/07/richard-carrier-is-displeased.html), and doubling down on Tyson's flat earth myth (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-new-atheist-bad-history-great-myths.html).

Rincewind
07-04-2017, 04:42 AM
Sorry to lose you. Most likely, the next time you write a Bad Atheist History article, Rincewind will double down on defending that bad history, as he has with 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-great-myths-3-giordano-bruno-was.html) (italics added for his consistently missed point), "The Dark Ages" (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-dark-ages-popery-periodisation-and.html), Hitler was a Christian/Pope supported Hitler (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/02/serious-inquiries-only-podcast-did.html), Jesus never existed (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/07/richard-carrier-is-displeased.html), and doubling down on Tyson's flat earth myth (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-new-atheist-bad-history-great-myths.html).

Yes because what would really change the world would be another vanity blogger self-publishing confusion while claiming to know more history than everyone else.

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2017, 11:06 AM
Yes because what would really change the world would be another vanity blogger self-publishing confusion while claiming to know more history than everyone else.

No he doesn't. He acknowledges the professional historians like James Hannam and Edward Grant, and what he writes on those topics is well supported by real historians. It's you who wants to cling to Bad Atheist History that has long ago been discredited. Tim O'Neill is just explaining all this to a wider audience.

Edit: here is an extract from his first post on this site (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/):



But in the last decade or so I've became increasingly aware of and bothered by a particular brand of biased pseudo history: what I call New Atheist Bad History.

This varies from lazy repetitions of popular misconceptions, like perpetuating the myth that the medieval Church taught that the earth was flat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_Earth), to full blown conglomerations of elaborate fringe theory, like the cluster of fervid and contrived pseudo history that is the Jesus Myth hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory). But the list of historical ideas the New Atheists and their online acolytes get wildly wrong is long. Amongst other things, many of them believe:


That Christianity caused the "Dark Ages" by systematically destroying almost all ancient Greco-Roman learning,
That Christians burned down the Great Library of Alexandria and that Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered because of a Christian hatred of science
That Constantine was a crypto-pagan who adopted Christianity as a cynical political ploy (and personally created the Bible)
That scientists were oppressed during the Middle Ages and science stagnated completely until "the Renaissance"
That "the Inquisition" was a kind of Europe-wide medieval Gestapo and that the medieval Church was an all-powerful totalitarian theocracy
That Giordano Bruno was a wise and brave astronomer and cosmologist who was burned at the stake because the Church hated science
That the Galileo Affair was a straightforward case of religion ignoring evidence and trying to suppress scientific advancement
That Pope Pius XII was a friend and ally of the Nazis who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust and helped Nazis escape justice


And much more besides. On Armarium Magnum I have occasionally written book reviews that touch on some of these myths, such as my critique of Charles Freeman's overtly polemical The Closing of the Western Mind (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/closing-of-western-mind-by-charles.html) or my praise of James Hannam's corrections of myths about medieval science in his excellent God's Philosophers (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/gods-philosophers-how-medieval-world.html). A couple of times I veered from reviewing books to tackling examples of these myths in other media, such as my articles on the pseudo history in Alejandro Amenabar's 2009 film Agora (here (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/agora-and-hypatia-hollywood-strikes.html), here (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/hypatia-and-agora-redux.html) and here (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/geologist-tries-history-or-agora-and.html)) or the distortions in the first episode of the Neil De Grasse Tyson's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and its warped depiction of Giordano Bruno, the Catholic Church and early science. I used the amateurish Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/nailed-ten-christian-myths-that-show.html) by David Fitzgerald to highlight the weakness, bias and general incompetence of many of the Jesus Myth arguments, and then responded to the author's reply (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/the-jesus-myth-theory-reponse-to-david.html) to go into these arguments in more detail, tackling Fitzgerald's mentor - the notorious pseudo historian Richard Carrier - in the process. And I reposted an introduction to the problems with the Jesus Myth hypothesis (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/did-jesus-exist-jesus-myth-theory-again.html) that I had written on Quora (https://www.quora.com/).

And Yes, I Am an Atheist Myself

Why is New Atheist History so Flawed?

Rincewind
07-04-2017, 02:30 PM
That Giordano Bruno was a wise and brave astronomer and cosmologist who was burned at the stake because the Church hated science
That the Galileo Affair was a straightforward case of religion ignoring evidence and trying to suppress scientific advancement


The trouble with Beetlejuicees in general and Tim is a particularly bad case of that is that he is often arguing against his strawmen like those on this list. He doesn't have the history about what people have posted on the subject here over a period of years (although I forgive him for that crime it is ironic) but what is less forgivable is not coming up to speed with the recent posts of the current debate. This lead him to often argue against claims I never made. Apart from being a waste of time his pompous triumphalism that inevitably followed became tiresome very quickly.

In terms of citing him as a source to support your arguments I really can't see why you bother. You have found a guy with a minimal qualification and no experience as a professional historian who has only self-published his work. Wouldn't it service your cause more to cite primary evidence or else the work of respected and credentialed historians like Luigi Firpo? Sadly Luigi Firpo is no longer with us but sticking to well-credentialed sources is the probability of beetlejuicing the source reduces to practically zero.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2017, 03:03 AM
The trouble with Beetlejuicees in general and Tim is a particularly bad case of that is that he is often arguing against his strawmen like those on this list.
Strawmen in what sense? Sad to say, these actual arguments are standard fare of village atheopaths.


In terms of citing him as a source to support your arguments I really can't see why you bother. You have found a guy with a minimal qualification and no experience as a professional historian who has only self-published his work. Wouldn't it service your cause more to cite primary evidence or else the work of respected and credentialed historians like Luigi Firpo?
Or James Hannam? But if he undermines favourite atheist bad history, he is dismissed as a "Catholic apologist". Or should I just directly cite Edward Grant? But where do you think he would disagree with Tim O'Neill?

Rincewind
08-04-2017, 08:24 AM
Strawmen in what sense? Sad to say, these actual arguments are standard fare of village atheopaths.

Strawmen in the sense that no-one here made the claims in the list and it is questionable whether some of the people being discussed like Tyson even made the claims you have accused him of.


Or James Hannam? But if he undermines favourite atheist bad history, he is dismissed as a "Catholic apologist".

That would be preferable and yes he is a catholic apologist by his own admission and there are some unfavourable reviews of his book by historians regarding errors of history as well as bias.


Or should I just directly cite Edward Grant? But where do you think he would disagree with Tim O'Neill?

We won't know until you start we see where that might take us. But I wouldn't frame it in terms of where it might differ from O'Neill because while that is a frame of reference, it isn't a particularly useful one.

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2017, 05:59 AM
Strawmen in the sense that no-one here made the claims in the list and it is questionable whether some of the people being discussed like Tyson even made the claims you have accused him of.
He did. He idolized that mystical kook Bruno, claimed that we have known about a global earth for only 500 years instead of more like 1500, and totally misunderstood what the medieval T-O maps were trying to portray. And there are plenty of atheopathic gutter sites that claim that Christianity held back the progress of science for a millennium in the "dark ages". He gives an example in his review of Hannam's book (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/10/gods-philosophers-how-medieval-world.html).


That would be preferable and yes he is a catholic apologist by his own admission
Really? Here is what he actually said in response to an atheopathic reviewer (https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/2441/in-defence-of-gods-philosophers):


Freeman makes some possibly infelicitous remarks about the Royal Society's short listing of God’s Philosophers and claims that my book is apologetics. While I make no secret of my religious affiliations, if I woke up tomorrow as an atheist, I would stand by every word of it. I also note that BHA distinguished supporter Robin Ince was on the Royal Society’s judging panel. Certainly, if my intention had been to defend Catholicism, I would not have made controversial remarks about Renaissance humanists when I could have emphasised their loyalty to the Church (Erasmus eventually repudiated Luther and St Thomas More was martyred for his faith). Nor would I have included quite so many burnings at the stake.


and there are some unfavourable reviews of his book by historians regarding errors of history as well as bias.
What do you mean? Edward Grant reviewed it very favourably, and he is a leader in the area of medieval science history. That Freeman is not really a historian and has his own atheopathic axe to grind. O'Neill reviewed his book as well: Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason: Verdict?: Fundamentally flawed 2/5 (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/06/closing-of-western-mind-by-charles.html).


We won't know until you start we see where that might take us. But I wouldn't frame it in terms of where it might differ from O'Neill because while that is a frame of reference, it isn't a particularly useful one.
But if you want to claim that O'Neill is wrong, then how about proving it by citing Grant to the contrary. Most unlikely, because O'Neill cites Grant for a lot of his claims.

Rincewind
09-04-2017, 11:02 AM
He did. He idolized that mystical kook Bruno, claimed that we have known about a global earth for only 500 years instead of more like 1500, and totally misunderstood what the medieval T-O maps were trying to portray.

Back in post #55 I asked you for where in the lengthy writing of Tyson does he make these claims. Online flame wars in Twitter or on forums are hardly grounds for an Inquisition nowadays.


And there are plenty of atheopathic gutter sites that claim that Christianity held back the progress of science for a millennium in the "dark ages".

Sure and if Tim want to take those to tasks fine. However there is no reason to do so here as no one here were making those claims and certainly not unchallenged.


Really?

Yes. How Catholics must fight back - James Hannam (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/oct/22/religion-catholicism)


But if you want to claim that O'Neill is wrong, then how about proving it by citing Grant to the contrary. Most unlikely, because O'Neill cites Grant for a lot of his claims.

No for reasons already mentioned there is a lot of confused and poorly argues material on the internet. You can't just recycle it here and then put the onus on others to prove it wrong. This is just the modern version of the Gish gallop.

If you want to make a claim with evidence then you cite someone. If you cite O'Neill then I am perfectly able to say (correctly) that he is has a minimal qualification, zero experience and thus certainly a poor source for your evidence. If you want to cite Grant that would be far preferable and then I will look at where you rely on Grant and if you are doing so fairly and see what other well-credentialed historians make of Grant's claim (even in his popular books).

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 06:42 AM
Back in post #55 I asked you for where in the lengthy writing of Tyson does he make these claims. Online flame wars in Twitter or on forums are hardly grounds for an Inquisition nowadays.
Who is talking about an Inquisition? Even Hannam hates the idea of forcing people to believe something.

But Tyson has form about pushing the discredited Conflict thesis, even praising the thoroughly discredited A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White. In Cosmos, episode 1, he proclaimed Bruno as a martyr for heliocentrism and belief that the universe was enormous compared with the earth. Of course, Bruno was born after Copernicus died, and everyone knew the earth was just a point by comparison with the distance to the stars.


Yes. How Catholics must fight back - James Hannam (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/oct/22/religion-catholicism)
Interesting article, but note that near the beginning he says:


As a historian (http://www.librarything.com/work/8562256), the fact that the Catholic Church has been a net contributor to human wellbeing is so obvious that it amazes me that it can even be a subject for debate. This realisation was a factor in my deciding to join the Church in the first place. One can reasonably ask whether Catholicism remains a positive influence today, whatever its record in the past. But even here, the arguments that can be made in favour of the Church are far more ponderous than those for the opposition. So why are Catholics so useless at making their case?


See, his historical research came before he became a Catholic, and influenced him to join the church.

More recently, Hannam, who is also a trained tax accountant, wrote a book What Everyone Needs to Know about Tax: An Introduction to the UK Tax System (https://www.amazon.com/What-Everyone-Needs-Know-about/dp/1119375789).


If you want to make a claim with evidence then you cite someone. If you cite O'Neill then I am perfectly able to say (correctly) that he is has a minimal qualification, zero experience and thus certainly a poor source for your evidence. If you want to cite Grant that would be far preferable and then I will look at where you rely on Grant and if you are doing so fairly and see what other well-credentialed historians make of Grant's claim (even in his popular books).
For the moment, I will cite O'Neill who accurately cites Ph.D. historians like Hannam and Grant (and Maria Dzielska for Hypatia (http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/05/agora-and-hypatia-hollywood-strikes.html)).

Rincewind
10-04-2017, 11:05 AM
See, his historical research came before he became a Catholic, and influenced him to join the church.

That only makes sense in the context of a conversion from (say) Anglicanism to Catholicism, where the theological difference between the two are minor and basically political. In any regard the idea that people should defend the church is the textbook definition of apologetics.


For the moment, I will cite O'Neill who accurately cites Ph.D. historians like Hannam and Grant (and Maria Dzielska for Hypatia).

And I will continue to point of that O'Neill is not an historian and you don't know if he is accurately citing Hannam, Grant, et al, unless you read those sources which you did not or else there would be no point citing a nobody like Beetlejuice.

Patrick Byrom
10-04-2017, 01:23 PM
... But Tyson has form about pushing the discredited Conflict thesis, even praising the thoroughly discredited A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White. In Cosmos, episode 1, he proclaimed Bruno as a martyr for heliocentrism and belief that the universe was enormous compared with the earth. Of course, Bruno was born after Copernicus died, and everyone knew the earth was just a point by comparison with the distance to the stars....But even O'Neill agrees that one of the reasons Bruno was burnt alive was his cosmological beliefs. Tyson was also clear that Bruno was not a scientist.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 01:33 PM
But even O'Neill agrees that one of the reasons Bruno was burnt alive was his cosmological beliefs.
No he doesn't (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-great-myths-3-giordano-bruno-was.html):


The records of his trial in Venice show that he was certainly questioned about his heliocentrism. He was questioned about many things, including where he went and when and even what clothes he was wearing at the time, so it's hardly surprising that his unusual advocacy of what was then very much a fringe scientific theory rejected by almost all astronomers would have attracted some attention. But was this one of the eight items that he refused to reject and ultimately got him killed?

It seems it wasn't.

Even his "scientific" ideas were not regarded as heretical, since they had been advanced by clergy


Tyson was also clear that Bruno was not a scientist.
Yes, a grudging admission.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 01:39 PM
That only makes sense in the context of a conversion from (say) Anglicanism to Catholicism, where the theological difference between the two are minor and basically political. In any regard the idea that people should defend the church is the textbook definition of apologetics.
But his historical work was not written with an axe to grind. If you want to continue the metaphor, his historical record made the axe.

You are delusional if you think atheopaths are the epitome of objectivity.


And I will continue to point of that O'Neill is not an historian and you don't know if he is accurately citing Hannam, Grant, et al, unless you read those sources which you did not or else there would be no point citing a nobody like Beetlejuice.
I have read Hannam's book totally. Grant is on my to read list.

Patrick Byrom
10-04-2017, 01:42 PM
No he doesn't (http://historyforatheists.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-great-myths-3-giordano-bruno-was.html):

The records of his trial in Venice show that he was certainly questioned about his heliocentrism. He was questioned about many things, including where he went and when and even what clothes he was wearing at the time, so it's hardly surprising that his unusual advocacy of what was then very much a fringe scientific theory rejected by almost all astronomers would have attracted some attention. But was this one of the eight items that he refused to reject and ultimately got him killed? It seems it wasn't.

Yes he does - I said "cosmological beliefs", not heliocentrism! Keep reading:

This was certainly my personal view until last year, ...
Martinez is less convincing in his arguments that the multiplicity of worlds issue was the central charge against Bruno, but his argument makes it fairly clear that it was one of the charges that led to his execution and that it was most likely one of the lost "eight propositions" put to Bruno by Bellarmine. The key point to remember here, however, is that Bruno's multiple worlds ideas was, like the rest of his cosmology, wholly mystical and totally non-scientific.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 03:12 PM
Yes he does - I said "cosmological beliefs", not heliocentrism! Keep reading:

This was certainly my personal view until last year, ...
Martinez is less convincing in his arguments that the multiplicity of worlds issue was the central charge against Bruno, but his argument makes it fairly clear that it was one of the charges that led to his execution and that it was most likely one of the lost "eight propositions" put to Bruno by Bellarmine. The key point to remember here, however, is that Bruno's multiple worlds ideas was, like the rest of his cosmology, wholly mystical and totally non-scientific.

OK, at best the non-scientific cosmological ideas may have been one factor, although it was still nothing that hadn't been advanced by clergy in good standing. Read further:

While Martinez makes a strong case for the latter point, he fails to take account of the other tradition that was in favour of possible or actual multiple worlds, characterised by Oresme, Major, Vorilong and Cusanus. But perhaps a case could be made that these speculations could be tolerable in the comparatively free-wheeling theological atmosphere of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in a way they could not be in the far more paranoid and censorious context of the Counter Reformation. Especially if they are being espoused by a Pantheistic contrarian who also seems to have believed a whole grab-bag of other heretical theological ideas.

Bruno, Science and "Woo"

Martinez is less convincing in his arguments that the multiplicity of worlds issue was the central charge against Bruno, but his argument makes it fairly clear that it was one of the charges that led to his execution and that it was most likely one of the lost "eight propositions" put to Bruno by Bellarmine. The key point to remember here, however, is that Bruno's multiple worlds ideas was, like the rest of his cosmology, wholly mystical and totally non-scientific.

It was part of a whole world view that depended on ideas that the defenders of the "martyr for science" myth would regard as ridiculous "woo": planets and stars inhabited by souls and moved by spirits, the transmigration of souls and reincarnation and a Pantheism that would be not out of place in the rambling lectures of the aforementioned Deepak Chopra. As with heliocentrism, Bruno did not originate the idea of multiple worlds. And as with heliocentrism, he adopted it for mystical reasons while rejecting and even scorning any attempt at proving it empirically. The fact that, purely by chance, he stumbled into accepting two ideas that, much later, proved to be scientifically correct, while promulgating a crackpot mystical, Hermetic and magical universe that was a philosophical dead-end does not make him a martyr for science.

At best, Bruno could be considered a martyr for untrammelled free speech and ideas - two concepts that were essentially unknown in the sixteenth century.

Rincewind
10-04-2017, 04:02 PM
But his historical work was not written with an axe to grind. If you want to continue the metaphor, his historical record made the axe.

Both the article and the book God's Philosophers were published in the same year (10 years after his conversion) so you cannot maintain that position. Hannam wrote the book while at the same time thinking that it is every good Catholic's duty to defend the church from criticism.

Patrick Byrom
10-04-2017, 04:33 PM
OK, at best the non-scientific cosmological ideas may have been one factor, although it was still nothing that hadn't been advanced by clergy in good standing. ...So we can finally all agree that one reason Bruno was burnt alive was because of his beliefs about the natural world!

I've never said that Bruno was a scientist, although I think O'Neill overrates the importance of empiricism in the development (rather than the testing) of scientific theories.

However, his execution by the Church would have obviously had a negative effect on the future progress of science. I've already provided evidence to support this, but it's so obvious that I think anyone claiming otherwise needs strong supporting evidence.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 10:55 PM
So we can finally all agree that one reason Bruno was burnt alive was because of his beliefs about the natural world!
As usual, the simplistic New Atheopath line. In reality, at best, one of his beliefs about the natural world, which was advanced by a bishop and a cardinal, might have been another charge piled up on all his theological heresies. But the very legalistic Inquisition would hardly have exectuted someone just for repeating the views of a highly esteemed cardinal like Nicholas of Cusa.


I've never said that Bruno was a scientist, although I think O'Neill overrates the importance of empiricism in the development (rather than the testing) of scientific theories.
Bruno didn't even use mathematics, unlike the Merton Calculators of 14th-century Oxford, or Oresme, Copernicus.


However, his execution by the Church would have obviously had a negative effect on the future progress of science. I've already provided evidence to support this, but it's so obvious that I think anyone claiming otherwise needs strong supporting evidence.
Clearly you have done no such thing, because Galileo felt free enough not only to publish his heliocentric views (in fact urged to by the Pope), but to ridicule to Pope while he was doing so. As O'Neill points out, neither Galileo nor Kepler thought of Bruno as any sort of science, so saw the execution of a heretic mainly for his heresies as nothing to do with their work.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2017, 10:56 PM
Both the article and the book God's Philosophers were published in the same year (10 years after his conversion) so you cannot maintain that position. Hannam wrote the book while at the same time thinking that it is every good Catholic's duty to defend the church from criticism.

But the historical research that contributed to his conversion was in his non-Catholic days. And clearly it is accurate, as is his book, according to none other than Edward Grant:


Hannam has written a splendid book and fully supported his claim that the Middle Ages laid the foundations of modern science. He has admirably met another of his goals, namely that of acquainting a large non-academic audience about the way science and various aspects of natural philosophy functioned in medieval society and laid the foundation for modern science. Readers will also learn much about medicine, magic, alchemy, astrology, and especially technology. And they will learn about these important matters in the history of science against the broad background of the life and times of medieval and early modern societies. (Metascience, September 2010)

Patrick Byrom
11-04-2017, 08:37 AM
As usual, the simplistic New Atheopath line. In reality, at best, one of his beliefs about the natural world, which was advanced by a bishop and a cardinal, might have been another charge piled up on all his theological heresies. But the very legalistic Inquisition would hardly have exectuted someone just for repeating the views of a highly esteemed cardinal like Nicholas of Cusa.If it was one of the charges leveled against him, then it was one of the reasons he was executed. You're agreeing with me! I never said that he was executed "just" for that.


Clearly you have done no such thing, because Galileo felt free enough not only to publish his heliocentric views (in fact urged to by the Pope), but to ridicule to Pope while he was doing so. As O'Neill points out, neither Galileo nor Kepler thought of Bruno as any sort of science, so saw the execution of a heretic mainly for his heresies as nothing to do with their work.I look forward to seeing - eventually! - some actual evidence that Galileo was unaffected, as I've provided evidence that he was.

Rincewind
11-04-2017, 10:00 AM
But the historical research that contributed to his conversion was in his non-Catholic days.

Are you sure about that? After all he converted in 1999 and didn't begin formally studying history until around that year or shortly thereafter. His first history degree was an MA completed in 2003.

Capablanca-Fan
11-04-2017, 11:20 AM
Are you sure about that? After all he converted in 1999 and didn't begin formally studying history until around that year or shortly thereafter. His first history degree was an MA completed in 2003.
I was going by what he said in the article you quoted. Converted to what?

Rincewind
11-04-2017, 11:35 AM
I was going by what he said in the article you quoted. Converted to what?

He became a Catholic in 1999 and received his first history degree in 2003 and his PhD in 2006. Do you still maintain that his history research informed his conversion to Catholicism? I doubt much of the research for God's Philosophers (published in 2009) was performed prior to 1999.

Rincewind
12-04-2017, 10:26 AM
Do you still maintain that his history research informed his conversion to Catholicism?

I didn't think so.

Capablanca-Fan
12-04-2017, 10:58 AM
He became a Catholic in 1999 and received his first history degree in 2003 and his PhD in 2006. Do you still maintain that his history research informed his conversion to Catholicism? I doubt much of the research for God's Philosophers (published in 2009) was performed prior to 1999.

Where is your evidence? I was going by what he said in the article you posted!

Rincewind
12-04-2017, 11:18 AM
Where is your evidence?

Which claim are you questioning?


I was going by what he said in the article you posted!

Actually you read far too much into what Hannam wrote. This isn't on Hannam it's your claim when you wrote, "...his historical research came before he became a Catholic, and influenced him to join the church."

That is is the claim that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Capablanca-Fan
12-04-2017, 12:51 PM
I meant, what evidence for his conversion to Catholicism in 1999?

I was going by:


As a historian, the fact that the Catholic Church has been a net contributor to human wellbeing is so obvious that it amazes me that it can even be a subject for debate. This realisation was a factor in my deciding to join the Church in the first place.

Patrick Byrom
12-04-2017, 02:13 PM
I meant, what evidence for his conversion to Catholicism in 1999?
I was going by:

As a historian, the fact that the Catholic Church has been a net contributor to human wellbeing is so obvious that it amazes me that it can even be a subject for debate. This realisation was a factor in my deciding to join the Church in the first place. I think I see the problem. In his first sentence, he is speaking "as a historian" - in other words, he is using his historical studies, which happened after he became a Catholic, to support his choice. In his second sentence, he is speaking of a "realisation" that obviously occurred before he became a 'professional' historian, and so was presumably based on other people's research. Note that his reference to "join{ing} the Church" could also be describing the formal process of becoming an 'official' Catholic, rather than his conversion.

Rincewind
12-04-2017, 04:38 PM
I meant, what evidence for his conversion to Catholicism in 1999?

His bio on Strange Notions where he is an author...

http://strangenotions.com/author/james-hannam/



About James Hannam

James Hannam majored in physics at the University of Oxford and has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. His book, published as God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science in the UK and The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution in the US, was shortlisted for the book prizes of the Royal Society Science Book Prize and of the British Society for the History of Science. James was received into the Catholic Church in 1999 and lives in Kent, England with his wife and two children.

Capablanca-Fan
13-04-2017, 06:21 AM
Thanks, PB and RW.

Capablanca-Fan
01-08-2018, 08:18 AM
THE GREAT MYTHS 6: COPERNICUS’ DEATHBED PUBLICATION (https://historyforatheists.com/2018/07/the-great-myths-6-copernicus-deathbed-publication/)
Tim O'Neill, History for Atheists, 13 July 2018

Copernicus first circulated his ideas in 1514, but the Catholic Church did not get around to condemning his heliocentric cosmology until the Inquisition’s injunction against Galileo in 1616. If the Church opposed science and condemned any idea that was contrary to the Bible, why the century long delay? And why did they never persecute Copernicus himself? Many new atheists explain this by claiming he kept his ideas secret and only published his book when he was on his deathbed to escape the wrath of the Church. The reality is quite different.

The idea that Copernicus lived in fear of the Catholic Church and kept his heliocentric theory secret as a result has a long pedigree and its most prominent early proponent was the notorious nineteenth century polemicist, Andrew Dickson White. It was White’s 1896 opus A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom that, with John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874), established the Conflict Thesis or Draper-White Thesis, with its lurid narrative of religion perpetually struggling to prevent the advance of science. Despite the fact that twentieth century historians of science dismantled White and Draper’s claims and rejected the Conflict Thesis, it has permeated the popular perception of the history of science, due in no small part to it being peddled by prominent scientists such as Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson. As a result, this debunked idea is accepted without question by many new atheists, along with its supporting mythology which makes up White and Draper’s books. This includes White’s version of the story of Copernicus and the deathbed publication of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in 1543.

So it could not be more clear that the idea that Copernicus was fearful of religious persecution is pure fantasy. There is no evidence to support White’s claim that he somehow fled Rome in 1503 and he quite obviously did not keep his theory in any way “secret” – it was known to a network of scholars across Europe and, through them and his summary in the Commentariolus, to a wider group of interested intellectuals. The idea that it was fear of churchmen that inspired this mythical “secrecy” is also patent nonsense, given that both Catholic and Protestant scholars were aware of his theory well before 1543 and those who expressed great interest and admiration included several bishops, three cardinals and the Pope himself.

There is a further but related likely reason for his hesitation which he does not articulate but which needs to be remembered. While Copernicus and his followers and supporters certainly seem to have been convinced by his theory, they also knew that there were sound scientific objections to it, particularly on the grounds of physics. Copernicus knew what these objections were going to be and tried to head them off in his work, with fairly limited success. These problems were to become front and centre in the debate about the competing cosmological models that really began in the later sixteenth century and raged until they were finally settled by a combination of Kepler’s Laws and Newton’s new physics a century later. Copernicus and his followers did not acknowledge this at the time, but they would have known that at least some of the scientific objections they knew the theory would attract would be entirely valid and, at that stage, were actually impossible to refute fully.

This means that when the Inquisition came to the conclusion that Copernicanism was “absurd in philosophy”, it had the overwhelming majority of European astronomers and physicists on its side. In other words, the Church backed the scientific consensus – contrary to the myth that the Galileo Affair was purely a case of “religion versus science”. Christopher Graney’s superb Setting Aside All Authority: Giovanni Battista Riccioli and the Science against Copernicus in the Age of Galileo (2015) shows just how strong the scientific case was against heliocentrism even a generation after Galileo and why the consensus of science did not change until well after Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687). Despite this, many still strenuously resist the fact that the Church’s opposition to Galileo and heliocentrism was primarily based on this clear scientific consensus.

Of course, myths die hard, especially when they are bolstered by a combination of ignorance and prejudice. The myth that Copernicus feared religious persecution and delayed publication of his book as a result is nonsense. He was part of a late medieval/early modern culture that was already questioning the Ptolemaic and Aristotelian orthodoxy and looking for a more elegant and precise mathematical underpinning for astronomy. He did not keep his theories secret and was strongly encouraged and supported in his work by leading churchmen, including several bishops, three cardinals and the Pope. His hesitation came from his correct perception that Aristotelian scholastics would reject his thesis primarily on physical grounds, though their synthesis of that physics with theology would also be a motivator. Finally, when he did publish his work the religious objections were few and far outweighed by scientific ones until the discoveries of the seventeenth century slowly turned the consensus in the favour of heliocentrism.

Patrick Byrom
02-08-2018, 01:25 PM
"due in no small part to it being peddled by prominent scientists such as Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson" (my italics)? Sagan died over 20 years ago, and Hawking in March this year, so they're not 'peddling' anything currently.

Capablanca-Fan
30-08-2018, 04:33 AM
"due in no small part to it being peddled by prominent scientists such as Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson" (my italics)? Sagan died over 20 years ago, and Hawking in March this year, so they're not 'peddling' anything currently.

↑↑↑ Pedant who hasn't heard of the historic present (https://www.thoughtco.com/historical-present-verb-tense-1690928).

Capablanca-Fan
30-08-2018, 04:42 AM
Sam Harris’ horrible histories (https://historyforatheists.com/2018/08/sam-harris-horrible-histories/)
Tim O'Neill
History for Atheists—New Atheists Getting History Wrong, 19 August 2018

On July 8 2018 the neuroscientist and New Atheist luminary, Sam Harris, sat down for an interview with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. In the course of their conversation Shapiro argued that western values are derived from Judeo-Christian roots. Harris disputed this and, in doing so, presented a sustained six minutes of total pseudo historical gibberish. Shapiro’s grasp of history was little better and neither did a particularly good job of making their case, but Harris’ string of historical howlers is typical and shows, yet again, why atheists should not get their history from scientists.

Thankfully Harris spares us Carl Sagan’s error that Galileo “languished in a Catholic dungeon”, noting correctly that his sentence was house arrest in his Florentine villa. But he does claim that this sentence was passed by “people who refused to look through his telescope”, thus summoning up yet another historical myth. In the “Conflict Thesis” version of the story it is Galileo who is the one who has science and reason wholly on his side and his accusers are ignorant obscurantists who refuse to even consider the solid scientific proofs Galileo can show them, even to the point of refusing to look through his telescope. Unfortunately this is all nonsense.

To begin with, not only was everyone involved in the case well and truly conversant with the relevant science, as well as more than capable of grasping the arguments involved, the Church actually had the consensus of the science of the time on its side (see “The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication (https://historyforatheists.com/2018/07/the-great-myths-6-copernicus-deathbed-publication/)” for a more detailed discussion of this point). Galileo, on the other hand, had not only not proven his theories, but had pinned his thesis to an argument — his argument from the tides — which could be shown at the time to be dead wrong. Furthermore, there was nothing he could show anyone through his telescope which definitely proved either heliocentrism or earthly movement, given that there were several other valid models available at the time that explained all the observable phenomena yet required neither. And they were more widely accepted by scientists in 1633. Galileo knew all this, as did everyone else involved, which is why he made no offer to anyone to “look through his telescope” in the trial and so no refusal to do so was made.

Harris is, again, half remembering a garbled idea based on something else. When Galileo first made his revolutionary telescopic discoveries, beginning in 1609, telescopes were very new and often quite primitive instruments and there was a debate about whether some of the things they observed were actual or some artefact of the process of observation. This was in part because some of the things Galileo reported in his sensational 1610 book Siderius Nuncius (“The Starry Messenger”), such as mountains on the Moon, contradicted the Aristotelian cosmology, though it was also because not all of those first telescopes were as well-made and reliable as Galileo’s. So the myth of the stupid inquisitors who “refused to look through his telescope” is loosely based on three elements, none dating to Galileo’s trial and none involving any inquisitors.

Once his telescopic discoveries had been confirmed, the Church did not dismiss them, let alone refuse to look through telescopes. On the contrary, they celebrated them. On March 29 1611 Galileo arrived in Rome from Florence and met first with the great patron of science and art, Cardinal Francesco del Monte. The Cardinal had helped Galileo secure his first lectureships in Pisa and then Padua and he listened to Galileo’s account of his astronomical discoveries with great interest. The next day Galileo went to the Collegium Romanum where he met Clavius and two of the Jesuit scientists who had confirmed his observations: Grienberger and Maelcote, who he noted in a letter were working on further observations of the moons of Jupiter “to find their periods of revolution”. Far from rejecting his findings as heretical, these churchmen were working to add to them. On April 2 Galileo visited the powerful Cardinal Maffeo Barberini – later to become Pope Urban VIII – who afterwards wrote to pledge his assistance to Galileo in any way within his power. Then he visited Cardinal Ottavio Bandini, who invited him to give a demonstration of his telescope in his private garden for members of his household and Roman high society. Finally, Galileo was granted an audience with Pope Paul V at the Vatican and later wrote about the way the pope had greatly honoured him during the meeting (see W.R. Shea & M. Artigas, Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195177584/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0195177584&linkCode=as2&tag=cladesvariana-20&linkId=709f1c03efec579ee54730296090b597), 2003, pp. 19–49). So Harris’ image of Galileo being condemned by wilful ignoramuses is yet more nonsense.

So the “backlash” that Shapiro and Harris agree on was not simply because science was intruding on Holy Scripture. It was because a scientist was intruding on the theologians’ turf. Cardinal Bellarmine, who was soon to preside over the first trial of Galileo in 1616, made the Church’s attitude to any seeming contradiction between science and the Bible very clear in his “Letter to Foscarini”:


I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the centre of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown to me . . . . and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers

(12 April, 1615)

Here Bellarmine is not saying that Scripture automatically trumps science. In fact, he is saying precisely the opposite – he notes that if heliocentrism were demonstrated, it would be Scripture that would need to be reinterpreted to fit with the new scientific understanding. But he notes with wry understatement that no such demonstration has been shown to him; both he and Foscarini knew full well that, at that stage, heliocentrism had not been proven. So he goes on to say that until it is, the traditional interpretations of the relevant Biblical passages stand, which is a not entirely unreasonable position given the state of knowledge at the time.

This seems to be a version of a common New Atheist argument used when confronted with the awkward fact that most of their early scientific heroes were religious people. The argument is that this is purely incidental and has no bearing on their scientific interests. Thus Harris’ strange comments about Catholic and Protestant bridge building: the people who built these bridges were likely religious believers as well, since pretty much everyone was at that time, but the bridges had nothing to do with their religion. He then meanders slightly from his argument by noting “the first physicists were Christians … as is often pointed out, Newton spent about half of his time worrying about Biblical prophecy” but saying this was a waste of Newton’s time. But his key point is that any religious belief of Newton’s was as incidental to his science as those of the bridge builders was to their bridges.


And this is total nonsense. If Harris had actually bothered to read any of Newton’s work he would find ample evidence that Newton’s science was intrinsically informed by and absolutely fired by his deep religious convictions. In fact, Newton saw his science as working to increase his own faith in God and helping others in their belief. Writing to a young clergyman, Richard Bentley, on this theme, Newton said:
“When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had my eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a deity; and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.”
(10th December, 1692)

Newton goes on in the same letter to note elements in his cosmology which he feels are a “contrivance of a voluntary Agent” and “arguments for a Deity”. For Newton, his science was not incidental to his religion, rather it is an essential and motivating part of it.

Contrary to Harris’ silly “bridges” analogy, all of these early scientific thinkers came from a tradition that saw “the Book of Nature” as complementary to “the Book of Scripture” (i.e. the Bible). This tradition stretched back to the earliest Christian thinkers. This is why Galileo (who was not particularly devout) could quote Tertullian (who was not especially scientifically-minded) as saying “We conclude that God is known first through Nature, and then again, more particularly, by doctrine; by Nature in His works, and by doctrine in His revealed word.” (Adversus Marcionem, I.18). The two elements were intricately and essentially interlinked.

But Harris knows nothing of all this. Just as Harris knows nothing of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. Or the place of science in the Islamic world. Or the complexities and nuances of the Galileo Affair. Or medieval universities. Or … anything much about history. And this is why, as with Sagan or Hawking or Tyson or Dawkins, when a scientist speaks about their field of science, they are worth listening to. But when they opine about history they usually have little idea what they are talking about, and that is even if they are not labouring under Harris’ clear ideological biases. His near total ignorance coupled with those crippling biases means what he has to say on these and most other historical subjects is mostly complete garbage.

Desmond
30-08-2018, 08:02 AM
Sam Harris’ horrible histories (https://historyforatheists.com/2018/08/sam-harris-horrible-histories/)
Tim O'Neill
History for Atheists—New Atheists Getting History Wrong, 19 August 2018

On July 8 2018 the neuroscientist and New Atheist luminary, Sam Harris, sat down for an interview with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. In the course of their conversation Shapiro argued that western values are derived from Judeo-Christian roots. Harris disputed this and, in doing so, presented a sustained six minutes of total pseudo historical gibberish. Shapiro’s grasp of history was little better and neither did a particularly good job of making their case, but Harris’ string of historical howlers is typical and shows, yet again, why atheists should not get their history from scientists.

Thankfully Harris spares us Carl Sagan’s error that Galileo “languished in a Catholic dungeon”, noting correctly that his sentence was house arrest in his Florentine villa. But he does claim that this sentence was passed by “people who refused to look through his telescope”, thus summoning up yet another historical myth. In the “Conflict Thesis” version of the story it is Galileo who is the one who has science and reason wholly on his side and his accusers are ignorant obscurantists who refuse to even consider the solid scientific proofs Galileo can show them, even to the point of refusing to look through his telescope. Unfortunately this is all nonsense.

To begin with, not only was everyone involved in the case well and truly conversant with the relevant science, as well as more than capable of grasping the arguments involved, the Church actually had the consensus of the science of the time on its side (see “The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication (https://historyforatheists.com/2018/07/the-great-myths-6-copernicus-deathbed-publication/)” for a more detailed discussion of this point). Galileo, on the other hand, had not only not proven his theories, but had pinned his thesis to an argument — his argument from the tides — which could be shown at the time to be dead wrong. Furthermore, there was nothing he could show anyone through his telescope which definitely proved either heliocentrism or earthly movement, given that there were several other valid models available at the time that explained all the observable phenomena yet required neither. And they were more widely accepted by scientists in 1633. Galileo knew all this, as did everyone else involved, which is why he made no offer to anyone to “look through his telescope” in the trial and so no refusal to do so was made.

Harris is, again, half remembering a garbled idea based on something else. When Galileo first made his revolutionary telescopic discoveries, beginning in 1609, telescopes were very new and often quite primitive instruments and there was a debate about whether some of the things they observed were actual or some artefact of the process of observation. This was in part because some of the things Galileo reported in his sensational 1610 book Siderius Nuncius (“The Starry Messenger”), such as mountains on the Moon, contradicted the Aristotelian cosmology, though it was also because not all of those first telescopes were as well-made and reliable as Galileo’s. So the myth of the stupid inquisitors who “refused to look through his telescope” is loosely based on three elements, none dating to Galileo’s trial and none involving any inquisitors.

Once his telescopic discoveries had been confirmed, the Church did not dismiss them, let alone refuse to look through telescopes. On the contrary, they celebrated them. On March 29 1611 Galileo arrived in Rome from Florence and met first with the great patron of science and art, Cardinal Francesco del Monte. The Cardinal had helped Galileo secure his first lectureships in Pisa and then Padua and he listened to Galileo’s account of his astronomical discoveries with great interest. The next day Galileo went to the Collegium Romanum where he met Clavius and two of the Jesuit scientists who had confirmed his observations: Grienberger and Maelcote, who he noted in a letter were working on further observations of the moons of Jupiter “to find their periods of revolution”. Far from rejecting his findings as heretical, these churchmen were working to add to them. On April 2 Galileo visited the powerful Cardinal Maffeo Barberini – later to become Pope Urban VIII – who afterwards wrote to pledge his assistance to Galileo in any way within his power. Then he visited Cardinal Ottavio Bandini, who invited him to give a demonstration of his telescope in his private garden for members of his household and Roman high society. Finally, Galileo was granted an audience with Pope Paul V at the Vatican and later wrote about the way the pope had greatly honoured him during the meeting (see W.R. Shea & M. Artigas, Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195177584/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0195177584&linkCode=as2&tag=cladesvariana-20&linkId=709f1c03efec579ee54730296090b597), 2003, pp. 19–49). So Harris’ image of Galileo being condemned by wilful ignoramuses is yet more nonsense.

So the “backlash” that Shapiro and Harris agree on was not simply because science was intruding on Holy Scripture. It was because a scientist was intruding on the theologians’ turf. Cardinal Bellarmine, who was soon to preside over the first trial of Galileo in 1616, made the Church’s attitude to any seeming contradiction between science and the Bible very clear in his “Letter to Foscarini”:


I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the centre of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown to me . . . . and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers

(12 April, 1615)

Here Bellarmine is not saying that Scripture automatically trumps science. In fact, he is saying precisely the opposite – he notes that if heliocentrism were demonstrated, it would be Scripture that would need to be reinterpreted to fit with the new scientific understanding. But he notes with wry understatement that no such demonstration has been shown to him; both he and Foscarini knew full well that, at that stage, heliocentrism had not been proven. So he goes on to say that until it is, the traditional interpretations of the relevant Biblical passages stand, which is a not entirely unreasonable position given the state of knowledge at the time.

This seems to be a version of a common New Atheist argument used when confronted with the awkward fact that most of their early scientific heroes were religious people. The argument is that this is purely incidental and has no bearing on their scientific interests. Thus Harris’ strange comments about Catholic and Protestant bridge building: the people who built these bridges were likely religious believers as well, since pretty much everyone was at that time, but the bridges had nothing to do with their religion. He then meanders slightly from his argument by noting “the first physicists were Christians … as is often pointed out, Newton spent about half of his time worrying about Biblical prophecy” but saying this was a waste of Newton’s time. But his key point is that any religious belief of Newton’s was as incidental to his science as those of the bridge builders was to their bridges.


And this is total nonsense. If Harris had actually bothered to read any of Newton’s work he would find ample evidence that Newton’s science was intrinsically informed by and absolutely fired by his deep religious convictions. In fact, Newton saw his science as working to increase his own faith in God and helping others in their belief. Writing to a young clergyman, Richard Bentley, on this theme, Newton said:
“When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had my eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a deity; and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.”
(10th December, 1692)

Newton goes on in the same letter to note elements in his cosmology which he feels are a “contrivance of a voluntary Agent” and “arguments for a Deity”. For Newton, his science was not incidental to his religion, rather it is an essential and motivating part of it.

Contrary to Harris’ silly “bridges” analogy, all of these early scientific thinkers came from a tradition that saw “the Book of Nature” as complementary to “the Book of Scripture” (i.e. the Bible). This tradition stretched back to the earliest Christian thinkers. This is why Galileo (who was not particularly devout) could quote Tertullian (who was not especially scientifically-minded) as saying “We conclude that God is known first through Nature, and then again, more particularly, by doctrine; by Nature in His works, and by doctrine in His revealed word.” (Adversus Marcionem, I.18). The two elements were intricately and essentially interlinked.

But Harris knows nothing of all this. Just as Harris knows nothing of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. Or the place of science in the Islamic world. Or the complexities and nuances of the Galileo Affair. Or medieval universities. Or … anything much about history. And this is why, as with Sagan or Hawking or Tyson or Dawkins, when a scientist speaks about their field of science, they are worth listening to. But when they opine about history they usually have little idea what they are talking about, and that is even if they are not labouring under Harris’ clear ideological biases. His near total ignorance coupled with those crippling biases means what he has to say on these and most other historical subjects is mostly complete garbage.

Do you agree with O'Neill that Shapiro's line of questioning was highly dubious?


Shapiro questions Harris on the basis for morality, argues that a Judeo-Christian foundation is essential for “a civilisation that values human rights above the values of the collective, that says that people are to be treated, to use the Biblical phrase, as ‘made in the image of God'” and says “that does not happen in the absence of a Judeo-Christian value system” (20.52 mins). He goes on to say this is a historical argument and that therefore this is why, historically, “the West and Western Civilisation crop up in a Judeo-Christian system, but do not in, for example, crop up in Islamic countries” (21.33 mins). This is a highly dubious argument on several levels and Harris, not surprisingly, rejects this line of reasoning

antichrist
31-08-2018, 05:20 AM
Capa Fan, thanks for reminding me of my two most cherished books in my attic - A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom , John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). The RCC was even against the lightning conductors

Patrick Byrom
31-08-2018, 10:09 AM
↑↑↑ Pedant who hasn't heard of the historic present (https://www.thoughtco.com/historical-present-verb-tense-1690928).Except that the article is referring to our present, not reconstructing the past - you didn't understand your own reference!

Patrick Byrom
31-08-2018, 10:20 AM
Do you agree with O'Neill that Shapiro's line of questioning was highly dubious?Shapiro's claim is ridiculous on many levels. Firstly, our concept of individuality comes from the Greeks. Secondly, Islam accepts the Old Testament, so if it is not 'Judaeo-Christian', then neither is Judaism. Finally, Shapiro doesn't believe in individual rights, but supports treating people as a collective (as has been pointed out elsewhere).

Capablanca-Fan
31-08-2018, 12:40 PM
Capa Fan, thanks for reminding me of my two most cherished books in my attic - A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom , John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). The RCC was even against the lightning conductors

Trust you to love utterly discredited books like those. Historians have long had contempt for the ‘Draper–White thesis’ or ‘conflict thesis’. Even the leftist Wikipedia documents this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_thesis). The RCC was not against lightning conductors, and never taught a flat earth.

Capablanca-Fan
31-08-2018, 12:42 PM
Do you agree with O'Neill that Shapiro's line of questioning was highly dubious?

No, but then why would I? O'Neill is an atheist like Harris. I agree with O'Neill's criticism of both in historical matters.

Adamski
31-08-2018, 01:43 PM
Hi all participating in this discussion. I just spent an interesting hour or so skim reading this thread. It is of interest because I recently bought Alister McGrath's book, "Science & Religion: A New Introduction". This popular (as opposed to academic) book has a number of references to Galileo and the heliocentic debate, especially pages 21-24. I also have a DVD by Capa Fan on related subject matter!** Back in year 4 at Otago Uni I studied the history of science. I never (as yet anyway - tis may be rectified) had the time to read Grant, Hannam, O'Neil et al but maybe one day I will fit such reading in. As my old friend Captain Underpants would have said, carry on!

** Jono's DVD is called "The Christian Roots of Science". Great title and very interesting content. Even has a photo with me in it!!

Desmond
31-08-2018, 02:35 PM
No, but then why would I? O'Neill is an atheist like Harris. I agree with O'Neill's criticism of both in historical matters.

You appear to be quite fond of quoting them both.

Patrick Byrom
31-08-2018, 02:57 PM
... As my old friend Captain Underpants would have said, carry on!Not sure if you meant to imply it or not, but I'm fairly sure Captain Underpants is still alive, although mostly inactive here.

Adamski
31-08-2018, 03:11 PM
Indeed so, Patrick! He's alive and kicking! I meant he would have said it if he happened to visit the thread. Probably not his subject matter.

Adamski
31-08-2018, 04:15 PM
Bought a new book from Koorong (popular history etc. again) which might contribute to this thread once I have read it. "The Lion Handbook of Science & Christianity". Very nicely produced.
BTW I am home today as I am between work contracts. My next gig begins on Monday. I am a Data Architect but maybe you could also call me a Data Scientist!

Capablanca-Fan
01-09-2018, 05:21 AM
You appear to be quite fond of quoting them both.

It's possible to respect two authors who disagree with each other, and who each disagree with me on some things.

Capablanca-Fan
01-09-2018, 05:24 AM
Hi all participating in this discussion. I just spent an interesting hour or so skim reading this thread. It is of interest because I recently bought Alister McGrath's book, "Science & Religion: A New Introduction". This popular (as opposed to academic) book has a number of references to Galileo and the heliocentic debate, especially pages 21-24. I also have a DVD by Capa Fan on related subject matter!** Back in year 4 at Otago Uni I studied the history of science. I never (as yet anyway - tis may be rectified) had the time to read Grant, Hannam, O'Neil et al but maybe one day I will fit such reading in. As my old friend Captain Underpants would have said, carry on!

Yes, I have benefited from reading Hannam and O'Neill, and also Peter Harrison. Just started Grant's The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3UR7NQ/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o00_?ie=UTF8&psc=1) a few days ago.


** Jono's DVD is called "The Christian Roots of Science". Great title and very interesting content. Even has a photo with me in it!!

Oh yes, so it does ;) Thanks for the plug for this DVD (https://creation.com/s/30-9-625).

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2020, 10:54 AM
Sometimes it's important to look more carefully at the losing side of an argument, and see that it's no a simple heroes vs villains, science vs religion conflict. In Galileo's time, unlike ours, the best science was not clearly geokinetic.


The Popular Creation Story of Astronomy Is Wrong (http://nautil.us/issue/60/searches/the-popular-creation-story-of-astronomy-is-wrong)
The old tale about science versus the church is wide of the mark
BY CHRISTOPHER M. GRANEY, 17 MAY 2018

People who have good vision and look up at the sky will see the stars as little round dots, with small but measurable apparent sizes. Astronomers dating all the way back to Ptolemy during the second century had determined that the more prominent of those star dots measure somewhere in the range of one-tenth to one-twentieth the diameter that the round moon appears to be. In On the New Star, Kepler said bright stars measure one-tenth the moon’s diameter, Sirius a bit more. The problem is, a star that appears one-tenth the moon’s diameter when seen in the sky would be one-tenth the moon’s true physical diameter only if it was the same distance away from us as the moon. But stars are more distant than the moon. Were that star then 10 times more distant than the moon, its true size would be the same as the moon—it would only appear one-tenth the moon’s size on account of greater distance. Were that star 100 times more distant, its true diameter would be 100 times that of the moon. Were it 1,000 times farther away than the moon, its true size would be 1,000 times larger.

And what if that star, which appears to be one-tenth the diameter of the moon, were at the distance the Copernican theory required in order for there to be no detectable parallax? That star would be, Kepler said, as big as the orbit of Saturn. And every last star visible in the sky would be at least as big as the orbit of Earth. Even the smallest stars would be orders of magnitude larger than the sun. This may seem strange to us today, because we know now that stars come in many sizes, and while a very few are larger than Earth’s orbit (the star Betelgeuse in Orion being a prominent example), the vast majority are “red dwarfs” that are far outclassed by the sun. However, in Kepler’s time this was a simple matter of observation, measurement, and math—the ordinary stuff of science. An astronomer of that time who believed Copernicus, believed the measurement data, and believed math, simply had to believe that all the stars were huge. (More on where they went wrong, in a moment).

The case for huge stars was so solid that the details regarding the measurements of them did not matter. Johann Georg Locher and his mentor Christoph Scheiner would neatly summarize the giant stars problem in their 1614 astronomy book Disquisitiones Mathematicae or Mathematical Disquisitions. They wrote that in the Copernican theory the Earth’s orbit is like a point within the universe of stars; but the stars, having measurable sizes, are larger than points; therefore, in a Copernican universe every star must be larger than Earth’s orbit, and of course vastly larger than the sun itself.

Because of the giant stars, Locher and Scheiner rejected the Copernican theory, and backed Brahe’s [geoheliocentric hybrid] theory. That theory was compatible with the latest telescopic discoveries, such as the phases of Venus that showed it to circle the sun. In Brahe’s theory, the stars were not so far away—just past Saturn. An astronomer in Kepler’s time who believed Brahe, believed the measurement data, and believed math, did not have to believe that the stars were huge. (Brahe had calculated that they ranged in size between the larger planets and the sun.) Locher and Scheiner were not alone—for many astronomers, including Brahe himself who first raised the issue, the giant stars were just too much.

The anti-Copernicans were unpersuaded. Locher and Scheiner noted that Copernicus’s “minions” did not deny that stars had to be giant in a Copernican universe. “Instead,” the two astronomers wrote, “they go on about how from this everyone may better perceive the majesty of the Creator,” an idea they called “laughable.” One anti-Copernican astronomer, Giovanni Battista Riccioli, wrote that calling in divine power to support a theory “cannot satisfy the more prudent men.” Another, Peter Crüger, regarding the size of stars, commented, “I do not understand how the Pythagorean or Copernican System of the Universe can survive.”


Jeremiah Horrocks (1618–1641) observed the moon occulting the stars of the Pleiades and noted how the stars seemed to disappear instantly. Lunar occultations were a hint that the star disk was an optical illusion. In the 19th century, Astronomer Royal Sir George Airy worked out that the stellar disk was caused by diffraction. So geo-heliocentrists such as Tycho and Riccioli were actually relying on the diffraction pattern not the actual star size. But they had no way of knowing, given the knowledge available. Riccioli was even doing what Galileo asked: look through the telescope. Riccioli did just that, and went by what he saw.

Unfortunately, the popular historiography of geokinetic vs geocentric astronomy, especially the 19th-century "conflict thesis" nonsense, caricatures this as enlightened scientists v backward religionists. The real history shows that it was largely science vs science, and the best science of Galileo's day was equivocal or even in favour of geocentrism (global earth of course). Geocentrism had good arguments that were not dealt with until much later.