Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany. (). (abridged) by Galileo Galilei. To the Most Serene Grand Duchess Mother: Some years ago, as Your. In , Galileo wrote a letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany in order to show how one could argue for the heliocentric system. “Contrary to the sense of the Bible and the intention of the holy Fathers they would have us altogether abandon reason and the evidence of.

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Since the Bible cannot err, it follows as a necessary consequence that anyone takes an erroneous and heretical position who maintains that the sun is inherently motionless and the earth movable. Nook0 pages. But if they had reflected upon and considered it, and if they judged it to be erroneous, then they would long ago have condemned it; and this they are not found to have done.

Therefore in my judgment one should first be assured of the necessary and immutable truth of the fact, over which no man has power.

Some things never change, I guess. In other words, we establish matters of fact first, and then decide what interpretations of scripture will maintain the truth of those facts, second. Galileo delivers his ideas with such force and clarity that they still echo in our minds today. Augustine himself, and confirmed in detail by the Bishop of Avila. If they wish to proceed in sincerity, they should by silence confess themselves unable to deal with such matters.

Maria B rated it it was ok Sep 08, Zakir Tapan marked it as to-read Jun 04, If these men really believe themselves to have the true sense of a given passage, it necessarily follows that they believe they have in hand the absolute truth of the conclusion they intend to debate. To this end they make a shield of their hypocritical zeal for religion.

And if on this point it would not have been difficult to convince the common people, and yet the holy scribes forbore to attempt it, then it certainly must appear reasonable that in other and more abstruse propositions they have followed the same policy.

For since every truth is in agreement with all other truth, the truth of Holy Writ cannot be contrary to the solid reasons and experiences of human knowledge.

Considering the force exerted by logical deductions, they may ascertain that it is not in the power of the professors of demonstrative sciences to change their opinions at will and apply themselves first to one side and then to the other. Then, since this particular dispute does not occur among the ancient Fathers, it must be undertaken by galilei wise men of this age.


AugustineI shall not affirm this to be necessarily the above sense, as someone else may think of another that is more proper and lerter. I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth rotates on its axis and revolves about the sun. Upon its stopping all the other revolutions ceased; the earth, the moon, and the sun remained in the same arrangement as before, as did all the planets; nor in all that time did day decline towards night, for day was miraculously prolonged.

Hence let it be said briefly, touching the form of heaven, that our authors knew the truth but the Holy Spirit did not desire that men should learn things that are useful to no one for salvation.

Galileo Galilei: Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany by Kennedy Bingham on Prezi

As to other scriptural passages which seem to be contrary to this opinion, I have no doubt that if the opinion itself were known to be true and proven, those very theologians who, so long as they deem it false, hold these passages to be incapable of harmonious exposition with it, would find interpretations for them which would agree very well, and especially if they would add some knowledge to astronomical science to their knowledge of divinity.

And to prohibit the whole science would be but to censure a hundred passages of holy Scripture which teach us that the glory and greatness of Almighty God are marvelously discerned in all his works and divinely read in the open book of heaven.

Especially in view of the fact that these things in no way concern the primary purpose of the sacred writings, which is the service of God and the salvation of souls—matters infinitely beyond the comprehension of the common people. And therefore we should seek the galielo sense of the Bible with the assistance of demonstrated truth, and not in any way tje to force the hand of Nature or deny experiences and rigorous proofs in accordance with the mere grahd of words that may appeal to our frailty.

All these things really relate to the earth, but since we are fixed to the earth and consequently share in its every motion, we cannot discover them in the earth hcristina, and are obliged to refer them to lerter heavenly bodies in which they make their appearance to us. William rated it really liked it Nov 18, Similarly, with regard to the miracle in the time of Hezekiah, Paul of Burgos was of the opinion that this took place not in the sun but on the sundial.


Hence even if the stability of heaven and the motion of the earth should be more than certain in the minds of the wise, it would still be necessary to assert the contrary for the preservation of belief among the all-too-numerous vulgar. With regard to this argument, I think in the first place that it is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the holy Bible can never speak untruth—whenever its true meaning is understood.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina by Galileo Galilei

The first kind of grans is the theologian who should never assume any responsibility or authority to pronounce on things in nature. Let me remind Your Highness again of St.

But if what they say is gtand by unquestionable arguments, this holy Father does not say that the astronomers are to be ordered to dissolve their proofs and declare their own conclusions to be false. They knew how prejudicial and how contrary to the primary intention of the Catholic Church it would be to use scriptural passages for deciding physical conclusions, when either experiments or logical proofs might in time show the contrary of what the literal sense of the words signifies.

Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina

Furthermore, it would be necessary to forbid men to look at the heavens, in order that they might not see Mars and Venus sometimes quite near the earth and sometimes very distant, the variation being so great that Venus is forty times and Mars sixty times as large at one time as another.

This was not exactly what father had in mind, so Galileo was hastily withdrawn from the monastery.

These people understand neither the Bible nor science, and yet they grant themselves the authority to pass judgement on both, says Galileo. Rather, Galileo states that he is addressing specifically two kinds of theologians. Desirea Hoover marked it as to-read Mar 04, Men who were well grounded in astronomical and physical science were persuaded as soon as they received my first message.