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Galileo's Mistake: a New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church.


In a defining moment in modern Western culture, the inquisition convicted Galileo Galilei of heresy in 1633 Rowland argues that the trial centered less on Galileo's defense of the Copernican view of the solar system than on his argument about what truth is and how we know it. Galileo made a critical mistake, Rowland believes, not by contending that Earth revolves around the sun but by insisting that science and only science provides the truth about reality. In fact, Rowland asserts that many leaders of the Church believed Copernicus' theory to be true. It was Galileo's relentless assault on religion that did him in. Rowland recreates Galileo's trial according to information the author gathered on journeys to Italy. He gives weight to the Church's position in the 17th century and makes a case for the Church's role in the pursuit of truth today. Originally published in Canada in 2001. Arcade, 2003, 298 p., b&w plates, hardcover, $26.95.
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 9, 2003
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