Denial – The action of declaring something to be untrue.
The other day we had the chief justice of Iowa come and talk to our school. He had mentioned how Galileo fought for his rights and that sparked something in me to want to learn more about him and share it with you. It also fits in with today’s prompt which is denial. Galileo was denied his whole life for his discoveries of the solar system, and it wasn’t until 300 years after that they realized, he was right all along.
Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy on February 18, 1564. He was born into a family of aristocratic lineage, which means they were royalty or believed they were superior in some way. When Galileo was 17 years old his father, who was a noted musician who also made money in the wool trade, sent Galileo to the University of Pisa to study medicine. Shortly after though he changed his career to study mathematics. Sadly he was forced to leave school due to a lack of money and so he started tutoring students in math to support himself. Eventually he obtained a lecturing position at the University of Pisa and was there for 3 years, and then he moved on to the University of Padua where he stayed for 15 years. This is where he met his mistress, Marina Gambi, and later on had three children with her.
Galileo did groundbreaking research in physics and discovered the law of inertia and was paving the way for the work of Isaac Newton, and if you don’t know who he is he had a lot of discoveries in optics, motion, and mathematics. Galileo observed the mountains and craters on earth’s moon, and discovered the four moons that orbit Jupiter. In 1610 he published a book called Sidereus Nuncius, where he recorded his discoveries, and it made him a celebrity in Europe. Galileo later on published a book called Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World. Galileo was supported by the church until he wrote this book. He was warned and had made a lot of enemies. He was tried, threatened with torture, and forced to say that his perfectly correct position about the solar system being centered around the sun, was wrong and that it was centered around the earth. He was left in denial. Galileo was turned into the Holy Office to begin trial for being heretical, and this wasn’t his first time in the hot seat. He continued to write about the issue and evidence more as a discussion rather than a belief.
At the end of the day Galileo’s argument didn’t win. His books were prohibited and he became a servant of the church. When he became older he spent his last years on house arrest. While on house arrest he wrote Two New Sciences, a summary of his life’s work on the science of motion and strength of materials. By the time is was printed in Holland, he had become blind and greatly ill. He died on January 8th, 1642, and it wasn’t until 300 years after this that the church confessed to believing that Galileo and his studies that the solar system indeed revolved around the sun, and not the earth.
I like Galileo’s story because he stood up for what he believed in. He knew what he was talking about and just because the church didn’t believe it he still did. He went on to pursue his discoveries even when he was on house arrest in his last years of life. Now Galileo is a famous part of our history all because he stood up for himself because he knew what was right from wrong.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this, I know it was a longer piece but let me know what you think about Galileo and what you would’ve done if you were in a position to stand up for what you believed in, when no one else did. Thanks!!!