When Galileo Stood Trial for Defending Science

Four centuries ago, the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei put his freedom and his life at stake to convince the religious establishment that the Copernican model of the solar system – in which the Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun – represented reality physical.

After his own observations and the discoveries of other astronomers, no one could really say that what we saw through the telescope was an optical illusion and not a faithful reproduction of the world. The only defense left to those who refused to accept the conclusions first proposed by Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, and strengthened by the accumulation of scientific facts and reasoning, was to reject the interpretation results.

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