February 15, 1564 – Beginning of Galileo and End of A Cramped Perspective

On this day in history, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy. In a number of carefully reasoned treatises, Galileo provided evidence that the earth was not in fact the center of the universe.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

He knocked epistemology, theology, history, as well as science on its head.

Much of the evidence provided by Galileo came from his use of the telescope. Many people are unaware that Galileo did not invent this instrument himself. A Dutch eyeglass maker, Hans Libbershey, was at least the first person to apply for a patent in 1608. But Galileo was a very early adopter, and improver, of the telescope.

Galileo's 1609 drawings made "from life" of the moon

Galileo’s 1609 drawings made “from life” of the moon

Both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have called Galileo the father of modern science. But he did more than that, by showing us that we must look beyond ourselves to have a full understanding of the universe and how it works. As author John Green often argues, one of the best ways to do this nowadays is by reading books.

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3 Responses to February 15, 1564 – Beginning of Galileo and End of A Cramped Perspective

  1. Trisha says:

    It’s strange how the facts of Galileo’s “discovery” so clearly apply to a larger human problem – narcissism. Love the post!

  2. Athira says:

    Great post! It is amazing how Galileo stood up to say something that would make a lot of people angry with him. But thanks to him, we have some truths about the solar system.

  3. Beth F says:

    He was a popular historical figure in our house when I was growing up (seriously). We knew all about him. Poor guy having to renounce his discoveries to get into heaven. But he was pardoned (or whatever it’s called) not too long ago by Rome. Took only a few hundred years.

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