Four hundred years after the trial, the mere mention of the name “Galileo” is often considered a powerful one-word refutation against the Catholic Church. Why? Because, according to the popular telling of the “Galileo Affair,” it was Galileo who: 1) proved heliocentrism, despite a Church that officially declared heliocentrism to be a heresy; 2) was tortured and martyred by the Church, and; 3) discovered that Scripture—and by extension, the Catholic Church—was a fraud.
“Be not afraid!”
If someone asked you who discovered DNA, what answer would you give?
Fr. George Coyne, SJ, passed away on February 14, 2020. He was an astrophysicist, a priest, the former director of the Vatican Observatory, and a “remarkable man.” His life and contributions are celebrated in moving tributes from the Vatican Observatory website and many other outlets, including the New York Times.
Do faith and science operate in completely separate, non-overlapping realms? In the first of a series of articles for Thinking Faith, Vatican Astronomer, Guy Consolmagno SJ, explores how science works, how scientists work, and the place that faith has in science—simply because scientists are people.
The last week of January was a historic week for space news.
I once thought that the Copernican Revolution was about the modern scientific view of the universe displacing the old Earth-centered view. Consider Neil deGrasse Tyson’s 2014 re-make of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” TV series, with its animated sequence about Giordano Bruno being condemned and burned by church officials for advocating that the stars were other suns, orbited by other worlds (if you have not seen the Bruno sequence, click here to watch it, and go to about the 16 minute mark).
Did you know that there are “widespread ruins of an abandoned solar-power technology” revealing that humans have harnessed the power of the sun for centuries?
“‘It looks full of hard words and signs and numbers, not very entertaining or understandable looking, and I wonder whether it will make people wiser or better.’ So wrote a cousin of Josiah Willard Gibbs when she happened onto a copy of his most famous paper on thermodynamics lying on his desk.” -As quoted from Order and Chaos, by Stanley Angrist and Loren Hepler.
On April 10, 2019, the first image of a black hole and its shadow was revealed to the world.