Friday, June 30, 2006

Galileo Galilei -- A Pioneer in Reason

Galileo was the greatest scientist of his day. He used reason and the evidence of his own eyes to prove that the earth revolved around the sun, an idea that challenged the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church had dominated and squelched the intellectual life of Europe since the Fall of Rome. Galileo, by pursuing the evidence of his eyes and the logic of reason, collided with the Church. Although the Church made Galileo utter the words of recantation, the truth of his ideas could not be recanted.

The triumph of Galileo marked the end of the domination of the Catholic Church in Europe. The trial of Galileo under the Inquisition signaled the end of the Renaissance in Southern Europe, and its migration to the more tolerant North, where it eventually ushered in the Age of Enlightenment and the ideas that led to the founding of the United States. I thank Galileo for being true to his eyes and helping to usher in the Age of Reason and its glorious offspring, the United States.