Why Is Galileo Interested In Astronomy

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Why Is Galileo Interested In Astronomy

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Is This the Future of Astronomy?

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And, yes, because of the pandemic, the past 10 months have been the most productive in my career. Speaking of important things, here is one I think we both agree on: in science, we must keep each other honest. How can that be true? Let me explain. I think talking to the media is an important opportunity because it allows me to share my message with a broader audience that otherwise would not have exposure to it. What is your message, exactly? My message is that something is wrong with the scientific community today in terms of its health. Too many scientists are now mostly motivated by ego, by getting honors and awards, by showing their colleagues how smart they are. They treat science as a monologue about themselves rather than a dialogue with nature.

They build echo chambers using students and postdocs who repeat their mantras so that their voice will be louder and their image will be promoted. You can never tell in advance, when you work on the frontier, what is the right path forward. You only learn that by getting feedback from experiments. Which is the other problem with science today: people are not only motivated by the wrong reasons; they are also no longer guided by evidence. Right now you have many celebrated scientists doing mathematical gymnastics about lots of untestable things: string theory, the multiverse, even the theory of cosmic inflation.

And therefore, inflation is in a very strong position because it can explain anything! But I see this as a very weak position because a theory of everything is sometimes a theory of nothing. There may be no difference between the two. You can feel really good about it and talk about it with your friends. Just like going to an ATM, doing experiments can serve as a reality check. So speculating about string theory and multiverses is bad, but speculating about alien civilizations and their artifacts passing through the solar system is okay?

The difference is: you can make predictions and test for the latter, and the speculations come from a conservative position. Rubin Observatory comes online. We can also establish a system of instruments—satellites, maybe—that would not only monitor the sky but also be able to react to the approach of such objects so we can get photographs of them as they come in rather than chasing them as they go out, because they move very fast. Not all this work needs to be in space, either: You can imagine meteors of interstellar origin as well, and we can search for those. People ask why I get this media attention. The only reason is because my colleagues are not using common sense. So if you roll the dice on life billions of times in the Milky Way, what is the chance that we are alone?

Minuscule, most likely! To say that if you arrange for similar circumstances, you get similar outcomes is, to me, the most conservative statement imaginable. We should look for these things because they must be very likely. But that is considered mainstream? Allow me to put this in a very specific context. Now, I see astronomers talking about future telescopes costing billions of dollars , with the main motivation being to find life by looking for oxygen in the atmospheres of exoplanets. That is a noble wish. But if you look at the Earth for its first two billion years or so , the planet did not have much oxygen in its atmosphere even though it had a lot of microbial life.

Point number two is that even if you have oxygen, you can get it from natural processes such as breaking apart water molecules. So even if you if you spend these billions and find oxygen and maybe even find methane along with it , people will still argue about it forever. Look at how much discussion there has been about the potential detection of phosphine on Venus , which is a very unusual molecule, compared with oxygen. What would that be? Industrial pollution in the same atmosphere. New questions? New loves?

UIUC wants to know. Identify the impact your experiences have had on you. For this student, astronomy has been about more than identifying stars or watching their life cycle. My interest in Gender and Sexuality Studies was sparked in my eighth grade Civics class when we studied topics pertaining to sexual equality. I went into the class knowing I believed women had a right to make choices for their own bodies and that view remained the same, but I discovered the complexity of abortion debates. I challenged myself by thinking about the disparity between actual and potential personhood and the moral rights of unconscious lives. If pregnancy had the same consequences for men as it does women, how might the debate be different? Would this debate even exist? On my first shift, I watched an incarcerated woman receive a postpartum exam after giving birth in her cell toilet with just Advil, and the issues discussed in Civics suddenly became urgent and real.

My school projects have often focused on reproductive rights. The interdisciplinary nature of this major will allow me to investigate many other areas of study and create a more nuanced understanding of how this particular field interacts with our world and society. You can include a thesis in the first paragraph. And the great thing here is that you know exactly what this student is interested in from the first sentence of her first paragraph. Connect the dots. As we read through the essay, we see how the author has developed her interest in different settings and contexts. That narrative structure helps propel the piece forward and keeps readers engaged. Consider using imagery.

The fact that this student so clearly remembers this moment and how it changed her thinking is powerful. Using anecdotes or descriptions of specific experiences is a wonderful way to emphasize meaningful growth. Describe relevant personal experiences. Personal anecdotes and moments of reflections can be just as powerful. Although the first part of your essay might convey a clear thesis statement that answers the question in the prompt, your conclusion can explore nuance as you look ahead. After all, our rent depends on our profits.

However, I also hold enormous respect for regulation. I vividly remember seeing my second grade classmate Nelson sprawled on the asphalt in front of the Chinese school we attended, accidentally run over by his teacher. I later discovered that afterschool was unlicensed: no safety training, no inspections, nothing. Years later, when my mother opened her own afterschool business, I filed the licensing documents and installed government-mandated guardrails. Though burdensome, regulation is crucial. The afterschool industry taught me the inseparability of business and policy, but also sparked my curiosity concerning how political economics can leverage that relationship for maximal social benefit. In my Democratic Party internship, I examined how to incentivize below-market-rate housing construction without reducing overall supply.

At FBLA Nationals, I delivered a presentation on management practices to reduce oil spills, increasing profits while meeting environmental standards. CMU strikes me as surprisingly similar to the afterschool industry: an environment where learning occurs through doing and where business and policy can be explored in tandem. Whether I become a leader in the afterschool industry or an elected official regulating it, I know CMU will enable this Capitalist Bureaucrat to catalyze purposeful impact. Consider starting with a powerful one-liner.

The first sentence of this essay is great. It also acts as a clever thesis. The Bonus Example 1 see above offers a more straightforward thesis; this one is a bit more subtle. Both ways can work. It also was really smart of this author to make the first line its own paragraph. The white space in between sets it apart and magnifies its impact. Make it personal. Even though this prompt is asking you to expand on an academic interest, make an effort to weave non-academic details about your life into the piece. They make us feel like we know the author at a deeper level, and that primes us to more readily engage with the rest of his piece.

Demonstrate how you took initiative. The author here has done some incredible things. From , the institution had jurisdiction over books and created the Index of Prohibited Books. Science historian Jacob Bronowski wrote that "Catholics and Protestants were embattled in what we should now call a Cold War. The Church was a great temporal power, and in that bitter time it was fighting a political crusade in which all means were justified by the end.

After , when Galileo began publicly supporting the heliocentric view which placed the Sun at the center of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in Galileo defended his theories through the long-established Catholic understanding of Scripture, that the Bible was not intended to expound scientific theory and where it conflicted with common sense, should be read as allegory. In March , the Church's Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be "corrected", because the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine [74] that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was "false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.

Urban VIII was an intellectual and patron of the arts and architecture, who had written poetry as a young man in praise of Galileo's astronomical writings. Galileo met with the new Pope, hoping to persuade him to lift the ban. The Preparatory Commission for the trial of Galileo noted that the Pope's stated belief that it would be extravagant boldness to limit the power and wisdom of God to an individual's particular conjecture was put "into the mouth of a fool" in Galileo's text. Galileo was summoned to Rome to be tried by the Inquisition in According to Bronowski, Galileo's accusers relied on a forged document purporting to have, in , forbidden Galileo from in "any way whatsoever" teaching theories of Copernicus, and thus could find him guilty of dishonestly tricking the censors and therefore ban his book without addressing the issues of substance relating to Copernicus found within it.

Galileo remained a practicing Catholic and during his house arrest wrote his most influential work Two New Sciences — a book that was smuggled to the Protestant part of Holland to be published. The Catholic Church's Index of Prohibited Books omitted the general prohibition of works defending heliocentrism, [82] but retained the specific prohibitions of the original uncensored versions of De revolutionibus and Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.

Those prohibitions were finally dropped from the Index. The Inquisition's ban on reprinting Galileo's works was lifted in when permission was granted to publish an edition of his works excluding the condemned Dialogue in Florence. In , Pope John Paul II ordered a re-examination of the evidence against Galileo and formally acquitted him in In Pope Pius XII , in his first speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, within a few months of his election to the papacy, described Galileo as being among the "most audacious heroes of research He was energetic on this point and regretted that in the case of Galileo.

On 15 February , in a speech delivered at the Sapienza University of Rome , [92] Cardinal Ratzinger later Pope Benedict XVI cited some current views on the Galileo affair as forming what he called "a symptomatic case that permits us to see how deep the self-doubt of the modern age, of science and technology, goes today. Her verdict against Galileo was rational and just and the revision of this verdict can be justified only on the grounds of what is politically opportune. He did, however, say: "It would be foolish to construct an impulsive apologetic on the basis of such views. On 31 October , Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Church tribunal that judged the scientific positions of Galileo Galilei; this was the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Conrad Gessner 's zoological work, Historiae animalium , which appeared in 4 volumes and was published between and He still maintained friendship with Catholics regardless of the religious animosities between Catholics and Protestants at that time. Gaining support for his work, Catholic booksellers in Venice protested the ban on Gessner's books but it was later on allowed for selling once it was revised and "freed" from doctrines contrary to the Catholic faith.

In the years since the publication of Charles Darwin 's On the Origin of Species in , the position of the Catholic Church on the theory of evolution has slowly been refined. For about years there was no authoritative pronouncement on the subject, though local church figures took on more prominent sides. Witcomb [] published The Genesis Flood , which argued that there is scientific support for the bible creation story. In October , Pope John Paul II outlined the Catholic view of evolution to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences , saying that the Church holds that evolution is "more than a hypothesis," it is a well-accepted theory of science and that the human body evolved according to natural processes, while the human soul is the creation of God.

Catholic scientists contributed to the development of evolutionary theory. Among the foremost Catholic contributors to the development of the modern understanding of evolution was the Jesuit-educated Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel Papal pronouncements, along with commentaries by cardinals, indicate the Church is aware of the general findings of scientists on the gradual appearance of life. The Church's stance is that the temporal appearance of life has been guided by God. Modern Creationism has had little Catholic support.

In the s, the Church's position was one of neutrality; by the late 20th century its position evolved to one of general acceptance of evolution. Today [update] , the Church's official position is a fairly non-specific example of theistic evolution. No infallible declarations by the Pope or an Ecumenical Council have ever been made. There have been several organizations composed of Catholic laity and clergy that have advocated positions both supporting and opposing evolution. For example:. As in other countries, Catholic schools in the United States teach evolution as part of their science curriculum. They teach the fact that evolution occurs and the modern evolutionary synthesis , which is the scientific theory that explains how evolution occurs.

This is the same evolution curriculum that secular schools teach. At the same time, Catholic parents whose children are in public schools should ensure that their children are also receiving appropriate catechesis at home and in the parish on God as Creator. Students should be able to leave their biology classes, and their courses in religious instruction, with an integrated understanding of the means God chose to make us who we are.

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian scientist and Augustinian friar who began experimenting with peas around Observing the processes of pollination at his monastery in what is now the Czech Republic , Mendel studied and developed theories about the field of science now called genetics. The paper was not widely read nor understood, and soon after its publication Mendel was elected abbot of his monastery. He continued experimenting with bees but his work went unrecognized until various scientists resurrected his theories around , after his death.

The Brno Monastery was a center of scholarship, with an extensive library and a tradition of scientific research. Where Charles Darwin 's theories suggested a mechanism for improvement of species over generations, Mendel's observations explained how new species could emerge. Though Darwin and Mendel never collaborated, they were aware of each other's work Darwin read a paper by Wilhelm Olbers Focke which extensively referenced Mendel. Bill Bryson wrote that "without realizing it, Darwin and Mendel laid the groundwork for all of the life sciences in the twentieth century.

Darwin saw that all living things are connected, that ultimately they trace their ancestry to a single, common source; Mendel's work provided the mechanism to explain how that could happen. Haldane and others brought together the principles of Mendelian inheritance with Darwinian principles of evolution to form the field of genetics known as Modern evolutionary synthesis. The idea became established theory only decades later with the discovery of cosmic background radiation by American scientists. In ancient times, the Church supported medical research as an aid to Christian charity.

The Church supported the development of modern science and scientific research by founding some of Europe's first universities in the Middle Ages. Historian Lawrence M. Principe writes that "it is clear from the historical record that the Catholic church has been probably the largest single and longest-term patron of science in history, that many contributors to the Scientific Revolution were themselves Catholic, and that several Catholic institutions and perspectives were key influences upon the rise of modern science.

Heilbronn in his book The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories writes that "the Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries, from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment, than any other, and, probably, all other, institutions. Scientific support continues through the present day. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was founded in by Pope Pius XI to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems.

The academy holds a membership roster of the most respected names of contemporary science, many of them Nobel laureates. Also worth noting is the Vatican Observatory , an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See. In his encyclical Fides et Ratio , Pope John Paul II wrote that "faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. In the first few centuries of the Church, the Church Fathers appropriated the best of Greek philosophy in defense of the faith. This appropriation culminated in the 13th-century writings of Thomas Aquinas , whose synthesis of faith and reason has influenced Catholic thought for eight centuries. Because of this synthesis, many historians of science trace the foundations of modern science to the 13th century.

The relationship between the Catholic church and science has been largely supportive in spite of the myth of conflict stemming from discomfort with divergence from a Biblical geocentric model of cosmology to a heliocentric one. The church and its Jesuit missionaries not only studied subjects such as astronomy, physics and math, they exchanged information with others such as the Chinese across the world. Two developments made the confirmation possible: the more accurate measurements of the sun and the moon, and the astronomical community's understanding of how to use language that was vague enough to avoid direct conflict with church doctrine.

One of the primary reasons that the church was so supportive of astronomical research was that the church needed astronomers to assist in resolving issues with the calendar—specifically in establishing a date for Easter. In A. Paul favored resetting the date of the vernal equinox to March 10 rather than eliminating days to correct the drift but the changes were not made. Accurate data about the vernal equinox required a large, dark space like a cathedral to measure a meridian line. Astronomers from Ptolemy to Cassini recognized potential conflicts between their observations and cosmology and it was often a challenge to cultivate a position in which science and scripture could both be true. Ptolemy saw the conflict between his model and the movement of planets.

Galileo was of the opinion that since God is responsible for every aspect of our world, including the sensory experiences that are an integral part of scientific observation, then if what we see differs from scripture, we should conclude that the observations are correct. He found that Copernicus's system also coincided with Lutheran ideologies. By Osiander writing the forward and making this statement he was "saving the phenomenon" and was able to keep Copernicus's work from getting questioned to an extent.

Making that distinction furthered helped expand upon theories that would rub the Church in the wrong way, but avoided that because by focusing on the mathematical aspects and not making quick conclusions about how planets moved kept a boundary intact between the two and helped refrain a conflict from occurring. The Church has, since ancient times, been heavily involved in the study and provision of medicine. Early Christians were noted for tending the sick and infirm, and priests were often also physicians. Christian emphasis on practical charity gave rise to the development of systematic nursing and hospitals after the end of the persecution of the early church.

Notable contributors to the medical sciences of those early centuries include Tertullian born A. Isidore of Seville d. Benedict of Nursia emphasised medicine as an aid to the provision of hospitality. Monasteries of this era were diligent in the study of medicine. Beyond theological works, Hildegard wrote Physica, a text on the natural sciences, as well as Causae et Curae. Hildegard of Bingen was well known for her healing powers that involved practical application of tinctures, herbs, and precious stones. Charlemagne decreed that each monastery and cathedral chapter establish a school and in these schools, medicine was commonly taught.

At one such school Pope Sylvester II taught medicine. Clergy were active at the School of Salerno , the oldest medical school in Western Europe. Among the important churchmen to teach there were Alpuhans , later —85 Archbishop of Salerno, and the influential Constantine of Carthage , a monk who produced superior translations of Hippocrates and investigated Arab literature. In Catholic Spain amidst the early Reconquista , Archbishop Raimund founded an institution for translations, which employed some Jewish translators to communicate the works of Arabian medicine. Influenced by the rediscovery of Aristotelean thought, churchmen like the Dominican Albert Magnus and the Franciscan Roger Bacon made significant advances in the observation of nature. Through the devastating Bubonic Plague , the Franciscans were notable for tending the sick.

The apparent impotence of medical knowledge against the disease prompted critical examination. Medical scientists came to divide among anti- Galenists , anti-Arabists, and positive Hippocratics. In Renaissance Italy, the Popes were often patrons of the study of anatomy, and Catholic artists such as Michelangelo advanced knowledge of the field through such studies as sketching cadavers to improve his portraits of the crucifixion. The Jesuit order, created during the Reformation, contributed a number of distinguished medical scientists. In the field of bacteriology, Athanasius Kircher first proposed that living organisms enter and exist in the blood. In the development of ophthalmology , Christoph Scheiner made important advances about refraction of light and the retinal image.

In modern times, the Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care in the world. Catholic religious have been responsible for founding and running networks of hospitals across the world where medical research continues to advance. It draws on many of the world's leading scientists, including many Nobel Laureates, to act as advisors to the Popes on scientific issues. The Academy has an international membership which includes British physicist Stephen Hawking , the astronomer royal Martin Rees , and Nobel laureates such as U.

Under the protection of the reigning Pope, the Academy aims to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems. The Academy has its origins in the Accademia Pontificia dei Nuovi Lincei "Pontifical Academy of the New Lynxes" , founded in and intended as a more closely supervised successor to the Accademia dei Lincei "Academy of Lynxes" established in Rome in by the learned Roman Prince Federico Cesi — who was a young botanist and naturalist, and which claimed Galileo Galilei as a member. The Vatican Observatory Specola Vaticana is an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See.

Originally based in Rome , it now has headquarters and laboratory at the summer residence of the Pope in Castel Gandolfo , Italy , and an observatory at the Mount Graham International Observatory in the United States. Many distinguished scholars have worked at the Observatory. In , the Templeton Prize was awarded to cosmologist Fr. George Coyne , SJ. Jesuits were leaders of the Counter-Reformation , who have contributed a great many distinguished scientists and institutions of learning, right up to the present. The role of some of its members like Robert Bellarmine , in the Counter-Reformation period and in defense of Papal teaching, show the constraints under which they operated. However, recent scholarship in the history of science has focused on the substantial contributions of Jesuit scientists over the centuries.

Historian Jonathan Wright discussed the breadth of Jesuit involvement in the sciences in his history of the order:. They theorized about the circulation of the blood independently of Harvey , the theoretical possibility of flight, the way the moon affected the tides, and the wave-like nature of light. Star maps of the southern hemisphere, symbolic logic, flood-control measures on the Po and Adige rivers, introducing plus and minus signs into Italian mathematics — all were typical Jesuit achievements, and scientists as influential as Fermat, Huygens, Leibniz, and Newton were not alone in counting Jesuits among their most prized correspondents. The Jesuits made significant contributions to scientific knowledge in China. Under the Qing Dynasty, the Jesuits' knowledge of observational astronomy and spherical trigonometry was welcomed by the imperial court.

The Manchus who conquered the Ming Dynasty also welcomed the Jesuit scientists and employed their help due to their expert knowledge of mathematical astronomy, which aided the ruling class in predicting celestial events, thus, displaying that this dynasty retained the Mandate of Heaven. In addition to reinforcing the Mandate of Heaven, the Jesuits separated two fields of science that were thought by the Chinese to be the same, cosmology and cosmography. By doing so, they were able to avoid being restricted by the Book of Changes. The Jesuits' astronomical measurements were also more accurate than their Chinese counterparts.

This factor, combined with the fact that the Jesuits also sympathized with the need of the Qing Dynasty to replace the old Ming calendar with a better one of their own enabled the Jesuits to make a significant impact on the Chinese Imperial Court. Father Matteo Ricci served on a jury charged with filling high ranking positions in the imperial court. Father Johann Adam Schall von Bell was made president of the mathematics court of the Qing dynasty and contributed significantly to the reformation of China's calendar. Father Ferdinand Verbiest contributed to China's understanding of its geography and helped China define its border with Russia.

Matteo Ricci was one of the most influential Jesuits that was sent to China. Matteo had been educated in math and science at the Collegio Romano with Christopher Clavius and also in Portugal at the University of Coimbra. Matteo went to China in , where he resided in the city of Macau. He would then move to Beijing in , where he hoped that the Ming would employ him and his order to correct their calendar. Ricci would also spread Euclidian Geometry to China by helping translate his works while using books prepared by Christopher Clavius.

Ricci hoped to do this by earning the favor of the court and educated literati elites. In this, Ricci was successful. He was able to convert other Chinese scholars to Catholicism who would then subsequently help him spread both Christianity and more accurate astrological measurements. In one case, Ricci, along with Xu Guangqi and Li Zhizhao, both of whom he had converted, would translate both Euclid and Ptolemy's works into Chinese in These three would also go on to translate works from both Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. By doing this, they were able to introduce, however slightly new ideas into the Chinese astronomical system.

Although the Ming court never took his work seriously while he was still alive, one of Ricci's converts, Xu Guangqi would later be called upon as a high-ranking member of the Ministry of Rites and he would go on to reform the Chinese astronomical system. Schall, along with many other Jesuits quickly adapted to the regime change and offered his services to the new Qing Emperor. The new Emperor accepted Schall's offer, and this could bring in a new age of Jesuit acceptance in China that contrasted with the Ming dynasty's indifference to Matteo Ricci's efforts. The acceptance of Jesuit help would go on to have drastic consequences, as the former Chinese and Muslim members of the Astrocaldendrical Bureau who were replaced by the Jesuits would join the anti-Jesuit faction in the court and seek to purge their influence.

In the meantime, however, Schall and assistants would continue their work and in , they unveiled their first work. They called it a "temporal model calendar". Schall, recognizing the importance of elaborate state rituals in China, offered the calendar to the Emperor in a complex ceremony involving music, parades, and signs of submission like kneeling and kowtowing. After this overwhelming success, however, Schall's legitimacy was quickly put into question by Yang Guangxian, who accused Schall of attempting to undermine the Qing dynasty by fomenting civil unrest.

Schall and the Jesuits were also accused of secretly harboring illegal foreigners in their churches spread around China and were also accused of claiming that the Qing rulers relied upon their Western ideas for political legitimacy. Schall was imprisoned and died while in captivity in at the age of seventy-five. He was posthumously pardoned by Kangxi Emperor upon his ascension to the throne.

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