february 26

Wayback Wednesday: Galileo Silenced 1616

Posted on Updated on

Galileo Before Holy Office Image One
Artist: Joseph-Nicolas Robert Fleury Original Image: library.thinkquest.org Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

They really wanted Galileo to shut up. Four hundred, four years, today, the Catholic Church was nearly successful with an injunction. Referred to as the Galileo Affair, it started in 1610 and ended in 1633 with the Roman Inquistion.

Galileo got into trouble for supporting Copernican Heliocentrism, the mathematical model put forth by Nicolaus Copernicus (see Copernican Revolution), that suggested the Earth, and other planets, revolve around the sun at the center of the Solar System, opposing Geocentrism, backed by the Catholic Church.

Moons of Jupiter Image Two
Voyager 1 Montage October 30, 1998 Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Background:

In 1610, Galileo published his Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger), describing the surprising observations that he had made with [a] new telescope, among them, the Galilean Moons of Jupiter. With these observations, and additional observations that followed, such as the phases of Venus, he promoted the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus published in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in 1543. Galileo’s discoveries were met with opposition within the Catholic Church and, in 1616, the Inquisition declared heliocentrism to be “formally heretical.” Heliocentric books were banned and Galileo was ordered to abstain from holding, teaching or defending heliocentric ideas.

Librorum Prohibitorum Image Three
List of Books Banned by the Catholic Church Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Deliberation

On February 19, 1616, the Inquisition asked a commission of theologians, known as qualifiers, about the propositions of the heliocentric view of the universe. [It was] confirmed that Galileo had advocated the Copernican doctrines of a stationary Sun, and a mobile Earth, and as a consequence, the Tribunal of the Inquisition would have eventually needed to determine the theological status of those doctrines.

Judgement:

On February 24, the Qualifiers delivered their unanimous report:

“[The] proposition that the Sun is stationary at the centre of the universe is foolish and absurd in philosophy and, formally, heretical since it explicitly contradicts, in many places, the sense of Holy Scripture. [The] proposition that the Earth moves and is not at the centre of the universe receives the same judgement in philosophy and … in regard to theological truth, it is at least erroneous in faith.”

At a meeting of the cardinals of the Inquisition on the following day, Pope Paul V instructed [Cardinal] Bellarmine to deliver this result to Galileo and to order him to abandon the Copernican opinions. [Should] Galileo resist the decree, stronger action would be taken. On February 26, Galileo was called to Bellarmine’s residence and ordered:

“[To] abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or, from discussing it… to abandon completely… the opinion that the [Sun] stands still at the center of the world and the [Earth] moves and, henceforth, not to hold, teach or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.”

Galileo accepted the order. He didn’t have much choice as his reputation was at stake. Shortly afterwards, all books regarding the Copernican system were banned and Galileo’s works regarding Copernicanism were banned as well. His sentence prevented him from teaching or speaking of the matter further. He remained silent only for so long.

Additional Reading:
The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History (Wayback Machine)
The Trial of Galileo: Essential Documents (Google Books)
The 1616 Documents (Douglas Allchin’s Website)

Very interesting take on what actually happened…

Tune Tuesday: The Beatles 1964

Posted on Updated on

The Beatles Image One
Photo Credit: moptoptours.com

Fifty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was I Want to Hold Your Hand. Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, it was recorded October 17, 1963, at EMI Studios in London.

From The Beatles Dot Com:

[…] it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment. It was also the group’s first American number one, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 18 January 1964 at number forty-five and starting the British Invasion of the American music industry.

The Beatles Image Two
Photo Credit: beatlephotoblog.com

From The Beatles Bible:

“A telegram came through to Brian from Capitol Records of America. He came running in to the room saying, ‘Hey, look. You are number one in America!’ I Want To Hold Your Hand had gone to number one. Well, I can’t describe our response. We all tried to climb onto Big Mal’s back to go round the hotel suite: ‘Wey-hey!’ And that was it, we didn’t come down for a week.”

~Paul McCartney

“It was such a buzz to find that it had gone to number one. We went out to dinner that evening with Brian and George Martin. George took us to a place which was a vault, with huge barrels of wine around. It was a restaurant and its theme was… well, the bread rolls were shaped like penises, the soup was served out of chamber pots and the chocolate ice cream was like a big turd. And, the waiter came ’round and tied garters on all the girls’ legs. I’ve seen some pictures of us. There is a photograph around of Brian with the pot on his head. It was a great feeling because we were booked to go to America directly after the Paris trip, so it was handy to have a number one. We’d already been hired by Ed Sullivan so, if it had been a number two or number ten we’d have gone anyway but, it was nice to have a number one. We did have three records out in America before this one. The others were on two different labels. It was only after all the publicity and the Beatlemania in Europe that Capitol Records decided, ‘Oh, we will have them.’ They put out I Want To Hold Your Hand as our first single but, in fact, it was our fourth.

~George Harrison

The Beatles Image Three
Image/Photo Credit: beatles.ncf.ca (Ottawa Beatles Site)
Los Angeles Times Article 02-10-1964 (left)
Ed Sullivan Show Shots 02-09-1964 (right)

From the Ottawa Journal:

Will We All Become Beatle Nuts?
Here’s What the Reviewers Say…

“Anyone who is not a teenage girl obviously is unqualified to comment on the sight of The Beatles in action. Heaven knows we’ve heard them enough. It has been impossible to get a radio weather bulletin or time signal without running into “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” And now, having seen the four performers on Ed Sullivan’s show Sunday night, Beatlemania is even more of a mystery to an elderly viewer.”

~Cynthia Lowry (Associated Press)

“It is now clear why President de Gaulle has been giving England such a hard time about the Common Market. He undoubtedly saw The Beatles and decided nothing doing. As you certainly know, America saw the four-member rock’n’roll British group live on television last night. Pandemonium reigned. Vive La France.”

~Rick DuBrow (United Press International)

“”You can tell right away its The Beatles and not anyone else,” is the opinion of a 15-year-old specialist on the topic who saw them on the Ed Sullivan show. The age of 15 (or 16, or 14 or 13) is essential in Beatle experts. And, so, taking the above axiom as gospel, an attempt was made to find out just what is musically unique about the English group that is now visiting our shores.”

~Theodore Strongin (The New York Times)

“It seems The Beatles came, sang and conquered…all that is but, the TV reviewers. Most of the time, these reviewers have real troubles finding something to write about. Ask them… When Elvis Presley first appeared on the popular musical scene and made his TV début, did they praise him? No. In fact, most beat singers who come under the TV reviewer’s eagle eye rarely receive a word of praise. It seems obvious the reviewers came to bury the teenage favorites and not to praise them. Again, the teenage taste has been mocked. As long as this superior feeling is put across, the younger generation will continue to make their idols…and won’t give a darn who likes them.”

~Sandy Gardiner (Ottawa Journal)

Though this song didn’t win any awards, The Beatles did receive The Best New Artist award at the 7th Annual Grammy Awards.

Lyrics:
Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something,
I think you’ll understand,
Then I’ll say that something,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand.
Oh please say to me
You’ll let me be your man,
And please say to me,
You’ll let me hold your hand,
Now let me hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand.
And when I touch you
I feel happy inside,
It’s such a feeling
That my love I can’t hide,
I can’t hide, I can’t hide.
Yeah, you got that something,
I think you’ll understand,
When I feel that something,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand.
And when I touch you
I feel happy inside,
It’s such a feeling
That my love I can’t hide,
I can’t hide, I can’t hide.
Yeah, you got that something,
I think you’ll understand,
When I feel that something,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand,
I wanna hold your hand.