PDA

View Full Version : If you were Galileo, what would you do differently?



Fr. Wayne
2005-Dec-21, 08:27 AM
:) I start this thread mostly because this wonderful BAUT allows me to put aside my anxieties about my mom's health and let's me babble on in one of my favorite hobbies- Astronomy of course. Anyway, since humor is the essence of courageous flight into the unknown I thank all who humor me with whatever response you can afford as I will consider such as a good thought for mothers everywhere who wonder why their child is so struck by the stars.

IF I WERE GALILEO, first thing I would have done is not recant and get a patent on telescopes claiming ownership of all things visible within it. Well, they didn't have patents yet so I would make a compromise with Monsignor Bellermine and ask him to call this device called a telescope from now on Galileo.

GDwarf
2005-Dec-21, 12:14 PM
I would probably have not insulted the (very powerful) church and all Geo centrists, for starters. I would still publish my work, but I wouldn't include little anecdotes that portrayed all those who didn't accept what I was saying as an idiot.

Renderking Fisk
2005-Dec-21, 02:00 PM
I would go back and save the library at Alexandria rather then trade places with Galileo. One of the stories I’ve heard is that many of the scientific discoveries made by household name scientists had already been discovered centuries earlier and were stored at that library.

Doodler
2005-Dec-21, 02:59 PM
Kept my bloody mouth shut. (I imagine the peanut gallery's gonna have fun with me for that comment. :D)

Laminal Cockroach
2005-Dec-21, 03:08 PM
Not blind myself?

R.A.F.
2005-Dec-21, 03:12 PM
Not "given up" observations of Saturn...

ngc3314
2005-Dec-21, 03:17 PM
Kept my bloody mouth shut. (I imagine the peanut gallery's gonna have fun with me for that comment. :D)

Oh, yeah. I might phrase that in a more prolix way: Not go out of my way to feed my ego by antagonizing (for no fruitful reason) people who could very well be in a position to seriously help or hurt me one day. You don't have to be an apologist for the Catholic hierarchy to see that Galileo made some seriously career-limiting moves, even as regards style rather than substance. It is one of the great ironies of scientific history that when Galileo faced Cardinal Bellarmino in the first set of sessions in Rome, by today's contemporary standards Bellarmino had the better grasp of the philosophy of science and Galileo the more complete view of scriptural exegesis. Within the generation after Galileo, the Jesuit astronomers (starting from a program of calendar reform) had satisfied themselves, from their own data, that not merely Copernicus, but Kepler, was correct. How different so much could have been in subsequent centuries...

(By the way - it's just slightly off-topic, but everyone wth enough interest to follow this thread really ought to read Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel.)

Further footnote: of course, there was nothing unique to Galileo about this behavior. In all walks of life, you ought to be careful whose face you trample on as you climb over them up the ladder, if only for the pragmatic reason that they might still be there on the day you come back down. Contemporary examples deleted.

Dr Nigel
2005-Dec-21, 07:38 PM
I would go back and save the library at Alexandria rather then trade places with Galileo. One of the stories I’ve heard is that many of the scientific discoveries made by household name scientists had already been discovered centuries earlier and were stored at that library.

For this to be true, there would have to have been contemporary accounts of what was in the library that describe some of these things. Yet there seem to be none.

I think it is an urban legend.

Anyway, if I were Galileo I would have learned how to use a sword.

BTW, if any of you ever pays a visit to Florence, I strongly recommend a visit to the Museum of the History of Science. Not only do they have Galileo's right middle finger (ew!) but they also have the objective lens through which he first observed Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto and an eighteenth-century replica of the inclined plane with which he demonstrated that the rate at which a falling body accelerates is independent of its mass.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Dec-21, 08:28 PM
Move to Alexandria, and make pronouncement from there; doing a little end-zone style taunt as a finishing touch.

Andromeda321
2005-Dec-21, 08:36 PM
Look at Neptune a little longer to notice that it moves instead of just plotting it as a star.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-21, 08:41 PM
For this to be true, there would have to have been contemporary accounts of what was in the library that describe some of these things. Yet there seem to be none.

I think it is an urban legend.
.
they might be associating it with Da Vinci - many of his inventions were re-invented before documents were found that show he did it first (the one that sticks in my mind is the velocepede)

Gillianren
2005-Dec-21, 11:04 PM
I have to agree with those who say "don't antagonize the Pope." According to everything I know on the subject, heliocentrism hadn't been declared heresy by the Church; Galileo was imprisoned for being impolitic. This lesson should be taken to heart, I think.

The Saint
2005-Dec-21, 11:52 PM
If I was Galilei, I'd pray that Sir Fred wasn't born in my generation! Or maybe I would!

"We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance. If the Galileo Affair had taken place after Einstein had framed his General Theory, it would have resulted in an even draw out of physical and mathematical necessity” (Sir Fred Hoyle).

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-22, 05:03 AM
I would probably have posted my work anonymously.

And da Vinci didn't invent the velocipede, he invented the modern bicycle. As well as the parachute, tank, several automatic weapons, an early SCUBA system, wheel lock guns, a submarine, clusters bombs, a programmable mechanical turtle (as in the robot, not the animal), automated fabrication systems for tools, and likely the first mechanical calculator.

Fr. Wayne
2005-Dec-22, 01:30 PM
If I was Galilei, I'd pray that Sir Fred wasn't born in my generation! Or maybe I would!

"We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance. If the Galileo Affair had taken place after Einstein had framed his General Theory, it would have resulted in an even draw out of physical and mathematical necessity” (Sir Fred Hoyle).

2nd guess: If I were Galileo, I would have declared Jovicentrism based on the fact that Jupiter had 4 moons and we only have one. Thereby moving General relativity forward by 3 centuries. Unfortunately any declaration of more than ten letters once again causes more strife than it's worth. P.S. My mom did have a break-through for the better yesterday, so thank you whoever you are.

ngc3314
2005-Dec-22, 02:06 PM
If I was Galilei, I'd pray that Sir Fred wasn't born in my generation! Or maybe I would!

"We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance. If the Galileo Affair had taken place after Einstein had framed his General Theory, it would have resulted in an even draw out of physical and mathematical necessity” (Sir Fred Hoyle).

Sir Fred didn't put any particular stock in cyclical acceleration (whose measurement is not relative to the frame of reference)?

publiusr
2005-Dec-30, 09:09 PM
Learn the art of poisoning from the Borgia.

Candy
2005-Dec-31, 05:36 AM
I would probably have posted my work anonymously.
That guy is so popular. :D

montebianco
2005-Dec-31, 06:11 AM
I would have posted my work on the internet.

MG1962A
2005-Dec-31, 06:20 AM
I'd a bought a bigger telescope :)

Candy
2005-Dec-31, 06:30 AM
I'd a bought a bigger telescope :)
Does size really matter? :think: :surprised :lol:

Paul Beardsley
2005-Dec-31, 10:55 AM
BTW, if any of you ever pays a visit to Florence, I strongly recommend a visit to the Museum of the History of Science. Not only do they have Galileo's right middle finger (ew!) but they also have the objective lens through which he first observed Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto and an eighteenth-century replica of the inclined plane with which he demonstrated that the rate at which a falling body accelerates is independent of its mass.
I second that! It's an excellent museum, and it's great to have that feeling of contact with one of the most famous and influential astronomers in history.

But the museum is merely one of many excellent reasons to visit Florence. It really is a beautiful, fascinating city, full of wonderful works of art and architecture. Most of this is crammed into the centre of the city, but if you go a little further afield - to the exquisite church San Miniato on a hill overlooking the city - you pass the house that Galileo lived in. It's only commemorated by a fairly small plaque, and it's out of the way, so when my wife and I saw it a couple of years back, we were the only ones around and it looked like any of its neighbouring houses.

I haven't read Galileo's Daughter (although it's on my to-read pile), but I do recommend Bertold Brecht's play, Life of Galileo.

The_Radiation_Specialist
2005-Dec-31, 05:34 PM
If I were Galileo I would change my identity because I wouldnt want to have my finger displayed in a museum after I die. I could also cut and burn all my fingers, though that would be more painful.
I dont know why people like taking body parts out of dead geniuses. Galileo's finger, Einsteins brain.....:eek:

Fr. Wayne
2006-Jan-03, 02:30 AM
If I were Galileo I would change my identity because I wouldnt want to have my finger displayed in a museum after I die. I could also cut and burn all my fingers, though that would be more painful.
I dont know why people like taking body parts out of dead geniuses. Galileo's finger, Einsteins brain.....:eek:

Now that's something I don't ever want to know? Too creepy.

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-03, 03:02 AM
If I were Galileo I would change my identity because I wouldnt want to have my finger displayed in a museum after I die. I could also cut and burn all my fingers, though that would be more painful.
I dont know why people like taking body parts out of dead geniuses. Galileo's finger, Einsteins brain.....:eek:

I can understand the brain, but not the finger. The finger is just getting a touch too morbid. But as for keeping the brain around, if I was a genius (like there's any question that I am), I wouldn't mind people studying my brain after I died to see what made me a genius. That's my personal opinion.