|They voted, see|
In one of the more curious moments in the Republican debate on Wednesday night, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas invoked 17th-century science in discussing his doubts about climate change. He cited the astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei — often called the father of modern science — in suggesting that the current thinking that climate change is a result of human activity could be overturned. “Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” he said.
On the surface, though, his example seemed to illustrate the opposite of the point that Mr. Perry might have been trying to make. Galileo, whose astronomical observations confirmed the Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun, was basing his assertions on empirical knowledge and faced opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, which supported the Ptolemaic view of an Earth-centered universe.
Mr. Perry, by contrast, has said repeatedly that he does not believe the empirical evidence compiled by scientists in support of climate change, but that he does adhere to faith-based principles.
Was Mr. Perry trying to depict Galileo as a maverick among scientific thinkers of his time? If so, the governor was wrong, says one historian who has studied the trial of Galileo.
“If Perry means to say that at some point some body of scientists said Galileo was wrong, that didn’t happen,” said the historian, Thomas F. Mayer, who teaches at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.
. . .
Perhaps, then, Mr. Perry was referring to the church’s trial of Galileo on charges of heresy, in 1633, in which the astronomer was convicted and sentenced to house arrest. In that case he was “outvoted” not by other scientists but by church leaders.
. . .
The 1633 trial was not really about science, many historians say. It was about Galileo’s disobeying a 1616 order to abandon Copernican views….
Check out Rick "Dunce" Perry's college transcripts. A sampling:
|An F in organic chemistry--the second time around.|
|Perry greets our own trustee Tom Fuentes, et al., Thursday|