Get Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and PDF

By Ronald L. Numbers

ISBN-10: 0674033272

ISBN-13: 9780674033276

If we need nonscientists and opinion-makers within the press, the lab, and the pulpit to take a clean examine the connection among technology and faith, Ronald Numbers means that we needs to first dispense with the hoary myths that experience masqueraded too lengthy as ancient truths. till concerning the Seventies, the dominant narrative within the historical past of technology had lengthy been that of technological know-how successful, and technology at conflict with faith. yet a brand new iteration of historians either one of technology and of the church started to research episodes within the historical past of technological know-how and faith throughout the values and data of the actors themselves. Now Ronald Numbers has recruited the major students during this new heritage of technological know-how to ­puncture the myths, from Galileo’s incarceration to Darwin’s deathbed conversion to Einstein’s trust in a private God who “didn’t play cube with the universe.” the image of technological know-how and faith at each one other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, yet each one bankruptcy in Galileo is going to reformatory exhibits how a lot we need to achieve via seeing past the myths. (20090515)

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If we'd like nonscientists and opinion-makers within the press, the lab, and the pulpit to take a clean examine the connection among technology and faith, Ronald Numbers means that we needs to first dispense with the hoary myths that experience masqueraded too lengthy as historic truths. till concerning the Nineteen Seventies, the dominant narrative within the heritage of technology had lengthy been that of technology effective, and technological know-how at conflict with faith.

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15 All truth is ultimately God’s truth, even if found in the books of pagan authors; and we should seize it and use it without hesitation. In Augustine’s influential view, then, knowledge of the things of this world is not a legitimate end in itself, but as a means to other ends it is indispensable. The classical sciences must accept a subordinate position as the handmaiden of theology and religion— the temporal serving the eternal. The knowledge contained in classical sciences is not to be loved, but it may legitimately be used.

A highly skilled geometrician, al-Haytham also made important contributions to the development of scientific methodology, especially his linking of mathematics and physics, which the ancient Greeks had pursued separately. He also helped to establish experiment as a category of scientific proof, along with logical demonstration. ”11 These few examples alone, selected from scores of possibilities, give the lie to assertions that medieval Islam contributed nothing original to science. But what happened in the twelfth century when, as Steven Weinberg has phrased it, “Islam turned against science”?

A short list of accomplishments from the period suggests that the inquiry into nature did not stagnate in medieval Europe. In the late thirteenth century, William of Saint-Cloud pioneered the use of the camera obscura to view solar eclipses. In the early fourteenth century, Dietrich von Freiberg (a Dominican) solved the problem of the primary and secondary rainbows: he appealed, respectively, to one and two internal reflections inside the raindrop, which he modeled using a glass vial filled with water.

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Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion by Ronald L. Numbers


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