Augustine, Galileo and natural science
I've only just discovered this thread.

This is a copy of an email I sent to a gang of physicists arguing over the validity of "Black Holes", believe it or not.  It may be pertinent to this discussion.
Quote:Dear Gentlemen,

This is very tedious. You seem to be wanting to subject all science to the empirical and yet deny empiricism.

In my original definition of philosophy as the study of reality I simply omitted observation and experiment from the definition as entirely redundant. There is no way that physical reality can be investigated without "seeing" it and trying it out. Observation and experiment are indispensable to a study of physical reality but the science of logic is necessary to understand, interpret or extrapolate the results. Without a scientific method formulated by, and subject to, the laws of logic any conclusion is just a "political convenience", conjecture, supposition, since there is only the "saleability" of the idea to judge its "rightness" or "wrongness". I'm sure you'd both agree that the topic being discussed here (modern "cosmology") is completely degenerate along these lines. I, however, claim that in "modern philosophy" (science) "rightness" or "wrongness" is determined by the suitability or convenience to the prevailing Materialist ideology, which also determines "marketability".

Now I can't resist the urge to stick my metaphysical boot into another "sacred cow" of contemporary, popular ideological prejudice... namely Galileo, since he is already cited as a champion of "science".

I am happy to allow that Galileo is a "father" of MODERN "science" as he is a notable example of one who dispensed with an effective scientific method in favour of a rather didactic assertion of conjecture.

If he had stuck to what he could realistically do, i.e. provide additional observational evidence for the Copernican model of the cosmos, then cosmology could have just evolved in an orderly fashion. The Copernican model was already becoming widely accepted in theological and philosophical circles. Indeed, just as Galileo was making a fool of himself and disgracing science, the Jesuits were proposing the Copernican model to Chinese astronomers who, to their immense credit, pulled out their charts etc. and found that wallah!!! it fits the observations!

So what really happened to Galileo?

He was very well received when he came to the Vatican to present his ideas to the Inquisition. In fact, Cardinal Bellarmine, who was the theologian heading the Inquision, very sensibly observed that "if this (Copernican model) is true we will have to revise our interpretation of (the relevant) Scripture". He was also an excellent philosopher (logician) who well knew the logical principle: if there is an apparent contradiction between two versions of one thing then the understanding of one, or both, is wrong. All good so far.

But with emboldened arrogance Galileo went out of his way to get up the nose of the Inquisition with a series of gratuitous assertions of his own conjecture (many of which were just plain wrong) including his vainglorious claim that "his discoveries" would turn all of philosophy and theology "on its head". Of course, that set off all the alarm bells.

To top it off Galileo set about deriding and ridiculing anyone who didn't fall into his train, including his previously personal friend the pope. All this political chicanery culminated in another disgraceful political revenge attack... the blanket condemnation of Galileo and his "proposals".

Galileo was an impudent twerp who did more to discredit natural science than anyone else of his era that I know of.

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Re: Augustine, Galileo and natural science - by Oldavid - 09-19-2016, 07:47 PM

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