Talk:Galileo Galilei

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Former featured article Galileo Galilei is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Good article Galileo Galilei has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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A Rather Hypocritical Account of Galileo...[edit]

I couldn't help noticing, while reading this article, about the hypocritical tone in which this historical figure is being presented to the readers. I'm no expert on Galileo, but I do know and understand about the impact of some of his ideas and views about the world in which we live in. My main bit of criticism has to do with the way you are presenting the 'quarrel' between him and the Church. I don't think the person writing this bit does an honest account of things. You haven't really explained, for example, the reasons for the Church's annoyance at him and its further actions. So what if he came up with a different view of the world: it doesn't follow from this that you'll be vetoed and taken to the highest courts to defend yourself under the threat of being imprissoned for life if you do not change your opinion on the subject. Why did the Church do this: no explanation. I mean, it is disturbing that an act of bigotry and arrogance, and narrow-mindedness of this sort from the part of the authorities back then, the Church, passes almost unquestioned, unscrutinized, and unmentioned by those writing about the life of a person, a renowned scientist, who was victim of such regime for attempting to disseminate his findings. What was it that pissed the Church off so much about this new view of Galileo's? Writing down the reasons for this, here, in this open encyclopedia, which anyone, anywhere in the world can access, wont make the Church look so good, evidently, even though almost 400 years have passed since this and other many incidents of this kind (they needed to shut him up, and if he didn't shut up, you know what would've happened ----yes, these were the methods of the Church back then against those who thought differently). But the article 'naively' limits itself to indicate that his views were controversial (for whom were they controversial, and why exactly), and that the Roman Inquisition investigated the issue (why did the Roman Inquisition took up the issue? What did they care about the way the stars and our planet are arranged in the sky? What do they have to say in matters of astronomy? No explanation): the Why's and How's are left in the dark here and, as a result, we end up with a vague account of this aspect of Galileo's life and his struggle against an institution that very much prefered having people plunged in the depths of ignorance, so they could rather be aligned and ready to do as they said, either by way of myths, false promises or punishment. All for the 'glory' of the Church (not yours, even less for God's). This is Wikipedia people, a place where knowledge is shared, not hidden. This indirect propaganda your doing here is not very benefitial, and very much in opposition to Wikipedia's spirit of sharing and openness.

Some more detailed issues and criticisms of the article.

(1) At the beginning of the article, in the third paragraph, and later at 'Controversy over heliocentrism' (2.3 at the index) it said that Galileo's heliocentrism was controversial. Why was it controversial, exactly? Why was it controversial to have a different view to that of the Church? This is not discussed in any detail. (1.1) Was the Roman Inquisition formed by a panel of astronomical experts? (1.2) If not, why is Galileo forced to answer to them. (1.3) Why is the Roman Inquisition interested in his or any works and opinions on astronomical issues?

(2) In that same third paragraph, Galileo is said to have seemingly attacked the Pope and Jesuits: did he or did he not; (2.1) then he was tried by the Holy Office. Why? Why was it that he was tried by the Holy Office; (2.2) and after he was forced to recant and condemned to be arrested for life by this Holy Office, are you suggesting that it was because of this life inprisonment that he wrote his best books?

Concerning his theory of heliocentrism and its reception, take a look at the particular facts of Galileo's life that were selected for the readers to read in this same third opening paragraph: new theory... controversial... astronomers opposing him... Roman Inquisition investigating him... new theory = 'false'... his book is banned... he gets vetoed... then he attacks his 'old friends' and 'supporters' (the Pope, the Jesuits) through another book... the Holy Office charges him with being 'vehemently suspect of heresy'... so he is forced to recant... he gets arrested for life... but he writes his best books, though, when under arrest (Apparently, the Church did him a much needed favor when locking him up for life?). Kinda scary, huh? You bet. Your new theory of heliocentrism is unanimously condemned by the intellectuals of your time (for no (weird) positive reception seems to have been registered of an event of this sort; not according to Wikipedia, at least), and, what's even more serious an offense, you refuse to understand that your little theory about the skies and the Earth is not welcomed at all by the people from The Church, yet you insist on keep going on with it anyway. This guy, Galileo, was beyond salvation don't you think? He so deserved being persecuted... ----

(3) It is strange that no quotes from Galileo's works on heliocentrism are available throughout the article's text (there are no quotes from any of his works), yet many quotations from The Church's position on it, which is no authority on astronomical issues, are there anyway, as well as their negative opinions (or the Bible's 'expert' testimony on the validity of geocentrism, or even references to The Church's most beloved theologians or Popes ----there is even a link, in the middle of the article, to the resolution of the Inquisition regarding Galileo's issue----). This is an article about Galileo Galilei, the scientist, considered by many as the father of modern science (an opinion Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking seem to share); it is not, on the other hand, an article about The Church's position on his theories.

(4) Throughout the article, the writer seems to be pretty keen on pointing out Galileo's refuted or mistaken theories by later scientists, yet no such thing is seen nor even suggested about the refuted or very mistaken theories of The Church regarding the same or even much more basic issues by later, and previous too, scientists and philosophers.

Why is this, Wikipedians? Don't tell me you don't see what's going on... Unwishful Thinker (talk) 06:48, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

This article was written by about 2,773 editors. Only comment if you want to make a new point of fact or logic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
As Galileo said, his opinion was not new and had been put forward by Pythagoras earlier. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:15, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Unwishful Thinker seems to be on the West Coast of America. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sleuthsleuth616 (talkcontribs) 12:58, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
If you are looking for more detail, try Galileo affair. You say the article is hypocritical, but where is the hypocrisy? Is someone being insincere or making false pretenses? You ask questions like: "Why was it controversial to have a different view to that of the Church?" It seems obvious to me that having a different view is what makes a controversy. So I do not see the problem. But if you have some suggestions on how to make it clearer, please go ahead. Roger (talk) 18:22, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Some quick answers for you, my fellow Christian friends. I know that being a Christian demands of you being in some serious denial about things and yourselves: that gotta be tough. I mean, in order for Christianism to work for you, you gotta lie to yourselves day after day after day at the expense of your own mental health. And that's OK if that's the only way for you to go through. But since Wikipedia is not Christianpedia, I'll say and talk about stuff that you probably wont want to hear, even if it is for the article's sake. I mentioned about the hypocritical tone of Wikipedia Galileo's entry, and pointed out some concrete problems. One of you said that people has to refrain here from any comentary that didn't refer to points of fact or logic. But that's not the only thing that can ruin an article. For I can mention, for example, that Hitler had a tough childhood (fact), that he was interested in politics (fact), that some people didn't agree with his views (fact) and that he put and end to his life by commiting suicide (fact), all of this arranged in a perfectly logically-bound frame, and still make him look as your regular 20th Century citizen. No, points of fact or logic are not the only things that can be improved in an article. Roger, then, says that he cannot really see the problem I'm raising here. He seems to be saying that Galileo's controversy with the Church stems merely from the fact that he had a different opinion than that of the Church. Is that being hypocritical or what? My sister and I also disagree in many respects, yet neither I nor she sent each other to life imprisonment, nor threaten to destroy each other works, or writings, etc. The point is: why was it so important for a mob-like institution like the then Church to shut Galileo up. Nothing of this is said in the article: nothing. Nothing about the Church's petty interests being threatened by this, then new, and much more solidly supported view of the world. Nothing in particular about the reasons why they, the Church, felt threatened by Galileo's work, something that would make much, much clearer this institution's harrasing and far from 'saintly' behavior towards him. In a nutshell, Galileo's work meant the end of the notion that God was somewhere above, looking out for us: it meant the end of heaven ("there is no heaven!"), and, therefore, no God (at least, not in the way they usually sell it to people). But also, Galileo's work, when properly understood, meant the end of the soul hypothesis (the soul: that which gives life to the living): the soul is not that which explains my or your behaviour: the soul does not move a single thing, our bodies (the soul, whatever it is we think it is, is irrelevant; ergo, the soul doesn't exist!). If heaven doesn't exist, and the soul doesn't exist, the Church doesn't exist. But the power-hungry individuals running the Church might have had another opinion regarding this last conclusion: "We're not going anywhere! Take that Galileo guy down, now! It is him or us". And I assume, my dear Wikipedian friends, that you realize that the reasons behind the Church's refusal to get more than justifiably extinguished were not precisely born out of that 'love' of theirs for humanity; that 'burning' love of theirs...Unwishful Thinker (talk) 20:09, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
You're asking why would the church take so much offence in the idea if heliocentrism (the earth revolves around the sun)? You need to understand that knowledge in the 16th century was not the knowledge we have today. There was very little scientific proof that the scriptures have wrong details: We did not yet know that the earth couldn't possibly be only 5,000 years old, we did not know that the sun or moon are more than "lights in the sky", that animals evolved and weren't created, that disease came from germs not from disappoint God, and so on. Copernicus's idea that the Earth is not the center of the known universe, was one of the earliest examples of science disproving accepted religious doctrine. Copernicus kept silent about it (only publishing his ideas in Latin), but Galileo publicised these ideas to the general public, in Italian, and started to lead the public into thinking that some things written in the scriptures might be wrong. This the church could not accept, and I think it's obvious why. (talk) 08:18, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 May 2015[edit]

holier Osamoatodos (talk) 17:37, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. If you are trying to report a typo in the article, please tell us the specific sentence where it is. Altamel (talk) 19:49, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
This user, Osamoatodos, seems to be unconnected with the tag team active in these articles. His contribution is meaningless, where the tag team in America is mendacious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Supported by the Jesuits?[edit]

The article claims in the lede that Galileo was supported by the Jesuits up until the publication of the two systems in 1632. The reference given is an article by Pantin. However, Pantini's article makes no such claims. Many sources indicate, on the contrary, that the Jesuits were bitter enemies of Galileo on account of both heliocentrism and the method of indivisibles, at least as early as 1616 and probably earlier. Does anyone have more details on this? Tkuvho (talk) 09:04, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Galileo was given favorable treatment at a Jesuit college in Rome. A Pope gave Galileo a medal and a pension for his son.
This visit seems to have been during 1611. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure that anyone mentioned indivisibles at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:35, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Tkuvho should specify the many sources he mentions, with quotations from the 17th century texts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:39, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Amir Alexander in Infinitesimals: How a dangerous mathematical theory shaped the modern world (2014) shows how indivisibles and infinitesimals were perceived as a theological threat and opposed on doctrinal grounds in the 17th century. The opposition was spearheaded by clerics and more specifically by the jesuits. In 1632 (the year Galileo was summoned to stand trial over heliocentrism) the Society's Revisors General led by father Jacob Bidermann banned teaching indivisibles in their schools (Alexander p. 17). Tkuvho (talk) 15:59, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

There was opposition to heliocentrism in ancient times. Most were supporters of geostaticism anciently. When calculus was first introduced, there was opposition to it anciently. The Jesuits were not in existence in these early, ancient times. A complicated theory involving 1632 and the Jesuits has been appearing in Wikipedia in the last two or three days, from Tk etc. and Amir Alexander. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:56, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

This featured article contains a claim in the lede that is not supported by the reference provided (Pantini) and is furthermore contradicted by other scholars. In addition, the lede should be a summary of the material actually contained in the article. The article contains no justification of the claim that the Jesuits supported Galileo until 1632. On the contrary, there is much evidence that they had opposed him for at least 15 years prior to that date. I propose that the reference to the Jesuits in the lede be removed. Tkuvho (talk) 07:17, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I just checked the history of the page and it turns out that the comment about the Jesuits supporting Galileo, as well as the reference by Pantin (that does not support the claim), was added by User:Quarkgluonsoup in this edit of 7 sept 2011. Note that by then the page had been a FA for a long time. I suggest we revert to the wording found in the earlier version that was more accurate. Tkuvho (talk) 16:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
The relevant archive is archive 11 that covers 2011. I just checked and there does not seem to have been any discussion of this radical change, either by User:Quarkgluonsoup or anyone else. Tkuvho (talk) 16:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
See here. I had my doubts about those changes when they were made, but since they were apparently supported by a reliable source, I didn't question them at the time. Some time later, I got hold of Pantin's article, and was surprised and disgusted to find that not a single one of the changes was supported by it. I then started composing the discussion I linked to above, but it was taking so much time that I eventually lost all interest in finishing it, and much of my interest in watching over this article.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 23:08, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, so there was some discussion at your talkpage, but it did not make it to Talk:Galileo Galilei. It seems to me that for a "good article" this is currently supposed to be, the lede is pretty sloppy and should be corrected. Tkuvho (talk) 07:15, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, it was only a "discussion" in the sense of a monologue which I was composing in one of my sandboxes, with the intention of later transferring to this talk page, which I never got around to doing. No-one else ever took part in it, and it's quite likely that very few, if any, other editors, ever saw it. Here's a slightly amended version of the paragraph I had intended to propose as a replacement for Quarkgluonsoup's version:
"Galileo's advocacy of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the view that the Earth stood motionless at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he was opposed by astronomers, philosophers and clerics. One of the latter, Niccolò Lorini, eventually lodged an informal complaint against Galileo with the prefect of the Congregation of the Index, and another, Tommaso Caccini, formally denounced him to the Roman Inquisition, early in 1615. The subsequent investigation led to the Catholic Church's condemning heliocentrism as "false" and "altogether contrary to the Holy Scripture" in a decree by the Congregation of the Index in February 1616. Although Galileo was not then judged to have committed any offence, he was nevertheless warned to abandon his support for heliocentrism—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to abjure, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest."
David Wilson (talk · cont) 09:47, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like a more balanced introduction. The new introduction deserves a section of its own here (see below). Tkuvho (talk) 07:50, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


User:Tkuvho is making repetitious remarks in the article. With a reference to the quarrel between Galileo and Scheiner already there, Tkuvho has put in another. This is followed by some vague talk about "friction" between Galileo and the Jesuits. All this is credited to Amir Alexander. Tkuvho has spent the last five days telling us about a Jesuit plot, quoting at length from Amir Alexander. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Actually, Tkuvho has been producing a flood of quotations from Amir Alexander since 19/9/2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
This was just after Amir Alexander's book was published in the June or July of 2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi IP anonymous, actually it would be helpful if you could register (it does not have to be under your real name) rather than flooding us with a series of IP's that create the impression that there is more than one user speaking. Your comments would carry more weight then. Tkuvho (talk) 11:52, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Somebody should check whether these IP addresses involve more sockpuppeting by User:Azul411. Tkuvho (talk) 07:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

New introduction[edit]

User:JamesBWatson proposed a paragraph in replacement for User:Quarkgluonsoup's flawed version of paragraph on heliocentism in the lede:

"Galileo's advocacy of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the view that the Earth stood motionless at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he was opposed by astronomers, philosophers and clerics. One of the latter, Niccolò Lorini, eventually lodged an informal complaint against Galileo with the prefect of the Congregation of the Index, and another, Tommaso Caccini, formally denounced him to the Roman Inquisition, early in 1615. The subsequent investigation led to the Catholic Church's condemning heliocentrism as "false" and "altogether contrary to the Holy Scripture" in a decree by the Congregation of the Index in February 1616. Although Galileo was not then judged to have committed any offence, he was nevertheless warned to abandon his support for heliocentrism—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to abjure, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest."

This is more balanced and unlike User:Quarkgluonsoup's version does not contain misrepresentation of sources. I vote in favor. Tkuvho (talk) 07:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Did I? When and where did I propose that? I can't find any edit in either the history of the article or the history of this talk page where I did so. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 10:25, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I think this was just a mental slip by Tkuvho. It was actually I who proposed this, in the section Supported by the Jesuits? above. The proposed text is in fact not much different from that which Quarkgluonsoup's edit replaced. The main differences are the addition of astronomers to the classes of scholars who opposed Galileo, and the correction of a minor inaccuracy which had had two clerics denouncing him to the Inquisition. In fact, Lorini's complaint was not made directly to the Inquistion itself. What he did was send Cardinal Paolo Sfondrati, the then prefect of the Congregation of the Index, a copy of Galileo's letter to Benedetto Castelli. In a covering letter, Lorini explicitly stated that he did not wish to make a "judicial deposition", but Sfondrati nevertheless forwarded the copy of Galileo's letter to the Inquisition, where it became the subject of further investigation.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 11:22, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I was still half asleep this morning when I wrote this. At any rate, I support User:David_J_Wilson's version. Tkuvho (talk) 12:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


User:Tkuvho has deleted an observational fact that was in the article for years, namely the lack of perceptible annual stellar parallax. This deletion is dishonest. He deleted the fact to make it look as though Galileo's opponents had no reason for subscribing to their geostatic opinions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by FirstSecondThird (talkcontribs)

User:FirstSecondThird has been banned for sockpuppeting. Tkuvho (talk) 07:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Tkuvho should tell us about pseudo-mathematicians like Cantor and Godel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
We might get less about Jesuit plots, atomism and the like. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


The reason for deletion - There is no evidence that this was a factor at the time - is wrong. But the existing text, which ascribed all the reason to lack of parallax - is also wrong William M. Connolley (talk) 09:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There was no evidence provided by the editor that the parallax was a factor at the time. This claim is true. In the context of the Assayer, Grassi claimed that there was no parallax based on experimental evidence, and this is also true. However, Grassi's parallax is not the same as the stellar parallax that the editor wanted to add to the lede. Rather, Grassi was talking about lack of cometary parallax. In any case, such a comment can only be included in the lede if it is already discussed in the body of the article, which is not the case currently. Tkuvho (talk) 14:34, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
In 1627 Raffaello Aversa published a book against the Copernican theory based on astronomical arguments that included absence of stellar parallax (See Redondi, Galileo: heretic, Princeton University Press, page 144). Tkuvho (talk) 07:11, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Tkuvho is asking for an impossible quantity of evidence. It is impossible to ask the millions of Galileo's opponents what their motives were. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


The article by Pantin,

Isabelle Pantin (1999), "New Philosophy and Old Prejudices: Aspects of the Reception of Copernicanism in a Divided Europe", Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci. 30: 237–262

is a fine piece in a respected historical journal. However, this article has been abused by editors in this page, by attributing things to it that are just not there in Pantin's article. One example is the alleged friendship between Galileo and the Jesuits until 1632; the other is the stellar parallax. An earlier version of the article made reference to parallax and cited Pantin in support of this, but Pantin does not mention the parallax. Any claims of this sort, particularly in the lede, need to be supported by sources. Tkuvho (talk) 10:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

The lack of perceptible annual stellar parallax before the 19th. century is common knowledge in astronomical circles and therefore does not need any citation, reference or the like. See Friedrich Bessel. No claim is being made, just a statement of the obvious. See the studies of annual stellar parallax of Henderson and Struve. — Preceding unsigned comment added by FirstSecondThird (talkcontribs)
It is indeed obvious that stellar parallax was not discovered until 1838. What is less clear to me is to what extent the adherence of the establishment in Rome to geocentrism was dictated by lack of evidence for parallax rather than by following church dogma. Does anyone have information on that? Tkuvho (talk) 14:48, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Most of the ancients subscribed to geostaticism and geocentrism. I cannot see that the ancients were following church dogma. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:07, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Important source[edit]

Amir Alexander is treated as an important source by Tkuvho. See In an interview, Amir Alexander says that the Jesuits are opposed to "democracy" and "your cell phone". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Redondi is another important source, according to the same. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kkk532 (talkcontribs) 16:47, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Redondi's book[edit]

The book by Redondi, Pietro (Galileo: heretic. Translated from the Italian by Raymond Rosenthal. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. x+357 pp. ISBN: 0-691-08451-3) seems relevant. It gives some important information on Galileo's atomism and his indivisibles. This material has now been included in the page. Galileo has been in Category:Atomists for years. Some evidence for this has now been provided. This obviously does not merely concern The Assayer. Tkuvho (talk) 08:07, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

The category was introduced by User:Gregbard in this edit. Tkuvho (talk) 15:43, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
The idiotic category was put in by Gregbard, with a white name. He has since been banned for copyright reasons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Anonymous denunciation[edit]

In 1624 Galileo was denounced to the inquisition in an anonymous letter that was only discovered by Redondi in the 1980s. The tenor of the letter was similar to the accusations contained in Grassi's 1626 book (see some discussion at The Assayer). Redondi conjectured that Grassi was the author of the denunciation, but many 17th century scholars consider that this has not been proved, and an analysis of the handwriting apparently reveals that the writer of the denunciation was not Grassi. I wonder where in the article the information about the denunciation could be inserted. Tkuvho (talk) 15:19, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Redondi's conjecture was never very convincing, but in any case, not only has it not been proved, but within a year of the publication of the first (Italian) edition of his book it was decisively refuted, a fact that should have been, but was not, acknowledged in the English edition of 1987. When preparing the first edition of I documenti del processo di Galileo Galilei, Sergio Pagano had a handwriting expert, Fr. Edmondo Lamalle, compare the handrwiting of G3 with that of undoubtedly contemporary documents written by Grassi (see p.44). Lamalle's conclusion was that "for many reasons [some of which Pagano lists in a footnote] it is absolutely unsustainable that they are the same hand".
There remained the possibilty that G3 might have been an administrative copy made by one of the Inquisition's clerks. This was ruled out, however, by the watermark, which Pagano recognised as a coat of arms which had to be those of a high-ranking ecclesiastic (archbishop or cardinal). The ecclesiastic in question was identified in the late 1990s or early 2000s by Rafael Martinez as Tiberio Muti, archbishop of Viterbo from 1611 to 1636. Martinez published his findings in Il manoscritto ACDF, Index, Protocolli, Vol.EE, f.291r-v published in ACTA PHILOSOPHICA, Vol.10 (2001), fasc.2, pp.243–256. For various reasons, he thinks it unlikely that G3 was actually written by the archbishop himself, but it definitely had to have been written by someone who had had access at some time to his official stationery.
As Pagano points out, there is evidence in the document itself that, contrary to Redondi's conjecture, it was not written anonymously at all. At the end of the first paragraph the writer requests the person he is writing to to provide him with information, which would have been impossible if the latter did not know the identity of his correspondent. Pagano also pointedly notes that when Redondi speculates (on p.152 of the English edition) about what might have been on the missing folio 294—which immediately followed the folios 292 and 293 containing the manuscript of G3—he conspicuously fails to mention the most obvious and likely possibility that it contained the standard salutation, name and address of the addressee and the name and address of the sender which was the customary way for Italian letters of the period to be closed.
I would be inclined to be very cautious in citing any material from Redondi's book.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 14:35, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be inclined to be very cautious in citing any material from Redondi's book - I don't think T is being cautious; I think he's treating it as gospel William M. Connolley (talk) 14:43, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
David: Redondi's conjecture as to the real reasons for the 1633 trial has not been accepted as proven by Galileo scholars. However, they all speak respectfully about his research. For example, Festa in his detailed review mentions that Redondi was correct to point out the importance of the issue of atomism, and Festa further acknowledges that his issue has not been given sufficient attention by scholars. I don't think anybody doubts that the anonymous denunciation was made, as Redondi reports, in 1624, and that its content is similar to that of Grassi's 1626 book. What is challenged is Redondi's hypothesis that Grassi is the author of the anonymous denunciation. All scholars agree that Redondi discovered an extremely important document, though perhaps less important than the gospel. Tkuvho (talk) 14:50, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of most of that. I had no intention of commenting on Redondi's more general conjectures about the reasons for the trial, and Urban's supposed machinations to manipulate it. The only conjecture I was referring to in my previous comments was the specific one which you referred to in your opening comment with the words "Redondi conjectured that Grassi was the author of the denunciation, ... ." This conjecture has not merely been "challenged". There is now no shadow of doubt that Grassi was not the author of the document.
On the question of when the denunciation recorded in G3 was made, I doubt if any Galileo scholar, including Redondi himself, would regard it as definitely established as being 1624 (or early 1625). I think it is generally accepted as very plausible that—as Redondi suggested—it could be the same denunciation that Mario Guiducci referred to in a letter dated April 18, 1625, as having been made "a few months" earlier. But I doubt if anyone would regard this as definitely established, and Rafael Martinez for one, in the article I cited above, suggests that it might have been written a few years later than that.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 17:11, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
P.S. I guess there was one other of Redondi's conjectures that I did comment on—namely that G3 was written anonymously. That conjecture certainly hasn't been disproved, merely shown to be less likely than not.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 17:40, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I think we are in agreement that Redondi's hypothesis regarding the authorship of G3 needs to be treated cautiously. I am surprised by your definitive claim that Grassi was definitely not the author of the denunciation. This apparently wasn't proved in the sources you cited. Sources I have seen (other than Redondi) note that Grassi may well have asked someone outside the office to write the denunciation. At any rate, my original question still remains: is the (anonymous or nonanonymous) denunciation significant enough to be mentioned in the atomism/eucharist section? It is certainly relevant, and given how much controversy it has stirred (viz. with regard to the question of authorship) it is certainly not obscure. Tkuvho (talk) 08:09, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Irrelevant pieces of paper are almost certain to appear in a large file. User:C.jeynes started posting Redondi in the article on the Galileo affair on 5/11/2006 and 11/6/2008. C.jeynes says that the Pope was frightened of being killed by the Protestant Swede Adolphus and that the Spaniards were planning to kill the Pope. C.jeynes says that the Pope was frightened of a "capital" charge against him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Thermometer or thermoscope?[edit]

Apparently what Galileo invented was a thermoscope, not a thermometer. Would it be appropriate to mention his invention of the thermoscope in the lede? Tkuvho (talk) 13:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Why? Given that we describe him as some kind of super-mega-genius, that just seems like trivia. But whatever we do, lets drop the fantasy of inventing the thermometer William M. Connolley (talk) 13:09, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
He invented both of them. Just type in google "the inventor of thermometer", and you will find out. Also the recognised sounds better than "regarded". --115ash→(☏) 12:52, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
No, he didn't. As our article on thermometer makes perfectly clear. Can you please stop the fanboi nonsense? William M. Connolley (talk) 13:58, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
He did, do you need to show certain sources? Just go to do a research. I'm not going to add it anymore, but there should be something mentioned on the thermometre. Moreover the word "recognized" appears better.--115ash→(☏) 09:38, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thermometer#Development William M. Connolley (talk) 16:37, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Galileo received a warning?[edit]

The current article mentions, at two places, that Galileo was "warned by Cardinal Bellarmine to abandon his support for heliocentrism—which he promised to do.". This "fact" needs needs a serious citation. This looks like a small detail - who cares if Galileo was warned? after all, he obviously know he was going against the religious doctrine of the time? But in fact, it is not a small detail, for two reasons. First, for Galileo to have "promised to abandon his support for heliocentrism" would have been completely out of character for him (this is where he differed from Copernicus, who had the same theory before Galileo, but kept quiet about it). Second, the "fact" that Galileo promised to the cardinal to keep silent about heliocentrism, but didn't - basically disobeying a direct order from the cardinal - was the main offence he was trialed for. So there is a question whether this is actually a fact. I heard a lecture by a renowned historian about Galileo, and he claims that knowledge today is that the warning - and the replied "promise" from Galileo - were both forged. At the trial, Galileo was not shown these documents, and had no way to prove they were forged, but a much later commission from the Vatican proved they were. I have no idea whether this is actually true (as I said, I heard this at a lecture), but at least the statement that Galileo received a warning should be qualified by a citation. (talk) 08:09, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Can you try to look up some sources for this? At the 1633 trial Galileo presented a document signed by Bellarmino that informed Galileo (way back in 1616) that Copernicanism had been condemned. That particular document indeed contains no evidence that Galileo was warned, etc. Tkuvho (talk) 08:20, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
This topic is described in some detail in "Galileo" by S Drake, Oxford UP 1980 p.66 et seq. There it is said that Galileo was forbidden to hold or defend these views although he was free to describe them. It seems to me that the reason for this warning might have been that Galilio had been in contact with Kepler in Protestant Prague.JFB80 (talk) 17:50, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Kepler was a Protestant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Meaning of name[edit]

I was curious to know the meaning of the name Galileo Galilei. It's very peculiar to have two names that sound so much the same. Also they are reminiscent of the biblican Galilee. But I couldn't find any information by searching on the web. Is there a region in Italy from which the name is derived? Is the matter a mystery? If it is, we could update the article to say so, because I imagine that others are curious as well. (talk) 17:35, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I am afraid that you will have to do the linguistic work yourself. The family was originally named Bonaiuti. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The question is a good one but it is possible the Users watching this Talk page won't know the answer. In that case, I recommend you ask the question again at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language. Dolphin (t)
The answer is right in the article, in the section "Early life". Paul Koning (talk) 15:41, 19 July 2015 (UTC)


An editor who has edited this article, 115ash, does not speak or write English and is not competent at anything. On 1/5/2015, he told us that Ricatti flourished in the first millenium A.D. A lot of time is spent blocking him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

If he is blocked, he produces sock-puppets like Buswkycaveshottest and These seem to have fallen silent now, like 115ash itself.
Also, seems to have fallen silent now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:29, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

What Aristotle said on motion[edit]

The article says in the section on falling bodies that Galileo was "refuting the generally accepted Aristotelian hypothesis that objects naturally slow down and stop unless a force acts upon them." This is generally accepted but is it true? In his 'Physics' Aristotle said that unless opposed, a body set in motion would continue in that motion because there is no reason why it should stop. That is the law of inertia stated long before Newton. But he did not elaborate on the nature of the force stopping the motion.JFB80 (talk) 18:10, 25 July 2015 (UTC) The reference is Aristotle: Physica, book 4, section 8 on motions in a void. JFB80 (talk) 18:56, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Deleted father of indivisibles[edit]

@HelgeLund793: re "Reverted to last stable version of years" and "Deleted father of indivisibles from blocked editor": please explain (1) which years, (2) which editor, and (3) what is wrong with the properly sourced content, regardless the years or the editor. - DVdm (talk) 11:46, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

The years are from 30/10/2001 to 18/5/2015. The article managed without indivisibles for those years. The blocked editor is Tkuvho. He has fallen silent, for some reason. The alleged sources are Amir Alexander and Tiziana Bascelli. Amir Alexander says that the Jesuits are opposed to democracy and your cell phone. As indivisibles are non-existent, they can not be sourced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by HelgeLund793 (talkcontribs) 12:30, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Please sign your talk page messages with four tildes (~~~~). Thanks.
That's not sufficient as a explanation. I don't see what is wrong with the sources. Sources don't have to demonstrate the existence of indivisibles. They have to back the fact that Galileo was experimenting with them in formulating his law of falling bodies. Apparently he was. The content survived here for a sufficiently long time, so I will restore it per wp:NOCONSENSUS, "retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit"). Comments from other contributors are of course welcome. - DVdm (talk) 13:02, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Editor Tkuvho is not blocked. He was blocked for 24 hours on June 25th, for edit warring on The Assayer article, but that block has long since expired. Even if it hadn't, I don't see what relevance it would have to the acceptability of the disputed content. I do have my own doubts about the appropriateness of this content, though. Although both cited sources are undoubtedly reliable, the disputed passage seems to have been cobbled together by synthesizing bits and pieces from both.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 14:21, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Calculus was being introduced in 1850 B.C. This is before Galileo's time. Phrases like "fiercely opposed by the Jesuits" appear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Galileo is said to be the "father" of "the method of indivisibles", itself said to be the "forerunner" of calculus. As calculus was being introduced in 1850 B.C., the sources, Amir and Bascelli, are wildly anachronistic. So is anyone posting them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:32, 1 August 2015 (UTC)