“The sun with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes.”


Galileo Galilei was an Italian polymath who got into trouble by promoting an idea that is utterly conventional today, that the sun is the center of the solar system, heliocentricism, in his book “Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems”.

It actually appeared in the works of Copernicus, even taught at the Vatican as a useful mathematical device but a century later, Galileo found himself in a Vatican court, for defending his beliefs. In his trial, they discussed whether or not he obeyed the adjunction to not push the Copernicus system, which obviously he was pushing. The court was determined to charge him guilty of something, then they tried out a verdict that had nothing to do with what they discussed, stating that Galileo was found guilty of ‘vehement suspicion of heresy’, an odd thing to be guilty of.

Later by 1750s, the Church embraced the idea, 20 years after Newton’s final works, that Copernican system can be taught not only in mathematics but as a way of explaining the universe, with the exception that Galileo’s book was still on the index where people needed special permission to read it as the church didn’t want to blow the gaff on of being mistaken. His book was taken off the index by 1820, and in 1992, Pope John Paul II admitted and publicly apologized, the church of being wrong on the very fact that Galileo went on trial.