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Science and Changing Beliefs

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

I visited Florence two years ago and went on an historical walking tour of the city. While we were in Cosimo de Medici’s palace we learned the de Medici family housed over the years, Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Galileo. In Galileo’s case, the de Medici family tried to protect him from the wrath of the Church. Galileo’s meticulous research confirmed the Earth revolved around the Sun, which conflicted with a passage in the Bible that the Earth was a fixed point in the sky.

Galileo was subsequently brought before the Inquisition, convicted of being a heretic, and imprisoned but was quickly released to house arrest. His research papers were put on the Church’s publication ban for decades.

It struck a chord with me. If we look back on this event in the early 1600’s, we think it’s silly. How could we be upset about something so fundamental as the Earth revolving around the sun?

Unfortunately, we continue to see this type of conflict in human history where scientific discoveries clash with the status quo and those in power discredit and sometimes crush new enlightenment and learning.

My books, are written in the context of this struggle to accept the science of climate change. Let’s hope we can soon view climate change, much like Earth’s orbiting around the sun, as a matter of science, substantiated by empirical evidence, so that we can get on with protecting our planet for us and for the generations to follow. Here’s a reference point.

Observations collected around the world provide significant, clear, and compelling evidence that global average temperature is much higher, and is rising more rapidly, than anything modern civilization has experienced, with widespread and growing impacts. The warming trend observed over the past century can only be explained by the effects that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, have had on the climate.

Source: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, 2018, Chapter One, page 2.

The National Climate Assessment is a Congressional mandated program sponsored by thirteen US Government agencies. The full report can be found at (The Fifth Assessment is anticipated to be complete in 2023.)

Galileo's Tomb, Santa Croce Church, Florence

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