Learn from history

We should learn from history and not hide or deny it happened

I am replying to the latest letter about science complementing religion. The writer makes a lot of points but all of her research is based on her visits to the Vatican websites. Well, that is really going to be a balanced debate. That is like the police investigating the police.

Yes, Galileo did write articles and had a character named Simplicio who did not agree with Galileo’s views. The church thought that this character was the Pope. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. If someone in a crowd yells, “Hey idiot,” and some people stand up and say, “Yes”. Well, what does that say about the people who stood up. Anyway, Galileo was arrested for his publication and was sent to the Inquisition in Rome. He was threatened with torture if he did not stop teaching the Copernican theory. Galileo was 68 at the time, and faced with torture, he publicly confessed that he was wrong to have said that the Earth moved around the sun. The church then confined him to house arrest for the rest of his life. So much for scientific freedom.

Also, just because other scientists of Galileo’s day didn’t agree with him doesn’t make his ideas wrong. It is very common in the scientific world for scientists to disagree. It makes for a healthy discussion and further research. This is still done today. However, I really think the main reason was they were afraid of the church.

I was accused of generalities. Well here is a specific example. Another educated man named Giordano Bruno, maybe not as famous as Galileo but well known, wrote numerous articles. One specific book was about memory and how to keep your mind active and your memory strong. He also publicly agreed that the Earth moved around the sun and was arrested. However, he refused to give in to the Inquisition, like Galileo did, and was burnt at the stake for his scientific belief. So much for the church and scientific freedom. Plus since the church at that time knew that the Earth was not flat and not the centre of the universe, according to your own letter, then the torture and execution of people who disagreed with them to me is outright murder. There is a lot of information about this man on the Internet. Please look him up, he was in interesting fellow.

I am glad that you brought up the fact that the Catholic church has the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, etc. This means that they know and are aware of what is going on in the world and outside of it. They are educated enough to see the same things as other scientists see. They have known for years that the Earth was round and that it moved around the sun. So why did it take until 1992 for the Catholic church to finally admit this. In 1992, they finally admitted that Galileo was right. I mean just a little late don’t you think.

You know it is not what you say but what you do that defines you. The Catholic church is very good at saying things, as is shown in your letter. You have some very nice quotes. But they are very bad at actually doing the right thing on time.

I wonder though, if you were teaching science in your classes, were you teaching evolution or creationism? Just a question.

What I would really like the Catholic church to do is release all of the documents that they have stored in their vaults in the Vatican in Rome. I am someone who likes history and enjoys reading about history. I know that the Catholic church has thousands and thousands of documents that go back easily to the foundation of the church. These documents must contain a lot of first-hand accounts of history. These documents could be reviewed by scholars, they could be copied and preserved for everyone to read and enjoy. If the church is not afraid of people knowing this information, be it science or history, etc., then they should be glad to have these documents available to the world to read. This information could rewrite a lot of our known history.

Anyway, this is history and we should not be afraid to admit that bad things were done. It was after all a different time. We should learn from it and not hide or deny it happened.

I am not going to write any more on this topic. The politicians give me enough fodder for my pen. Now that summer is over and all of the guests have gone home I will be writing about them instead.

Ron Evans