Laputan Logic
Thursday, January 09, 2003
  False doctrine updated: 14th January
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei (1632) The open-minded and lettered Sagredo in Galileo's dialogue was a close friend of the scientist. Salviati represents the views of Galileo himself. Simplicio, the philosopher, is a fictitious straw man.
Galileo to Kepler, 1597 Like you, I accepted the Copernicun position several years ago and discovered from thence the causes of many natural effects which are doubtless inexplicable by the current theories. I have written up many of my reasons and refutations on the subject, but I have not dared until now to bring them into the open, being warned by the fortunes of Copernicus himself, our master, who procured immortal fame among a few but stepped down among the great crowd (for the foolish are numerous), only to be derided and dishonored. I would dare publish my thoughts if there were many like you; but, since there are not, I shall forebear
Kepler to Galileo, 1597 I could only have wished that you, who have so profound an insight, would choose another way. You advise us, by your personal example, and in discreetly veiled fashion, to retreat before the general ignorance and not to expose ourselves or heedlessly to oppose the violent attacks of the mob of scholars (and in this you follow Plato and Pythagoras, our true perceptors). But after a tremendous task has been begun in our time, first by Copernicus and then by many very learned mathematicians, and when the assertion that the Earth moves can no longer be considered something new, would it not be much better to pull the wagon to its goal by our joint efforts, now that we have got it under way, and gradually, with powerful voices, to shout down the common herd, which really does not weigh the arguments very carefully? Thus perhaps by cleverness we may bring it to a knowledge of the truth. With your arguments you would at the same time help your comrades who endure so many unjust judgments, for they would obtain either comfort from your agreement or protection from your influential position. It is not only your Italians who cannot believe that they move if they do not feel it, but we in Germany also do not by any means endear ourselves with this idea. Yet there are ways by which we protect ourselves against these difficulties... Be of good cheer, Galileo, and come out publicly. If I judge correctly, there are only a few of the distinguished mathematicians of Europe who would part company with us, so great is the power of truth. If Italy seems a less favorable place for your publication, and if you look for difficulties there, perhaps Germany will allow us this freedom.
Galileo to Kepler, 1610 My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632 To this end I have taken the Copernican side in the discourse, proceeding as with a pure mathematical hypothesis and striving by every artipee to represent it as superior to supposing the earth motionless–not, indeed absolutely, but as against the arguments of some professed Peripatetics. These men indeed deserve not even that name, for they do not walk about; they are content to adore the shadows, philosophizing not with due circumspection but merely from having memorized a few ill-understood principles.
Papal Condemnation of Galileo, 1633 We say, pronounce, sentence and declare that you, Galileo, by reason of these things which have been detailed in the trial and which you have confessed already, have rendered yourself according to this Holy Office vehemently suspect of heresy, namely of having held and believed a doctrine that is false and contrary to the divine and Holy Scripture: namely that Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west, and that one may hold and defend as probable an opinion after it has been declared and defined contrary to Holy Scripture. Consequently, you have incurred all the censures and penalties enjoined and promulgated by the sacred Canons and all particular and general laws against such delinquents. We are willing to absolve you from them provided that first, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, in our presence you abjure, curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Church in the manner and form we will prescribe to you. Furthermore, so that this grievous and pernicious error and transgression of yours may not go altogether unpunished, and so that you will be more cautious in future, and an example for others to abstain from delinquencies of this sort, we order that the book Dialogue of Galileo Galilei be prohibited by public edict. We condemn you to formal imprisonment in this Holy Office at our pleasure. As a salutary penance we impose on you to recite the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years. And we reserve to ourselves the power of moderating, commuting, or taking off, the whole or part of the said penalties and penances.
Abjuration of Galileo, 1633 I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, arraigned personally before this tribunal, and kneeling before you, most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors general against heretical depravity throughout the whole Christian Republic, having before my eyes and touching with my hands, the holy Gospels -- swear that I have always believed, do now believe, and by God's help will for the future believe, all that is held, preached, and taught by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church. But whereas -- after an injunction had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture -- I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this doctrine already condemned, and adduce arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these; and for this cause I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves. Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this strong suspicion, reasonably conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church; and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that should I know any heretic, or person suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and ordinary of the place where I may be. Further, I swear and promise to fulfill and observe in their integrity all penances that have been, or that shall be, imposed upon me by this Holy Office. And, in the event of my contravening, (which God forbid) any of these my promises, protestations, and oaths, I submit myself to all the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. So help me God, and these His holy Gospels, which I touch with my hands. I, the said Galileo Galilei, have abjured, sworn, promised, and bound myself as above; and in witness of the truth thereof I have with my own hand subscribed the present document of my abjuration, and recited it word for word at Rome, in the Convent of Minerva, this twenty-second day of June, 1633. I, Galileo Galilei, have abjured as above with my own hand.
quotes taken from Famous Trials: Trial of Galileo Galilei Update: Peter writes:
I wonder if there has been any statement regarding Galileo, or at least his ideas, by the church since 1633.
In October 1992, Pope John Paul II released this statement.
From the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment down to our own day, the Galileo case has been a sort of "myth", in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from reality. In this perspective, the Galileo case was the symbol of the Church's supposed rejection of scientific progress, or of "dogmatic" obscurantism opposed to the free search for truth. This myth has played a considerable cultural role. It has helped to anchor a number of scientists of good faith in the idea that there was an incompatibility between the spirit of science and its rules of research on the one hand and the Christian faith on the other. A tragic mutual incomprehension has been interpreted as the reflection of a fundamental opposition between science and faith. The clarifications furnished by recent historical studies enable us to state that this sad misunderstanding now belongs to the past.
Okay, Galileo, you can stop burning now. Update: Peter once again replies:
Your article contains at the end of sub-section 9 a paragraph: "Cardinal Poupard has also reminded us that the sentence of 1633 was not irreformable, and that the debate which had not ceased to evolve thereafter, was closed in 1820 with the imprimatur given to the work of Canon Settele.(7)" This suggested to me an additional significant date in this sequence, 1820. I looked at the end of the document hoping to read a little more only to discover that this reference was omitted from the bibliography. Using google I think I may have found the missing reference...
And here is the reference in question:
Book Review of Copernico, Galilei e la chiesa: Fine delta controversia (1820) gli atti del Sant'Uffizio by Brandmuller and Greipl. (1992) This book was the work cited by Pope John Paul II in his discourse to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1992 as evidence that the Church had already reversed Galileo's sentence of 1633 against teaching Copernicanism when it granted the imprimatur for the publication of Canon G. Settele's Astronomia in 1820. Therefore, the author states, "This explains the subtitle: in that year, 1820, the Copernican controversy was effectively terminated, although it took an extensive search by the authors through the acts of the Holy Office to find that out."
Also following Peter's suggestion, Googling for "imprimatur Canon Settele" brings up some interesting takes on this.
Point of view: Nothing to see here The Galileo Affair - George Sim Johnston Galileo's condemnation was certainly unjust, but in no way impugns the infallibility of Catholic dogma. Heliocentricism was never declared a heresy by either ex cathedra pronouncement or an ecumenical council. And as the Pontifical Commission points out, the sentence of 1633 was not irreformable. Galileo's works were eventually removed from the Index and in 1822, at the behest of Pius VII, the Holy Office granted an imprimatur to the work of Canon Settele, in which Copernicanism was presented as a physical fact and no longer as an hypothesis.
Point of view: Secular Results of the Victory over Galileo The edition of the Index published in 1819 was as inexorable toward the works of Copernicus and Galileo as its predecessors had been; but in the year 1820 came a crisis. Canon Settele, Professor of Astronomy at Rome, had written an elementary book in which the Copernican system was taken for granted. The Master of the Sacred Palace, Anfossi, as censor of the press, refused to allow the book to be printed unless Settele revised his work and treated the Copernican theory as merely a hypothesis. On this Settele appealed to Pope Pius VII, and the Pope referred the matter to the Congregation of the Holy Office. At last, on the 16th of August, 1820, it was decided that Settele might teach the Copernican system as established, and this decision was approved by the Pope. This aroused considerable discussion, but finally, on the 11th of September, 1822, the cardinals of the Holy Inquisition graciously agreed that ``the printing and publication of works treating of the motion of the earth and the stability of the sun, in accordance with the general opinion of modern astronomers, is permitted at Rome.'' This decree was ratified by Pius VII, but it was not until thirteen years later, in 1835, that there was issued an edition of the Index from which the condemnation of works defending the double motion of the earth was left out. This was not a moment too soon, for, as if the previous proofs had not been sufficient, each of the motions of the earth was now absolutely demonstrated anew, so as to be recognised by the ordinary observer. The parallax of fixed stars, shown by Bessel as well as other noted astronomers in 1838, clinched forever the doctrine of the revolution of the earth around the sun, and in 1851 the great experiment of Foucault with the pendulum showed to the human eye the earth in motion around its own axis. To make the matter complete, this experiment was publicly made in one of the churches at Rome by the eminent astronomer, Father Secchi, of the Jesuits, in 1852 - just two hundred and twenty years after the Jesuits had done so much to secure Galileo's condemnation. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom - Andrew Dickson White 1896
Point of view: Anti-Heliocentric (!) Robert Sungenis - Catholic Apologetics International Fourth, regarding Canon Settele, he appealed to Pope Pius VII and the pope referred the matter to the Congregation of the Holy Office. On August 16, 1820, they decided to allow Settele to publish his book. Then on September 11, 1822, the cardinals worded their allowance with the following words: "...the printing and publication of works treating of the motion of the earth and the stability of the sun, in accordance with the general opinion of modern astronomers, is permitted at Rome." This decree was ratified by Pius VII, but it was not until thirteen years later, in 1835, that an edition of the Index which contained no reference to a condemnation of works expressing the motion of the earth. The most significant fact for this discussion is HOW the cardinals worded their 1822 statement. They do not endorse Copernicanism as an established fact, nor do they suggest that they agree with works asserting Copernicanism. As far as we can tell, the Church is still endorsing Geocentrism. They only thing they state to the contrary is that they will allow works to be published that are in accord with the "general opinion of modern astronomers." Notice that they refer to the OPINION of the astonomers. As far as the Church is concerned, nothing has been proven regarding heliocentrism. It is merely an "opinion" of the astronomers of that day. Thus, citing the Settele case does not prove anything for those who think the Church has adopted heliocentrism.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
  Green Man Meme
‘The Green Man’, a name coined by Lady Raglan in 1939, is a mediaeval image usually found in churches. Carved in stone or wood, depicted on stained glass, illuminated manuscripts and where else, he can be recognised as a face, often grotesque, with foliage sprouting from his mouth, nose, eyes or ears. Alternatively, he may be a face composed entirely of leaves. Exterior or interior, he features on capitals, corbels, choir stalls, bench ends, fonts, screens, roof bosses - indeed, any surface open to ornamentation. The earliest known examples are in the art of Classical Rome, from where the idea seems to have moved northwards, to be adopted by Christianity and spread far and wide along the pilgrimage routes. The Green Man vanished with the ‘Old Faith’ after the Reformation. By the time of his reappearance, on seventeenth century memorials and eighteenth century Scottish gravestones, the emphasis had shifted, the purpose redirected. For the Victorians, he played a major role in their church restorations and as a decorative motif on street architecture. Even today, when he enjoys a revival, his significance can be manipulated to suit our particular needs. [more...]
Artistically he is most often sculptured in the form of a full-faced head with leaves and tendrils growing from his features and hair. Sometimes he has antlers appearing from his head; on other occasions, plants grow from within his mouth. One of the earliest known examples of this type of foliate face is carved on a tomb in France and dates back to 400 AD. Foliate heads are common before this date, however. Similar images appear earlier in art, stemming from ancient Greek and Roman mythology: Silvanus, the Roman god of the woods, and Dionysos (Bacchus). The ancient Celts, too, depicted their god Cernunnos with horns and leafed hair. The most famous example of the latter is shown on the Gundestrup Cauldron in Denmark. Magic cauldrons formed an important part of old Celtic tales and this beautifully worked gold and silver bowl, made 100BC, would certainly been regarded as a sacred object. The ancient Celts worshipped the land and it is possible that the true origins of the Green Man stem from this source. However, similar figures are to be found in India, ancient Babylon and Islamic art. In medieval and later periods countless thousands of Green Men were carved and painted as part of the ornamentation of many, if not most, of the churches and other important buildings. In Chartres Cathedral, for instance, this figure is depicted in over 70 places and several examples can normally be found in nearly all old English High Streets, especially in cathedral towns. [more...]
Both images Eaton Under Heywood Shrops UK. In a tiny church in an area of old woodland are several wooden Green Men mostly jolly and one looking suspiciously like Fat Freddy's Cat.
Garway Common Herefordshire UK
Stottesdon Herefordshire UK
Both are very early images (C12) Garway was a Knights Templar church and still has a great air of mystery about it. Stottesdon has a wonderful font with a chain of Green Cats like the one above. The Green Cat is a motif that appears in great numbers in North Yorkshire too
The image on the left is from a plate in the Louvre Paris. C12 Italian in origin the foliate head occurs several times in the company of a woman hanging upside down by her feet, like the character from the Tarot pack. The image on the right is from Much Marcle in Herefordshire UK and is one of several Green Men in the church. Notice the Sunwheel hanging on the chain from his neck. The sunwheel is one of the most ancient symbols and also occurs on the font at Garway Common.

Examples from Germany from Brukengasse 9, Limburgh - Haus der 7 Laster built 1567. They are said to be resectively Sloth and Pride since they occur with five other assorted sinful heads on the exterior of the building. I think this is a fanciful attempt by the pastors to turn a Pagan image into a Christian message.

The Green man is finally found Intrepid East Riding photographers have solved the mystery of Bridlington's long-lost ancient fertility God - The Green Man. For centuries, the cheeky green-faced Pagan symbol has been camouflaged out of sight by the ceiling decorations at the town's 12th century Priory. [more...]
Update: Jason has sent me a link to a site which has some excellent photographs of Green Men taken around Canterbury and Kent. The site includes a number of other curiosities as well. 
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
  Water worlds
Some extrasolar planets have water in their atmospheres, an Italian astronomer announced at the Second European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology in Austria. At least, that's one interpretation of the data obtained by Cristiano Cosmovici and his team from the Institute for Cosmic and Planetary Sciences in Rome. Using the 32-meter Medicina radio telescope to receive water MASER emissions, Cosmovici and his team looked at 17 stars that are thought to have planetary systems. MASER stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulation Emission of Radiation. Like a LASER, which is an amplified beam of ultraviolet, visible, or infrared light, a MASER is a beam of amplified microwave radiation. Natural MASERs develop in regions of space where the normal balance of atoms absorbing and releasing energy is altered. For instance, MASERs can form from the disk of gas and dust that surrounds a young star. As the star emits electromagnetic radiation, the densely packed atoms and molecules in the disk absorb some of these photons. The frequency of the photon absorbed depends on the type of atom or molecule. This absorption pushes the atoms and molecules into a higher, "excited" state. Atoms don't remain in this state for long, and they soon emit photons in order to relax back to the lower energy, "ground" state. The MASER beam arises when groups of atoms or molecules are stimulated to simultaneously make a transition to the ground state, all releasing their energy at the same wavelength. Since the photons are the same wavelength, the MASER beams are extremely focused. Scientists can use radio telescopes to receive these beams, and then determine which type of atom or molecule is responsible based on the frequency of the emission. The water MASER line is approximately 22 gigahertz (GHz). For radio astronomers, this is one of the brightest spectral lines in the radio universe. Water production is a common result of star formation, as newly ignited stars send huge shock waves into the surrounding cloud of material. This energy blast causes some hydrogen and oxygen molecules to bind together, creating excited water molecules that relax by emitting microwaves at the 22 GHz wavelength. Over the years, many water MASERs have been detected from the regions around newborn stars as well as from the circumstellar disks of young stars. But for older stars, the shock waves have long since subsided and the circumstellar disks have dissipated. Another explanation for the presence of water near such stars must be found. The Italian astronomers found three stars with the signature water MASER emissions: Upsilon Andromedae, Epsilon Eridani, and Lalande 21185. The Italian team suggests these water MASER beams might arise as water molecules in a planet's atmosphere become excited by the infrared light of its star. According to Cosmovici, such water MASER signals are "a powerful diagnostic tool for planetary searches outside the solar system." "This result is astonishing if it's true," says Geoff Marcy, a planet hunter from the University of California at Berkeley. "It definitely needs to be checked by other observers." [more...]
Measuring the atmospheric makeup of a planet remains one of the most powerful tools for the detection of life on other planets. Water in planetary atmospheres is not a very common thing even in our own solar system. The only planet detected so far to have it in any quantity is the planet Earth.
Atmospheric composition as an indicator of life It has long been realized that the presence of life on a planet’s surface can, in principle, be detected by its effect on the planet’s atmosphere. Planetary scientist Carl Sagan (Sagan et al. 1993) credits the original proposal to a 1965 Nature paper by Joshua Lederberg, a Nobel Laureate in Medicine (Lederberg 1965). Lederberg pointed out that an atmosphere that has been modified by biogenic gaseous emissions will exhibit a marked departure from thermodynamic equilibrium (Figure 4.5). This condition is not by itself a sufficient condition for establishing the presence of life. In reality, all planetary atmospheres are in a perpetual state of thermodynamic disequilibrium because they are being driven simultaneously by thermally induced reactions at temperatures commonly exceeding 250°C and by photochemically induced reactions resulting from interactions with the parent star’s photosphere (5000 K). Nevertheless, atmospheres that contain biogenic trace gases ought to be further from equilibrium than those that do not. Biological activities should also show temporal and spatial variations as a function of planetary seasons. James Lovelock, a British scientist who has championed the Gaia hypothesis that life directs the evolution of its own environment, elaborated on the concept of the spectroscopic detection of life in a second Nature paper published later that same year (Lovelock 1965). His idea was more specific. He pointed out that the presence of life in the Earth’s atmosphere was indicated by the simultaneous presence of a highly oxidized gas, molecular oxygen (O2), along with highly reduced gases, such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). All three of these gases are generated predominantly by biological activity. Oxygen is produced by photosynthesis; methane is generated by methanogenic bacteria living in anaerobic environments such as rice paddies and cow guts; and nitrous oxide is generated by bacterial denitrification in soils and in the ocean. Lovelock’s paper was written at the time when the Viking missions to Mars were being planned. He pointed out (correctly it seems) that the absence of methane in Mars’ atmosphere is an indication that the surface of Mars is not currently inhabited. The Martian atmosphere does contain 0.1% oxygen by volume, but this oxygen is thought to be generated entirely by an abiotic process, namely, the photodisso-ciation of water vapor (H2O) in the atmosphere, followed by escape of hydrogen to space. The absence of methane from Mars’ atmosphere does not, of course, prove that life is absent there. Martian organisms could conceivably exist underground, out of contact with the atmosphere, or in numbers too small to produce a measurable atmospheric signature. Alternatively, methanogenic metabolism might never have evolved on Mars for some reason. It is difficult to prove that life is absent from another planet by analyzing its atmosphere, because we cannot be sure that life elsewhere resembles, in form or abundance, life here on Earth. The best we can do is to make inferences, the degree of certainty of which depends on the generality of what we know about biological metabolism and the extent to which we understand the processes that control planetary atmosphere composition. Lovelock’s idea of using the simultaneous presence of oxygen and methane (or nitrous oxide) to test for life is useful for some cases, but not in others. Sagan et al. (1993) were able to detect these indicators of life on our own planet using data from the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) instrument on the Galileo spacecraft as it swung by Earth on its way to Jupiter. However, since distant planets will be very faint in the visible/near-infrared (IR) and more than a billion times fainter than their parent stars, it is very difficult to build a telescope to observe the same bands as those seen by NIMS, or using a visible-light signature to identify molecular oxygen (the oxygen A-band at 0.76 µm). While Angel and Woolf (1997) suggest that a suitably optimized, 6 m space telescope, corrected with ultra-high resolution active optics and a coronagraph could detect the oxygen A-band in Earth-like planets of the very nearest stars, a more robust search technique is needed for an initial reconnaissance. If, however, TPF finds that terrestrial planets are common, then a third generation space telescope with optimized optics could make valuable follow-up observations at the more difficult visible wavelengths. NASA: Terrestrial Planet Finder - Chapter 4 Indicators of Life: Detection of Life via Remote Sensing
Fanciful. Preposterous. Absurd.

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