Galileo Quotes

Quotes tagged as "galileo" (showing 1-30 of 32)
Christopher Hitchens
“We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centered or man-centered (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge.”
Christopher Hitchens

Wilhelm Reich
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Christopher Hitchens
“So this is where all the vapid talk about the 'soul' of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The 'vacuum' will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.”
Christopher Hitchens

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Misunderstood! It is a right fool's word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Robert G. Ingersoll
“If the people of Europe had known as much of astronomy and geology when the bible was introduced among them, as they do now, there never could have been one believer in the doctrine of inspiration. If the writers of the various parts of the bible had known as much about the sciences as is now known by every intelligent man, the book never could have been written. It was produced by ignorance, and has been believed and defended by its author. It has lost power in the proportion that man has gained knowledge. A few years ago, this book was appealed to in the settlement of all scientific questions; but now, even the clergy confess that in such matters, it has ceased to speak with the voice of authority. For the establishment of facts, the word of man is now considered far better than the word of God. In the world of science, Jehovah was superseded by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. All that God told Moses, admitting the entire account to be true, is dust and ashes compared to the discoveries of Descartes, Laplace, and Humboldt. In matters of fact, the bible has ceased to be regarded as a standard. Science has succeeded in breaking the chains of theology. A few years ago, Science endeavored to show that it was not inconsistent with the bible. The tables have been turned, and now, Religion is endeavoring to prove that the bible is not inconsistent with Science. The standard has been changed.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

Alan Turing
“I am not very impressed with theological arguments whatever they may be used to support. Such arguments have often been found unsatisfactory in the past. In the time of Galileo it was argued that the texts, 'And the sun stood still... and hasted not to go down about a whole day' (Joshua x. 13) and 'He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at any time' (Psalm cv. 5) were an adequate refutation of the Copernican theory.”
Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence

Ken Robinson
“Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler did not solve an old problem, they asked a new question, and in doing so they changed the whole basis on which the old questions had been framed.”
Ken Robinson

Neil Postman
“. . . we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. . . . We must remember that Galileo merely said that the language of nature is written in mathematics. He did not say that everything is. And even the truth about nature need not be expressed in mathematics. For most of human history, the language of nature has been the language of myth and ritual. These forms, one might add, had the virtues of leaving nature unthreatened and of encouraging the belief that human beings are part of it. It hardly befits a people who stand ready to blow up the planet to praise themselves too vigorously for having found the true way to talk about nature.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

David Bentley Hart
“Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith (all three were believing Christians, of one sort or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristotelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not a revival of Hellenistic science but its final defeat.”
David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Is it possible that the Pentateuch could not have been written by uninspired men? that the assistance of God was necessary to produce these books? Is it possible that Galilei ascertained the mechanical principles of 'Virtual Velocity,' the laws of falling bodies and of all motion; that Copernicus ascertained the true position of the earth and accounted for all celestial phenomena; that Kepler discovered his three laws—discoveries of such importance that the 8th of May, 1618, may be called the birth-day of modern science; that Newton gave to the world the Method of Fluxions, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, and the Decomposition of Light; that Euclid, Cavalieri, Descartes, and Leibniz, almost completed the science of mathematics; that all the discoveries in optics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and chemistry, the experiments, discoveries, and inventions of Galvani, Volta, Franklin and Morse, of Trevithick, Watt and Fulton and of all the pioneers of progress—that all this was accomplished by uninspired men, while the writer of the Pentateuch was directed and inspired by an infinite God? Is it possible that the codes of China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome were made by man, and that the laws recorded in the Pentateuch were alone given by God? Is it possible that Æschylus and Shakespeare, Burns, and Beranger, Goethe and Schiller, and all the poets of the world, and all their wondrous tragedies and songs are but the work of men, while no intelligence except the infinite God could be the author of the Pentateuch? Is it possible that of all the books that crowd the libraries of the world, the books of science, fiction, history and song, that all save only one, have been produced by man? Is it possible that of all these, the bible only is the work of God?”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

Thomas Henry Huxley
“With the growth of civilisation in Europe, and with the revival of letters and of science in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the ethical and intellectual criticism of theology once more recommenced, and arrived at a temporary resting-place in the confessions of the various reformed Protestant sects in the sixteenth century; almost all of which, as soon as they were strong enough, began to persecute those who carried criticism beyond their own limit. But the movement was not arrested by these ecclesiastical barriers, as their constructors fondly imagined it would be; it was continued, tacitly or openly, by Galileo, by Hobbes, by Descartes, and especially by Spinoza, in the seventeenth century; by the English Freethinkers, by Rousseau, by the French Encyclopaedists, and by the German Rationalists, among whom Lessing stands out a head and shoulders taller than the rest, throughout the eighteenth century; by the historians, the philologers, the Biblical critics, the geologists, and the biologists in the nineteenth century, until it is obvious to all who can see that the moral sense and the really scientific method of seeking for truth are once more predominating over false science. Once more ethics and theology are parting company.”
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study

Ivan Pavlov
“One can truly say that the irresistible progress of natural science since the time of Galileo has made its first halt before the study of the higher parts of the brain, the organ of the most complicated relations of the animal to the external world. And it seems, and not without reason, that now is the really critical moment for natural science; for the brain, in its highest complexity—the human brain—which created and creates natural science, itself becomes the object of this science.”
Ivan Pavlov

Paul Bogard
“I linger near Galileo’s telescopes, then round the corner and stand transfixed: I did not expect this- a dark, cool room full of globes of the night sky from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Globo celeste, they are called in Italian: ‘celestial globe,’ maps of the night sky… I imagine him making another globo celeste, this one smaller, yet still exquisitely painted, still breathtaking in detail. It’s a map of the earth still flowing with creation, one you can spin and when you stop it with your finger, there is some tiny detail…some miraculous beauty, some wonderful example from each location at night. The white flower of a night blooming saguaro cactus, the feathers from a great-horned owl, the crunched, smiling face of a particular bat- here, I’m spinning it, I stop it at in the north, where I want there to be something still- he’s painted the black-and-white feathers of a loon…or a globe of night sounds, so that by touching your location you hear the night there- the cricket song, the ocean surf, the frog mating calls.”
Paul Bogard, The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

Jenny  Lawson
“We're better than Galileo. Because he's dead.”
Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Franz Cumont
“After a duration of a thousand years, the power of astrology broke down when, with Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, the progress of astronomy overthrew the false hypothesis upon which the entire structure rested, namely the geocentric system of the universe. The fact that the earth revolves in space intervened to upset the complicated play of planetary influences, and the silent stars, related to the unfathomable depths of the sky, no longer made their prophetic voices audible to mankind. Celestial mechanics and spectrum analysis finally robbed them of their mysterious prestige.”
Franz Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans

“Science would not be what it is if there had not been a Galileo, a Newton or a Lavoisier, any more than music would be what it is if Bach, Beethoven and Wagner had never lived. The world as we know it is the product of its geniuses—and there may be evil as well as beneficent genius—and to deny that fact, is to stultify all history, whether it be that of the intellectual or the economic world.”
Norman Robert Campbell, What Is Science?

Bertrand Russell
“What Galileo and Newton were to the seventeenth century, Darwin was to the nineteenth.”
Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

Ashwin Sanghi
“The Egyptians saw the sun and called him Ra, the Sun God. He rode across the sky in his chariot until it was time to sleep. Copernicus and Galileo proved otherwise and poor Ra lost his divinity.”
Ashwin Sanghi

“...unmystical, hard-headed, argumentative, and possessed of a powerful personality that did not take easily to being contradicted. [Galileo]”
Allan Chapman

“The biblical account of the origin of the cosmos in Genesis, for example, posits that a god created the physical universe particularly with human beings in mind, and so unsurprisingly placed the Earth at the center of creation.

Modern cosmological knowledge has refuted such an account. We are living in the golden age of cosmology: More has been discovered about the large-scale structure and history of the visible cosmos in the last 20 years than in the whole of prior human history. We now have precise knowledge of the distribution of galaxies and know that ours is nowhere near the center of the universe, just as we know that our planetary system has no privileged place among the billions of such systems in our galaxy and that Earth is not even at the center of our planetary system. We also know that the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, whereas Earth didn’t even exist until about 10 billion years later.

No one looking at the vast extent of the universe and the completely random location of homo sapiens within it (in both space and time) could seriously maintain that the whole thing was intentionally created for us. This realization began with Galileo, and has only intensified ever since.”
Tim Maudlin

Michael Coren
“Galileo was challenged because he declared a theory to be a fact and argued with the Church about the genuine meaning of the Bible.”
Michael Coren, Why Catholics are Right

Michael Coren
“Galileo got into trouble because he maintained that since the new discoveries seemed to contradict scripture, those passages of scripture should be reinterpreted in a metaphorical way. He did not seek to oppose the Church nor to doubt the inspiration of scripture. The problem is that he abandoned science and started talking theology and so attracted the notice of the Roman Inquisition. If he had left theology out of his writings and discussions he would probably never have had problems. And he remained a faithful and devout Catholic to the end of his life.”
Michael Coren, Why Catholics are Right

“A foot note in Scale, Geoffery West:

The full quotation from Einstein is worth repeating because it emphasizes a central dictum of science:
"Propositions arrived at by purely logical means are completely empty as regards reality. Because Galileo saw this, and particularly because he drummed this into the scientific world, he is the father of modern physics, indeed of modern science altogether."

Taken from Einstein's "On the Methods of Theoretical Physics," Essays on modern Science (New York:Dover, 2009) 12-21”
Einstein Albert 1879-1955

Mehmet Murat ildan
“If the world is turning, even the church can’t stop it; if it isn’t turning, nobody can go out and make it turn.”
Mehmet Murat ildan, Galileo Galilei

“Ever since the news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had first reached him in California, Brecht had connected Galileo's caving-in before the Inquisition as the great and perhaps ineradicable moral blot on the history of physics and the developments in modern physics that led to the atomic and hydrogen bombs.”
John Fuegi, Bertolt Brecht: Chaos, according to Plan

“Just as in the microcosm there are seven ‘windows’ in the head (two nostrils, two eyes, two ears, and a mouth), so in the macrocosm God has placed two beneficent stars (Jupiter, Venus), two maleficent stars (Mars, Saturn), two luminaries (sun and moon), and one indifferent star (Mercury). The seven days of the week follow from these. Finally, since ancient times the alchemists had made each of the seven metals correspond to one of the planets; gold to the sun, silver to the moon, copper to Venus, quicksilver to Mercury, iron to Mars, tin to Jupiter, lead to Saturn.

From these and many other similar phenomena of nature such as the seven metals, etc., which it were tedious to enumerate, we gather that the number of planets is necessarily seven... Besides, the Jews and other ancient nations as well as modern Europeans, have adopted the division of the week into seven days, and have named them from the seven planets; now if we increase the number of planets, this whole system falls to the ground... Moreover, the satellites [of Jupiter] are invisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the earth, and therefore would be useless, and therefore do not exist.”
Francesco Sizzi, Dianoia astronomica, optica, physica, qua Syderei Nuncij rumor de quatuor planetis à Galilaeo Galilaeo mathematico celeberrimo recens perspicillì cuiusdam ope conspectis, vanus redditur

Ljupka Cvetanova
“Galileo, yet men turn around women!”
Ljupka Cvetanova, The New Land

Jack McDevitt
“Contemporaries only know the authority figures and the loudmouths. And the people born into power. But it takes perspective to know who's carrying the load. Nobody here has a clue who Johannes Kepler is. All they know about Galileo is that he's a teacher who got in trouble with the Inquisition. I doubt anyone's heard of Francis Bacon. Even in Britain, nobody really knows him. He's just a guy with a funny name.”
Jack McDevitt, Time Travelers Never Die

Dan Brown
“Santi was a behemoth in the art world, and being known solely by one's first name was a level of fame achieved only by an elite few... people like Napoleon, Galileo, and Jesus... and, of course, the demigods Langdon now heard blaring from Harvard dormitories - Sting, Madonna, Jewel, and the artist formerly known as Prince, who had changed his name to the symbol ?, causing Langdon to dub him 'The Tau Cross With Intersecting Hermaphroditic Ankh.”
Dan Brown, Angels & Demons

Galileo Galilei
“There is not a single effect in Nature, not even the least that exists, such that the most ingenious theorists can ever arrive at a complete understanding of it. This vain presumption of understanding everything can have no other basis than never understanding anything. For anyone who had experienced just once the perfect understanding of one single thing, and had truly tasted how knowledge is attained, would recognise that of the infinity of other truths he understands nothing.”
Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

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