I’m a little unclear about this: How is the subject of Galileo, Copernicus, and the heliocentric theory of the solar system in any way related to man-made climate change? It seems that Texas governor Rick Perry thinks they’re very related. He had this to say regarding man-made climate change:
“The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense. Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.”
It seems Perry is talking about degree of scientific acceptance to a theory, or so it would seem. You see, governor Chapstick, Galileo, as well as his predecessor Copernicus, were outvoted regarding the heliocentric theory of the solar system, because at that time, this was an extraordinary claim which required extraordinary evidence. That’s how science works: It’s based on evidence, and at the time of Copernicus, there was very little to prove his hypothesis.
This is where Galileo came in and proved the hypothesis, thus making it a legitimate theory, with a telescope that he invented. Observing other planets, he noticed the stars moved, and in a pattern at that, thus showing that the earth indeed does revolve around the sun, and that the sun, in regards to the system itself, not the galaxy, is stationary, and is the center point of gravity, around which all planets revolve.
I mentioned that evidence is what drives science, and not conjecture, but there is another reason that this claim was denied in its time, which is the same reason that many deny climate change right now: RELIGION! The religion at the time quoted the book of Psalms, which reads, “The lord set the earth on its axis; it can never be moved.” This was the foundation of denialism at the time, not only from many scientists, but from the church, because at the time, the church still controlled science; it had yet to break away from the church. And even after Galileo proved the theory to be true, the church still denied it and placed him in confines until his dying day. There are still sects of Catholicism today who deny the heliocentric theory of the solar system, simply based on biblical texts.
Last year, in the senate, I witnessed a session on climate change, in which someone on the right – I forget whom at the moment – quoted the bible to argue against climate change legislation. This is the verse at hand from the book of Genesis:
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
You see, in this day, despite overwhelming evidence to support man’s effect on the earth in regards to excessive carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane emissions, there are still those who deny the science, solely based on THE BIBLE! If anyone is Galileo here, Rick Perry, it is most certainly not you. Climate science is indeed just that: Science. The bible is indeed just that: A book of faith; not science. Yet, in this advanced culture, science is still being oppressed by the religions of men and women who existed thousands of years before the harnessing of electricity.
Sad, isn’t it?
Final summation: Rick Perry fails once again at trying to discuss “science” with the general public.