Monday, December 3, 2007

The first telescope

On December 3, 1621 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) offered to the world the telescope. The remarkable life of this scientist can be glimpsed from his own words:

I believe in the humanity. If I did not, I would not have the strength to get out of bed every morning.

His numerous contributions to science and technology, his controversy with the Catholic Church made him quite a figure in history. He supported the Copernicus' heliocentric model of the universe (that the planets are revolving around the Sun, in contrast to the Aristotelian geocentric view), which made him a target of the Inquisitors. He escaped them but only after recanting some of his views...

It is always sad that the contemporaries do not welcome new scientific theories. When Leonardo da Vinci drew an airplane, people laughed at him and thought he was insane. Today very few really support or even are capable of understanding the values of cloning and stem cell research. That is the reason we will be self-limiting our horizons and we will allow ourselves to die from diseases that we could find cure from today! Do you think AIDS and cancer are incurable? Not at all. That is simply what we have settled to believe in.

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