The Life Of Galileo Galilei: Church vs Science Best Facts

Life Of Galileo Galilei | Galileo Galilei Discoveries | Galileo Galilei Early Life | Galileo Galilei Vs Catholic Church | Galileo Death |

Life Of Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei, one of the most intelligent scientists of all time, was born on 15 February 1564 in Pisa, Italy. From the discovery of Jupiter’s satellite to the conflict with the church’s influential popes, his life was vastly varied. That is why people have been practicing his virtues for centuries and getting endless inspiration.

Life Of Galileo Galilei
Life Of Galileo Galilei

Born in a society where science and religion are in conflict, he chose science with unequal courage. When he started practicing science, there were conflicts in society over three issues. First, a class of society thought of everything scientifically. There was another class that believed in Aristotle’s erroneous theories. But the third was another class, who were the largest in number and at the same time extremely influential. I’m talking about the church, which had the most followers.

The popes of the Catholic Church were directly opposed to science. If any of the scientists’ words contradicted the Bible, unimaginable oppression would come down in their lives. Galileo was no exception. He was repeatedly threatened with death. He spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest. Books written by him were also banned. But in the end, the victory is the truth.

Galileo Galilei Early Life And Education

Galileo was the first of six children of his parents. His father, Vincenzo Galilei, was a renowned composer, musician, and mother, Giulia Amanti. In 1574, his family moved to Florence, Italy. It was there that Galileo Galilei began his formal education. Her formal education took place in an ashram called Camaldoles. Like his father, he could play a very good ‘lute’. However, the problem is with his future career. At first, his father wanted to make him a priest in the Catholic Church. But later he decided to make his son a doctor.

In 1583, Galileo came to the University of Pisa to study medicine. Galileo, a gifted student, soon began to enjoy Pisa. Mathematics in particular attracts him more. One of the professors’ lectures on mathematics attracted him so much that it changed the course of his life and science.

In his university life, he became acquainted with the knowledge of Aristotle, which at first seemed to him to be omnipotent. He was continuing his studies with the intention of becoming a university teacher. But the problem lies elsewhere. Due to financial difficulties, he had to end his studies before getting his university degree in 1585. Besides, in university life, I liked mathematics and physics better than medicine. He is well aware that studying medicine will not help him.

Galileo Galilei Teaching

Although leaving the university, Galileo continued his mathematics education. During this time he published his research, The Little Balance, in which he described the hydrostatic principle of measuring small objects. His research gained popularity and he was hired as a teacher at the University of Pisa. It was at this time that he began researching his famous falling objects.

At this time he was surprised to see the swing of the pendulum. He observed that the pendulum always moves at a certain speed, no matter how hard it is moved if the length of the wire of the hanging pendulum is kept unchanged. He knew that the relationship between the wire and the oscillation of a pendulum was mathematical. This was discovered by Pythagoras two thousand years ago!

His good times at the University of Pisa did not last long. Because the information he published through research had nothing to do with Aristotle. Yet he was vocal in his criticism of Aristotle. But the scientist and philosophical society of the day had complete confidence in Aristotle. So they went against Galileo. In 1592, Galileo lost his teaching position at the University of Pisa.

He did not have to wait long. Soon he was employed at the University of Padua, where he taught mechanics, geometry, and astronomy. Galileo taught at this university for 18 years. It is here that he does his major scientific research and works. His excellent enlightening lectures and interesting research brought him a lot of fame at the University of Padua.

Galileo was born in 1600 to a woman named Marina Gamba, in whose womb Galileo had three children. But surprisingly, Galileo did not marry Marina because of financial problems! However, many say that not only financial problems but also Galileo thought that having illegitimate children out of wedlock could be detrimental to his social standing. He had two daughters and one son.

The girl was named Virginia and Libya and the boy was named Vincenzo. Fearing that girls would not be able to marry into a good family, Galileo tried to bring them under the monastery. In 1616 his two daughters joined a monastery called San Matteo. Virginia was renamed Maria Celeste and Libya was renamed Arcangelo. Her son’s birth, on the other hand, was accidentally legalized and she became a successful musician in the future.

The Scientist Galileo Galilei Discoveries

Galileo Galilei Discoveries
Galileo Galilei Discoveries
  • Galileo modernized the refractive telescope and used the telescope for the first astronomical work.
  • Low, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto; Galileo discovered these four satellites of Jupiter which are called ‘Galilean satellites’ in his honor.
  • The galaxy consists of stars, he said.
  • Discovered that there are mountains on the moon.
  • Saturn discovers satellites.
  • He discovered that the motion of a falling object does not depend on its weight. All objects fall down at equal speeds and produce equal acceleration.
  • Discovers the law of falling objects.
  • Determines the direction of the palace.
  • Discovers the source of inertia. He says that if an object moving in a plane is not obstructed, it will continue to move at the same speed in the same direction, which is the first law of Newton’s motion.
  • He argued that the laws of matter would be the same in all inanimate structures.
  • Invented the simple pendulum formula.
  • Tried to determine the speed of light (failed due to technical backwardness).

Galileo Galilei Conflict With The Church

Galileo Galilei Vs Catholic Church: The pope and priests of the Catholic Church of Galileo’s time were very powerful. They tried to control everything with their own interpretations of the Bible. It was forbidden to publish any scientific theory that conflicted with the Bible. If anyone did, he would be severely punished and even put to death. Galileo also had to face this dilemma.

Life Of Galileo
Engraving from 1894 showing Galileo Galilei at the Inquisition in 1633.

In 1604, Galileo published his “Operation of the Geometrical and Military Compass“. It was around this time that he discovered the principle of hydrostatic. This greatly increased his reputation. He came to the notice of the church. In 1609 he invented the advanced refracting telescope (the telescope was not his invention, he only developed it) and expressed his ambition to see heaven through the telescope! The following year he published a pamphlet, The Starry Messenger, in which he claimed that the moon was not a plane but a sphere of mountains and holes. His discovery was groundbreaking.

In 1612 he published Discourse on Bodies in Water, in which he refuted Aristotle’s argument about floating in the water. He argues that the cause of an object floating in water is not its flatness but the amount of water removed by it. The following year he published his observations on solar stigma. He claims in his book Letters of Sunspot that the sun is not perfect, but has black spots on it which he calls sunspots.

From here, things get trickier for the church. That same year he wrote a letter to one of his students explaining that Copernicus’ discovery did not contradict the Bible. Rather, what the Bible says was in the context of the earth. Not without knowing a famous quote from him.

“I do not believe that God created us with feelings, reason, and intellect, but forbade us to use them.”

Unfortunately, the letter went public. The Church declared Copernican theory outright biblical in 1616 and forbade Galileo to support Copernicus’ theory. The Church later published Copernicus’s book in 1620, excluding the heliocentric theory. Whatever it was, Galileo initially obeyed the church’s order to avoid any trouble for seven years. He did not publish any more of his observations before 1623.

Galileo was a devout follower of the Catholic Church. A cardinal named Maffeo Barberini was his friend, who was later elected Pope Urban VIII. He then allowed Galileo to continue his astronomical research and to publish them on the condition that they would not support Copernicus’ theory.

In 1632, Galileo published his famous book, Dialogue. The book is based on a conversation between three people, one of whom spoke in support of Copernicus’ heliocentric theory, the other trying to refute that argument. The third person was neutral. As soon as the book was published, the church reacted and summoned Galileo to Rome.

Galileo’s trial lasted from September 1632 to July 1633. Galileo did not have to go to jail at that time. In the interrogation, Galileo did not want to admit it at first, but in the end, he was threatened with physical abuse and admitted that he supported Copernicus’ theory in the dialogue. He was charged with heresy. He was placed under house arrest and given two orders- a) not to meet any outsiders, b) no research work outside of Italy. Needless to say, he did not observe any of them.

A copy of his dialogue under house arrest was published in Holland in 1634. During this time he wrote a book, Two New Sciences, on his lifelong work on dynamics, published in 1638 from Holland. By this time Galileo was blind and seriously ill towards the end of his life.

Galileo Death

The great scientist died on January 8, 1642, in a place called Arcetri, near Florence, Italy, at the age of 77, after eight years of house arrest. Although most of his work was banned by the church until his death, the church has not been able to deviate from the truth over time. In 1758 the church lifted the ban on most of its work. When the Church lifted all restrictions on its work in 1835, science prevailed. Many popes in the twentieth century spoke of the importance of his work and acknowledged his work as a guide to a better understanding of science and the world.

Galileo Galilei Vs Catholic Church


Q. What was invented by Galileo Galilei?

A. Celatone, Galileo’s micrometer, Galileo’s escapement, Galileo’s proportional compass

Q. Was Galileo married?

A. Galileo began a long‐term relationship with Maria Gamba; however they never married.

Q. Galileo Galilei’s Date of death?

A. 8 January 1642

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