I realize that this is where I have been placed, and that’s ok. As the title of my blog suggests, my blog is a place of misdirected motivation, nothing more. If I have something important to say, I’ll publish it somewhere else. This blog is for random ramblings and not-so-deep thoughts.
I had a wonderful weekend with my parents who came out from British Columbia for a few days. They were disappointed to fly into a snow storm, but once that was dealt with, we had a great time on a road trip up to Wiarton, went to a maple syrup festival, walked around Sauble Beach, went to church, the Coach and Lantern, Toronto for a day…. They had a great time, and thank everyone they met for so much fun.
Well, I’m off the rec center, so I’ll be back later with more….. really…..
I had one of those moments of pure revelation the other day. You know the kind where something hits you in a blinding flash of comprehension, and suddenly the world makes sense? I've been reading Life of Pi for the past week, and if you haven't read it, you should probably stop reading by blog here, because I may give away a moment of the same kind of revelation for you, if you were planning on reading it.
So for the past 20 pages or so, I had been trying to figure out who Richard Parker was. I thought that somehow I had just missed a page of two of description of this strange man who appears in Pi's photo album, in his memories, in the other narrator's comments. Then, as the boat is sinking around him, and Pi is frantically trying to describe everything going on around him, it came to me like a bus on the street. RICHARD PARKER IS A TIGER! This thought burst incredulously out of me (yes, I said it out loud), and I started laughing a little. Mira, reading silently on her bed looked up, startled, then started laughing as well. We sat there for quite a while, picturing Pi sitting on the lifeboat beating Richard Parker with an oar and a half-drowned cat thrashing around in the Pacific Ocean, then went back to reading again, satisified that at least one mystery of the world had been solved.
blog blog blog
conversation i had not 10 minutes ago:
person 1: 'you don't blog anymore'
me: 'sure i do'
person 1: 'no, you don't. blog!'
me: 'i have nothing to blog about'
person 1: 'look at the crap i blog
. just blog anything.'
me: 'fine, i will'
here it is.
Galileo, the Church, and Science
Influence of Galileo on the interactions between faith and science and its impact on the development of science in Western Europe
The interactions between the church and scientists have always been approached with a certain amount of tension. During the early middle ages, when science was beginning to challenge the common worldview of people raised in an era of Christendom, the church reacted very strongly to the propositions of scientists, especially astronomers, who, it was feared, would lead people away from the church by opposing the church’s thus far unchallenged authority. Scientists, on the whole, were more than willing to attempt to appease threatened papal leaders. Copernicus dedicated his book to the Pope, Galileo retracted his works under the order of the Inquisition, and Descartes, though he did live in Holland (where institutional powers were a little more lenient), tried to stay on good terms with the church. It’s not quite as simple as all of this though.
The church was not entirely unfounded in their fears of being undermined by certain upstart researchers of the time. Early opposition to science was a product of the respect in which Aristotle was held. The church felt that if the statements of all scientists were revered as highly as the opinions of Aristotle were, there would be serious competition for absolute truth claims and monetary donations. Opposition to science came first from the Protestant church, which tried to deny the writings of Copernicus on the issue of a heliocentric universe (the idea that the planets revolve around the sun) and promote the traditional geocentric view of Ptolemy, who stated that earth was unmovable and at the center of the universe (though this attack came long after Copernicus was dead). The Roman Catholic Church chose Galileo as the target of their vindictive march against the seemingly antireligious capriciousness of the newly born science proper.
Galileo, who lived from 1564 to 1642, was born to a mathematician father, who would have done anything to keep his son from discovering the impoverishing obsession of science that he himself had fallen prey to. Unfortunately for Mr. Vincenzo Galilei, young Galileo overheard a group of scientists conversing in a public square, and he was won over to the dark side of science (most notably physics) forever.
Galileo pioneered work in the study of dynamics, which are the laws governing the movement of bodies, and eventually established the revolutionary idea that a body in motion would go on moving in a straight line with uniform velocity if it were free of external influences. He also did experiments on falling bodies (using weights as bodies) from the tower of Pisa, which not only had the religious community up in arms over his apparent disregard for the safety of pedestrians below and the way he attempted to disprove long held traditions, but he also managed to make enemies among his fellow professors, as many of his experiments against the works of Aristotle were conducted before their very eyes on their way to teaching classes on Aristotelian physics.
Galileo assumed that his situation with religious authority would improve after Cardinal Barberini (who approved of natural sciences) took on the title of Pope Urban VIII, and so Galileo published “Dialogues on the Two Greatest Systems of the World”, a book on contrasting the propositions of Ptolemy and Copernicus (though it is strongly biased toward the latter). Galileo’s ease was ill founded however, and he was summoned on February 26 of 1616, by the Pope to appear before the Inquisition to abjure his errors. As a consequence of their parle, all books on a moving earth were left on the Index, and the work of Copernicus was condemned. Galileo retired to Florence.