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In December of 1613 - InDecemberof1613,,aclosefriendofhis .

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In December of 1613, Galileo received a letter from Father Castelli, a close friend of his  and a fellow astronomer. Castelli had recently dined with the royal family of Tuscany,  and he reported how the Grand Duchess Christina had criticized the heliocentric theory  for its repudiation of Holy Scripture. Galileo fired back a letter to his friend that would  later be published, with the author's permission, across Italy. In it, he declared that  scriptural literalism had no place in scientific inquiry. "Inasmuch as the Bible calls for an  interpretation differing from the immediate sense of the words," he wrote, "it seems to  me that as an authority in mathematical controversy it has very little standing... I believe  that natural processes which we perceive by careful observation or deduce by cogent  demonstration cannot be refuted by passages from the Bible." Had he halted there, all 
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