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Unformatted text preview: Meanwhile, upon reaching Rome, Galileo found that he had underestimated the obstacles in his path. Bellarmine was an intelligent man, who seems to have genuinely liked Galileo, but his mind was made up: to accept the Copernican theory would require a wholesale rethinking of the Church's view of the natural world, and while he allowed that such a reconsideration might be necessary, it was not something to be rushed into without definite, ironclad proof that Ptolemy and Aristotle were mistaken and Copernicus correct. Therefore, while heliocentricity could be suggested and discussed as a hypothesis, Galileo's insistence that it was definitely and positively true constituted a breaching of proper boundaries. Of course, the level of "proof" that Bellarmine demanded could never be achievedin his view, no empirical findings could override the Bible's authorityand the effect of Bellarmine's position was thus to paralyze scientific...
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- Fall '07