Galileo Antichrist: A Biography

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A giant of science, Galileo's achievements allow him to be bracketed alongside Newton, Einstein, and Darwin. A devout Roman Catholic, his genius threw him into conflict with his church and his refusal to back down turned him into a martyr for many. Both biography and exploration of a time when religious and scientific understanding had become deeply and dangerously intertwined, Galileo Antichrist traces the path that led to its subject's denunciation as a heretic—complete with suggestions of conspiracy and cover up. In this unapologetic critique of religion's influence over the development of science, White draws on evidence discovered in the Vatican archives to question the accepted reasons for Galileo's trial. In doing so he shows why Galileo became such a contentious figure—so contentious, in fact, that, centuries later, Pope Benedict XVI felt driven to declare the process against the father of science as "reasonable and just."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753822104
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,519,990
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael White is a former science editor of GQ, a former columnist for the Sunday Express, and the author of many books, including C. S. Lewis: Creator of Narnia, Leonardo: The First Scientist, and Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction xi

1 Like Father, Like Son 1

2 Religion's Grip 13

3 Science before Galileo 25

4 Rebel with a Cause 43

5 Debunking Aristotle 57

6 A Fresh Start 68

7 Conflict 82

8 The Crystal Moon 98

9 Papal Secrets, Holy Intrigues 114

10 The Fight Begins 140

11 The Calm before the Storm 161

12 Unholy Intrigue 181

13 The Strong Arm of the Church 196

14 Gagged 225

15 Phoenix Rising 239

16 Twenty-First-Century Witchcraft 245

Appendix I The Key Characters in Galileo's Life 255

Appendix II 'Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany' (1615) Galileo Galilei 260

References 264

Bibliography 272

Index 275

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