History Study Guide: Galileo and the church and the views of Thomas Paine on
RGH #3: How does Galileo defend himself against the attacks of the Church and
It is important to note that the main reason why Galileo was put to house arrest is his
objection to the idea of egocentricity and his strong support for the heliocentricity idea
(Lindberg, 2003). According to Galileo, Heliocentricity was not an operating hypothesis but
instead a factual claim, which had been evidenced by observation. Following the discovery of
the telescope and the subsequent observation of the celestial objects, Galileo felt that there
was a need to overturn the conventional wisdom of egocentricity- the idea that the sun rotates
around the earth. However, the church felt that his claim and the way he advertised it was
beyond pale. As a result, he was charged with heresy.
However, he defended his attacks by recanting his heresy, which was a form of a backing
down. The main reason why he recanted his ‘heresy’ was to avoid being tortured to death as
it had happened to other scientists such as Giordano Bruno (Butts, 2017). It is impor...