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Who said: however the Earth still rotates

  1. May 23, 2007 #1
    Who said: "however the Earth still rotates"

    I remember that there was an ancient astronomer who supported the idea of heliocentric moel of the Solar system and finally he was executed by the Church. Just before his execution, he still cried " However the Earth still rotates".
    Does anyone know the name of the scientist?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2007 #2
    You're thinking of Galileo, though whether it really happened as you say I do not know. Actually, I thought the story was that he recanted, rather than being executed, and that rather than crying out he just muttered it under his breath?
  4. May 23, 2007 #3
    It was indeed Galileo. He was made to "denounce" the helio-centric theory, after which, as cesiumfrog says, he is reported to have muttered something along those lines. He was later put under house-arrest.
  5. May 23, 2007 #4


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    E pur si muove

    it is part of our heritage

    "but it still moves" (even though you made me say it doesn't)

    If you google the phrase "e pur si muove"
    you will get the Wikipedia article of the same name:

    Wiki treats it as a legend that Galileo said this, but the legend is
    very 'true to life' in a certain sense because it epitomizes
    the empiricist spirit that Galileo tried to foster througout his career.
    he worked tirelessly to promote the idea of experimenting to find out
    how the world really is, instead of what the handed-down dogma said.
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  6. May 23, 2007 #5


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    I wonder how it could ever be established that Galileo actually did say these words, on that occasion?
  7. May 24, 2007 #6
    Thank you all.
    Anyway as I now remember, it seems to be Bruno, who was saying so just before being executed. If it is not true, the book I read must have had a mistake.
  8. May 24, 2007 #7
    Never heard of him before, but from Wikipedia (Giordano Bruno):

    "At his trial he listened to the verdict on his knees, then stood up and said: "Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it." A month or so later he was brought to the Campo de' Fiori, a central Roman market square, his tongue in a gag, tied to a pole naked and burned at the stake[..]

    Some authors have claimed Bruno as a "martyr of science". They see a parallel between his persecution and the Galileo affair, [but] unlike Galileo, Bruno's theological beliefs were a factor in his heresy trial

    Note your story contradicts the bit about the gag.
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  9. May 24, 2007 #8
    And of course, Galileo gave them his middle finger.:biggrin:


    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  10. May 24, 2007 #9
  11. May 24, 2007 #10


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    I vaguely remember that with Bruno there was an issue of OTHER WORLDS---the heretical idea that the stars could be other suns and that a star could have planets going around it, like our sun, and maybe there are aliens living there. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Imagining other worlds was bad news. Much worse than just claiming that Copernicus might be right about the earth orbiting the sun and rotating.

    Also I seem to remember that Giordano Bruno was kind of hard to get along with---he had an abrasive personality and quite a lot of eccentric ideas.

    so the issue was not simply whether the earth turns or not. I can't believe there is any Bruno legend about the earth rotating.

    He damned himself on more serious grounds.
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
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