Re: Galileo and observational "proof" for Copernicus

Brian D Harper (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 19:41:17 -0500

At 10:10 AM 3/16/98 -0500, Ted Davis wrote:

>I respond to Inge Frette's missive:
>Galileo could not give empirical evidence that were strong enough to
>convince aristotelian thinkers to give up the geocentric view.
>>From his assumption that the earth revolved around the sun ( and that
>Venus did the same ), he concluded that it should be possible to
>see the phases of Venus. Which he also observed. But from logic we know that
>if A, then B
>B, therefore A
>is a logical fallacy so observing the phases of Venus does not establish
>the fact that the earth revolves around the sun.
>EBD: Yes, this is correct. Owen Gingerich points this out with much
>eloquence and force in "The Galileo Affair," Sci Amer (Aug 1982), 133-43.

This reminded me that I had seen an announcement for a talk
by Owen with the title "What would Galileo say to the
Creationists?". Would anyone happen to know if this has
been published somewhere?

Brian Harper
Applied Mechanics
Ohio State University
214 Boyd Lab
155 W. Woodruff Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

"What does philosophy got to do with measuring
anything?" -- Galileo