Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

February 15: Galileo (1564)

It was on this date, February 15, 1564, that Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, now in Italy but then a dependency of the city-state of Florence. Galileo had proven through direct observation what Nicolaus Copernicus had only conjectured through reason and mathematics 72 years earlier: that the sun, not the earth, stands at the center of the solar system. In 1615 Cardinal (“Saint”) Robert Bellarmine – a 73-year-old Jesuit whose knowledge of science could fill a small chalice – summoned the 51-year-old scientist to Rome, charging that his cosmological idea was “formally [i.e., "explicitly"] heretical, inasmuch as it expressly contradicts the statements of Holy Scripture in many places.”

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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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November 15: Albert the Great

Albertus Magnus (d. 1280) It was on this date, November 15, 1280, that Albertus Magnus or Albert the Great, died at Cologne, in what is now Germany. Albert was born about 1206, the son of the Count of Bollstädt, and made his early studies at the University of Padua, where Latin translations from Greek of […]



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