Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was the book that got Galileo Galilei put on house arrest as a heretic over the idea of heliocentrism. After being sharply warned to drop the issue of challenging the Aristotelian geocentric view that the earth was the center of the universe by the Roman Inquisition in 1616, Galileo dropped there irreverent Dialogue on the world like a bomb in 1632 and all hell broke loose.
Astoundingly, the Pope at the time had actually had given Galileo the go ahead to write the book. In fact, the Pope was one of his advocates of sorts. Galileo had asked permission beforehand to publish the book, and even got formal authorization from the Inquisition that reprimanded him 1616. The catch was twofold, however. Pope Urban VIII asked that Galileo not write in support of heliocentrism, but rather show both sides of the argument. Furthermore, the Pope asked that his own views on the matter be added into the book so that everyone knew what was the correct view.
Galileo ignored the instructions. For the most part, anyway. He did include the Pope's views in the book. Problem is, he wrote them coming from the mouth of a fictional character named Simplicio, or "simpleton," and essentially made him out to be a confused buffoon defending the Aristotelian geocentric view that everything revolved around the Earth.
Needless to say, the Pope wasn't amused. The Inquisition banned the book, sentenced him to house arrest, which lasted the rest of his life, and was branded Galileo a heretic.
No small price to pay for speaking truth to power, standing up for science, and getting his jabs in while he could.
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