söndag 16 januari 2011

KTH vs Pope Paul III: On the Revolutions

In the Foreword to On The Revolutions, conceived by Copernicus in 1514 but kept unpublished until briefly before his death in 1543, Copernicus makes the following statements directed to His Holiness, Pope Paul III to prepare for the message that the Earth is not the Center of the Universe:
  • I can readily imagine, Holy Father, that as soon as some people hear that in this volume, which I have written about the revolutions of the spheres of the universe, I ascribe certain motions to the terrestrial globe, they will shout that I must be immediately repudiated together with this belief.
  • Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned.
  • Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest in the middle of the heaven as its center would, I reflected, regard it as an insane pronouncement if I made the opposite assertion that the earth moves.
  • When I weighed these considerations, the scorn which I had reason to fear on account of the novelty and unconventionality of my opinion almost induced me to abandon completely the work which I had undertaken.
  • For this reason I undertook the task of rereading the works of all the philosophers which I could obtain to learn whether anyone had ever proposed other motions of the universe’s spheres than those expounded by the teachers of astronomy in the schools.
  • And in fact first I found in Cicero that Hicetas supposed the earth to move. Later I also discovered in Plutarch that certain others were of this opinion. I have decided to set his words down here, so that they may be available to everybody:
  • Some think that the earth remains at rest. But Philolaus the Pythagorean believes that, like the sun and moon, it revolves around the fire in an oblique circle. Heraclides of Pontus, and Ecphantus the Pythagorean make the earth move, not in a progressive motion, but like a wheel in a rotation from west to east about its own center.
  • Therefore, having obtained the opportunity from these sources, I too began to consider the mobility of the earth. And even though the idea seemed absurd, nevertheless I knew that others before me had been granted the freedom to imagine any circles whatever for the purpose of explaining the heavenly phenomena.
  • I have no doubt that acute and learned astronomers will agree with me if, as this discipline especially requires, they are willing to examine and consider, not superficially but thoroughly, what I adduce in this volume in proof of these matters.
  • Perhaps there will be babblers who claim to be judges of astronomy although completely ignorant of the subject and, badly distorting some passage of Scripture to their purpose, will dare to find fault with my undertaking and censure it.
Copernicus escaped conviction and punishment by the Church by hiding his new theory until shortly before his death, but not his followers Giordano Bruno, who was put on fire in 1600 and Galileo, who was convicted to prison in 1633, both accused to believe that On The Revolutions said something true about the world.

With no comparision to On The Revolutions or the old Masters, my book BodyandSoul (BS) has met a similar fate at KTH with censorship and punishment threatening those who believe that BS says something true about the world of mathematics and physics, as evidenced in the strange story named KTH-gate. Why this oppression then, today at KTH? Because BS expresses the heretic idea that
  • KTH is not the Center of the Universe.
Compare with Giordano Bruno:
  • It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
  • It may be you fear more to deliver judgment upon me than I fear judgment.
A difference with the Inquisition in the 17th century, is that at KTH there is no trial, no debate, no open discussion, only secret plots behind closed doors on how to feed media like DN with the message that my work is "rappakalja", and on campus only deathly silence with teachers muted by fear of oppression. Is this the 1984 of our time?

In 1992 Pope John Paul II lifted the ban on Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo:
  • Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world's structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture...
In 2000, Pope John Paul II also issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church's history, including the trial of Galileo among others.

One may wonder if the Church of Mathematics of today is more like the Catholic Church of the 17th century than that of Pope John Paul II?

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