Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) - by Galileo Galilei

By Galileo Galilei

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Extra info for Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) - Translated by Drake - Abridged by S. E. Sciortino

Sample text

But no demonstration on the opposing side is thereby produced which necessarily convinces one and proves the earth's mobility. SALV. I have never taken it upon myself, Simplicio, to alter your opinion; much less should I desire to pass a definite judgment on such important litigation. My only intention has been, and will still be in our next debate, to make it evident to you that those who have believed that the very rapid motion every twenty-four hours belongs to the earth alone, and not to the whole universe with only the earth excepted, were not blindly persuaded of the possibility and necessity of this.

SALV. But would you want to deduce a questionable conclusion and establish it as true, from a false basis? Surely not. Now this author's calculations are such that not one of them agrees with any other; you see, then, bow much faith you can put in them. SIMP. If that is how matters stand, it is truly a serious defect. SAGR. I want to help Simplicio and his author out by saying to you, Salviati, that your case would indeed be conclusive if the author had undertaken to find out definitely how far the star was from the earth.

SAGR. This is as if I were watching some unfortunate farmer who, after having all his expected harvest beaten down and destroyed by a tempest, goes about with pallid and downcast face, gathering up such poor gleanings as would not serve to feed a chicken for one day. SALV. Truly, it was with too scant a store of ammunition that this author rose up against the assailers of the sky's inalterability, and it is with chains too fragile that he has attempted to pull the new star down from Cassiopeia in the highest heavens to these base and elemental regions.

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