Found: second draft of Galileo's argument for a heliocentric model
At least he wasn't burned at the stake, right?
- The letter suggests Galileo censored himself a bit in order to fly more under the radar. It didn't work, though.
- The Royal Society Journal will publish the variants of the letters shortly, and scholars will begin to analyze the results.
- The letter was in obscurity for hundreds of years in Royal Society Library in London.
The idea that the planets, including Earth, revolved around the Sun was first proposed by Copernicus in 1543. It was a radical departure from the religionist worldview of the time, and when Galileo confirmed this via his own observations, it caused quite a bit of consternation from the folks who led the Catholic Inquisition, as well as the Catholic Church itself. The church, you see, held strongly to the Earth-centered universe at the time, and to contradict their beliefs was straight-up heresy.
When a letter, dated December 21, 1616, was first sent to mathematician Benedetto Castelli with Galileo's proofs of the Copernicus heliocentric (sun-centered) model, along with the assertion that scientific research should be free from theological doctrine, it was forwarded to the Catholic Church, which labeled the letter "heresy," declared it an attack on the church, and blasted what it perceived as incendiary language. The Italian astronomer was found guilty of heresy in 1633.
Exclusive: Galileo's original letter arguing against church doctrine that the sun orbits the earth has been discovered, revealing new details about the saga that led to his condemnation for heresy. https://t.co/S7bKYWS2bB
— Nature News & Comment (@NatureNews) September 21, 2018
Science v. Religion
Galileo demonstrating new theories
As it turns out, Galileo pulled some punches after he wrote the first draft that was sent to Castelli — a copy of which was sent to the Inquisition in Rome. In a recently rediscovered second draft, Galileo's hand can seen blotting out some of the harsher phrases of the original letter, substituting them with open-ended ones. For example, in reference to certain biblical claims, he crossed out the word "false" and substituted "look different from the truth."
There was good reason for caution. A few short years earlier, in 1600, scientist Giordano Bruno was found guilty of several heresies, including supporting the Copernicus heliocentric model of our solar system. He was burned at the stake by the church.
In fact, when the Vatican received the first, uncensored version, Galileo pushed out the revised version in an attempt to throw them off his trail. The final edited version did make its way to the Vatican, but it still set church officials off.
Galileo's books were banned, and he was sentenced to prison. That was commuted to house arrest, where he served the last nine years of his life.
Beyond suggesting that Galileo moderated his own text, another particularly fascinating thing about the recently discovered second draft is that it lived incognito in the London Royal Society Library for, at least, 250 years. It has been misfiled.
"I thought, 'I can't believe that I have discovered the letter that virtually all Galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost," Ricciardo told Nature. "It seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the Royal Society library."
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
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- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
What makes an excellent educator?
- When it comes to educating, says Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, a brave failure is preferable to timid success.
- Fostering an environment where one isn't afraid to fail is tantamount to learning.
- Human beings are complicated and flawed. Working with those complications and flaws leads to true knowledge.
"It's about having employees that are empowered."
Denmark may be the birthplace of the Lego tower, but its workplace hierarchy is the flattest in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the nation tops an index measuring "willingness to delegate authority" at work, beating 139 other countries.
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
It's hard to imagine such a number. But these images will help you try.
The Mega Millions lottery just passed $1 billion for tonight's drawing.
What does that even look like, when represented by various currencies?
It takes just 6 numbers to win. You can only, however, purchase tickets up until 10:45 ET tonight.
Want a happy, satisfying relationship? Psychologists say the best way is to learn to take a joke.
- New research looks at how partners' attitudes toward humor affects the overall quality of a relationship.
- Out of the three basic types of people, people who love to be laughed at made for better partners.
- Fine-tuning your sense of humor might be the secret to a healthy, happy, and committed relationship.
Tiny and efficient, these biodegradable single cells show promise as a way to target hard-to-reach cancers.
- Scientists in Germany have found a potential improvement on the idea of bacteria delivering medicine.
- This kind of microtargeting could be useful in cancer treatments.
- The microswimmers are biodegradable and easy to produce.
Metin Sitti and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany recently demonstrated that tiny drugs could be attached to individual algae cells and that those algae cells could then be directed through body-like fluid by a magnetic field.
The results were recently published in Advanced Materials, and the paper as a whole offers up a striking portrait of precision and usefulness, perhaps loosely comparable in overall quality to recent work done by The Yale Quantum Institute. It begins by noting that medicine has been attached to bacteria cells before, but bacteria can multiply and end up causing more harm than good.
A potential solution to the problem seems to have been found in an algal cell: the intended object of delivery is given a different electrical charge than the algal cell, which helps attach the object to the cell. The movement of the algae was then tested in 2D and 3D. (The study calls this cell a 'microswimmer.') It would later be found that "3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers increased more than twofold compared to their 2D mean swimming speed." The study continues —
More interestingly, 3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers in the presence of a uniform magnetic field in the x-direction was approximately threefolds higher than their 2D mean swimming speed.
After the 2D and 3D speed of the algal was examined, it was then tested in something made to approximate human fluid, including what they call 'human tubal fluid' (think of the fallopian tubes), plasma, and blood. They then moved to test the compatibility of the microswimmer with cervical cancer cells, ovarian cancer cells, and healthy cells. They found that the microswimmer didn't follow the path of bacteria cells and create something toxic.
The next logical steps from the study include testing this inside a living organism in order to assess the safety of the procedure. Potential future research could include examining how effective this method of drug delivery could be in targeting "diseases in deep body locations," as in, the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts.
Our modern-day Kafka on his new novel Lake Success and the dark comedy that in 2018 pretty much writes itself
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