Galileo's Mistake - A New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church by Wade Rowland

Praise for Galileo's Mistake:

"...fresh and compelling."
Vancouver Sun

"Well-presented scientific history with an interesting philosophical twist"
Kirkus Reviews

"Rowland's is an audacious position"
The New York Times

"Rowland's triumph is in examining Galileo's method over his facts and winning an argument that was lost more than 350 years ago. His book provides a fascinating contribution to a debate that is particularly germane today and is likely to be equally important 300 years from now."
Montreal Gazette

"I recommend it strongly. Rowland tells the story well and with style and...backed by serious research and sensitivity to the issues. The history is embedded in a modern-day travelogue, interspersed with musings about the meaning of life."
The Globe and Mail

"Rowland does an impressive job of bringing the 17th century to life...he builds a compelling case that Galileo and the Church differed over something far more important than whether the earth revolved around the sun-they differed on the very nature of truth and how mortals can come to know it."
Publishers Weekly

"An excellent mixture of science and philosophy."
David Pitt, Bookloons

"Galileo's Mistake is a lofty and ambitious philosophical exploration, and Rowland's considerable gifts as a writer make the book pleasurable and captivating. Rowland skilfully weaves history, biography, science writing, and philosophical overviews into the comfortable familiarity of a travel narrative."

"Galileo's Mistake has the lazy ease of a multi-course Italian dinner, at once relaxing and enriching".
Robert Wiersema, Quill & Quire

"...a superb ambitious, even heroic, interpretation of the Galileo-Church controversy. Rowland has included a wonderfully accurate, exquisitely painted presentation of the political, cultural, and historical setting in which the Galileo-Church debate finds a clearly natural location."
B. J. Hodgson, PhD, Trent University Faculty of Philosophy

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Galileo's Mistake: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church

by Wade Rowland


The Booklist Book Review of Galileo's Mistake

In a revisionist look at the seventeenth-century battle between ecclesiastical authorities and Galileo Galilei, Rowland provocatively challenges the prevailing view of the episode.

The central issue for the inquisitors investigating Galileo's orthodoxy, insists Rowland, was never the sun-centered astronomy of Copernicus. No, much broader philosophical issues were at stake. And on these issues, Rowland argues, the church stood closer to the truth than did Galileo.

The astronomer erred - in Rowland's judgment - not in his advocacy of Coernican theory but rather in his endorsement of a thorough going mathematical empiricism. And while everyone now agrees with Galileo in accepting Copernicus, the doctrinaire empiricism Galileo deployed to advance Copernicanism looks as shallow and misleading to today's quantum physicists as it once did to the Renaissance theologians who forced Galileo to recant.

Rowland won't convince everyone that in retracting his Copernican beliefs, Galileo was affirming sincere faith in Catholic doctrine. But his lucid historical narrative - embedded in a three-voice dialogue of contemporary commentators - does open up long-hidden ironies and paradoxes surrounding a pivotal event in the evolution of Western culture.

Book review by Bryce Christensen, Booklist

The New York Times Book Review of Galileo's Mistake - Books of the Times Review - NY Times Booklist

"Rowland's is an audacious position... in 1992 the church itself admitted that it had erred in condemming Galileo. As headlines mockingly put it at the time, the Vatican had finally acknowledged that the Earth revolved around the Sun. But to Mr. Rowland such descriptions trvialize the real issues at stake in the conflict, namely the essential nature of the universe and which sphere - science or faith - can better grasp it."

Book review by Michael Massing, The New York Times Booklist - Books of the Times Book Review

Other Book Reviews of Galileo's Mistake:

Galileo's Mistake:
Title: Galileo's Mistake
Subtitle: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church
Author: Wade Rowland
Publication Date: July 2003
ISBN: 1559706848
Hardcover: 320 pages
List Price: $25.95 US
Publisher: Arcade Publishing

For details on the Canadian edition of Galileo's Mistake, published by Thomas Allen Publishers, click here.

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