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


Book Review by the Boston Herald of Galileo's Mistake

Review by Barbara Fisher
Boston Globe newspaper
Sunday edition, August 24, 2003

Boston Globe Book Reviews - Short Takes

Galileo's conflict with the Church of Rome over the Copernican hypothesis, the idea that the earth revolves around the sun and thus does not stand as the still center of the universe, has become a marker for the transition from the age of faith to age of reason.

The conflict has been presented overwhelmingly in Galileo's favor. He stands as the champion of enlightenment against the blind despotic power of the church. Galileo's "mistake," according to this fascinating study, was not one of science or mathematics, philosophy or religion, but one of diplomacy.

Wade Rowland describes the church's reasoned views for rejecting the Copernican idea and Galileo's refusal to recognize and respect the church's legitimate claims. The church retained its position that observation and experiment could not be the final word on reality. Galileo erred in insisting that hypotheses grounded in observation and experiment were the final truth, the one reality. The church punished his obstinacy with a trial and condemnation by the Inquisition.

Rowland persuasively argues the church's case. Galileo insisted that seeing is believing, whereas the church held "that there is much believing involved in seeing." Today in our relativistic culture, we are much closer to the 17th-century church than we are to Galileo.

Book review by Barbara Fisher, a freelance critic who lives in New York. for the Boston Globe newspaper

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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