Praise for Galileo's Mistake:
"...fresh and compelling."
"Well-presented scientific history with an interesting philosophical twist"
"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."
"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."
"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 work...an 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
REVIEWS OF GALILEO'S MISTAKE
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:
- The Myth of Galileo
by Donald DeMarco, St. Jerome's University
"Rowland has given us a personal and entertaining trip to Italy and into the world of a most controversial seventeenth-century thinker who, in his confrontation with the Church, forces us to think more deeply and more carefully about the boundaries between faith and reason. In deconstructing a myth, he has re-established a moral, namely, that science without an accompanying ethical vision, is dehumanizing."
Read the complete review.
- Kirkus Reviews - book review of Galileo's Mistake
- "Rowland provocatively challenges the prevailing view"
- "Rowland is correct in gauging the role of the Church in Galileo's trial, but this work is likely to be controversial"
- "With easy erudition...Competently laying out the science and the overarching philosophical issues"
- "Rowland recreates Galileo's trial...makes a case for the Church's role in the pursuit of truth today."
- "Rowland's is an audacious position"
Title: Galileo's Mistake
Subtitle: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation between Galileo and the Church
Author: Wade Rowland
Publication Date: July 2003
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.