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
Listen to interviews
of Wade Rowland
by CKNW Radio (Vancouver), CBC's Tapestry with Don Hill, CBC's The Arts Today with Eleanor Wachtel
about Galileo's Mistake
in Real Audio and MP3 format
Purchase Galileo's Mistake (US edition) online at:
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 Rob Thomas
Digital Journal magazine
The Archaeology of a Myth
In Galileo's Mistake, Wade Rowland sets out to rewrite the myth at the foundation of modern science: that science represents truth and religion, and something else. Traditionally Galileo has been seen as the first scientist to question the authority of religion in determining truth.
The alternative, that Galileo proposed, was reason. But, as Rowland points out, reason doesn't necessarily have the authority to determine truth either, at least not in any ultimate sense.
According to Rowland, Galileo's mistake was that one unique explanation of natural phenomenon was possible and that this single explanation would render all others obsolete. But he lost sight of one important fact, that science was theory; practical theory, but theory none the less.
It was a mistake that would have incredible political, religious, and philosophical ramifications for Galileo himself, for Western culture and for our own age.
It is a stunning point and Rowland makes it in wonderfully readable prose, that incorporates elements of the type of Platonic dialogue that Galileo himself employed.
This is not only a book of ideas - about theology versus ideology - but a travel guide to the middle ages and a tour through the social and political landscape that shaped western approaches to the world.
Book review by Rob Thomas for the Digital Journal magazine
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.