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 Literary Journal Book Review of Galileo's Mistake

Galileo's 1633 trial by the Inquisition has almost mythical status as exemplifying the conflict between enlightened science and the Church's ignorance. Historians of science have known that the is not the whole story and have explored various aspects of the conflict, from the cultural (James Reston's Galileo: A Life) to the political (Mario Biagioli's Galileo Courtier).

Rowland's work takes these new views a step further. He agrees that the two sides were both attempting to realign their worldviews while maintaining control of the discussion, but he argues that the terms of the discussion are still being negotiated; Galileo's mistake was to insist that only science has true answers and deny a role for religion.

Rowland uses the Church's dispute with Galileo, along with current philosophical trends, to argue that science provides not definitive answers but only changing models of reality and that there may bemore than one way to the truth.

Most historians of science would say that Rowland is correct in gauging the role of the Church in Galileo's trial, but this work is likely to be controversial in arguing that the Church still has a role today.

Recommended for general and academic audiences.

Book review by Eric D. Albright, Tufts Univ. Health Science Lab, Boston, for the Literary Journal, New York, NY

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

"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 - 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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