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Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

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Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy. was created by Kerry Stargazer

Several months back I started doing some research into the field of Exoplanets for a presentation I did. During that research I came across a Giordano Bruno - here is his story.

Not too many people have every heard of Giordano Bruno but back in the beginning of the 1600's Giordano Bruno was a man with some very controversial ideas.

Born at Nola (in Campania, then part of the Kingdom of Naples) in 1548, he was originally named Filippo Bruno. At 15, Bruno entered the Dominican Order, taking the name of Giordano. He continued his studies, completing his novitiate, and becoming an ordained priest in 1572.
Over the next few years he became influence by the writings of Copernicus and by the newly rediscovered ideas of Plato. In 1576 he left Naples to avoid the attention of the Inquisition. He left Rome for the same reason and abandoned the Dominican order. He traveled to Geneva and briefly joined the Calvinists, before he was excommunicated, ostensibly for his adherence to Copernicanism.
For the next several years he wondered through out Europe where he held down various teaching post and enjoyed the protection of powerful patrons most notably Henry III of France. It was in this time Bruno wrote about the existence of other worlds and that our Sun was not the centre of the universe but one of many millions of Suns. He also went on to state in his writings that they also inhabited by intelligent beings.
In 1591 he received an invitation to Venice from one Zuane Mocenigo, who wished to be instructed in the art of memory, and also heard of a vacant chair in mathematics at the University of Padua. Apparently believing that the Inquisition might have lost some of its impetus, he returned to Italy.
He went first to Padua, where he taught briefly, but the chair he sought went instead to one Galileo Galilei, so he went to the University of Venice. For two months he functioned as a tutor to Mocenigo, who probably was an agent of the Venetian Inquisition. Upon attempting to leave Venice, Mocenigo denounced Bruno to the Inquisition, which had prepared a total of 130 charges against him. He was arrested May 22, 1592, and given a first trial hearing before being sent for trial in Rome in 1593.
In Rome he was imprisoned for six years before he was tried, lastly in the Tower of Nona. The numerous charges against him included blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy in matters of dogmatic theology, and involved some of the basic doctrines of his philosophy and cosmology. He tried in vain to obtain a personal audience with Pope Clement VIII, hoping to make peace with the Church through a partial recantation. His trial, when it finally occurred, was overseen by the inquisitor, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno refused. Consequently, he was declared a heretic, handed over to secular authorities on January 8, 1600. At his trial, he said: "Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it." A month or so later he was brought to the Campo de' Fiori, a central Roman market square, his tongue in a gag, hung upside-down naked and burned at the stake, on February 17, 1600.
Since 1889, there has been a monument to Bruno on the site of his execution, erected by Italian Masonic circles.
All his works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603. Four hundred years after his execution, official expression of "profound sorrow" and acknowledgement of error at Bruno's condemnation to death was made, during the papacy of John Paul II.
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16 years 3 months ago #34251

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Very interesting! Thanks for posting!
16 years 3 months ago #34252

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Replied by Mordaunt on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

In January 2001 I gave a lecture to Astronomy Ireland called - "Galileo: Hero or Heretic?"

Before that I had been raised with the idea that Bruno was a martyr to science. On further investigation, I came to the opinion that Bruno was a raving mystic at the time of his execution. His pronouncements were like those of Nostradamus: so numerous that it's hardly surprising we recognise some of them as correct in the light of present assumptions about the cosmos.

On what did Bruno base his belief in Pluralism - i.e. the Earth being just one among many inhabited planets, and not occupying any special place?

He had no evidence. And like Galileo, he overplayed his hand. Galileo too believed in the Copernican system, as did most of the hierarchy of the Catholic church of the time. What got Galileo in to trouble was to directly contravene an order by the Church to teach Copernicanism as theory only, and leave pronouncements about the nature of the cosmos to the Bible and the Pope.

Galileo thought that his detection of the phases of Venus were 'proof' that Copernicans was the only explanation to replace the already beleaguered Aristotelian cosmology that had persisted for centuries. During his trail his 'proof' was demolished by basic geometry.

Copernicanism, and the notion of pluralism had been around for about 1800 years by the early 17th century. They attracted little support because the earth-centred aristotlelianism had the balance of evidence on its side. It's a pity Galileo was not a little more humble - he was a better dynamicist than Aristotle, and a less arrogant attitude, and more sensitive exposition of his beliefs could have retained for him the patronage and support of the church he had enjoyed for over 30 years. He is no martyr.

As for Bruno - I'll give the following illustration. -
Suppose I, Emmet Mordaunt of Ireland, declare the Galaxy to be awash with advanced life. Should anyone believe me? Should I not rather be told to hold my tongue until I have evidence for such an assertion, even though many would expect these assertions to be borne out by future discoveries?

Just because you get yourself burned, that doesn't make you a martyr.
Emmet Mordaunt
16 years 3 months ago #34260

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Very interesting story. Stirs some anger at how he was muffled. Still, if it wasn't for brazen men like him, and Galileo, and Copernicus among others, astronomy may not have readily survived those 'dark times'.

Seanie.
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16 years 3 months ago #34261

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Replied by Kerry Stargazer on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Yes Bruno had no proof to back up his claim, but the mere fact that he said these things was enough for some to see him as a heretic.

Just over ten years ago the first exoplanet was found now that number over two hundred. So the first part of Bruno claim(that they are other worlds) took four hundred years to prove it might take a thousand years to prove the next.
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16 years 3 months ago #34271

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Replied by Dark Matter on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

:twisted: This is a hot subject. :arrow: :twisted:
16 years 3 months ago #34274

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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

I read somewhere that his arrogance and contempt for Bellarmine made him his own worst enemy.

Burned alive upside down !

Poor wretch.

They sure knew how to punish you in those days !
16 years 3 months ago #34276

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Replied by Kerry Stargazer on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Here’s another link that gives a bit more about Bruno.

www.infidels.org/library/historical/john.../giordano_bruno.html
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16 years 3 months ago #34277

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Replied by spaceboy on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

pmgisme wrote

I read somewhere that his arrogance and contempt for Bellarmine made him his own worst enemy.

Burned alive upside down !

Poor wretch.

They sure knew how to punish you in those days !"

It's a pity this punishment is not in vogue these days!!! :D

I can think of a few more people to burn at the stake :twisted:

Spaceboy

16 years 3 months ago #34279

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Very interesting story. Stirs some anger at how he was muffled. Still, if it wasn't for brazen men like him, and Galileo, and Copernicus among others, astronomy may not have readily survived those 'dark times'.


The RCC was well versed in copernican theory. De Revolutionibus was dedicated to the Pope even. Galileo, as has been pointed out here, took the theory and started proclaiming it as truth without any proof which is bad enough, but then went on to say that the bible was wrong also and took his argument into the theological realm. De Revolutionibus only ended up on the banned bok list 70 years after publication, when Galileo decided to use it as a theological book. If the church was so anti-copernicus why did it not ban the ideas when they first were published?

Urban VIII encouraged Galileo, his friend, to work on the heliocentric model but not to advocate it, simply to publish the arguments for and against the system. Galileo then went and published 'Dialogue on the Two World Systems' which basically just advocates the helicentric model without proof and insults the Pope.

The common history of the event and what actually happened are quite different. Probably due to whoever wrote the 1700's history books! However the whole Galileo mess was badly handled by the church. But Galileo himself was the main cause of the trouble; a little less arrogance and a little (well any!) political savy and he would have not only not ended up in court but would have kept the favour (and patronage) of the pope and church.

Both sides could have learnt from St. Augustine:
Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures; and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so.

Cheers,
~Al
Albert White MSc FRAS
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16 years 3 months ago #34281

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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Dont blame Galileo and Bruno.

Without their sacrifice we would still be burning people at the stake upside down.

They will be remembered long after Bellarmine and his clique, who believed that they had a hot line to the creator of the cosmos, are long forgotten.

Peter.
16 years 3 months ago #34301

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

To me it doesn't matter if Bruno was a loonie or a genious. He was burned simply for believing something the church did not like rather than believing what the church put around as fact based on no evidence either! He is a martyr, but not neccessarily to science.

Yet another reason for my utter discust at the RCC for electing the head of the inquizition to the possition of pope.

Bart.
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16 years 3 months ago #34402

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Its a good thing they still dont burn people at the post for dissagreeing with them. :wink: :lol:
If you want another reason, how about the present Popes acceptance of this "intelligent design" crapology..... every religion has its flaws.
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16 years 3 months ago #34404

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

If you want another reason, how about the present Popes acceptance of this "intelligent design" crapology..... every religion has its flaws.


Whats he said this time? :-)
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16 years 3 months ago #34406

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

Another article on Bruno www.newadvent.org/cathen/03016a.htm

Also his Wikipedia entry has this to say:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

Although the primary charge against Bruno was docetism, (adherence to the doctrine that Jesus did not actually have a physical body and that his physical presence was an illusion), and despite the fact that his theoretical work cannot be considered scientific, some authors have claimed Bruno as a "martyr of science". They see a parallel between his persecution and the Galileo affair, asserting that even though, unlike Galileo, Bruno's theological beliefs were a factor in his heresy trial, Bruno's Copernicanism was also a factor.

But the above "connection" may be exaggerated, or even plainly false. For example: according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "…in 1600 there was no official Catholic position on the Copernican system, and it was certainly not a heresy. When…Bruno…was burned at the stake as a heretic, it had nothing to do with his writings in support of Copernican cosmology."[2] In fact, the precise charges of heresy on which Bruno was finally condemned are unknown, as the official record has long been lost. The role (if any) of his heliocentric teachings and belief in an infinite universe is not a matter that can be conclusively proved on either side.

Albert White MSc FRAS
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16 years 3 months ago #34407

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

If you want another reason, how about the present Popes acceptance of this "intelligent design" crapology..... every religion has its flaws.


Whats he said this time? :-)


have a look at
www.beliefnet.com/story/198/story_19838_1.html
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16 years 3 months ago #34409

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

have a look at
www.beliefnet.com/story/198/story_19838_1.html


Having it as a topic for a symposium doesn't imply a change, nor does replacing the head of an observatory. Getting the major voices of opinion together to talk about the topic on a theological basis I'd have thought was a positive thing. Or do we just want to burn upside down the people we disagree with? :-)

Seems the story was mainly speculation. The proceedings of the conference are to be made availble later in the year, but attendees say there is no change to the current view. www.cathnews.com/news/609/36.php

The minutes will show how Catholic theologians see no contradiction between their belief in divine creation and the scientific theory of evolution, participants told reporters at the end of the meeting.


We'll see I guess.
Albert White MSc FRAS
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16 years 3 months ago #34412

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

So why was the head of the vatican observatory replaced after he spoke out against intelligent design?
Was it that he broke protocol, was it the way he said it or what he said?
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
16 years 3 months ago #34417

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

So why was the head of the vatican observatory replaced after he spoke out against intelligent design?
Was it that he broke protocol, was it the way he said it or what he said?


He was replaced after resigning having been director for 25 years and is now aged 73 and apparently suffering from cancer. I dont see too much weight in the conspiracy theory; it might have had something to do with it but I doubt it was the reason he was replaced.
Albert White MSc FRAS
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16 years 3 months ago #34419

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Replied by eansbro on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

There is a Bruno Award given out annually by the SETI League for the art, practice or science in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Eamonn A
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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: Giordano Bruno. Martyr to Astronomy.

"Opiums of the people" do have their flaws.
16 years 3 months ago #34488

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