Galileo and the Medicis brought Revolution and Truth

Those who cherish freedom must recognize the work of today’s solar science revolutionaries

by Jeffrey Foss, Ph.D.

Practically everyone knows that Galileo is a heroic figure in the rise of modern science. Most people do not know, however, that the scientific revolution that Galileo launched relied on the support and protection of the Medicis. The very name of this family signifies the marriage of power and wealth that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of those among us who – how shall I put it? – lean to the left.

But without the support of Princess Christina, wife of Ferdinand I de Medici, the truth that the Earth goes round the sun would have remained a mere theoretical novelty.

Why did Galileo turn to the Medicis? Because only they had the gold required to support his research and protect him from The Church of Rome. Why did the Medicis support Galileo? They, like many rich people before and after, supported the arts and sciences.

They also resented the stifling power of The Church, and were charmed by the gallant Galileo who dared to stand up to it. So they defended Galileo against the Inquisition, which aimed to silence him and burn his books – along with his body, perhaps, just for good measure.

Fed, funded and protected by the Medicis, Galileo launched the first great scientific revolution. With the telescope he built with his own hands, and the money of his patrons, he saw with his own eyes – for the first time of any human being – the evidence that would establish Copernicus’s revolutionary idea that the sun is at the center of our solar system, and we and our planet go around it.

The very meaning of the word ‘revolution,’ in such phrases as ‘The American Revolution,’ derives from its occurrence in the title of Copernicus’s book: On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. Galileo was the Washington that turned Copernicus’s declaration of independence into the first revolution against establishment science and a globe altering success – given Medici cash.

Many things are said to be unsustainable these days, such as driving our cars, transporting our food from afar in ships and planes, and flying in jets merely to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with our families.

One thing that really is unsustainable, though too few realize it, is the reigning scientific orthodoxy of the 2000s. Government-funded science today serves as an Orwellian Ministry of Truth, just as Church-supported science did in Galileo’s day. Nothing could be more opposed to true science. Nothing like this would have been tolerated by America’s Founding Fathers.

The government-science orthodoxy that largely controls most people’s thoughts and actions nowadays is the idea that Earth’s climate is controlled internally by CO2 levels, and is being warmed apocalyptically by the CO2 that humans emit.

The revolutionary modern-day Copernican idea is that our climate is controlled by the sun, just like our orbit through space. Perhaps new Medicis will one day help solar scientists establish the hypothesis that Earth’s climate warms and cools following the quasi-periodic rising and falling of our Sun’s brightness.  

Everyone now believes that the Earth circles the Sun, but most do not know that the original Copernican idea established by Galileo’s first scientific revolution was in turn defeated by Newton`s scientific revolution, which showed that the Earth follows an elliptical path round the sun, not a circular one.

Newton`s elliptical path model then fell in Einstein`s revolution, which more accurately models the Earth as falling into the gravitational well caused by solar gravity.

The historical lesson is this: science progresses through revolution and renewal.

The frailty of the CO2 theory is shown in Graph (A): While CO2 has been climbing smoothly from 1890 to the present day, Northern Hemisphere temperatures have repeatedly gone up and down without any linkage to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. 

Soon, R. Connolly and M. Connolly, 2015. Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century. Earth-Science Reviews. Vol. 150, pp. 409-452 [Based on Figure 31(a) and (c)].

The power of the solar theory is obvious in Graph (B): Global temperatures are clearly linked to changes in the brightness of the sun (total solar irradiance, TSI).

Though the solar theory has been marginalized by government-funded climate scientists, it should be supported for the good of science itself, which we know is an inherently revolutionary activity. New Medicis need to fund and protect the new Galileos of our age.

We the People need to start questioning government-science with the same principled scrutiny and skepticism we employ for all other government business. We need to once again recognize the virtues of privately funded science, notably its essential freedom from government control. 

Those who cherish freedom must become cognizant of the work of the solar science revolutionaries, support it, and help disseminate it among the people. A good place to start would be the work of Dr. Willie Soon, whose sun-centered theory of climate change has made him a modern Galileo: a scientist shunned, denied funding – and demonized by government-supported earth-centered climatologists.             

Belief grounded in actual, replicable evidence must remain free if science is to survive – along with American life, liberty, prosperity and happiness. America flirts with severe decline when it consorts with the enforcement of scientific orthodoxy under the banner of “climate change.”

But flirtation need not lead to marriage. It’s not too late to call the whole thing off. 


Dr. Jeffrey Foss is a philosopher of science, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Canada, and author of Beyond Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Nature.

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