"There is only one good, knowledge - and one evil, ignorance"
Dear 21st century dwellers,
My name is Galileo Galilei. I was born on 15th February 1564. I was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. They say that my achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism—the belief that the earth rotates daily on its axis and the planets revolve in orbits around the sun. I have been called “the father of modern observational astronomy”, “the father of modern physics”, "the father of science” and “the father of modern science”. Stephen Hawking says of me: "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science”.
In spite of this, in 1633, on the orders of Pope Paul V, I was tried and convicted of heresy for publishing my theories. This is because it was claimed that the findings of all of my work was “contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Christian Scripture”. You see, the Christian church was steadfast in its geocentric belief that not only was the earth at the very centre of the universe, but that everything within the universe revolved around our planet. So it was that at the age of 69 years I was sentenced to be placed under house arrest for the rest of my life. My ‘offending’ Dialogue was banned, and publication of any of my works was forbidden, including any I might have ever written after my incarceration. While imprisoned, I became blind and died without my freedom in 1642.
My friends of the future, many hundreds of us were imprisoned or tortured to death by methods including burning at the stake so that your society could be enlightened—freed from the dangerous, cruel superstition and naïve absurdity of the dark ages. Socrates said: “there is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance”. As you approach the 400th anniversary of my death, it saddens me that in spite of having free access to the vast, ever-deepening well of priceless knowledge acquired in the intervening years, cryptic scriptural references are again fiercely competing with sound scientific theories within your learning institutions and among your elected leaders and lawmakers. Unfounded geocentricism and blind anthropocentrism is back—and propagating.
Inexplicably, public schools in the US, UK and Australia are introducing Christian Creationism mythology into the science curriculum to compete with Evolution as an alternative theory.
I implore you; do not let the suffering and barbaric deaths of the Enlightenment martyrs be in vain. Before it is too late, let there be a renaissance of reason. In order to save your species, if not your planet, you must Save the Enlightenment.