On this date, February 26, in the year of our Lord 1616, Galileo Galilei was formerly banned by the Roman Catholic Church from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun.
Now, I am not anti-Catholic (emphatically not) or anti-religious. The church had its reasons, with worry that challenging this dogma would lead to questioning all dogmas, an unstoppable process. Indeed, history showed this fear to be justified, and the loss of dogmatic faith that had already begun then, continues to this day. The church had reasons to fear that the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater, an expression so vivid I’m using it despite it being a cliché.
The thing is, four centuries later and a formal reversal of this ban by the church itself, we still ban thinking that we fear will lead to abuses of the social fabric and result in hurtful conduct. Only now, it is happening in the name of freethinking.
We haven’t changed. We’re still terrified of our own species propensity to abuse one another, and in the name of protecting us from ourselves we fire/take-down/ban/shun uncomfortable ideas.
I know real tolerance and considered debate when I see it. We’re not there yet.
Saluting the brave Galileos out there. You give humanity some hope.