Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Significant Birthday

Today is the birthday of one of my all time heroes, Galileo Galilei.

I was quite young when I first read about him, and I have always been inspired by his courage in the face of impossibly powerful bullying and even imprisonment.

Not to mention of course, the extent to which he contributed to the march of human knowledge and understanding. He didn't just think up new things (and promote the discoveries of others); he also fought against the suspicion and ignorance of his time, and suffered for it. He wasn't stupid, though. When threatened with torture, he renounced his "heresy" that the earth moved around the sun. Legend has it that he muttered under his breath, "And yet, it moves."

Eventually of course, he was vindicated, and there's the hope for all who have the confidence to uphold an unpopular position.

"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds." ~ Albert Einstein

I'm particularly grateful for his brilliant innovation of developing and turning the telescopes of the day, until then used for military purposes, towards the sky.

Thanks for the telescope, dear friend separated from me through space and time. Happy birthday!

1 comment:

Belle said...

I've always admired Gallileo. This is a nice tribute to him.