The Crime of Galileo

By G de Santillana

Pub. Univ. of Chicago Press 1955


The historian's view of Theory C

Today's academics may have more success than did Bellarmine, so that Theory C disappears from the record. In fact, that is very likely.

The case of Theory C differs from Galileo, who merely promoted his new theory.

After the first few decades, I gave up trying to communicate my new theory, Theory C, and backed off to the lesser challenge, to communicate an inconsistency in the conventional, old theory of electromagnetism. This inconsistency is called The Catt Anomaly, (on my website). This too was suppressed. However, the following analysis by de Santillana (p137) of the Establishment's behaviour when threatened by Galileo is extraordinarily similar to the analysis on my case, which will be written in 2100 or 2200 AD.

"Many things could be said in extenuation of the mistake of the authorities which have been rarely said, while most of the defensive position takes its stand on legal quibbling. One may well say - we have stated it ourselves in the opening chapters - that this was a vast conflict of world views of whose implications the principals themselves could not be fully aware.

"The opposing reasons were of majestic dimensions, stemming from the night of ages; the new developments both compelling and dangerous; the consequences still not to be grasped by us who live three centuries later. Hence an ecumenic council would appear as the proper instance before which to present the issue, either for decision or for postponement of decision. Of this, Galileo was aware. He could not suggest it under penalty of excommunication, but we know that he often said or implied as much in private. (See Note 1 below.) It is very true that the world situation, and the Church's own Counter-Reformation policy, made the idea of a council look exceedingly implausible. We do not presume to pass judgement on the subject. We are simply saying that, if a decision had to be taken, a council was in order. To deal with the question on an administrative level was not only an arbitrary procedure; it was an inexcusable mistake, which is a necessary premise to the graver mistake of the trial sixteen years later. (See Note 2.) Technically, it was not the eleven Qualifiers who can be accused of being wrong (they could hardly have answered anything else under the circumstances, as we shall explain later); it was the authority who put the question up to them. Yet, even so, granting the lines of procedure set down by the immovable machinery of the times, it should be said withal that a spark of understanding and leadership, the informal intervention of a higher mind inside the hierarchy, might well have saved the situation. (Note 3.)

"The drama is really more poignant in this first phase, when all is still fluid, than in the later crisis, when positions had hardened and the juridical machinery had taken over.

"All was still possible in that fatal year 1616, the year that saw the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes and spelled the end of the Renaissance. What Galileo was begging for was pitifally small: that the authorities should keep judgement suspended for another generation - for another few years at least. He was made to look as though the decision were the fault of his own nagging indiscretion. (Our case is different. For decades there has been refusal to make any judgement or pay any attention whatsoever.) He was asking that the Word of God be not taken in vain, and he was maneuvered and driven and cornered, (I have been ignored, not maneuvered), as if he were Satan himself, into tangling with Scripture to his own undoing and to that of his cause. The man who had been so persistently (and sometimes rightly) accused of vanity and conceit plays a role in this phase which appears to justify fully his words to the Grand Duke: 'No saint could have shown more reverence for the Church or greater zeal.'

"For he certainly had come in simplicity of heart and as a true son of the Church, as the Pope could not deny. He had come not to make a scandal but to avoid it; not to oppose truth but to offer it. What was taken to be his pride of mind was the urgent warning that such things would come to pass which would make pride of mind inevitable. Like the prophets of old, he had spoken of a shadow over the land, and the priests had cast him out.

"He was pleading for an understanding from the highest minds, and what he met with was invincible ignorance, gilded with flattery (Note 4) for his 'inimitable conceits'; he was begging for a hearing, and what he got was Caccini (=Secker)."


Note 1.

The log-jam identified.

To the Chief Executive, IEE 25/11/95 Further copy sent 23dec99

Dear Dr Williams,

The Catt Anomaly

The enclosed letters, all written by IEE officers, show disarray in the IEE.

You may recall that matters started with Catt's letter to you highlighting the discrepancy between Bradford (McEwan) and Cambridge (Pepper). Secker and the IEE backed Cambridge, until suddenly on 25 Oct. 95 they switched to backing Bradford.

On 26 Oct. 1995 your representative Secker disqualified himself from the matter.

I am certain that Catt only wants the IEE to fulfil its role as outlined by Secker on 4 Sep. 95 and "promote the general advancement of electrical science and engineering and their applications and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on these subjects". This performance of its stated duties is also requested by Miller OBE, Simmonds FIEE, Turin (subject of BBC Horizon Program on 27 Nov. 95), Ivall (former Editor of Wireless World) - an IEE Journal announces forthcoming discussion; discussion occurs; agreed summary of discussion is reported in an IEE Journal.

Please advise if financial considerations are restraining the IEE from doing its duty.

Yours faithfully [signed] Eugen Hockenjos, B.Sc., DipHE.

encl. Hamlin/Miller 9nov95; Secker/Ivall 25oct95; Secker/Catt 4sep95; Secker/Metzer 19sep95; Secker/Simmonds 26oct95; Wilson/Simmonds 9nov95; Turin/Williams 15nov95

The silence is deafening.

[There was no reply to this letter. IC 22dec99] [8feb00. Still no answer. I.C.]


Note 2

Presumably in our case it will be a libel trial, in around the year 2010, there being no other legal recourse available. The judges will probably back the Establishment, partly because a corrupt judiciary is attacked on this website. But the jury will probably not. That is the weakness in the present decadent system; the jury. It is noticeable that no attempt has been made to use the facility "Riposte", see the Home Page on this website. That failure will weaken the libel action when it finally occurs.

Note 3

De Santillana does not realise that the individual does not help much. In our case, Arnold Lynch played this role. The result was that the Establishment retreated, leaving Lynch, who had been at its centre, outside. For the first time in his life, his articles were rejected for publication.

Note 4

While he suppressed Catt, "Stinking fish" Professor Brown, President of the IEE, told Professor Clarricoat that "Catt is a genius". The total suppression continued.