Galileo and Lessons in Humility

For my spread in the Galileo Children's book, I'd like to discuss how Galileo could have been gained much if he but exercised a measure of humility and reservation in his actions. I believe a discussion on this topic would exude positive meaning to everyone, not just children, and I believe his story should be viewed as a parable extolling the value of these virtues.

Unlike the story most often repeated, Galileo's actual story was one with open friendship between him and the church. Many people in the church thought he was a brilliant, and these people would have avoided the interactions with the Inquisition if possible. Unfortunately, he antagonized the church, as well as pretty much anyone else who did not share his views. He perceived his beliefs to be superior to all others, and was unwilling to mutually respect these differences.

As to what assumptions form the context of this selection, I can only speculate. I'm a product of popular culture, and because I am, my own reflections are probably indicative to perceptions of how scientists are or should be, as perceived by our culture. That being stated, I find it difficult to imagine that Galileo couldn't see the ultimate product of his actions. He seemed like a pretty intelligent guy, as most scientists are perceived to be. Why didn't he predict the eventual outcome? My questioning probably presupposes a universal breadth of understanding that scientists should have.

I can foresee some difficulty structuring this concept on a page or two. How can this topic be presented succinctly, and how must it be formatted for a younger audience? I think the problem lies not in the content of the message, but in the length required to explain the narrative. I believe I can address both issues with a deft hand. I imagine the best way to approach this problem would be to focus on the portion of Galileo's life that was most affected by his boisterousness: the Inquisition trial. Through a discussion of humility and how Galileo could have been been served by adopting it earlier in his life, I can touch upon events before the trial.

Comment Stream

3 years ago

Looks like we are thinking along the same lines. It's definitely going to be a challenge presenting a clear idea of all of the moving parts in 200ish words. I wonder how the illustrations can be leveraged to pull some of that weight...