On ‘Rethinking the Galileo Case’ (Feb. 3, page 9)
The article is blind to the larger picture. Galileo was convicted of heresy.
If, as the article states, he was punished “for propagating a theory with insufficient proof,” where was the church’s warrant for jailing people for the crime of bad science?
And if Galileo was also arrogant in the propagation of his theory, and if he may have subtly insulted the pope, were these also grounds for life imprisonment, even a prison sentence that was commuted to house arrest?
Moral precepts and civil laws perform different functions. We should not attempt to enforce the former with the latter.