The Scifi Totally-Not-Galileo

I’m almost done with Brother Assassin, but wanted to share this nugget. The third part of the book is about defending this indispensable historical figure from the berserkers, and this guy is Totally Not Galileo!

I recently discovered that Saberhagen was a practicing Catholic. It also appears he was historically literate. I mean…if this were Earth history, which it’s totally not.

It’s a commonly throw about canard that Galileo was persecuted by the Church during his time. While there is some truth to that one-sided story, it’s largely a fallacy of omission. Saberhagen seemed to have a lot of fun poking at it.


Hammer dropped!

That feeling when scifi writers know more about history (or are more honest about it) than renowned scientists!



  1. On the conflict between religion and science, I’ve never known people who believe in the conflict and are on the side of religion. By which I mean religious folk don’t see a conflict with science as a major issue. Sure there are some fundamentalists who deny evolution, but even that is just denying a scientific theory not science itself. Which is something that scientists do all the time. (Which isn’t to say I don’t believe in evolution.)

    • Yup. The Church has been a major player in and advocate of the sciences throughout history.

      Scientismists love to trot out Galileo as an example of religion’s rigidity and persecution of science and progress, but their take is just inaccurate. Galileo may have been right, but he was also an asshat who made powerful enemies of former patrons. He wasn’t tortured, and if he had solid evidence or were a little more circumspect in his claims, he would have been fine.

  2. Not to mention that Church cosmology was essentially based on Aristotle. They were defending Ari just as much as the Bible. Other Aristotlean nonsense–like comets and meteors being mere aerial/”meteorological” phenomena–had a longer shelf life. In fact, one could say that the Aristotlean view of comets wasn’t truly shattered until the impact of Shoemaker-Levy.

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