Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa on February 15, 1564. He became a Christian, a scientist, and died under house arrest in January 8, 1642.
He studied medicine in the university of Pisa, but had to quit because he didn't have enough money. He returned in 1589 at the age of 25. This time however, he was a lecturer on mathematics. He invented the sector-compass and developed the mathematical laws governing the universe. At nineteen, Galileo, in a cathedral, was distracted by the swinging of the lamp. He did not have a watch so he timed the swinging of the clock by his pulse. It did not matter how hard the lamp was swinging, it kept even timing. He also noticed that swing of a pendulum does not depend on the width of the swing but the length of it. Galileo believed that God's Word and His world were both good objects to study.
Galileo invented the telescope. With it, he discovered that the earth moves around the sun, not the sun around the earth. The Roman Catholic church charged him with heresy and contradicting the traditional teachings. He was 70 years old at the time, but was forced to go from Florence, Italy in the winter, to Rome. He arrived February 13, 1633. We do not know whether Galileo was tortured, or simply threatened with torture. We do know, however, that he signed a documents renouncing his views, especially that of the earth moving around the sun. He read his statement, confessing that his views as "errors and heresies." It is said that after reading the statement, he muttered "But it does move." He was kept under house arrest, and became blind and sickly. He died in 1642 in the presence of his son and two pupils.
Another interesting remark that Galileo is said to have made, was made during his trial. When asked about his belief in a Supreme Being, he pointed to a piece of straw on the floor and said that from the structure of that trifling object, he could prove without doubt the existence of an intelligent Creator. He also mentioned that science cannot save the soul. Science can prove what the Bible says about heaven, but only the Bible could tell how to get into Heaven.
Galileo is known for several other discoveries and inventions. He discovered the phases of Venus, sunspots, the four largest moons of Jupiter, that the acceleration of falling bodies is constant, and many other things. He was ridiculed and imprisoned. Today, he is hailed as the father of modern European science. And this is the day it all started!
AMG Bible Illustrations. electronic ed. Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2000.Lang, J. S. 1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Holy Spirit. electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1999.
Lagass, P., & Columbia University. The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. ew York; [Detroit: Columbia University Press; Sold and distributed by Gale Group, 2000.
Geisler, N.L., & P. K. Hoffman. Why am I a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2001. Page 163.
Morgan, R. J. On This Day: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. Electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Neslon Publisher, 2000, c1197. February 13.
Douglas, J. D., P. W. Comfort, & D. Mitchell. Who's Who in Christian History. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1997, c1992.