Is The Catholic Church Burned By The Sun Again?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Sunspot plate from Scheiner's Tres Epistolae. Credit: The Galileo Project

Sunspot plate from Scheiner’s Tres Epistolae. Credit: The Galileo Project

Spanish-born American Philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The recent Papal Encyclical announced the Catholic Church’s decision to join the scientific claims that humans are causing global warming and denounce climate scientists who oppose the claim. It came almost exactly 400 years after Galileo was denounced to the Roman Inquisition in the spring of 1615. The Catholic Church only acknowledged the errors of their actions, their last and most negative brush with science, when they forgave Galileo in 1992. Pope John Paul said labeling Galileo a heretic and confining him to life imprisonment was an error. It only took 377 years for the Church to catch up with reality. No doubt Galileo is delighted, assuming he made it to heaven.

Galileo supported the Copernican heliocentric view that put the Sun at the center of our Solar system. This contradicted the Church belief in the Ptolemaic geocentric view with the Earth at the center. He also challenged the Ptolemaic view that everything beyond the moon was perfect. Through his telescope, Galileo made and recorded the first observation of sunspots in 1610. It was heresy to claim the existence of these blemishes. Later, the sunspots became an important part of the research to determine natural causes of climate change.

Now history repeats itself because the latest conflict between science and the Church involves the Sun, or more accurately, exclusion of consideration of the Sun as the primary cause of climate change. The Vatican released the full Encyclical on Thursday, 18 June 2015.

There is considerable hyperbole in the early part of the document apparently designed to define the world in serious trouble because of human activity. There is also the establishment of guilt and culpability.

Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.

Some statements are quite remarkable and seem inappropriate for a document of such gravity. For example,

The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.


The reality is that most of the world is unoccupied (Figure 1). Also, the world is not overpopulated, and the proven solution to population reduction is development in the process of the demographic transition.


Figure 1

The primary purpose of this article is to address the basis for the climate concerns outlined in the Encyclical. The practice of hyperbole extends throughout the Encyclical including the heading for the section on climate change. It is labeled “Pollution and Climate Change”. This idea introduces the incorrect link made in comments by President Obama about “carbon pollution.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Encyclical identifies CO2 as the major cause of climate change, but CO2 is not a pollutant.

The distorted headline provides context for disturbing evidence that the Vatican does not know its science, any more than it did 400 years earlier. Their position is a matter of faith not facts, evidence, or science. With great irony, lack of knowledge about the sun is central again. Item 23 of the Encyclical provides all the information we need to show they don’t understand the science and, therefore, cannot understand how it is misused.

It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.

Unfortunately, the Vatican is not aware that “variations in the earth’s orbit and axis” known as the Milankovitch Effect, is not included in the IPCC Reports or their computer models. The “solar cycle” refers to the changing activities on the Sun, manifest by sunspots, and they are not included in the Report or the models.

“Volcanic activity” is included in the AR 5 Working Group I Report under the heading of “Aerosol Burdens and effects on Insolation.” They comment,


Clouds and aerosols continue to contribute the largest uncertainty to estimates and interpretations of the Earth’s changing energy budget.

The quantification of cloud and convective effects in models, and of aerosol–cloud interactions, continues to be a challenge.

In Chapter 9, “Evaluation of Climate Models” they report on the gap between model results and reality.

The differences between the modelled and measured AODs (aerosol optical depth) exceed the errors in the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) retrievals over land of ±0.05 or 0.2×AOD (Kahn et al., 2005) and the RMS errors in the corrected Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) retrievals over ocean of 0.061(Shi et al., 2011).

The great concentration of greenhouse gases the Encyclical identifies includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. They apparently don’t know these represent approximately 4 percent of the total greenhouse gases and are only 2 percent of all atmospheric gases. (Figure 2)


Figure 2: Source After

They don’t seem to realize that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas. They acknowledge their list is only gases affected by human activity, but they don’t seem to understand that restriction is by design. The IPCC was directed only to examine human causes of climate change.

The cited paragraph contains all the evidence of the Vatican’s lack of understanding of what the IPCC studied. Limitations of IPCC studies were primarily created by the definition of climate change they were given, and they result in the very restricted nature of their conclusions. They seem unaware that all IPCC predictions are wrong. The reality is, if the predictions are wrong, the science is wrong. As a result, the position of the Vatican set out in the Encyclical is a matter of faith, not science. It appears that they are getting burned again, which sadly suggests they didn’t learn from history. As Mark 12:17 (King James version) says,

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I’ve long said that Galileo’s feat had much more vast intellectual consequences, but the presenting fall of anthrocentrism and the rise heliocentrism against the catastrophists catechism will have much greater social, political, and economic consequences.

I am puzzled by the criticism of the quoted paragraph that mentions “volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle” on the grounds that these are not mentioned in IPCC reports.
It seems to me that including them here recognises that the IPCC authors may have overlooked or underestimated their influence on the climate.
The paragraph also says that “a number of scientific studies indicate” that (I paraphrase) recent changes in the climate may be owing to the effects of ‘greenhouse gases’ – with CO2 one of several mentioned – released mostly by human activity.
That does not read to me as a ringing endorsement of the alarmist position.
Is there some other quotation anyone can point to which justifies today’s press reports that the document recognises “a solid scientific consensus” that mankind has been mostly responsible for global warming?
Is there any passage which acknowledges that recent climate change has not been wholly bad for the planet?

Silver ralph

Sorry, but without wishing to detract from Galileo, this knowledge had been around for a few thousand years before him. This is why Copernicus is known as the great fraud, because the Heliocentric system was not his idea at all.
This is a 1st century Jewish zodiac from the Sea of Galilee, and it clearly shows Helios holding a blue-green spherical Earth in his (gravitational) grasp. The Heliocentric model is clear here, for everyone to see. This was the level of scientific and astronomical knowledge that existed, before Christianity came along.

Max Totten

Excellent comment re the Jews knowledge of the universe before the invention of the telescope. Their rules of hygene and disease also exceeded that which was accepted by western science for 1000’s of years. I suspect their knowledge was rejected just because it was Bibical. But you made a mistake common to many and which also poisons the Pope’s position. You confused the Catholic position as being Christian.
A stupid position taken by the Pope reflects on all Christian belief. The larger problem is not his influence on the CCC argument but that he is perceived as an authority on Christianity. Christ said that to whom much is given much is required thus great is the shame. He should never have made such ill considered comments.

Paul Westhaver

Silver Ralph,
I think it is more widely known that the sun-centered cosmos was speculated or believed even before this.
It is believed that Aristarchus of Samos came up with it before the first century. See Aristarchus of Samos: The Ancient Copernicus by Thomas Health
Considering that the idea was not new even to Copernicus, it is fair to say that Copernicus did a good job at working it out and allowing his work to be published.
I actually speculate that since the concept has been around for so long, why wouldn’t it have been around much earlier, say, by the Egyptians? I would not be surprised if there is a hieroglyph somewhere that demonstrates the geometry.
It is a modern myth that people only recently (last 400 years) came up with the notion that the earth was a sphere and not flat. The moon looks like a sphere, as does the sun and seafarers have always seem to have known that a ship falls into the horizon at distance as if on a curved surface.


Copernicus the great fraud? I don’t even know where to begin…


Look again. Helios was a female.

Paul Westhaver

Also 2 other points…
1) Jewish zodiac… with Helios? You must mean jewish?
2) you said 1st century… that is 100 years AFTER Christianity….??

Silver ralph

Also 2 other points…
1) Jewish zodiac… with Helios? You must mean jewish?
2) you said 1st century… that is 100 years AFTER Christianity….??
Err, yes.
One of the peculiararities of early Jewish synagogues, is that they clearly portray Helios and the zodiac. There are many of these early zodiacs in Judaea. And we know this is a Jewish zodiac because the rest of the imagery on the mosaic is pure Judaic, including imagery of the Temple of Jerusalem, the menorah, shofar and the four plants of sukkot.
I like to think that this Gentile-Judaism is a manifestation of Fourth Sect Nazarene Judaism. And we know that this was not widely accepted, because Josephus Flavius (the historian) was sent to destroy this very zodiac because it contained images of animals.
P.S. The life of Jesus was said to be in the 1st century.

Silver ralph

Sorry, but without wishing to detract from Galileo, this knowledge had been around for a few thousand years before him. This is why Copernicus is known as the great deciever, because the Heliocentric system was not his idea at all.
This is a 1st century Jewish zodiac from the Sea of Galilee, and it clearly shows Helios holding a blue-green spherical Earth in his (gravitational) grasp. The Heliocentric model is clear here, for everyone to see. This was the level of scientific and astronomical knowledge that existed, before X-ianity came along.


Sorry, but that shows the earth at the center of all the zodiac stars next to the sun which is offset from the center. that is, the sun is going around the earth, not the opposite.

Silver ralph

That is simply a result of the composition, it would be impossible to place Helios in the center, with the room available. But if you look at the many coins at show this imagery, you will clearly see that Helios is the dominant character, who holds a diminutive Earth in his (gravitational) grasp.

Robert B

Surely blasphemous to describe this as Jewish?
Copernicus referred to the work of Martianus Capella in the 9th as being an influence. He is not known as the great deceiver (you might get that tag). He is known for a heliocentric mathematical model, not for first proposing one (that of Capella predating his by a few centuries).

Martianus Cappella lived in the 5th century though.
The Marriage of Philology and Mercury is a really great book. I suspect that is one of the Etruscan books, but Romanized by the passage of time and by footnote writers.
“The shape of the earth is not flat, as some suppose who imagine it to be like an expanded disc; nor is it concave, as others suppose who have spoken of the rains ‘descending into the lap of mother earth.’ Rather it is rounded – even spherical….”
The choice by the Roman Church to fixate on the Greek, Ptolemy, in geography and in astronomy was the source of the dogma. The Romans/Holy Roman Empire also perpetuated the teachings of the Greeks Aristotle and Pophyry, and others, as the standard of education and knowledge. Francis Bacon and Michelangelo both said that this was impeding knowledge and the sciences, and suggested abandoning the teachings of the Classical Greeks and persuing direct observation and experimentation instead. That is why Galileo was attacked, because he contradicted Ptolemy, and because he was using direct observations through his telescope to show that not everything revolved around the earth, as could be seen by looking at the four moons of Jupiter.
Many pre-classical societies likely knew that the earth was a sphere, and this was written in their writings and kept in their libraries. Hundreds of languages, alphabetic scripts, and books were systematically destroyed by the Romans as a policy. What Greeks and Romans liked they plagerized and rephrased, and what they did not like they later obliterated thoroughly. They tried to destroy the Bible too, but they did not succeed. If the Roman Church still has these Etruscan works, they must release them now.

Robert B

“Martianus Cappella lived in the 5th century though”
People tend to use “though” in a gotcha moment, not for an innocuous mistake. How does it take away from the point that Copernicus was not trying make out that he was the first to think that the planets revolve around the Earth? He couldn’t do it as everyone studying the field was also aware of the ideas of Aristachus.
I take it that “The Marriage of Philology and Mercury is a really great book. I suspect that is one of the Etruscan books, but Romanized by the passage of time and by footnote writers.” is just hubris.


If there is anything worse than the politicization of science, and the hijacking and corruption of the scientific process to further political views, then it would probably have to be doing the same in the name of religion.
I think the world has ample examples of what becomes of making anything related to science a religious issue.
The incredible irony, of the left now supporting the re-entry of religion into matters of science…in effect to condone religious leaders telling people what the truth is and what to think and how to behave and manage their lives…you could not make this crap up!

Jay Hope

There are many people, who should know better, who contribute to this site who think the Sun has got nothing to do with our climate. What’s new?

Time for 21st century version of the Dialogues, with a new ignoramus Simplicio modeled on Francis.
Galileo might have avoided conviction if he hadn’t made Simplicio, the blathering Aristotelean who mouths Pope Urban VIII’s scientific opinions (as the pope requested be included in the book), such a blithering idiot. No surprise that Urban banned its sale and ordered Galileo examined by a special commission instead of the Inquisition, which has previously found his positions heretical.

Ralph Knapp

So much for the Pope’s science degree.

His vaunted “degree”, in US terms, is between a high school diploma and an AA from a community college. Francis got it at 19 after another year in school to be certified as a chemistry lab worker.

Just an engineer

Chief bottle washer, ehh?

And he worked in the food industry at that…


A BA in chemistry requires a huge number of science classes, and getting good grades in most of them.
And even degree that would not, in the opinion of many, qualify one to call one’s self a “chemist”.


Per the utterly unimprovable Wikipedia (which even I can edit . . .) – our present Pope also worked as a nightclub bouncer [when I looked last night, at least; it may now be as a night-cart jouncer. Wikipedia is quite wonderful, some tell me!].
I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.

Olaf Koenders

It’s painfully clear that the church hasn’t gained any scientific ground since the dark ages. IPCC’s comprehension of their climate “science” is 4% of reality, while the church’s comprehension is 3.4% of that it seems.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

This is because religion isn’t a search for truth, it’s a search for comfort. They don’t go looking for the real explanation, they go looking for something that makes them feel all warm inside. It’s like death: You can see why humans have an attachment to some lovely, fluffy idea that we go and live forever in some airy-fairy land in the sky, and see again all the people we loved who have ‘passed on’. The truth is that is it…end. What a horrible thought? As my old nan used to say, you’re a long time dead. The difference between believers and non-believers is that some of us aren’t deluding ourselves. Delusion is comfort. The ‘church’ won’t gain ANY scientific ground. Their ideas and beliefs have been continually pushed back for hundreds of years by science. But don’t expect them to give up any day soon.

Not just Christianity but most, if not all, religions push the fairy tale of human specialness, that we, unlike all other organisms, have an immortal soul that will survive our physical existences, whether in heaven or through endless rebirths.
But the fact is that we are not fundamentally different from other living things. Scientists who have religious faith understand this, but still find value in religious belief or practice of various kinds.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Indeed, sturgishooper, it’s not that we are just ‘not fundamentally different’, we’re VERY similar. We share 24% of our genes with rice, so I’m told. We all (all living things) go back to a common ancestor. The ignorance that is fundamental (emphasis on ‘mental’) religious belief continues to astound me. But like I said, they are not looking for the truth, they’re looking for any comforting explanation.

Crispin in Waterloo

“We share 24% of our genes with rice, so I’m told.”
Were you also told that correlation equals causation?
Underlying the claim that ‘we have to have a common ancestor with rice’ is the assumption that ‘life’ is so special it can only have started once and then after that supremely magic moment, everything else inevitably evolved. First, magic moment Big Bang then the universe by evolution. Then magic moment Life on Earth and following that, everything else inevitably evolved. Then magic moment Sentient Ape and everything else inevitably evolved from that. There is only One Way! [finger points to heaven]
Western materialist philosophy is filled too many magic moments and too much unilinealism and it is exactly what has led to the, “CO2 causes everything bad that ever happened in your life” industry. The Pope’s message supports unilinealism (one cause, one inevitable path). He is as wrong as was Engels.
If you knew that life started on Earth 100 billion times so far, for certain, would genetic similarity still equal common descent? Would correlation still equal causation? My, how simple is the world when our philosophical implements are hand axes.


“The role of religion is to console the unfortunate peoples of the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Christianity is about having faith in the truth and authority of God’s word and in his Son Jesus Christ. HOWEVER if you believe God created the physical world, then that search includes scientific endeavour. On this score, the Pope and Catholic church (and also other churches) have missed the mark so very badly. To knowingly take a limited viewpoint (that of the political & environmentalist establishment), and ignore others, that is as his as an outright lie. No Christian should ever be party to that. There is no gulf or contradiction between true Christian faith and honest scientific endeavour. Many top evidence-led scientists are also professing Christians.

Ian Macdonald

A belief in life after death, or that we have all lived before, is not synonymous with religion.I base my belief on a scientific principle that evidence exists of past lives. That evidence is not 100% conclusive, but it is strong.
There is no scientific evidence of the existence of an omnipotent god, though.There is anecdotal evidence of people who say they have received communications from a being claiming to be God, but it is hard to verify these claims.The point such people overlook is that the existence of telepathic communcation is also not proof of God, just proof of a telepathic individual claiming to be one.
Though, the real paradox with Christianity is atonement – The idea that Jesus could atone for sins committed 2,000 or more years after his lifetime, The problem is that to know what sins would be committed 2,000 years later requires predestination, and if all events are predestined, then there can by definition be no such thing as sin. Try telling that to a Christian though, and they will come up with some implausible excuse, like God being omnipotent so that paradox is not a problem.
It seems to be a fundamental principle of religion, that it matters not if it makes no sense.


Big Jim,
You say that religion is a search for comfort. Perhaps you could clear up two mysteries for me.
The first mystery is why, if religion is only a search for comfort, Jesus Christ didn’t make it a lot easier to follow him. If you read any of the Gospels you will see how hard it is.
Now, the second mystery concerns the Gospels themselves. I may be wrong but I suspect that you would argue that the Gospels were just made-up fiction. In that case maybe you could explain why the people who wrote them were willing to die rather than deny the truth of the Gospels.

It is logical closure to state there is no continuation of consciousness after our bodies cease to exist. There are many anomalies that cannot be explained by the typical mainstream views.

DD More

Olaf don’t be so sure on the church not gaining any scientific ground since the dark ages.
Georges Lemaître, (1894-1966), Belgian cosmologist, Catholic priest, and father of the Big Bang theory.


Color me skeptical on BBT also. BBT has a few really large black band aids supporting the math. Possible, sometimes the math makes predictions that turn out true. Could also be a CAGW kind of confirmation bias to hold the theory.


Translate the French Lemaitre to English and you get Themaster. Not bad!

Ian Macdonald .
I base my belief on a scientific principle that evidence exists of past lives.
Is there a primer (hopefully website) for evidence? I’ve never come across evidence convincing enough to look much further.
Maybe it’s not the way it works but it doesn’t seem that everyone could get a previous life. I’m guessing without looking that more (at least a good percentage of) people have lived in the last 100 years than sum total of the last 4000.
I don’t know if it’s a pertinent argument or not (just interesting) that if you call a generational age 30 years then there’s only been 130 some odd generations in generally recorded history. It’s not an astronomical number…


Not quite fair, there has been a lot of scientific achievement sponsored by Christian and Catholic churches from the original Copernican model of the universe, to Mendel and his peas, to the discovery of how to put fizz in soda water, to the affirmation of Hally’s predictions about his comet (It came late, but a Catholic Bishop did the math showing that it was due to other gravitational forces)
Because of the great scientific work that was accomplished by the Church, this money grubbing appeal to government by acclaiming AGW makes me extra sad.

Thank you. The historical ignorance on this subject from intelligent people is appalling. The Church was the major sponsor of education and science through the Middle Ages and beyond. It is sad that so many know so little about this other than the Galileo myths that have been endlessly repeated until the lie has been accepted as truth.
The entire Galileo episode is one of the most fascinating historical events one will ever read. Nothing exists in a vacuum including science and religion. The politics of the time, the intrigue, the personalities, the scientists warring with each other and defending their own theories, and the Church and Her different factions, firmly in the middle of all this, makes for a most interesting examination of history and man.
In fact, there are remarkable similarities to the current debate over AGW/Climate Whatever It Is Today..
It was the Catholic Church who reformed the Julian Calendar. We still use the Gregorian calendar to this day. Hardly the work of some ignorant religious, do you think?
Look here how difficult it was to get various parts of the world to accept the Gregorian Calendar simply due to religious animosity and politics. You really think the debate about helio-centrism was just about science?
Below is just a small description of the debate and conflicts over the Gregorian Calendar.
Pope Gregory XIII is best known for his commissioning of the calendar after being initially authored by the Calabrian doctor/astronomer Aloysius Lilius[3][4] and with the aid of Jesuit priest/astronomer Christopher Clavius who made the final modifications.
…This was verified by the observations of Clavius, and the new calendar was instituted when Gregory decreed, by the papal bull Inter gravissimas of 24 February 1582, that the day after Thursday, 4 October 1582 would be not Friday, 5 October, but Friday, 15 October 1582. The new calendar duly replaced the Julian calendar, in use since 45 BC, and has since come into universal use. Because of Gregory’s involvement, the reformed Julian calendar came to be known as the Gregorian calendar.
The switchover was bitterly opposed by much of the populace, who feared it was an attempt by landlords to cheat them out of a week and a half’s rent. However, the Catholic countries of Spain, Portugal, Poland, and Italy complied. France, some states of the Dutch Republic and various Catholic states in Germany and Switzerland (both countries were religiously split) followed suit within a year or two, and Hungary followed in 1587.
However, more than a century passed before Protestant Europe accepted the new calendar. Denmark, the remaining states of the Dutch Republic, and the Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire and Switzerland adopted the Gregorian reform in 1700–01. By this time, the calendar trailed the seasons by 11 days. Great Britain and its American colonies reformed in 1752, where Wednesday, 2 September 1752 was immediately followed by Thursday, 14 September 1752; they were joined by the last Protestant holdout, Sweden, on 1 March 1753.
The Gregorian calendar was not accepted in eastern Christendom for several hundred years, and then only as the civil calendar.[5] The Gregorian Calendar was instituted in Russia by the Bolsheviks in 1917, Romania accepted it in 1919 under king Ferdinand of Romania (1 November 1919 became 14 November 1919), Turkey in 1923 under Ataturk, and the last Orthodox country to accept the calendar was Greece also in 1923.[citation needed]
While some Eastern Orthodox national churches have accepted the Gregorian calendar dates for feast days that occur on the same date every year, the dates of all movable feasts (such as Easter) are still calculated in the Eastern Orthodox churches by reference to the Julian. calendar.


That table is wrong. The fraction due to fossil fuel burning is much higher. The 3% represents how much of that is added every year.

Paul Westhaver

Dr Ball.
Your rhetoric is not helping.
1) The Church today is following popular scientific opinion.
2) The Church in 1615 had already adopted Copernican mechanics until Galileo failed to objectively prove that a) the sun was fixed and b) that his theorized circular orbits were true.
Because of that, and because he contradicted the Church’s teaching authority which he contractually agreed not to do, the church had to revisit and correct Copernicus’ book which they previous published.
Your sloppy criticism of the 17th century church, and your off-target allusion to the present situation tells me that you should stick to climate science and stay away from history. Your knowledge of the Galileo trials is cartoonish.

The Church had most certainly not “adopted” Copernicanism. It had allowed it to be taught, but it still officially endorsed Ptolemaic and Aristotelean geocentrism, since that model seemed more closely to resemble the Bible’s pre-scientific cosmos, with the sun moving over the solid earth.
Look no further than Galileo’s Dialogues to see official Church doctrine as espoused by Pope Urban, who asked that his view be included in GG’s book, in the character of Simplicio. Galileo got thrown in the slammer for making the pope out to be the fool that he was.

Paul Westhaver

The liar and hate monger Sturgis Hooper wants to deny that Pope Paul III and 2 of his Bishops implemented the publication of Copernicus’ book. Your blind hate is an intellectual trap that you can’r escape. Just keep talking… and moving creep teachers around.

There is no end to your lies.
No one in the Catholic hierarchy implemented publication. That was done by Protestants. He dedicated it to Church officials, but they didn’t “implement” anything. Copernicus’ Protestant student encouraged him to publish and found a Protestant printer to do so.
I see you’re no more interested in historical reality than in the obscene abuses and crimes of your Church.
Again, you fail to make a simple distinction. The Church allowed the heliocentric hypothesis to be taught, but severely restricted it. That does not mean it endorsed the hypothesis as physical reality, as maintained by Galileo.
You remain blind to the reality of your religious institution and its history. If I’m motivated by hatred, then what accounts for the Church’s own recanting of its wrongful prosecution and persecution of GG?


Paul Westhaver didn’t take long to show his true colors. With his uncalled for ad hominem attack (“The liar and hate monger Sturgis Hooper), he has quickly and clearly demonstrated to the rest of us that he has neither the will nor the intelligence to discuss this matter in any kind of a mature manner. He truly reflects the stereotypes he emulates…

Paul Westhaver

Well if the shoe fits SPOCK2009….2 bishops under the authority of Pope Paul III collected Copernicus’s papers (Copernicus was a catholic cleric) and implemented the publication carried out by Rheticus. It was published TO POPE PAUL III. I said implemented….duh.
Sturgis Hooper is a maniacal anti-catholic hate mongering troll.
He is given to obsessive lies about anything catholic and has to be censored by the moderators because of his excesses.
[Reply: Can all of you cool down and be more polite. Please. We don’t need a rehash of the religious wars. -ModE. ]

Paul said that because of nasty things I said about the pope, suggesting where his “pile of filth” came from, in effect. I was moderated. I stated my view improperly for this venue.
He concluded from that that I hate something, maybe this pope, or the Church, or all religious faith. I don’t. I don’t even hate ignorant hypocrites like Francis. But IMO Paul’s response shows how easily hate is fostered by belief, when it encounters unwanted reality.

Robert B

You might want to read up on the sunspots.
Sunspots were accepted by Catholic priests such as Scheiner with whom Galileo had the confrontation with, well before being brought before the inquisition.
The slammer was a bishop’s palace. Home arrest was not to cross the river Arno, 2 km away. His daughter wrote of concern for her father’s health because he was drinking and eating too much.
Tiedemann Giese was a Catholic bishop. Rheticus was from a a region that became Lutheran but he seems to have remained a Catholic as he was under the patronage of a Catholic bishop in his later years. Claiming that only Protestants wanted the book published is not true.
De revolutionibus was not formally banned but merely withdrawn from circulation, pending “corrections” that would clarify the theory’s status as hypothesis.
I’ll end with Kepler being helped in his investigations by Jesuits and the man most responsible for rejecting Copernicus, Clavius, remaining friends with Galileo until his death.

I was moderated for my words, not for my thoughts.
Since you can’t d*ny the accuracy of my history, you attack me. You are at least as intemperate as I, yet you claim to be a Christian.
The slammer was briefly the bishop’s palace, then a house. I was pretty sure someone would go literalist on slammer. The fact is, he wasn’t at liberty.
You totally misrepresent Rheticus, who was without doubt a Protestant. Paul falsely claims that because Copernicus dedicated his work to Catholic officials, they somehow had a hand in preparing his book for publication. That is totally, completely and utterly false. The publisher was a Lutheran, like Rheticus.
Copernicus formulated his hypothesis 36 years earlier but never dated publish for fear of Catholic reaction until he was dying and Protestants arranged the preparation and printing. An inconvenient truth.
As I keep saying, the Church permitted the heliocentric hypothesis as a tool, not as reality, which remained geocentric in doctrine. Access to Copernican works was severely restricted.
The continuing attempt by Catholic apologists to whitewash the plain, unvarnished truth of what happened in the 17th and subsequent centuries shows that the Church’s advocates still don’t respect science, history or the pursuit of truth.
As should be plain from the document foisted on the world by this Communist Jesuit bishop of Rome. He follows in a long tradition of venal, murderous, hypocritical occupants of the Holy See.

If you know that Copernicus’s Protestant student, Rheticus, was involved in his publication, you probably also know that the Catholic Bishop, Tiedemann Giese was also involved. In fact, it is Rheticus who credits Bishop Giese with finally convincing Copernicus to publish his Model. Originally Copernicus had only wanted to publish his tables. This does not necessarily pertain to this thread, but I’ve noticed that when people try to build a case of the church being against science because of the conflict between Galileo and the church over Copernicism, they studiously avoid delving into Copernicus’s own relationship with the church. There’s probably a good reason for this.

Rheticus was accused of homosexual rape of a minor, so if Catholic advocates want him, you’re welcome to him.

Copernicus was related by blood to the Catholic hierarchy in Prussia. He was a Church canon, an heir to the Teutonic Knight conquest of pagan Baltic peoples.
The fact remains that he held off generally publishing his hypothesis for 36 years (despite short versions thereof, which came to the attention of both Catholics and Luther) until shortly before his death, and then only under pressure from Protestant colleagues, because he knew that his views clashed dangerously with Church doctrine.
The salient point is that official Church doctrine was geocentric. While many Protestant theologians also opposed heliocentrism, the Lutheran and Calvinist states were more open to science. They also challenged the Church’s choice of books to include in the Old and New Testaments.
That the Protestant North embraced heliocentrism in the 17th century sooner and more fully than the Catholic South is a fact.

@Robert B
Lots of interesting tidbits about GG. Current Galileo scholars think that villa where Galileo spent part of his house arrest had a wine cellar with the equivalent of 1200 bottles. Because of this they postulate that he entertained guests frequently. The man really loved his wine! GG was renting the villa from one of the richest banking families in Florence.

I have seen the speculation that Copernicus delayed publication due to fear of Catholic reaction many times on the net and in books. I have never seen anyone support this speculation with events or documents from Copernicus’s lifetime. In fact, Copernicus went into great detail as to why he delayed publication in the preface of his book. It was because he feared the reaction of other academics. He even asked for the Pope’s protection against them. You can look it up in any English translation of De Revolutionibus.
Re: The Ptolemaic Model. It was pretty well dead by the time of the Galileo trial. The other models besides the Keplerian were geo-heliocentric where some planets circled Earth and some circled the Sun. This meant that they were consistent with GG’s Venus observations. It is very important to note that all the models were observationally equivalent at the time. If we are really talking about science, observations are important. Both the Copernican and Keplerian had the problem that no-one could detect any stellar parallax, which is necessary if the earth was circling the sun.
Galileo’s famous “Dialogue” was really a straw man argument where Galileo pitted the Copernican Model against a model that was pretty well dead and very easy to defeat. The actual competitors should have been the Tychonic, Capellan and Ursine.


Oh goody, yet another opportunity to engage in the great “Catholics done nuthin’ wrong” debate over Galileo.
Since I don’t want to be called a “hate mongering” person or accused of making stuff up, I’ll confine myself to just providing direct evidence in the words or acts of the participants that might bear on the issue. Let’s start with Cardinal Saint Bellarmine, one of the masters of the Inquisition:
Some quotes:

First. I say that it seems to me that Your Reverence and Galileo did prudently to content yourself with speaking hypothetically, and not absolutely, as I have always believed that Copernicus spoke. For to say that, assuming the earth moves and the sun stands still, all the appearances are saved better than with eccentrics and epicycles, is to speak well; there is no danger in this, and it is sufficient for mathematicians. But to want to affirm that the sun really is fixed in the center of the heavens and only revolves around itself (i. e., turns upon its axis ) without traveling from east to west, and that the earth is situated in the third sphere and revolves with great speed around the sun, is a very dangerous thing, not only by irritating all the philosophers and scholastic theologians, but also by injuring our holy faith and rendering the Holy Scriptures false. For Your Reverence has demonstrated many ways of explaining Holy Scripture, but you have not applied them in particular, and without a doubt you would have found it most difficult if you had attempted to explain all the passages which you yourself have cited.

This, my friends, is the bottom line. The problem with Galileo’s assertions was that they directly contradicted Holy Scripture, in ways that Saint Bellarmine doubted could ever be rationalized. There is no doubt of this. Bellarmine himself says so:

if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe. Now consider whether in all prudence the Church could encourage giving to Scripture a sense contrary to the holy Fathers and all the Latin and Greek commentators. Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if it is not a matter of faith from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny that Abraham had two sons and Jacob twelve, as it would be to deny the virgin birth of Christ, for both are declared by the Holy Ghost through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.

Galileo’s beliefs are heresy, pure and simple. Is there something to argue about here? Did Bellarmine really have an open mind? Or was he warning Galileo to back the h*** off and stop pushing a heliocentric model for the solar system? You decide. Personally, I don’t think the decision is particularly difficult.

It is not the same thing to show that the appearances are saved by assuming that the sun really is in the center and the earth in the heavens. I believe that the first demonstration might exist, but I have grave doubts about the second, and in a case of doubt, one may not depart from the Scriptures as explained by the holy Fathers. I add that the words ‘ the sun also riseth and the sun goeth down, and hasteneth to the place where he ariseth, etc.’ were those of Solomon, who not only spoke by divine inspiration but was a man wise above all others and most learned in human sciences and in the knowledge of all created things, and his wisdom was from God. Thus it is not too likely that he would affirm something which was contrary to a truth either already demonstrated, or likely to be demonstrated.

Again, Saint Bellarmine is painfully clear. There isn’t the slightest doubt about his position, and his position is that Solomon was a man wise above all others, most learned in human science and the knowledge of all created things, and his wisdom was from God! So when Solomon talked about the sun moving under the nice, flat earth at night so it could rise the next day, he wasn’t speaking of appearances or poetically, because he wouldn’t want to deceive future generations by stating something that would inevitably be contradicted by a non-divine process for obtaining reliable knowledge of the real Universe!
This is the official position of “The Church”. Sure, “The Church” was huge, and was one of the only ways a commoner brighter than everyone else could get an education and a job, so you can always find priests who contributed to the invention and development of science, especially if they worked a good long way from Rome, but they inevitably skated on thin ice above the charge of heresy which Bellarmine runs up the flagpole to Galileo. Heresy was not a laughing matter. Humans had no rights to free speech or free thought (as Bellarmine makes clear when he states: ” I say that, as you know, the Council [of Trent] prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers.”) “The Church” was all about knowledge through Church derived and controlled authority, and defended its monopoly on “the scriptures” and by extension every word in the scriptures about the real world, idiotic or not, with the ultimate sanction. Being burned alive is not a joke, and happened to many, many people during the reign of the Inquisition, and is only one of the risks — the others being torture, imprisonment, mutilation, “penance”.
These were not tolerant times — “The Church” was under attack on many fronts — Protestantism, the revelation that the world was much larger than they thought and that most of it was not Christian at all and not even Saracen. And yes, the seeds of the Enlightenment were being planted that would bring about Bellarmine’s worst nightmare — the direct contradiction of almost every word in the Holy Scriptures that stated matters of “fact” about the real world. Too bad for the concept of divine inspiration.
Next, let’s tackle the issue of banned books. Again, it is a simple matter of fact:
(Quoting the article:)

There have been cases of reversal with respect to works that were on the Index, such as those of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei: “The Inquisition’s ban on reprinting Galileo’s works was lifted in 1718 when permission was granted to publish an edition of his works (excluding the condemned Dialogue) in Florence. In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV authorized the publication of an edition of Galileo’s complete scientific works which included a mildly censored version of the Dialogue. In 1758 the general prohibition against works advocating heliocentrism was removed from the Index of prohibited books, although the specific ban on uncensored versions of the Dialogue and Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus remained. All traces of official opposition to heliocentrism by the church disappeared in 1835 when these works were finally dropped from the Index.”

Do not try to whitewash this. “The Church” officially did its very best to suppress heliocentrism until long after it was scientifically a dead issue. Do not try to make this all about making fun of a Pope, either, as you simply emphasize that “The Church” of the day was a tyranny devoid of any hint of support for things like “human rights” or “freedom of speech” or the simple freedom to believe in and argue for what the evidence of your own eyes tells you. This, in turn, undermines any assertion that it has some special divine hotline to God on matters of ethics, the real world, the “supernatural”, or even common sense.
It is worthwhile to note that Galileo and Copernicus are in great company on the list of prohibited books. Kepler is there (so much for “supporting” him). So are Hobbes, Locke, John Stuart Mill — the inventors of the “human rights” so evidently despised by “The Church” whose hegemony was threatened by them. Francis Bacon, and David Hume make the list. I’m certain Thomas Jefferson would have made it if “The Church” had ever gotten wind of his de-magicked version of the New Testament — Jesus the simple human philosopher (not unlike Buddha), not the uber-magic apocalyptic Son of God.
I could easily go on. The history and details of the persecution — sorry, I mean’t “prosecution” of Galileo are fairly well recorded, and as long as one doesn’t cherry pick or create complex apologia for the participants, reading things into their motivations or actions that are speculative at best, it is very clear that this was precisely what it appears to be — a deliberate, focused attempt to suppress an idea that was held to be a direct heresy, the explicit refutation of things that the Bible states in black and white in multiple locations.
Bellarmine was correct to fear this (on behalf of the power structure from which his own income and authority derived). Historically this was the beginning of the end for the Bible as unquestioned truth. It was shown to be false in a way that was literally incontrovertible. This shook, and continues to shake, the Abrahamic religions to their very foundations, because once holy scripture has been shown to be false anywhere, the assertion of “truth by divine inspiration”, a variant of the logical fallacy truth by authority is made sufficiently manifest that it calls into doubt all of the other places where it asserts that magic and miracles happened, which are directly contradicted not by complex “big science” but by everyday experience. If you can’t trust Solomon, who exactly can you trust?
To Bellarmine, it was inconceivable that the Bible could be false. Literally so. He was ready and willing to reinvent human language itself if necessary to ensure that it was not:

Third. I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun was in the center of the universe and the earth in the third sphere, and that the sun did not travel around the earth but the earth circled the sun, then it would be necessary to proceed with great caution in explaining the passages of Scripture which seemed contrary, and we would rather have to say that we did not understand them than to say that something was false which has been demonstrated.

It is very clear that the one obvious option, that if Galileo proved to be right it would at the same time prove that the Bible was simply incorrect instead of being divinely inspired and protected and transmitted as “the word of God” by God, that it is really just a hodge-podge collection of myths and legends, is not ever going to be a possibility to Bellarmine and by extension, the Church.
In this passage, he more or less predicted the invention of Hermeneutics and Exegesis:
These are the “academic” disciplines devoted to proving that scriptural texts and ancient sayings aren’t ever really wrong, they are just a secret code, so that when we read Genesis we aren’t reading a rehashed Sumerian creation myth that is no more a reflection of reality than Turtles, All The Way Down, we are reading poetical words where “a day” could stand for a gazillion years in God Time (really?), and where one doesn’t need to take the literal interpretation of the order of creation too seriously except where it counts to establish some critical religious tenet. “The firmament” (a solid bowl of sky, as opposed to “the vaccumment” that we actually have) hung with tiny lamps that sometimes fall is poetry, not fact, but Eden and the Temptation and the Fall is still reality, because without it the problem of Theodicy looms large and it is difficult to justify Hell for Sinners if it isn’t somehow our fault that we are imperfect.
In these post-hermeneutic times, Abrahamic religious people have long since worked out their own personal rationalizations concerning the Bible (Old and New Testament) the Quran, the Book of Mormon, etc. Some cling to Genesis as literal truth (wow!). To others, Moses was a great guy, a saint, loved by God, a “good man”, as long as you don’t read Numbers 31 and the bit about him ordering his troops to murder the Midianite captives right down to babies in arms except for the young female virgins who he gave to his troops to rape and enslave. The next twenty verses or so detail all of the loot and personal profit of Moses and his priesthood once the captives were turned into dogmeat. Yet Jesus met with a resurrected/spirit Moses on the mount during the transfiguration! Guess he must approve of this sort of thing… or else one turns all of this into poetry again, symbolic of Jesus inheriting Moses authority over the Jewish people.
But sooner or later, people who really study the Bible and who reject the notion of authority-derived knowledge end up coming to the only possible conclusion, a conclusion kicked off by Galileo and Copernicus and all of the other heretics who brought about the Enlightenment. It is not divinely inspired. It is not, and never has been, immutable and its transmission from generation to generation has not been protected by God — we have direct manuscript evidence that it changed all the time until the invention of the printing press and the creation of an “official” typeset version that was a) made from a particular manuscript version by pure chance; and b) was chock full of mistranslations and errors. It is not a reliable witness either of matters of fact about the real world or matters historical. It is not a reliable guide to good or evil — much that is clearly stated in the Bible as good we now hold to be evil (marriage by rape, anyone? beating slaves almost to death? slavery itself?) and much that is evil is now held to be good (women’s rights! human rights in general!), and much that is said in the Bible in one place is contradicted in the Bible in another.
Given this sort of track record in places where we can check, why indeed would anyone believe it when it says Jesus cured blindness by rubbing spit-soaked mud into somebody’s eyes or came back from death, especially when the earliest manuscript copies of Mark (the oldest Gospel) omit this and end with the empty tomb? Why would anyone believe that water could be turned into wine, violating every precept of physics and chemistry? We can check physics and chemistry, we know that rubbing Palistinian dirt (in the pre-toilet era!) wet down with saliva is not good medical practice, but nobody can go back in time and check whether or not anything so very implausible as these things ever happened. But without them, we are back (at best) to Jefferson’s Jesus, a sometimes wise man who lived, worked no magic but said some good things, and then died (possibly from being executed with exactly the same justification Paul W. is fond of citing as apparently “acceptable” Apologia for threatening to burn and then imprisoning Galileo — he tweaked the tail of the ruling Authority).
And when in doubt, we can always make it poetry, right? Thomas Paine said it best (and I’ll make it my concluding quote):

Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.

Millions to one isn’t even close. You would need really big numbers, the kinds of numbers that appear in statistical mechanics.


We have over 1000+ years of Proclamations by the universal church, and you will NOT FIND ONE that EVER stated the idea that the Earth is a center of our universe is some doctrine.
The idea that such a concept is to be interpreted literally from some scriptural passage is even more laughable. In fact such literal interpretation of scriptures is frowned upon.
This idea that the earth is the center of our planet system has never been, and never was an official Doctrine of the church. As noted you have 1000+ years of one of the most meticulously documented institutions and you NOT FIND ONE such document that states this is an official dogma of the church.
In fact the church up-held the scientific method on this matter. Cardinal Bellamy of the inquisition stated to Galileo that your science and proof fails under scrutiny and until such time I will NOT accept your science.
In other words it was POSSIBLE for Cardinal Bellamy to accept that teaching but Galileo failed based on bad math and Scrutiny.
The scientific method was thus up-held by the church.
And today even grade school children know the difference between a circle and an ellipse. Planets don’t go around in circles, and that is WHY Galileo’s math failed (his model was wrong, and Cardinal Bellamy stated as such). It was only until calculus (derivatives) in math was adopted could one use math to explain why the planets speeded up and slowed down (so we had to realize that planets did not go around in perfect circles like Galileo model, and ALSO we required calculus to do the math that explains such motion of the planets.
Next up we all know that the sun is not the center of the universe. Once again why should the church accept something that is clearly wrong? If said church did then you would all be here pointing out that such claims by Galileo are well known by grade school children. The church would have been THUS WRONG. In fact such a position could have held up science for a very long time to get the model of the planets correct.
We also know that the sun is not the center of the universe but ALSO our planets and sun on in “motion”. Galileo claimed that not only is the sun the center of the universe but ALSO was immoveable. The sun and our solar system is clearly in motion, and the sun is not stationary at all. Once again Galileo was VERY wrong.
So clearly Galileo failed on basic math and basic concepts that are well known today – even by grade school children.
And note that the catholic priest Copernicus was able to go off and supposedly toss out all his devoted faith and all of sudden propose and proclaim a system of motion that goes against his very faith? Not a chance! Copernicus was ABLE to purse this idea since no such doctrine of the church existed on this matter.
In fact history records that a presentation to the pope during Copernicus’s time on the Copernican motion system was well received. In fact the pope was not only impressed, but this resulted in giving the presenter a sizable gift. If Geo centricity was an Official church teaching then NO such public endorsement could EVER occur without scandal.
The simple matter is the general science community of that time frame (and even going back to Plato and Aristotle) common taught the earth was the center of the universe. This common teaching was not limited by any means to church members, but that of educated people in that time frame.
Because the average priest believes in wood consuming oxygen when a fire burns does not by some magic association mean this is an official teaching of the church!
And let’s read the final conviction issued to Galileo – I sure a group of 101 law students will fall on their seats laughing as to how silly the conviction handed down is:
“Suspect of”
Now you can read the on and on, but they start the whole conviction with a caveat! (Suspect of!!!).
The church choose their words VERY VERY carefully. Since they did not have a doctrine on this matter, then they could NOT convict him of teaching against church doctrine, so they called him “suspicious” of doing something wrong – that’s why such a light sentence of house arrest was given.
In fact they put a “big” word in front of suspect.
They used:
“Vehemently suspected of”
Now we DO NOT need to read the rest of the conviction. You can be very suspicious, super suspicious, or vehemently suspicious – but that just means you still just suspicious of doing something! Such a high court does not use the word “suspected of” out of the blue, but in fact VERY carefully choose their words – they had to since no doctrine existed of which to convict him with!
In fact this explains WHY SUCH A LIGHT sentence was given (Galileo was given house arrest! – not imprisoned. So he could have wine, fiends over and have fun with Christmas parties etc.). He was not imprisoned, but only given house arrest.
The church has their doctrine and teaching, they ALSO have a copy of Galileo’s manuscript right in front of them. The SIMPLE task remains is to quote church doctrine and then his manuscript – really quite something that should be easy!
But no such quoting of doctrine occurred! As Cardinal Bellamy stated in public, we are MOST happy to re-evaluable the interpretation of scriptures if such science could be up-held. You CAN NOT re-evaluate church doctrine – and they NEVER have and would NEVER entertain such an idea. Thus this issue was clearly up for grabs. Church doctrine is NOT up for grabs.
At the end of the day the church had NOTHING to convent Galileo with, so they said he is “suspicious” of doing something wrong.
And this explains why Pope Urban VIII sent his special blessing to the dying man and why Galileo was buried on consecrated grounds (grounds of Santa Croce in Florence).
So keep in mind Galileo was a “suspect guy”, and no church doctrine existed of which to convent him with. They thus did NOT convict Galileo of heresy. (only stated he was suspicious!)
The sun being the center of the universe WAS NEVER an official teaching of the church. As noted, the church in fact up-held the scientific process , and thus DID NOT convict Galileo of hearsay since they had no doctrine to convict him with! This also explains the light sentence of “house arrest” given to him.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Robert B

“In 1533, Johann Widmanstetter, secretary to Pope Clement VII, explained Copernicus’ heliocentric system to the Pope and two cardinals. The Pope was so pleased that he gave Widmanstetter a valuable gift.”
“After 1535, Widmannstetter was secretary of Cardinal Nikolaus von Schönberg. Impressed by Widmannstetter’s lessons, the Cardinal wrote a letter to Copernicus in 1536, urging him to publish (which he would do only in 1543, shortly before his death).”
Sorry, not enough time to get a better ref than Wikipedia for you.

Robert B

Another important thing about Rheticus. He fled Germany because of Martin Luther’s religious objections to the Copernican system. There was no condemnation of the Copernicus system for 76 years by Catholics after publication.
Evidence of Rheticus (from Austria where Lutheranism didn’t take) being selected by a Catholic Bishop is not evidence that it would not be published if not for protestants. That’s seriously bad misreading of history.

Don’t forget poor Bruno was burned alive and gagged for his Geocentric beliefs by the Evil Catholic Church, so they did not have to listen to him scream.

Yes. The trial of Galileo is far more complex than recounted in popular myth.

There were two trials. In the first, he was found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition and ordered not to publish without permission. In the second, an outraged pope had him hauled before a kangaroo court and imprisoned.

Paul Westhaver

Nope. hyperbolic distortion.

@typhoon More complex and I would also say more interesting. The actual science (statistics) relating to the different theories is often ignored in these discussions. Modern statistical analysis of the Copernican Model against the Ptolemaic Model showed it performs no better than the Ptolemaic using real data (it actually performs slightly worse). During Galileo’s lifetime there was an important astronomical event predicted by Kepler (a Transit of Mercury). Kepler’s model predicted it best, the earth-centered Ptolemaic second-best, and the Copernican the worst. Galileo just couldn’t accept Kepler’s ellipses. His fiddling with the Copernican Model was never going to be any better than the Ptolemaic if he didn’t. Science is supposed to be about hunches that turn out to be right, its about facts.

@typhoon Last line of previous post should be “Science isn’t supposed to be about…..”.

Again, let me point out that the Church’s official Ptolemaic doctrine was falsified by GG’s observation of the phases of Venus. It has nothing to do with accuracy in modeling planetary movements. From early in the 17th century, the geocentric model was known to be false, yet the Church continued promoting it until the 19th century and didn’t apologize to GG until near the end of the 20th.
The key point is that the earth moves, which was d*nied by the Church.

The Ptolemaic Model was falsified theoretically by GG’s observations of Venus. That is why by the time of Galileo’s trial the Ptolemaic model had been largely dropped, including by church scientists. The main models in play (e.g. the Tychonic, Capellan, Keplerian) all accounted for GG’s observations and most did not have the Copernican Model’s flaws (e.g. Stellar Parallax). Meanwhile in France, a Catholic priest, was arranging an international experiment by asking scientists around Europe to take note that Kepler predicted a Transit of Mercury on November 7, 1631. It arrived pretty well on time. Galileo ignored the experiment.

Whatever some Catholic astronomers might have concluded, the fact is that the Church’s official doctrine remained Ptolemaic. if not, then GG wouldn’t have been convicted at his second trial.
Pope Urban himself defended the geocentric model. When GG ridiculed him as “Simplicio”, he doomed himself to arrest, or worse. Urban couldn’t burn him at the stake because he was too well known internationally, so had to settle for a lesser punishment.

His telescope was sufficient to rest his case. Many refused to look, but a lot of people did see Saturn, and the four moons revolving around the planet. It is the same view as looking at Saturn today with binoculars. He also was making and selling telescopes. He had hoped to have more free time to sell telescopes and let people see for themselves. He was developing theory with observation.

You mean Jupiter, not Saturn.
While GG clearly saw the four large “Galilean” moons of Jupiter, to him Saturn presented a mystery. His first view of it was “triple”, in that the rings seemed to present three images.
Huygens solved the mystery by discovering the rings and Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

Thank you, Jupiter’s moons. He had already made a point of naming the moons after a Medicci, if I remember. A very thoughtful gift to a very influential person. (:

Right you are. GG originally named the four large moons for Cosimo Medici and his brothers (the latter included at Cosimo’s suggestion).
But another astronomer, using the Protestant Dutch invention, the telescope, had independently observed the big moons and named them, at Kepler’s suggestion, for the lovers of Jove, including for the biggest, Ganymede, a boy.

A mortal boy was abducted to be his servant. The Greeks always had their filthy versions. And those are what survive.
Just read the satires of Juvenal if you want to see how the queens and pedos in Greek “culture” were viewed by other cultures in the ancient world. And Hellenization was resisted in many of the countries the Greeks conquered because of its excessive, sinful practices.

So, Galileo was wrong? Or is bureaucratic bullshit the standard to adhere to? I hope you forgot to include /sarc at the end of your post. If not, I pity you.


Yes, Galileo was VERY wrong.
Even grade school children know that the planets don’t revolve around the sun in circles, but are ellipses.
Even grade school children know that the sun is NOT the center of the universe as Galileo claimed (again very wrong).
In fact, most even know that the solar system is expanding and in motion. So not only was Galileo WRONG to claim the sun is the center of the universe, but also claimed it is stationary and immovable. Again very wrong.
So the church up-held good scientific process and they found that Galileo’s math did not hold up and his model failed. They could not figure out why planets speeded up, and slowed down etc.
Accepting Galileo’s claims and models would mean that the above points would show how WRONG the church would have been to accept Galileo’s claims. They simply failed under scrutiny.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada


@ Paul Westhaver,
I try to stay out of religious battles being an atheist, but your arguments are starting to get rather nasty.
Are you trying to teach, or indoctrinate ?

He’s trying to defend the Church by spreading falsehoods. IMO he may really believe that his falsehoods are true, since he obviously has never studied the history about which he presumes to pontificate, as it were.
This level of ignorance doesn’t stop him from projecting his falsity onto others, however. Showing yet again the evil which so much organized religion, like other belief systems, fosters.

Paul Westhaver

uk (us) I am just sticking to the facts. Sometimes facts are inconvenient. If the likes of Sturgis Hooper say something that is untrue, and harmful, then what do you propose as a remedy?

What did I say that was untrue?
Your fairy tale about the Galileo affair is false. Had you ever actually studied its history and the history of Copernicus and GG’s publications, you’d know that.


In the case of sturgishooper , I think he needs to be [trimmed]
But that’s just me.

Paul Westhaver

uK (us),
Agreed but to your point, I cordially accept your advice and henceforth refrain from feeding the problem.
Many thanks.


I made a joke about the demise of sturgishooper , now it looks like I disagree with him.
Which is not to say I completely agree with him.
(why do I assume it’s a “him”).

I’m a semi-retired Anglo, aged 64. My second wife is a Latina RC, if that matters, and our son will be raised in the Church. We’ll expose him to it and he can make up his own mind when he’s older than three.
My first wife was, like me (nominally), Baptist, but she’s a believer. I’m agnostic, since the God hypothesis can’t be shown false, but I don’t have the gift of faith.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

sturgishooper, you shouldn’t be reluctant to be an ‘atheist’. ‘Atheism’ is a LACK of a belief in gods, it isn’t a ‘belief’. This is what Richard Courtney fails to understand time and again. It’s not about failing to prove something is false. I can state that there aren’t any naturally-occuring square planets. I don’t have to search the entire Universe to state that. ‘Squareplanetism’ could therefore be seen as an ‘anti’ idea to there being the likelihood of square planets.

I have often been an atheist, but decided that that also takes an act of faith, however less of a leap than theism.
I can’t rule out that the universe was “designed”, however improbable that may seem.
That’s why I’ve relapsed into agnosticism. We can’t know for certain that there is no “God”, creator or whatever, however improbable that hypothesis may be, which is highly. The odds of a universe with the rules ours has is indeed highly improbable, but that can be dismissed by the hypothesis of multiverses.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Ok, when you have ten minutes, try looking at Austin Cline’s page – you might find it interesting, though you’ve probably read stuff like it before.


sturgishooper, you shouldn’t be reluctant to be an ‘atheist’. ‘Atheism’ is a LACK of a belief in gods, it isn’t a ‘belief’. This is what Richard Courtney fails to understand time and again. It’s not about failing to prove something is false.

Well said. The issue isn’t “believing that there is no God” as absence of evidence is not (conclusive) evidence of absence. It is simply adopting the position that it is silly to believe in any assertion without evidence, and the more grandiose, specific, and complex the assertion the less reasonable it is to waste any of your limited store of “probable belief” on it when it is unsupported by evidence and largely logically and factually inconsistent. I don’t disbelieve in pink unicorns as in “I know for a fact that nowhere in the Universe are there pink unicorns”, but I certainly don’t waste any time thinking that they might be real or see a scar on a tree in the forest and wonder “did a pink Unicorn put it there?”
As many have pointed out, the most devout Christian is an N-1 atheist. Let N stand for the number of possible religions — ooo, wait, that is a really big number — let’s limit it to the number of religions invented by humans so far, which is a large but finite number depending on how you want to count them and allowing for the fact that many of them are probably unknown as the pre-historical tribes that invented them were conquered and slaughtered a la Midianites or had their hearts cut out or were eaten along the way. But let’s pick N = 100 — I think it would be pretty easy to count at least that many. We won’t even count the variants of Christianity, where a proper Baptist and a proper Catholic arguably have different religions. Well, a Christian is atheistic as far as Hinduism is concerned, or Jainism, or Sikhism, or Zororastrianism, or Norse Paganism or Roman Paganism or Greek Paganism or Egyptian Paganism or the Mayan religions or the Aztec religions or the Great Spirit religions and pantheons of the New World or… indeed, the Christian is an N-1 atheist. He or she look at the evidence provided for the belief in those religions, which as a general rule they were brought up not believing, and find no evidence to suggest that they are true.
What they cannot ever do is look objectively at the evidence supporting their own religion. If Krishna says something deep and wonderful from his chariot high above the plains of Kurukshetra, if he performs a magical miracle for Arjuna such as revealing his Visvarupa (the proof that he is all things, all people, all times, the proof that Hinduism is a Monist Pandeist religion, not the common polytheism people are usually taught that it is in the US) — that is obviously poetic myth in an epic poetic mythology. But when Jesus walked with Moses and Elijah during his Transfiguration (playing much the same role in the two religions) that really happened because to them the Bible is not a recycled, heavily redacted, inconsistent mythology but divine truth.
The issue regarding “design” and “creation” is a red herring. First of all, creation itself (in the sense used by religion) is a meaningless concept. Humans have never observed a single act of creation in all of the time we’ve been looking. The observational law of nature is Conservation of mass-energy, not “mass energy appearing from nothing”. It thus takes an enormous leap of pure invention to even assert that the Universe is a created thing ex nihilo, since we literally have no experience at all with created things made out of nothing. Every act of “creation” that we observe is just moving already existing “stuff” around, giving it form. Nearly all of the forms we observe are the understandable consequences of natural law and mathematical processes that we know can create local order out of apparent disorder. A snowflake looks so complex and orderly that we are tempted to say “it’s designed”. But it isn’t.
That isn’t to say that we know everything, or understand everything. Quite the contrary. We have no idea what “the Universe” might have looked like before the big bang or whatever you want to name the event that erased all detailed information on what their was prior to 18.7+ billion years ago, past the limits of our telescopes into the Big Dark of the faraway and long ago. We may never know. I’m pretty comfortable with that. That does not mean that I spend a lot of time wondering if pink unicorns were somehow responsible for the big bang, or that I give up absolutely everything that I can infer from looking at the actual Universe and invent a meta-Universe containing (at least) an infinitely complex God who designed and created the Universe as an explanation for why something instead of nothing.
Why something instead of nothing is a silly question! For one thing, if nothing the question itself would not exist. And one cannot answer it by positing something else, at least not without some good evidence for the something else beyond the fact that you invented it to get an answer to the silly question you posed that begs the next question, why does that exist and how was it made.
A pithy misquote: Who designed the designer?
If you think the Universe looks too complex and hospitable to be accidental and hence must be designed by a being that is necessarily even more complex and living in a more hospitable Super-Universe (one where “creating Universes” is possible, as it probably isn’t in this one), you are moving in the wrong direction, one would think. You’ve not only made the problem you’re trying to solve worse, you’ve made it infinitely worse and put all of your lack of knowledge safely off in additional dimensions where it can’t be proven or disproven.
Fine then! But there is literally no good reason to think that your hypothesis is true! It is more likely and reasonable to believe in magnetic monopoles or Higgs particles (both of which have at least some consistent reason-based support) than it is in believing in a more complex superbeing in a superuniverse to explain the evident complexity in the one we can actually observe. And there are literally an infinite number of ways to tell stories about that superbeing. You can make anything up you like. Who can refute you?
This is an example of the terrible infinity of notions that I describe in my ever-unfinished book Axioms. A notion is an evanescent hypothesis, an assertion that “could be true”. A moment’s reflection will convince you that there are infinitely many such notions. Every possible non-contradictory microtrajectory of a given particle in a jar of gas is a notion. Every possible past history of the Universe not contradicted by observation is a notion. The space of all notions (physicists love to think in terms of spaces) includes the notion that the entire Universe we see is a massive multiplayer role playing game simulation so that not one thing that we believe to be true about it is objectively true, and that makes the space of notions large enough to embrace an entire Universe we don’t even know is there. It embraces all religions, all the many ways and dimensions of God, and God-space, and God-time, God creation and God destruction. If you write a novel, you are drawing it from the space of notions. The idea that it really could be Turtles, All The Way Down is a notion, an entire ocean of notions. Even if there are multiple disjoint Universes, the space of all notions is large enough to hold them all and all of the other possibilities including ones so recursive I cannot even write them down. If there is an infinity larger than the infinity of the continuum, the space of notions is that infinite.
“Truth” is (if we are objectivist and believe in a single objective reality because that is really all that we can observe or have reason to think has any sort of existence at all) a strict subset of the Universal set of all notions. Our job is to do our best to find the best possible subset to “believe” in in the sense of concluding that they are more likely to be true than most of the others. The rules of the game are simple. Believe the most that which one can doubt the least, when one tries to doubt honestly and hard using the direct evidence of our experience and requirements of multivariate probabilistic consistency. If you increase your degree of belief in (at least one) God, you have to decrease your degree of belief in not-God and vice versa, because logically either there is or isn’t at least one God in the actual set of notions that are in precise one to one correspondence with reality, and because the sum of all exhaustive probabilities must equal one. This approach is axiomatically laid out and the resulting “logic” derived in a monograph by Richard Cox and in several works of E. T. Jaynes.
My only contribution is to extend it to the general realm of philosophical questions as it is suitable as the solution to Hume’s dilemma — since a skeptic can doubt everything and can be sure of nothing, how can we reconcile this with our unquestioned belief in a stable external reality with rules and structure? The answer is that we cannot doubt everything equally in a Universe with normalized probabilities. When we are born, we are in complete ignorance and all possible non-contradictory notions are fair game, all equally likely and equally unlikely. But this state of affairs does not last. As we accumulate experience, some notions vanish into the realm of the (almost) infinitely improbable, that which we colloqially call “false” even though we can rarely be logically certain of falsehood. Others are elevated to where they are (almost) certainly true, even though we cannot ever logically prove their truth. After all, even though we have no evidence that we are power units in The Matrix and that everything we think we know is false, this is still a notion in the space of all notions and no matter how much we shrink the probability we assign to it given the lack of evidence for it and the consistency of the evidence to the contrary, we can never make it a true zero.
Lacking evidence, God belongs in the same general subspace as The Matrix or Turtles as an explanation for what we observe. That could, of course, change. Jesus could appear in my living room and change water into beer and say touch me, I’m real. Or sure we can construct a literal infinity of hell-bound notions and raise them up as metaphorical black swans, enormously unlikely but so equally enormously negative in their infinite impact that it justifies a poorly thought out Pascal’s Wager. But even there, which particular set of hell-notions do you accept? If I am not Muslim, I am bound for the fire. If I am not Christian, I am bound for a different fire. If I am not a good Hindu, I am bound to be reincarnated as an intestinal parasite. If I am not a good Buddhist, I am bound to be reborn to continue to suffer. If I am not a good Pagan, I have to hang out in the less pleasant parts of Hades, or am excluded from Valhalla. If I am not a good little boy, the Boogieman under the bed will eat my toes.
Which is the final conclusion, the fundamental argument, of all religion. They rely on the opposite of best belief, uncertain, changable belief supported by evidence. They rely on belief in spite of a lack of evidence, or evidence to the contrary. They rely on extortion — marrying the notion of God to the notion of an infinite punishment for lack of mere belief was the sheer genius of Christianty, one wholeheartedly embraced and further amplified by Islam.
If and when I have some direct, reliable experience of God, then and only then will there be a good reason to believe. And ditto monopoles. In the meantime, God and monopoles remain collections of notions that have to be regarded as almost infinitely improbable in the case of God and at least very unlikely in the case of magnetic monopoles. Monopoles are the more likely of the two, because there is at least a coherent and consistent physical theory that could trivially embrace monopoles without breaking a single strand of our understanding of everything else. The same is not true for God.

“The Church today is following popular scientific opinion”; Pope Francis is following a political agenda that’s not supported by most scientists and is based on lies and fraud and hate – character asssassination of scientists that oppose it and censorship and professional retaliation against them; a violation of the second great commandment ; love your neighbor as yourself. Pope Francis is following an atheistic poitical agenda that’s closer to Ba’al worship than Christianity, and that violates, among others, the 5th commandment.


I 100% agree!
The church today is really not much different then the UN!
However, at the end of the day, no such official teaching of the church existed on the earth being the center of the universe.
As noted the church did not and could not convict Galileo of hearsay and thus they did not. They convinced him of be suspect of teaching something against the church! – As noted, a group of law 101 students would laugh their faces off at such wording!
And as noted such a light sentence of house arrest was hardly any kind of sentence in that day and age.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada


Paul Westhaver,
You need to give your head a proper shake. Your statements are incorrect and your criticism of Dr Ball unfounded. The Catholic Church for as long as possible rejected the Copernican view of things -have a look at the post-Galileo mechanical models of the solar system found at the Vatican Museum next time you’re in Rome.
For context in terms of the history of ideas and the history of science and technology, you may wish to give some thought to the reality that both the Renaissance and subsequently the Enlightenment were the equivalent of “cultural revolutions” which served to deprive the Catholic Church of its monopoly on “truth” and whatever passed for science in its dogmatic eyes.
What the Renaissance accomplished was to bring back into the way of looking at things at that time, one of the fundamental teachings of the ancient Greeks, namely that beliefs and emotions belong to one sphere and fact and reason to another sphere and that crucially the two are equivalent in value and not mutually exclusive. The result was that many scientists, Galileo, Newton, Leeuwenhoek, Descartes, etc., were empirical fact driven scientists but devout in their religious beliefs as well, without conflict between the two.
It was this duality -the ability to be religious but to think on the basis of verifiable data- that was perceived as a mortal threat by the Catholic Church -the Protestant offshoot never had these qualms.
As Dr Ball notes, it took the Catholic Church close to 400 years to apologize for having nearly put a man at the stake -life imprisonment was considered leniency- for showing their view of things to be incorrect and now this very same church -led by a Pope who has deep roots in the anti-market anti progress thinking of the Latin American hard Left and the neo-Malthusians- has sided with an establishment view regarding our climate and man’s role in it that has scientific holes in it big enough to drive an 18 wheel truck through without hitting anything.
The fact that the Catholic Church continues to teach the veracity of the Immaculate Conception as a tenet of faith, does not make that event a verifiable and reproducible biological reality. The Pope should have kept that distinction between faith and fact in mind when he decided to hold forth on a subject that neither he nor his advisors understand in the least.

Paul Westhaver

Tetris, If I have said something incorrect, please tell me what I said that is wrong.

You have pretty much nailed it. Just know that not all Roman Catholics go to great lengths to pretend the Church was innocent as this Paul fellow does every time the subject is brought up. Some of us recognize the truth and think the Church was in error in that case.

Paul Westhaver

Not quite markstoval,
If I have said something wrong then point it out.
Rather than just a categorical smear, present maybe an example? If I am wrong or I have a poorly researched fact show me.
Rarely does anyone actually know what happened in the Galileo trials. They just repeat myths.
So…what did I say that was wrong? I just re-read what I typed. I don’t see anything out of order.

Mark Luhman

Tetris explain this to me when you say “The fact that the Catholic Church continues to teach the veracity of the Immaculate Conception as a tenet of faith, does not make that event a verifiable and reproducible biological reality.” Does not that event occurs regularly and verifiable today, the reality of virgin births occur today as well a women bearing children that have no biological relationship to them at all. those reality exist today, is there not a large number of children born today from mother that now in the carnal sense have not known a man. Virgin births occur today in great regularity today, both human and non human. there are complete dairy herds where the cows have never know a bull, hell the only time they see one is when they give birth to one. As to if it was possible back then, not by the human race at that time, but could it not be possible the angel was not human or earth origin, not of this planet, it could have possible happen even without a “God”. Be careful what you say unless you are willing to examine all possibilities. Same true for a lot of miracles, any being that has the technology to change matter around can make wine out of water, he may need more than water and a hell of a lot of energy but to a primitive person it would look like a miracle. It could be a simple as a powder that mixed with water would produce a “wine” After all there is a process that someone is using today to make powder alcohol.


For the record, the Immaculate Conception refers to the idea that Mary was born without original sin. It has nothing to do with the virgin birth.

“I don’t see anything out of order.” ~Paul
Your kind never do. That is the way it is with religious extremism.

Crispin in Waterloo

iking Explorer:
“For the record, the Immaculate Conception refers to the idea that Mary was born without original sin. It has nothing to do with the virgin birth.”
Are you referring to the Immaculacy of Mary? That is a doctrine with quite recent status: Pope Pius IX, in the 1800’s. The Virgin Birth was ‘always there’. The Immaculacy of Mary is very recent. It was touted for centuries but was not doctrinal or accepted by the General Council. It had advocates, of course.
Church philosophers had painted themselves into a corner: if there was such a thing as Original Sin, how was Jesus to be free of it if it is inherited. There was little doubt Jesus had a mother. So she should have been free from it. But what about her father and mother? If Mary was miraculously free of inherited Sin why couldn’t Jesus be just as free of it? Why was Jesus condemned to inherit Original Sin but Mary wasn’t?
The bottom line was the Romans really, really, really wanted a goddess as part of their pantheon. They did not give up Venus without a fight. Still haven’t.
Western atheists have largely cast their grand godless visions into the same mould as the polytheists while sternly pronouncing deviant thinkers as lost and befuddled. A close reading of Dawkins inspires mirth, not ‘faithlessness’.
Those criticising ‘religion’ because of something said by the Pope are cherry-picking ‘religions’. If there is only one Creation how can there be more than one Creator, and more than one Religion?
There is nothing about religion that prevents it being studied scientifically and there are numerous things in religious teachings that bear directly on facts and matters of science, the briefest example of which is, ‘Split the atom and you will find the sun’. Does anyone think that doesn’t refer to nuclear power? It may surprise the readership here that in most of the world religion does not conform to a pre-schoolers view of life.


Crispin, I was pretty clear on the distinction.
However, contrary to your strange interpretation, it can be quite easily understood. If one is going to put food on the counter, one naturally cleans it first. A better way to understand it is to realize that Jesus cannot be defiled. Whatever he touches is cleansed by Him instead.
Also, your use of “inherited sin” isn’t quite correct. If a husband commits a sin (e.g. embezzles money), and goes to jail, then his family has to face the consequences. Mary was restored to the nature of Eve, before the ages of degradation had occurred.
Crispin, if you prefer a scientific explanation, how about this: Adam & Eve were created directly by the intelligent designer. Their DNA was perfect, and were designed to allow them to live forever. After the fall, they were subject to genetic degradation (aging, disease), and the genome was subject to genetic entropy. Since Jesus was to have the original design, and since Mary was to be called the “Mother of God”, then she needed the original design as well. Hence, her Immaculate Conception.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Wow. Load of crap, isn’t it? We could only make it worse by trying to explain the Holy Trinity. That’s always good for some 20 minutes of mirth.


Wow. Load of crap, isn’t it? We could only make it worse by trying to explain the Holy Trinity. That’s always good for some 20 minutes of mirth.

Sadly, it would be a lot more than 20 minutes. We now have a genetic interpretation of Eden and the Fall — I had not heard that one before. God made Adam and Eve with perfect genes (and let Lucifer plant all of those pesky fossils showing a process of evolution, and gave the Gorilla pretty much exactly the human genome except for where one chromosome split just to encourage unbelievers in their unbelief so he could cast them (eventually) into hell, sort of like Jesus himself did.

Mark 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

I’m feeling pious. Next time I teach physics, I think I’ll teach in parables, examples so oblique that my students will see them and not perceive, and hear what I say and not understand; lest they might actually learn what I’m trying to teach them and thereby escape the hell of “failure”. After all, Jesus is a perfect role model, and (as he rather clearly explained to his own disciples) he taught in parables just to so most of the listeners wouldn’t understand and would die in sin.
I seriously wonder, though, if anyone actually reads the Bible. Christians certainly don’t. For example, this bit above: “A better way to understand it is to realize that Jesus cannot be defiled.” Let’s see what Mark has to say about that:

Mark 5:30: And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

I guess Jesus doesn’t, actually make things clean with his touch — being touched on his outer garments by a woman was enough to drain him of “virtue”. But with his spidey-senses he picked up on this and paused on his way to resurrect a dead girl. Or was she just sleeping? Depends on who you believe — her father or Jesus.
Is this an isolated example? It is not.

20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master
20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Those pesky women with their unclean touches, or begging for scraps from the table set for the Jews… they are only good to have around when you want your feet to be anointed.
Again, the fundamental point is simple. Can you believe ten impossible things before breakfast, as long as our reports of those events are at least a hundred years old (cutting the Mormons some slack, since their favorite book was the first American science fiction novel and nobody who has lived in upstate New York could possibly believe that anybody found gold tablets in their back yard there mixed in with the glacial scree. Cold tablets, maybe. Gold, not so much)? If so, then religion was made to order for you.
Sadly, my experience with these debates is that they will never end, and one will never convince a True Believer to actually think about their beliefs with the same degree of suspicion that they might use to analyze the probable truth of any of the other religions, the ones they weren’t raised to believe true on pain of eternal damnation. Either they find their own way to reason, or they don’t. And many of them live out their lives with a split epistemology, using reason for everything but religion. They even call global warming a religion as an insult intending to imply unreasoned faith held blindly in the face of all evidence and arguments, while at the same time remaining religious themselves on the basis of “evidence” thousands of years old and internally as contradictory and irrational as one could ever expect any mythology to be.


You would need to read my response in context with what Crispin wrote. However, you turned it into a demonstration of your bad character by ridiculing the religious beliefs of other people.
For the record, the bible passage you referred to is:

She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”

This supports my 2nd explanation.
>> pesky fossils showing a process of evolution, and gave the Gorilla pretty much exactly the human genome
A future historian finds copies of DOS, Windows 1, Windows 2, Windows 3, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.
So, in your mind, it would be rational for him to conclude that they evolved by a process of random bit changes? There is code that is common to all of these designs.
>> Can you believe ten impossible things
I’m not the only one who believes in impossible things.
A minimally complex cell needs at least 250 proteins, the odds of that arising by chance is 1 x10^41,000. The total number of events that have taken place since the origin of the universe is 1 x10^139. Even if every event in the universe were devoted to producing combinations of amino acids, the odds would be 1 out of a trillion trillion of generating even one functional protein.


A minimally complex cell needs at least 250 proteins, the odds of that arising by chance is 1 x10^41,000. The total number of events that have taken place since the origin of the universe is 1 x10^139. Even if every event in the universe were devoted to producing combinations of amino acids, the odds would be 1 out of a trillion trillion of generating even one functional protein.

And what are the odds of generating a being so enormously more complex than one functional protein, so immensely powerful, so awesomely intelligent, that they can make an entire Universe out of nothing and design and build entire beings out of functional proteins? Would that be your trillion trillion to one to the trillion trillionth power or factorial, or something really really big? I think it would.
Besides, your computation of the probability is dead wrong. The odds are (apparently) unity. Behold. I am protein. It happened.
What you mean to say is that you have no idea what precise pathway enabled the evolution of life. Neither, for that matter, do I. However, we understand a lot about those pathways, and as I said, we have literally mountains of fossil evidence and DNA libraries full of direct observational evidence that they exist, and that we evolved from a succession of earlier forms. You have zero evidence — and I truly do mean zero, as ancient myths are not evidence, they are ancient myths — to the contrary. You merely transform your ignorance of how something you perceive of as being unlikely happened anyway into pure certainty that it happened in the most unlikely way imaginable, that something far more improbable occurred first and then did things you literally cannot imagine, with tools and materials you cannot fathom, to just make it so.
What part of this is reasonable?


>> odds of generating a being so enormously more complex
Who said anything about generating? Maybe this life has always existed.
>> Behold. I am protein. It happened
You are the poster child for circular reasoning. Actually, you’re about 30 years out of date. Most serious origin of life theorists have abandoned the chance hypothesis. With odds this low, we can conclude that it’s impossible. That’s why they have moved on to an infinite number of universes, since that’s the only way to explain life and the fine tuning of the universe. You’ll end up believing in something more fantastical and speculative than what you are now ridiculing.
>> you have no idea what precise pathway enabled the evolution of life
The science of genetics has been quietly revealing during the last 40 years that not only is neo-Darwinian natural adaptation through random mutation impossible, but actually results in de-evolution. That’s why people are now talking about a front loaded evolution.
>> mountains of fossil evidence
You are confusing evidence for common ancestry with evidence for a neo-Darwinian mechanism. My example with the operating systems was supposed to make you realize that common design can also generate the shared functional genetic similarities we see in the fossil record.
>> You have zero evidence — and I truly do mean zero
You are putting words into my mouth. I don’t rely on any ancient myths. If 3 people land on a far away planet, and they find a car similar to this Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, but with an unfamiliar design.
Neo-Darwinian: Apparently, this car arose naturally from the elements of this planet.
Young Earth Creationist: How wonderful, God created this car for us to drive around on this planet.
ID theorist: There is intelligent life out there, and they left this ground car here, for some reason.
The first two are irrational.

! is correct and that means number 2 is exactly the same, since the Church was following the current scientific opinion of the day. Unfortunately far too many people believe it was battle of science verses religion when it was a battle of science verses science.

Following what is popular is politics, not science, if the pope comments on politics or social issues he has some moral authority, he has none in a scientific debate. His involvement demonstrates the Green movements true basis, dogma not science. They have a solution, and are eager to apply it to every problem, one world government with strict controls on every aspect of life. The most worrying part about church involvement is the possibility of runaway superstitions and fears. The little ice age was often blamed on sorcery and witchcraft, and people died at the stake by the 1000’s. This was only 400 years ago during entirely “modern times”, the same times that saw Galileo punished, fortunately he was one of the very few sceptics who survived. Apologies were not offered to most victims, even after 377 years.


Respectfully, I don’t think any one, any where, is looking to the Pope and the Vatican for a literal interpretation of SCIENCE. What MAY, at best, be the take-home message here is that stewardship of the Earth is now on the list of good things to do for the spiritually aware. OF COURSE he’s going to service the meme of the moment; media savvy practically demands that he tack this on to Obama’s recent rhetoric, and the timing between the two pow-wows on AGW is no coincidence, either. He picked up a pile of brownie points with the UN and Obama-sama for doing this, and no doubt a few pet projects of his will now get quietly funded. “Quid pro quo” is the Latin they speak over there. To the man in the street, this is a sound-bite yawner.

“Stewardship of the earth”, I believe (been awhile since I read King James) is introduced in Genesis. Since when has it not been a Christian concept? And the way you phrase this “scratch my back” scenario is probably blasphemous (and disgusting, to think, that the Pope is merely a marketer and mover, and not something, well, more holy.)

His Holiness is not evincing holiness in calling for the energy starvation of the poor.
[“Stewardship”] is not in Genesis. “Dominion” (KJV) is. Quite a different kettle of “moving creature(s) that hath life”.

Sturgis: I know it says “Dominion over…” In my interpretation of that, it means “take care of it, or else.”

That’s funny, but the context clearly implies that the earth is ours to subdue and exploit “for meat” (broadly defined), not just its plants and animals but all its other resources. God made us in His image, with godlike powers over His creation.
Your interpretation of Genesis 1 may differ:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

I’d be more worried if so many Catholics were not defying “guidance” and using contraceptives. Catholics are not all blind followers… (only about 70% of them per the belief in AGW numbers)


True, brownie points and hopes of new fresh blood plus grandiosity connections with the Admin.
— He could have addressed the persecution of Catholics and their deaths around the world in the last two years.
— He could have addressed the 11.9 million people (WHO) who die every year because the Greens block energy and fuel is not available for clean drinking water and sewer systems or keeping vaccines refrigerated.
There are a lot of very critical measurable issues with very clear solutions he could have chosen, especially for the poor and dying.
But, he didn’t.

That is the great irony of this is that he claims he is about the poor, but this is one massive back stab against the poor. Cheap electricity is what help to improve our lives and in some misguided attempt to please the left, he abandons those he should be standing up for the most.

Our nada who art in nada – nada. God is dead, Gaia lives, and the poor are sacrificed on her altar.

Plagiarizing the pope, Pointman.

sturgishooper – My copy of Genesis, the Torah, the 5 books of Moses, is a translation directly from Hebrew, and it says “fill the earth and master it”. The Jewish tradition of man as caretaker, and a ban on destruction of the environment, as in Deuteronomy 20:19 – banning the destruction of trees by an invading army, – seems to have been ‘lost in translation’ although it’s the context of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Only if the pope happens to be called Ernest Hemingway …

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

First, the Pope does not have a science degree. According to Wikipedia, he attended a technical college (equivalent of american Community College) but did not finish a degree program. He did work for a while as a chemical technician.
Second, if his Holiness, The Pope, is really concerned about poverty, he should focus on birth control and sex education. Let my share an example from direct experience.
In 1970, I was doing a consultancy in Salvador, Brazil for Petrobras. One evening, I was sitting in the hotel lobby and a younger person with a Petrobras uniform came in and asked to speak with me to “practice his English.” I admit I was suspicious and guarded but spoke with him. When I asked about his family, his comment was, “every nine months my wife presents me with a child.” Clearly, he didn’t know what he said and betrayed both ignorance and self-control.
Perhaps His Holiness needs to address to ignorance of the poor in the continent of his birth and elsewhere to help them out of poverty before pontificating on a subject he knows less about.

Olaf Koenders

I don’t think the Pope’s spouting his unscientific drivel of his own accord. Is “Pope” Latin for “Puppet”..?



Paul Westhaver

George Devries Klein,
The Church endorses, teaches and promotes natural family planning. Mother Theresa famously saved 250,000 women from mass sterilization by government in India by teaching them the method.
Curiously, I noted your distant evaluation of this young man like he was a specimen. I thought, if this man’s family life was so problematic, then why didn’t Klein do or say something to him? He was right there and entirely aware of the situation. I mean you blame a church that does in fact teach family planning, but you said nothing? and you were right there? How cold is that?
So whatever the Church was guilty of in your mind, you too were guilty of it. But then again, poor brown uneducated men aren’t your problem are they.

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

When in a foreign country, I usually avoid getting too involved in their problems and their citizen’s problems. Moreover, in the situation in question, he didn’t ask for advice. Nor is it my place to tell others how to live their lives, particularly when just meeting them.
And yes, I blame the Church because it didn’t do enough to educate the poor and working poor. True, the Catholic Church promotes natural family planning, but my observation in consultancies in Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela was that the only one’s who understood it were the educated, professional classes. That’s why I say the church failed to educate the masses

Paul Westhaver

George Devries Klein,
I do not know why you believe it is the burden of the Church to conquer invincible ignorance. They do try. I cited Mother Theresa’s example but she was an extraordinary woman. What do you expect? People to be forced into rooms and force fed family planning science? People are self directed and may choose or not choose to become familiar with that or anything else. People do any number of things that go against their self interest. Why is it the Churches responsibility to initiate and force the matter? You’d accuse them of tyranny if they did that. I think it is unfair for you to say “[It] is it [not] my place to tell others how to live their lives” but you expect a member of a church to do what you won’t do.
I believe in intellectual liberty and self determination and charity. I likely would have made a gentle suggestion that he seek out, of his own accord, the necessary knowledge. But HE would have to do it.
It makes no sense to me why my neighbor’s problem of his own ignorance is somebody else’s problem to fix.

Recent University of Montreal study found Mother Teresa even more venal and monstrous than the brilliant atheist polemicist Christopher Hitchens portrayed her:


George, you have a PhD, but you are ignorant. Almost all human beings are net positive to GDP. Your statement indicates a Malthusian and socialist premise. In socialism, additional people are a burden to society. The real cause of poverty is not a lack of birth control, it’s a lack of freedom. Saying that a high birth rate causes poverty is a perfect example of misunderstanding that correlation does not imply causality.

New England’s healthy climate …, and abundant food supply resulted in the lowest death rate and highest birth rate of any place in the world (marriage was expected and birth control was not, and a much higher than average number of children and mothers survived).
The eastern and northern frontier around the initial New England settlements was mainly settled by the Yankee descendants of the original New Englanders. Emigration to the New England colonies after 1640 and the start of the English Civil War decreased to less than 1% (about equal to the death rate) in nearly all years prior to 1845. The rapid growth of the New England colonies (total population ~700,000 by 1790) was almost entirely due to the high birth rate (>3%) and low death rate (<1%) per year. (ref)

Similarly, the baby boom in the post war years helped create the largest economy on earth. Countries with low birth rates are in danger of economic decline. For example, a true one child policy will eventually result in GDP being cut in half.
Perhaps you need to address your own ignorance of what causes poverty before you pontificate on a subject you obviously know nothing about.

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

I don’t claim to know everything, but when I have seen poverty first hand and up close in the favellas of Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, and in remote parts of Newfoundland, Ireland, and the American southwest, I know what some of it iooks like. In most of these places it is lack of education and the accompanying opportunity that education provides that drives poverty. I would agree that lack of freedom is a factor especially in parts of South America.
And because you never met me, you probably do not know that I am a center-right, moderate conservative.


In the middle of a thread contaminated throughout by religious prejudices and falsehoods, you write this bollocks

Your statement indicates a Malthusian and socialist premise. In socialism, additional people are a burden to society. The real cause of poverty is not a lack of birth control, it’s a lack of freedom. Saying that a high birth rate causes poverty is a perfect example of misunderstanding that correlation does not imply causality.

How on Earth did your political prejudice dream up the falsehood that “In socialism, additional people are a burden to society”?
All socialists know additional people provide additional wealth creators, additional ideas, additional inventiveness, additional artists, and additional work force.
All ultra-right extremists think they can blame “socialists” for all the past and present horrors the ultra-right has attempted, and – as many discussions on WUWT demonstrate – they seek any excuse to promulgate their falsehood of casting that blame.


You’re right that I don’t know you. I can only (and should only) react to what you write.
You wrote “really concerned about poverty, he should focus on birth control and sex education”.
This view is probably a result of the bolded parts: center-right, moderate conservative. 🙂
>> needs to address to ignorance of the poor
To be fair, the Church has tried to fight Marxism with one of the largest formal excommunications in the history of the Catholic Church.
This encyclical seems to be part of a battle for/against Liberation Theology, which this Pope is somewhat associated with, along with Obama. I wonder if Ratzinger now regrets stepping down.

Bruce Cobb

Actually, this encyclical is looking more and more like an immense pile of filth.


Ignore the truths it contains at your own risk.

Bruce Cobb

Whatever truths it contains is swallowed up by the huge lies. Indeed, conflating some truth along with huge lies is part of the MO.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Bruce, the whole Church is an immense pile of filth. The money, the kiddie fiddling, the hypocrisy, the lies, the absurdity. Filth.

Warren Latham

Dear Anthony,
I should very much like to broadcast this EXCELLENT article to the whole world.
Am I permitted to “google-plus” the article ?
(I don’t use the face-burk or suchlike).
Thank you, as always, to Dr. Tim Ball.
Your clarity of writing and especially the figures 1 and 2 should be an example to all.
If we could (all) transmit this particular article to the public (and do it quickly) it would help to educate people and also leave them in no doubt that the pope has effectively shot himself in the foot.

Democratic Thinker

As you quote Santayana, it’s not exactly right, but the intention is the same. Something “Progressives” always fail at. From Santayana’s Reason in Common Sense:

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Thank you, Thinker, for the spot on correction. The misquote is exacerbated for referring to history, the past as recorded by the victors.

Actually he was quoting Edmund Burke, but few people realise he said such a phrase centuries beforehand.

If you’re thinking of this quotation from Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), it is similar:

A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors. Besides, the people of England well know, that the idea of inheritance furnishes a sure principle of conservation, and a sure principle of transmission; without at all excluding a principle of improvement. It leaves acquisition free; but it secures what it acquires. Whatever advantages are obtained by a state proceeding on these maxims, are locked fast as in a sort of family settlement; grasped as in a kind of mortmain for ever. By a constitutional policy, working after the pattern of nature, we receive, we hold, we transmit our government and our privileges, in the same manner in which we enjoy and transmit our property and our lives. The institutions of policy, the goods of fortune, the gifts of Providence, are handed down, to us and from us, in the same course and order.

LOL Classical projection, as ‘7’ imagines he is well read.

“The “solar cycle” refers to the changing activities on the Sun, manifest by sunspots, and they are not included in the Report or the models.”


It’s what’s new to our observations that will make the difference.


I know my limitations. History and religion are not my most knowledgeable areas, so I really wanted to let this whole pope thing go by, but I need to get something off my chest. It really bugs me when people like Ted Cruz or other people opposing AGW try to liken themselves to Galileo, because they oppose mainstream science. There are many idiots, quacks, hippies, religious fanatics and so on that oppose mainstream science, but the big difference with Galileo is that he actually came up with a better alternative rather than just saying “No, you’re wrong”. (at least if my cartoonish knowledge about Galileo is somewhere near the truth) Constructive criticism is essential to scientific progress. Unfortunately I have yet to see a skeptic come forward with an alternative model or propose improvements to the current models so that we might improve our understanding and predictive capabilities.

How have you managed to miss the excruciatingly (!) detailed proposals put forward here as well as in many other places for improving climatological understanding and improving the models?
IMO the GCMs are not improvable in the present state of climatology and with present computing power, but there have been suggestions upon suggestions for improving them. Considering clouds would help.


Well, I’ve not been around here for too long, but over the recent period I have mainly seen many bashings of Karl et al, of the pope, of the IPCC, of the media, of politicians and so on. Looking through the comments mostly just makes things worse with lots of strong language and ridicule. Willis Eschenbach is an exception. I generally like his articles, but apart from that the far majority I have seen so far has been very negative down to blatant denial.


but apart from that the far majority I have seen so far has been very negative down to blatant denial.

“blatant denial” of what?

What do you feel has been blatantly d*nied?
The climate changes naturally. Although there are local effects, there is no evidence of detectable global warming from human activities, let alone for people to be the “primary driver of climate change”.
More important than CO2 has been the effect of man-made SO2 and other aerosols and particles, which cool the planet, perhaps to a measurable extent. From the dawn of the industrial age until the 1980s, when governments started cutting back on genuine pollution, human activity had the net effect of cooling the planet slightly. Since then, clearer, cleaner skies have perhaps slightly boosted whatever natural warming occurred.


Blatant denial of the huge amount of scientific evidence for human influence on the rising temperatures, or more generally, the accumulation of heat.
What causes your “natural occurring warming”? Your post suggests you know exactly which factors determine the temperatures and to which extend. Fine, if that is the case, show me the numbers. Show me the calculations how you can explain the past temperatures without human warming and what your predictions are for the future. Then we can talk. You might actually seriously convince me. You won’t convince me by simply stating these things as a fact without any evidence.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Aran, there’s lots of questions I want to ask you, but can you answer just one? Given the massive forcing by CO2 during the past 15 years, why hasn’t global temperature rocketed? Shall we start with that?


The short answer is: I don’t know.
Why did you expect temperatures to rocket? If you look over such a relatively short period, even with the most doom-prone models one would expect temperature rises of the order of a tenth of a degree. There are many short term variations that can have effects of that order like ENSO, volcanic activity, solar variations etc. If you look at the temperature records for the last century or so, (since CO2 became somewhat significant) you can find 15 year periods with many different trends. There have been more occasions of pausing or even cooling over such periods, as there have been occasions of stronger than expected heating over short periods. Some of these effects are predictable and are incorporated in the models, but others are not so well understood, or simply too chaotic to predict. However, in the long term these oscillations average out and do not affect the trend. Therefore I would expect the long-term trend to show measurable warming due to CO2, but with short-term fluctuations superimposed.
What has caused the current slowdown in heating (surface temperature is just one aspect of total heating) I don’t know. It’s a very interesting question. However, nobody expects global surface temperature to simply rise very steadily over time and neither should you. There are too many other effects that have strong influence on shorter timescales.

Warren Latham

Dear Aran,
Computer-based models of any kind, for prediction of climates around the earth are not possible at all. Such “models” (as you seek) will always and would only be futile distraction.
It would be rather nice to be able to predict of course but we humans cannot, it seems, predict any climates. We generally observe patterns of all types but prediction is unwise.


Dear Warren, I don’t share your pessimism. Is there any particular reason you believe climate to be intrinsically unpredictable?


“…or propose improvements to the current models so that we might improve our understanding and predictive capabilities.”
Is the goal to improve understanding and predictive capabilities, or just to prove that Man is the cause of all warming, climate change, extreme weather, etc?


The former of course


“There are many idiots, quacks, hippies, religious fanatics and so on that oppose mainstream science…”
Surely they are the types that follow mainstream science? most religions do, many hippies do, and many don’t even care if the science is false, they just want the power to attack capitalism.


Religions believe in some intelligent being that created the universe for a reason. Most believe in an interventionist creator, i.e. one that influences things happening today. Hippies tend to believe in alternative medicine, karma, astrology and so on.
All very much at odds with (mainstream) science.
Disclaimer: my apologies for these crass generalisations. I do not mean to offend anyone. The purpose was to show that there is a difference between rejecting mainstream science and being Galileo.


I think that a lack of discernment would make it more likely for one to believe in the carbon karma of mainstream climate science, for all we know it may turn out to be a net benefit.


A lack of discernment can make one susceptible to believe anything

“I have yet to see a skeptic come forward with an alternative model or propose improvements to the current models so that we might improve our understanding and predictive capabilities”. You must have missed all discussions of censorship, defamation of scientists who don’t support LysenkObamanism, inability to publish, lack of research funding, loss of academic positions, purges in government climate agencies, threats of arrest and legal persecution…..


I have not


Aran, I think cassidy421’s point is that given that, it’s not a surprise that there is no published skeptic alternative.
So, their complete argument has been: gosh it’s hot, let’s violate rights and change the whole economy, shut up, shut up, shut these people up, unprecedented, shut up, adjust data to match theory, shut these people up, shut up, someone shut these people up, everyone already agrees, shut up, shut these people up, shut up, any thought criminal weathermen will lose their job, shut these people up, shut up, shut up, 97% of right thinking people agree, shut up, take away their funding, shut up, adjust data to match pet theory, shut up, settled science, shut up, ridicule, shut up, these people are like holocaust deniers, shut up, shut up, adjust data to match theory, shut up, shut up, ostracize, shut up, shut up, shut up, someone shut these people up, let’s put these deniers in jail.
This is probably what has been causing the reactionary response.


I don’t really believe these wild and imho caricatural conspiracy theories. If anything the recent chocolate hoax has shown how easy it is to get something published.


You’re right that there is a lot of ridicule and me-too-ism going on here. However, this is a blog, so you should not expect scholarly work. The skeptic community has dramatically changed the debate with the destruction of the hockey stick. Also, the original and traditional explanation of the GHE has been discredited, as most serious scientists now acknowledge that this pseudo-scientific hypothesis was wrong.
To be fair, very little evidence was provided by the AGW proponents other than “gosh it’s hot, let’s violate rights and change the whole economy”. As such, the skeptic community has focused on countering this “argument”, which at best is very weak and at worst is non-existent.
The scientific process starts with observation of unexplained phenomena. From there, it proceeds to conjecture and then to hypothesis using abductive reasoning. Since we’ve only seen natural variability, there is nothing else to explain.
The GCMs appear to be glorified weather models, and since the weather cannot affect the climate, they are a dead end. Climatology needs to advance (because it would be convenient to have some warning of inevitable glaciation), but as someone wise once said, science advances only after the powerful proponents of bad ideas die.
After M&M, Watt, G&T, climate-gate and common sense: GHE CO2 explanation, hockey stick, rising temperatures, GCM models.


forgot to finish sentence: are all falsified.


I tend to agree with most of what you say. We desperately need critical thinkers to make progress. I realise this is a blog and anyone is free to voice their opinion in whatever way. I guess I would just enjoy it a lot more if it were more constructive. There are enough people that identify themselves as anti-something. I’d like to see more pro-something. If by some strange kind of magic the IPCC and all ‘mainstream’ climate scientists would be wiped of the earth right now I fear this place would become very empty. Maybe I am now being the negative one, but I get the feeling this place exists because of a common enemy and not because of a common goal.


Aran commented: “There are enough people that identify themselves as anti-something. I’d like to see more pro-something….. but I get the feeling this place exists because of a common enemy and not because of a common goal.”
Then you haven’t been participating very long. Threads such as this encourage personal rather than scientific dialogue….and like elbows everyone has opinions. The technical/scientific threads are well supported with facts and scientific knowledge. It seems lately there’s been few warmist technical papers/claims worth commenting about. And the ‘common enemy’ unfortunately is truth.


Also I meant to write “Watts” and not “Watt”.
I agree that this place exists because of a common enemy, and attracts a strange mix of people.
I would also like to point out that Wegman (a neutral third party) sought to explain how completely incorrect statistical methods could have made it through peer review. He determined that all of the AGW source material was coming from a very small group of people, reviewing each other’s work.
IOW, I don’t believe there are any ‘mainstream’ climatologists. There are only a small group of advocates in scientific clothing, and an extremely large group of other scientists who will say anything to maintain their funding for work unrelated to AGW.
The bigger story here is the corruption inherent in the system of government funded science. Human nature, regardless of the type of people you start with, will eventually result in work which is favorable to the entity that pays the bills. I have noted many times that the majority of skeptical scientific work comes from foreign places where either government is not funding science, or where the politics are significantly different.


Again I really don’t believe the picture that is painted. Sometimes climate science is depicted as this big industry, influencing everything, crushing all opposition with the help of huge stacks of green dollars, and on other occasions it is this small sect of people that have lost all touch with reality. I find your remarks regarding scientists saying anything to get funding rather generalizing and maybe even offensive to many people and it doesn’t concur with what I have seen.
I can’t really comment on the part about government-funded science, but I do wonder what the incentive would be for governments to try to enforce a pro-AGW view on the scientific community in their countries.


You write

Unfortunately I have yet to see a skeptic come forward with an alternative model or propose improvements to the current models so that we might improve our understanding and predictive capabilities.

Firstly, the “unfortunate” thing is that you clearly have not looked because there are several alternative models to the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) model.
For example, the recent climate changes could be attributed to changes in cloud cover: clouds reflect sun light back to space so it does not reach the Earth’s surface. Indeed, this one (of several models) is between two and four times more likely to be useful than the AGW model. I explain this as follows.
Good records of cloud cover are very short because cloud cover is measured by satellites that were not launched until the mid-1980s. But it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid-1980s and late-1990s
(ref. Pinker, R. T., B. Zhang, and E. G. Dutton (2005), Do satellites detect trends in surface solar radiation?, Science, 308(5723), 850– 854.)
Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq. metre. This is a lot of warming. It is between two and four times the entire warming estimated to have been caused by the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. (The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 Watts/sq. metre.)
So, this model says study of clouds would “improve our understanding and predictive capabilities”.
Secondly, sceptics have no need to provide alternative models to AGW (although they have provided several).
Those who propose a model have a responsibility to demonstrate the usefulness of their model. And the misnamed ‘Pause’ demonstrates that the existing AGW model has no predictive ability; none, zilch, nada.
Sceptics only have a responsibility to call for proponents of a model to show it is useful. To date, there is no evidence that the AGW model is useful and much evidence (e.g. the ‘Pause’) indicates it is not.
Thirdly, sceptics have no responsibility to suggest improvements to the models of others.
Those who promote a model’s indications as being useful have a responsibility to make those indications as useful as possible. Others only have a responsibility to demand the usefulness is demonstrated before actions are undertaken in response to the indications: if you don’t accept this then you are claiming horoscopes are useful indicators of future climate.


Thank you for the reference to the paper. I will definitely read it. I am sorry to read that you feel like scepticism means there is no need to try to come up with alternatives or improvements. I am glad Galileo thought otherwise.

Thank you, Richard, That is one of the saner posts here.


You say to me

I am sorry to read that you feel like scepticism means there is no need to try to come up with alternatives or improvements. I am glad Galileo thought otherwise.

Be as sorry as you like because what I – or anybody else – feels is not relevant.
Reality is that those who support a model have a responsibility to demonstrate its usefulness while all others only have a responsibility to demand the supporters do demonstrate the model’s usefulness. The responsibility to make the demand does NOT include any need for the demanders to provide an alternative.
And I am interested to learn how you can know what “Galileo thought”.


You can use all the bold face you want it doesn’t make the content more true. I agree that demonstration of usefulness of a model is not the task of a skeptic of the model. However, if you want to disagree with a model or prove it wrong, it is up to you to show the evidence and make your case as well as possible.
In this case I basically agree with Willis Eschenbach’s article. A lot of what I see here boils down to contradiction or even lower parts of the pyramids. Counterarguments are sometimes used and that means there is at least some possibility for discussion. The top 2 are seldom seen in the comments. Refutation is often used in the articles and some authors are better at it than others imho. Some tend to pick a few lines out of a much larger article and focus on taking that apart. (I admit that I have been guilty of that myself in this article) Which is not necessarily bad, but it can lead to long digressions. Refutations of the central point is very very scarce.


Bold face. upper case, italics or any other font are not relevant to the fact that
Demonstrating that a model gives wrong indications does NOT include and/or require provision of an alternative model. Such provision may be needed if the useless model cannot be made to provide useful indications, but that is a completely different matter.
Similarly, demonstrating that a car does not work does not include and/or require provision of an alternative car. Such provision may be needed if the useless car cannot be made to work, but that is a completely different matter.

Your persistence in asserting your error is plain daft.



Richard you are trying to refute a claim I did not make.

Demonstrating that a model gives wrong indications does NOT include and/or require provision of an alternative model.

I never claimed it did.
In answer to an earlier I question I forgot to reply to, you are right, I don not know what Galileo thought, but I do know what he did (well some of it anyway if I choose to believe my history teacher). Therefore I should have written: I am glad Galileo acted otherwise


I refuted your statement that said

Unfortunately I have yet to see a skeptic come forward with an alternative model or propose improvements to the current models so that we might improve our understanding and predictive capabilities.

My refutation is here. It explained to you

Firstly, the “unfortunate” thing is that you clearly have not looked because there are several alternative models to the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) model.


Secondly, sceptics have no need to provide alternative models to AGW (although they have provided several).


Thirdly, sceptics have no responsibility to suggest improvements to the models of others.

You replied to my refutation here saying

I am sorry to read that you feel like scepticism means there is no need to try to come up with alternatives or improvements. I am glad Galileo thought otherwise.

So I replied that you are “PLAIN WRONG” and your persistence in claiming that sceptics need to provide an alternative model is “plain daft”.
But you now claim

Richard you are trying to refute a claim I did not make.

Demonstrating that a model gives wrong indications does NOT include and/or require provision of an alternative model.

I never claimed it did.

You are a time-wasting. I will ignore any further reply from you.


If you accuse me of lying, please have the courtesy to actually show where I am lying. I challenge you to find any quote of me where I claim that:
“Demonstrating that a model gives wrong indications includes and/or requires provision of an alternative model.”
You will not find it in this thread.


Furthermore, your “refutations” are mostly just contradictions as defined in Willis’ article as “stating the opposite case with little or no supporting evidence”. Just saying things like “you’re PLAIN WRONG” makes no impression on me whatsoever and will not change my mind.
And to make things worse, the claims you are trying to refute/contradict are often claims I did not make. You mostly make exaggerations of my writings and then claim the opposite. almost like a reductio ad absurdum. I never claimed that proving a model wrong requires the provision of an alternative. I never claimed sceptics have the responsibility to provide alternatives. I again challenge you to find any quote by me in this thread where I have made such claims.

Lil Fella of Oz

Got as much weight as the other AGW ‘scientists.’


As another poster pointed out, finally we see the marriage of CAGW cult with religion, a blessing in disguise showing that, like Frasier, science has left the building… bye bye Rome.

Bruce Cobb

You can’t constructively criticize something that is profoundly, fundamentally wrong. So-called mainstream climate science has gotten so far off track with its obsession with CO2 that it needs to be thrown on the scrap heap.


Nowhere in the Bible does it state that the sun orbits the earth. As happens in many things, organizations, what-have-you, politics has reared its ugly head, and invented “facts” (just as with the climastrologists) are used for political/power gain. Kind of like Pope Francis’s encyclical.
His theology is a “redistribution” theology, much favored by the “climate scientists” feeding at the trough
of CAGW.
Next thing you know, we’ll be seeing carbon indulgences. Probably payable to the UN, who are most likely the culprits behind this.
Another point lost on all of those folks way back when, throwing holy water on the glaciers, etc. is that
GOD will do what HE wants. Many people seem to view Him as a sort of Santa Claus, good wizard, etc.,
when HE’s nothing of the sort.
Sometimes HE says “no” for reasons we don’t know, and don’t see until much later. Pope Francis is
in wayyyyy over his head if he doesn’t understand even this simple concept.
Of course, the warmistas are just thrilled. Now they can force us to donate to the church of CAGW.
I think I’ll just go burn a steak. OK, just medium well, then…

The Bible repeatedly has the sun passing over a flat earth supported by pillars with a solid dome above it (with doors for the sun to come in and go out), indeed “hurrying again to the place of his rising”. It’s also anthropomorphic. Biblical cosmology doesn’t envision the earth moving at all, nor is it a sphere. So in these senses “not orbiting” is accurate.
Francis should have stayed out of “climate change”, but international drumbeat is too steady for him to resist.
My wife is a Latin American Roman Catholic. I’ve spent a lot of time geologizing in the Southern Cone, including Argentina, so I feel I know literally where is coming from.

Pat Frank

Sturgis, the idea among Medieval Catholics that the sun circles Earth was pretty much grounded in Joshua 10:13, which describes Joshua commanding the sun to stand still so that he can finish off defeating an enemy army.
The bible passage that the sun stopped in the sky was the infallible proof-text that the sun must move around Earth.

You are correct. That was the best known passage, cited also by Luther.
I mentioned another one because it so obviously shows that the sun was thought “to return to the place of his rising” by running around outside the “vault of heaven”.
The Joshua instance however is also dispositive since it equates the sun and the moon, the latter which body does indeed go around the earth.


Chapter and verse.
No, it doesn’t.

You’ve already been shown chapter and verse or references which would make it easy for anyone not lazy to find them.
But since you apparently are blinded by the faith and lazy, here are a few (all KJV):
For starters, the cited Joshua 10:13 passage:
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
The passage I cited, Ecclesiastes 1:5:
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The sun anthropomorphized, and again shown as a moving person, Psalm 19:15:
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
There are others, but that should suffice for now.
It never ceases to amaze me that agnostics know the Bible so much better than blasphemous Bible-worshiping fundamentalists who claim to revere it.


The apocalyptic environmentalists and socialist politicians, instead of celebrating and embracing the Catholics, should be wary. The church’s long imperial history of attaching themselves to other religions, blending the symbols and taking over the pulpit has been pretty successful. Their concern is souls not science. The Warmist’s doom might be strong enough that the Catholics feel threatened and they see a way to coop the movement and dip into the river of money currently flowing into the Gaia priesthood.

Good point.
This is of a piece with the Church’s subornation of the Saturnalia for Christmas, of the Yule tree and log for the same holiday and other syncretic grabbings of paganism for its purposes. Now it’s trying to glom onto neopaganism in the form of Gaia worship.

Max Totten

To fault the Bible because of references to the rising and setting is highly selective as every newspaper publishs the rising and setting of the sun. You should consult with a Jewish authority regarding which parts are considered divinely inspired. I believe they include only the first 5 books.


The CAGW meme now consists of 4 main strands
the IPCC
the ‘concensus’
the models
and now the pope.
I don’t see how I could falsify any of them. and neither can they


“I don’t see how I could falsify any of them”
Nature might give you an hand. I feel that one side is going to be proven wrong soon, time will tell.


By that time, governments all over the world will be firmly in the grasp of the UN’s jackbooted greenshirts. There will be no going back, once it’s happened.

Tom J

I’m going to get myself into trouble right now but I might as well start out by saying that I used to be a crusading atheist. I’ve given up that gig and now I’m just (like George Will refers to himself) an affable atheist. Or, perhaps an agnostic. Or, perhaps, who cares? In any case, I was born and raised a Catholic. Now, maybe it was rebellion against the Church that gave rise to the crusading atheist profession, and the rebellious spirit has diminished. Or, more likely it was the realization that for some people religion is a good fit and for other people it’s not, and who am I to judge.
Anyway, the foregoing may indicate that I have a little bit of a passing familiarity with the Catholic Church, and, of course, the Ten Commandments which I have a little bit of a problem with. For instance; the very tenth commandment of those ten states: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, … nor his ox, nor his donkey, …” Now, I would think the Creator of this whole universe would have a little more grace than to compare a man’s wife to his ox or his donkey. Moreover, the foregoing commandment certainly seems to present a male point of view and a rather Neanderthal one at that. One would think that a God would not likely have a sexual identity (one reason I’ve never applied for the job) since reproduction would not seem to be necessary in that realm. But who knows, maybe there’s all sorts of little godlets running around.
But, I’m getting sidetracked. (Like that’s anything new?) It’s the First and Second Commandment I’m most concerned with here. Now, I don’t for one second believe that an entity that could create this unimaginably huge universe with its swirling galaxies millions of light years apart would be so immature, insecure, and petty as to really care if a puny human occasionally get its name wrong and worships something else. People get my name wrong all the time and the most I ever do is sue them. So, I tend to think that the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” and the Second Commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” are, more likely, guides to reasonable behavior through which to live one’s life than they are expressions of a supreme being’s vanity. For instance, the First seems to tell us not to be so stupid as to call something a god that most clearly isn’t a god. And, the Second seems to tell us not to be so stupid as to worship an idol whether that idol is a monarch, dictator, or President of the United States.
And, all of this marches us right on over to Pope Francis who might just need a refresher course in the Ten Commandments, or at least the first two of them. I mean to belch out an Encyclical that reads, “… to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering …” seems to really attribute some characteristics to the planet that really doesn’t exist. We know our eco freaks do that but one would hope Francis would be a little more cautious about worshipping a rock. It may be a big rock, and it can be a pretty rock, and one shouldn’t wish to blow it to smithereens or pee all over it. But, it’s never going to talk to you, share its innermost feelings with you, or give you health, wealth, and/or happiness. It’s just a rock.

Bubba Cow

could I have some of that?

Tom J

You certainly can. And lemme know when you get it. I’ll be next in line.
Best wishes to you, sir.


An invitation to self sacrifice for a false goal.
There is no such thing as a “crusading atheist.” That would be an antitheist. People tar atheists because of the actions of antitheists.


““You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, … nor his ox, nor his donkey, …” Now, I would think the Creator of this whole universe would have a little more grace than to compare a man’s wife to his ox or his donkey. ”

inre: discussion of the Ten Commandments
1. Just one God.
2. No idols
3. Watch yer mouth
4. Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
5. Honor yer Ma & Pa.
6. No telling tales or gossipin’.
7. No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal.
8. No killin’.
9. Don’t take what ain’t yers.
10. Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.
The Ten Commandments are ordered into two types of laws. The first (1-4) are laws governing the Israelite’s relationship to God, and the second set of laws govern the individual Israelite’s relationship to other individuals.
As you can see, the tenth commandment (Cowboy translation) is placed last. This is the prohibition against coveting what belongs to another person. You may notice that this is unique because it is an inwardly applied law. A person can only apply this to the discipline and ordering of his own thoughts. And it is helpful because the inward coveting of another person’s wife (“or anything that is they neighbor’s”) would lead to the act of adultery, theft, murder, and possibly the breaking of all of the remaining Commandments.
The protection of marriage in this small new society was foundational to their way of life. It is agreed by all in this tribe that marriage is lifelong and is a protected, respected, honored contract (enforceable). Marriage is honorable and the bed is undefiled. 1Peter

James Allen, 1902: THE aphorism, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called “spontaneous” and “unpremeditated” as to those, which are deliberately executed.
Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.


Golly Zeke, that right there is some right fine speechifyin’!

Yes sir, it all starts between the ears, is what that means. (:


Why can’t Tim Ball talk to the pope one on one? I would be willing to donate to a cause like that.

johann wundersamer

Paul Westhaver on June 18,
2015 at 4:19 pm
Dr Ball.
Your rhetoric is not helping.
1) The Church today is
following popular scientific
2) The Church in 1615 had
already adopted Copernican
mechanics until Galileo failed
to objectively prove that a) the
sun was fixed and b) that his
theorized circular orbits were
1/ it’s a shame that the church knows so little about gods own creation to give its members a popular view.
2/ if Galileo did’nt think of a revolving motion no one knows what fabolous preciouses you could claim today.
3/ good that Galileo did’nt fix the sun – the sun ever had it’s own position.
Regards – Hans

1. You leave the commandment of God and hold fast the tradition of men” Mark 7:8.
The problem isn’t ignorance, it’s respect for corrupt power.

Paul Westhaver

Hi Johann
1) Copernicus first documented the heliocetric “cosmos”. He was a Catholic cleric. The work was published by Rheticus, with the help of 2 Bishops who assembled the paperwork, under the authority of Pope Paul III. This was in 1542 and later.
2) Galileo likely got the idea from Copernicus and said so in a letter in 1603 or 1605. He was afraid to mention it because most of his contemporaries (protestant reformationist “scientists”) believed in an earth centered cosmos.
3) Galileo proposed a fixed sun and circular planetary orbits.


That much is true. Many have lost sight of the political aspect: the entire affair took place against the backdrop of the Reformation, which affected Papal thinking and made the situation worse. Popes should stay out of politics.

Why do you keep repeating the same falsehoods? Apparently you can’t be bothered to check.
The Protestants were open to Copernicus, although his printer inserted the “hypothetical” preface. Rheticus was a Protestant and the publisher of On the Revolutions was a Protestant, as I’ve showed you time and again.
The leading proponents of heliocentrism before Galileo were Protestants, like Kepler. Galileo’s opponents were Churchmen. Further advances in astronomy were made by Protestants like Huygens and Newton. I’m not anti-Catholic, just pro-historical accuracy.
Roman Catholicism didn’t officially adopt heliocentrism for centuries after Copernicus. Its doctrine remained geocentric, but under strict supervision select scholars were allowed to look at copies of Copernican books on the Index.
What compels you to keep telling the same lies, as I must call them since you by now should know the truth, over and over again?


When you show in Fig. 2 that only 3.4% of CO2 in the atmosphere is from human sources, that is only a partial truth and is misleading. It is true that at any point in time only ~3% to 4% of the specific CO2 molecule in the atmosphere derive from human activity. However, most of the CO2 increase from ~280 ppm in the mid 1800s to ~400 ppm today is due to human activity, primarily fossil fuel burning. Records for such are quite good. Most of the specific CO2 molecules from past burning have been exchanged into the ocean and the biosphere. But, “natural” CO2 molecules residing there replaced them in the atmosphere. This is equilibrium exchange and occurs continuously among CO2 reservoirs.

Well good for us. Perhaps in your researches, you may have noticed that, at least in the last 600 million years, we are at the short end of the stick when it comes to CO2 content of the atmosphere. A little lower, and we wouldn’t be here talking about it. You may have observed that the Earth consumes it – in the fashion of a Cone Head – “in mass quantities.” It is a precious and endangered resource, and that should be a real concern of science.


The Earth 600m ya was a VERY different planet (continents, albedo etc), and the Sun a different star, producing ~4% less energy – one of the reasons that back then ~6,000ppm CO2 – could balance that cooler Sun..
And CO2 is consumed in “mas quantities” by the Earth – trouble is that is a balance which is now not there and will take ~ hunrdeds of years to come back to equilibrium (even with zero emissions from now).
“precious and endangered source”. I’ve checked the date and it ain’t 1st April.
No, the biosphere is quite happy with it’s own carbon cycle my friend – it’s ours that’s the problem.

Sun Spot

Donb, it’s not misleading, it real measured data. Perhaps your perception that it’s misleading is because of some personal bias and myopia ?


Sun Spot, My point is that the approx. 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 is mainly human caused, irrespective of the fact that only ~3.4% of the SPECIFIC CO2 molecules there today were human produced. I have found many persons who deny this fact and argue that little of the atmospheric CO2 increase is in any way human caused.
This is independent of any warming that CO2 causes. But we should not deny science that is understood.

David Ball

DonB, I think it is your 40% number that is misleading. The general public are under the impression that Co2 makes up 40% of our atmosphere. They simply don”t know.

Those that don’t fight for true (real)(whole) climate science will now be called graduates of “Pope University”… (“Oh, yeah, isn’t he-she from pope university?”).
🙂 JK

johann wundersamer

and yes PW, everyone here knows that Galileo’s Pope was very science affin – and that Galileo was’nt a very decent character.
Regards – Hans

Pat Frank

Nevertheless, Galileo was correct, and was forced to recant in writing on implied threat of torture. He was also forced into house arrest for the last years of his life, and required to remain silent in the face of a steady drumbeat of published criticism. Galileo’s indecency, whatever that was, pales compared to the pope’s immoral vengeance.
Galileo’s heliocentric model was strongly corroborated by the observed phases of Venus, seen through his telescope. It was also supported by inference from observing the orbiting moons of Jupiter.

Observing the phases of Venus showed the Ptolemaic model false, and could be seen as supportive of Copernicus, but also of Tycho’s system, in which the sun orbited earth, as does the moon, but the planets (earth not being among them) orbited the sun.

Paul Westhaver

Pat Frank,
“Nevertheless, Galileo was correct,” nope his fixed sun was wrong and he could not objectively prove his circular orbit theory.
“was forced to recant in writing on implied threat of torture” nope that is a myth.
“He was also forced into house arrest” in the papal palace with his friend Pope Urban VIII. He had catered food and literally live several doors down from the Pope himself.
Galileo signed a contract to not “TEACH” that Joshua was wrong. He violated that contract obstinately and made fun of his friend and benefactor.
“Galileo’s heliocentric model was strongly corroborated” nope…Copernicus’ heliocentric model could not be objective proven by Galileo.

Pat Frank

Sturgis, you’re right. Phases of Venus were consistent with Tycho Brahe’s system.

Pat Frank

Here is the text of Galileo’s forced recantation. He was forced to say his theory was false, was “contrary to holy scripture,” and that he had published his theory even though it had been already condemned (“I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this new doctrine already condemned“). That is, he had to agree that he was a knowing theological criminal.

Sorry but you need to study the history of science before presuming to comment upon it.
Galileo showed the Church’s Ptolemaic model false, not only possibly by observing Jupiter’s moons, but definitely by the phases of Venus. He also showed Aristotelean physics false, which the Church also embraced.
He could not demonstrate the Copernican model objectively real, and he also wrongly clung to the Church’s perfect circles, already shown false by Kepler, thanks to Tycho’s observations of Mars.
The fact which remains true despite your attempts to change history, is that Galileo was found guilty of heresy for advocating heliocentrism as real, not a calculating tool, and imprisoned in an extra-judicial process for advocating it in such a way as to humiliate the pope, who richly deserved humiliation.

As does Francis, the new Simplicio, who reminds me of the talking mule. A white one.

Paul Westhaver

Pat Frank,
Galileo recantation is well known. What is your point?
Galileo was asked directly to prove that the sun was fixed, (he couldn’t and it isn’t) and that the earth and other planets circularly move around the sun, which he also could not do. Given that, his error with tides and etc, left his questioners at quite a loss.
Imagine presenting a thesis without any proof?
Some in the tribunal were rooting for Galileo since they were already Copernican “converts” but he just couldn’t do it.
What then?
Especially after he ran around town ridiculing his ex friend (the pope) and denouncing scripture without basis.
Well, I don’t see your point. He had to recant because he was unable to make his own case and there were so many other times that he screwed up.

Pat Frank

Here is a chronology of Galileo’s experience. Below is his fate after trial:
June 22, 1633 Galileo is sentenced to prison for an indefinite term. Seven of ten cardinals presiding at his trial sign the sentencing order. Galileo signs a formal recantation. Galileo is allowed to serve his term under house-arrest in the home of the archbishop of Siena.
December 1633 Galileo is allowed to return to his villa in Florence, where he lives under house-arrest.
April 1634 Galileo’s daughter, Maria Celeste, dies.
January 1638 Galileo is now totally blind. He petitions the Inquisition to be freed, but his petition is denied.
September 1640 John Milton visits Galileo.
1641 Galileo, in his last major contribution, proposes using pendulums in clocks.
January 8, 1641 Galileo dies in Arcetri.
So, Galileo did not spend his house arrest “ in the papal palace” with his buddy the pope , or dine on catered food, as you have it Paul.
He was 6 months confined to the house of the bishop of Siena, and 7 years confined to his house in Florence.
Here is a précis of Galileo’s life from the University of Illinois. It says nothing about Galileo signing a contract to not teach that Joshua was wrong. I, for one, would like to see evidence for that contract.
While it’s true that the phases of Venus could not disprove Tycho Brahe’s system, the Copernican system was less complex and preferable under the rule of Ockham’s Razor. That is, the extra complexity of Brahe’s system did not make any further or unique predictions. At the time of Galileo, therefore, his heliocentric theory was distinctly preferable.

Paul Westhaver

Sorry about that Frank. but you be wrong dude. according to von Gebler a protestant historian,
“One glance at the truest historical source for the famous trial, would convince any one that Galileo spent altogether twenty-two days in the buildings of the Holy Office (i.e. the Inquisition), and even then not in a prison cell with barred windows, but in the handsome and commodious apartment of an official of the Inquisition.”
…”For the rest, he was allowed to use as his places of confinement the houses of friends, always comfortable and usually luxurious. It is wholly untrue that he was — as is constantly stated — either tortured or blinded by his persecutors — though in 1637, five years before his death, he became totally blind — or that he was refused burial in consecrated ground. On the contrary, although the pope (Urban VIII) did not allow a monument to be erected over his tomb, he sent his special blessing to the dying man, who was interred not only in consecrated ground, but within the church of Santa Croce at Florence.”
And you forgot about the Rome pension he received from Urban VIII, which was especially nice since he was not a citizen of Rome.
I’ll dig up the contract he signed following his first trial. but it is late here. and I am getting tired.
And Ockham was a catholic Franciscan too FYI

Pat Frank

Paul, you got your von Gebler quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia, here. But without citing your source.
Here’s what your CE cites for von Gebler: “VON GEBLER, Galileo Galilei und die romische Curie (tr., London, 1879),” i.e., your quote is from an 1879 essay. You uncritically quoted a secondary source without even knowing where it came from, Paul; it was pretty obvious from the vague attribution you gave it.
The “twenty-two days in the buildings of the Holy Office” von Gebler mentioned are prior to Galileo’s trial, not after. They had nothing to do with his house arrest.
Here’s a more contemporaneous source: Ronald Numbers, ed., “Galileo Goes to Jail, and other myths about Science and Religion” Harvard U. Press, 2009.
The chapter on Galileo was written by Maurice A. Finocchiaro, who’s a Professor of Philosophy at U. Nevada, and a Galileo scholar. He writes (p. 74), that after 5 months in Siena, Galileo remained under house arrest in his villa in Florence until his death in 1642. Just as I noted above. And you deny.
According to The Galileo Project, whatever pension Urban VIII gave to Galileo, it was well before Galileo’s trial, and ceased in 1633 after the trial. It further mentions that Urban VIII “resisted all efforts to have Galileo pardoned.

Paul Westhaver

Pat Frank,
I didn’t know that I was writing a thesis now. LOL
In any event, you know know the sources as credible and well researched, if that floats your boat.
Most of the documentation about the Galileo trials circa 1600s to 1700 was written by Catholics. Galileo was catholic, the church was catholic, Kepler was catholic, Copernicus was catholic the trial documents were written by catholics, and you referenced the latin versions of some of them.
Contemporary critics lack objectivity, as you lack it, and desire a biased portrayal of the historical context of the events to serve an unseemly contempt for anyone in the catholic church, particularly around the Galileo affair.
If you were an objective critic, you would have included more than the anti-catholic spin on the events.
For example, you opened your discussion with this sentence “and was forced to recant in writing on implied threat of torture. ” which is untrue and extreme and classic mytholgy. So much for your fake objectivity.
Then you say that his model was “strongly corroborated” in the face of my recounting the fact that the tribunal asked Galileo to prove his model. You refused to acknowledge that he failed. Well Galileo failed.
Then you post the recanting document as if it should be viewed with shame or something. A juvenile attempt to conceal the underlying basis that led up to the recantation. Not objective and out of context. Why didn’t you also post the documentation of his answers to the tribunal when they asked him to prove his model? It didn’t server your spin.
Then you cherry pick aspects of his life, ignoring his luxurious trial house arrest because it detracted from your “torture” narrative,you ignored his essential friendship with Urban VIII, and relative comfort for his final years, including the pension from Urban VIII. You see you never mentioned anything that showed the compassion from Urban VIII to his old friend. To omot those things is a lie, by omission. You wanted to paint the church as a “evil” empire and Galileo as a hard done by saint. The complete historical record does not support your biased view.
As for his contract which came from his Admonition in February 1616:
” His Holiness has directed the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine to summon before him the said Galileo and admonish him to abandon the said opinion; and, in case of his refusal to obey, that the Commissary is to enjoin on him, before a notary and witnesses, a command to abstain altogether from teaching or defending this opinion and doctrine and even from discussing it, and, if he do not acquiesce therein, that he is to be imprisoned.”
Galileo accepted the admonition, thereby its terms….well the he wrote his sh1tty little book that you also failed to mention. The book was a violation of the accepted terms of his agreement.
So you conveniently ignore Galileo’s contempt, violation of his agreement, errors in his science, betrayal of his friend who became pope, the continued kindness that came from him despite the circumstances, while you quote state and cite only facts colored to denigrate the Vatican.
All in all your comments are typical, one-side propaganda. A serious researcher (one who demand citation etc, would include all sources and facts, regardless of how it paints the story.
That is what I have done. That is what you won’t do.
The Galileo affair was not cut and drt=y as you want it to be. It was a complex power battle of discovery during the reformation by a petulant man and an intolerant Cardinal and pope.
Galileo made many errors. More than people know of. The church was impatient and aggressive with Galileo but not near as bad as you opened your comments with. You just had to get the word “torture” in there. Galileo was NEVER TORTURED or threatened with torture.

Pat Frank

Paul, you wrote, “Pat Frank,
I didn’t know that I was writing a thesis now. LOL

It’s a science blog, Paul. We cite our sources. You’ve seen it done here repeatedly as a matter of common course, yet you don’t do it yourself.
In any event, you know know the sources as credible and well researched, if that floats your boat.
I know nothing of the kind. Neither do you. Your source, the Catholic Encyclopedia, is the house organ of an ideologically committed institution. It is required to reflect the institutional bias. To be taken seriously, its argument should reflect the best scholarship and cite that scholarship. In the event, it did neither.
Most of the documentation about the Galileo trials circa 1600s to 1700 was written by Catholics. Galileo was catholic, the church was catholic, Kepler was catholic, Copernicus was catholic the trial documents were written by catholics, and you referenced the latin versions of some of them.
Yes, so?
Contemporary critics lack objectivity, as you lack it, and desire a biased portrayal of the historical context of the events to serve an unseemly contempt for anyone in the catholic church, particularly around the Galileo affair. If you were an objective critic, you would have included more than the anti-catholic spin on the events.
Your opinion, no more. Here it is, right back at you: ‘Contemporary apologists lack objectivity, as you lack it, and desire a biased portrayal of the historical context of the events to serve an unseemly contempt for anyone honestly critical of the catholic church, particularly around the Galileo affair. If you were an objective critic, you would have included more than the pro-catholic spin on the events.
There it is, Paul. The entire strength of your argument revealed for what it is: personal opinion unsullied by any substantive content.
IFor example, you opened your discussion with this sentence “and was forced to recant in writing on implied threat of torture. ” which is untrue and extreme and classic mytholgy. So much for your fake objectivity.
The chapter on Galileo, in “Galileo Goes to Jail” cited above, quotes the minutes of a meeting of the Inquisition, chaired by the pope, on 16 June 1633. It says, “His Holiness decided that the same Galileo is to be interrogated even with the threat of torture…” The ellipsis leaves out nothing relevant.
Finocciaro then quotes from the trial transcript itself (p. 75). Here’s the relevant exchange:
Inquisition: “And he [Galileo- P] was told to tell the truth, otherwise one would have recourse to torture.
Galileo: “I am here to obey, but I have not held this opinion [“that the earth moves and the sun is motionless” – P] after the determination was made, as I said.
Finocchiaro goes on to state (p. 76) that, “This deposition leaves no doubt that Galileo was threatened with torture during the June 21 interrogation.” (original emphasis)
So, whose objectivity is fake, Paul?
Then you say that his model was “strongly corroborated” in the face of my recounting the fact that the tribunal asked Galileo to prove his model. You refused to acknowledge that he failed. Well Galileo failed.
I have an extensive bibliography on Galileo. After some searching, I find no evidence that the Inquisitorial tribunal of 1633 demanded proof of his model from Galileo. I’ve also found no indication that Bellarmine’s inquiry of 1616 demanded Galileo prove his model. Finocchiari does not mention it in his extensive coverage of the entire trial in Chapter 7, “The Trial of Galileo, 1613–1633,” of his book Defending Copernicus and Galileo, Springer, 2009.
You’ve not documented your claim. Can you do so, or do you require we just accept your unsupported word (“in the face of my recounting the fact”?
Then you post the recanting document as if it should be viewed with shame or something.
No “or something” about it. Shame is about right.
A juvenile attempt to conceal the underlying basis that led up to the recantation. Not objective and out of context.
Proof of model had nothing to do with Galileo’s summons before the Inquisition. It had to do with his purported violation of an unsigned 1616 Commissary of the Inquisition document that enjoined Galileo to not hold, defend, or teach the Copernican system.
However, that document had never been served on Galileo, he didn’t know about it, and in his 1633 defense provided a contemporaneous (26 May 1616) letter from Cardinal Bellarmine clarifying that he not hold or defend the system. Bellarmine does not mention any restriction on teaching it.
The text of Bellarmine’s letter stating the restrictions on Galileo is available in the 1964 lecture of J. M Jauch, given at CERN on the quadrennial of Galileo’s birth; available here (pdf; some of the pages are out of order). It does not mention teaching.
Why didn’t you also post the documentation of his answers to the tribunal when they asked him to prove his model? It didn’t server your spin.
In fact, I did provide documentation. It’s linked in the “Here,” first word, first sentence, here. As the tribunal apparently never asked Galileo to prove his model (pending your explicit citation), there was no documentation to post about it.
Stillman Drake says (p. 96), in his highly recommended, “Galileo: a very short introduction,” that, “No scientific question was raised at the trial; the charge was ‘vehement suspicion of heresy’…
Your claim of a scientific issue before the tribunal rests on no historical grounds.
Then you cherry pick aspects of his life, ignoring his luxurious trial house arrest because it detracted from your “torture” narrative,you ignored his essential friendship with Urban VIII, and relative comfort for his final years, including the pension from Urban VIII.
Three weeks pre-trial living in Rome is not 9 years of house-arrest in Florence, no matter how insistent you are to confuse this matter.
You see you never mentioned anything that showed the compassion from Urban VIII to his old friend.
Every source I cited above also mentions that Urban VIII was manipulating things behind the scenes to have Galileo convicted. Urban VIII also denied every single appeal to pardon Galileo, or for his house arrest to be terminated. Urban VIII also disallowed Galileo from visiting his doctor, when Galileo was old, in pain, and ailing. What compassion?
Jauch (cited above) quotes documents pertinent to Urban’s attitude, first in a report by Aluise Contarini, the Venetian ambassador 1632-1635, then in a July 1641 letter from Zuanne Nanni a later Venetian ambassador, both to the effect that Urban was highly intelligent, proud of his learning, inflexible in his opinions, artful in his intrigues, and contemptuous of other opinions.
He goes on to say about Urban VIII that, “It was extremely dangerous to state anything in public which could have been interpreted as detrimental to the reputation of the Pope. Several persons died and others were severely punished for permitting themselves liberties in this direction.
Jauch wonders whether Urban’s behavior — seeing to Galileo’s conviction, the out-of-proportion punishment, and the refusal to pardon and the cruelty of denying a doctor visit — might have stemmed from a desire for personal revenge against Galileo; perhaps for putting his (Urban’s) arguments in Simplicio’s mouth.
To omot those things is a lie, by omission.
It appears I omitted nothing, Paul. Rather, it appears you cut-and-paste without attribution, uncritically accept tendentious and readily disproved arguments, and are far too ready to defame. What would you call that?
You wanted to paint the church as a “evil” empire and Galileo as a hard done by saint. The complete historical record does not support your biased view.
Rather, the Galileo affair is a very visible and object historical example of what happens when ideologues control police power. In this case, we even have hints of Urban VIII using the system to settle a personal grudge. It’s no stretch to point out that the very same abuses occurred in every single modern ideology-driven state.
The history of Galileo is a warning to us all.
As for his contract which came from his Admonition in February 1616:
” His Holiness has directed the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine to summon before him the said Galileo and admonish him to abandon the said opinion; and, in case of his refusal to obey, that the Commissary is to enjoin on him, before a notary and witnesses, a command to abstain altogether from teaching or defending this opinion and doctrine and even from discussing it, and, if he do not acquiesce therein, that he is to be imprisoned.”

Except that Commissary document misrepresented the original position of the pope, who did not enjoin teaching the Copernican system so long as it was not represented as physically true. As noted and documented above, the Commissary document was unsigned and was never served on Galileo. It had no legal or legitimate standing.
Galileo accepted the admonition, thereby its terms….well the he wrote his sh1tty little book that you also failed to mention. The book was a violation of the accepted terms of his agreement.
Except it wasn’t. Galileo presented Bellarmine’s 1616 letter to the Inquisitorial tribunal demonstrating that the unsigned Commissary codicil to not teach had no legal standing. The tribunal retired for three weeks, and then came back with a plea bargain. Galileo could cop a lesser charge, and would be treated leniently.
In the event, however, the leniency was never delivered. Today, we’d call that bait-and-switch. It would be very strong grounds for appeal, and probably for disbarment of the prosecutor and the judge.
So you conveniently ignore Galileo’s contempt, violation of his agreement, errors in his science, betrayal of his friend who became pope, the continued kindness that came from him despite the circumstances, while you quote state and cite only facts colored to denigrate the Vatican.
Rather, the facts of the case make a fantasy of your view. Stillman Drake makes a very good case that Galileo, a pious Catholic all his life, was trying to prevent the Church from undercutting its own authority by making an issue of theology in matters of science. He was, in other words, trying to protect the authority of the Church by advising that it not make itself look silly. History shows Galileo failed in this.
Meanwhile Church apologists have composed a rescue by aspersing Galileo’s character. The policy is a failure, an ethical violation, and a further auto-besmirch.
All in all your comments are typical, one-side propaganda. A serious researcher (one who demand citation etc, would include all sources and facts, regardless of how it paints the story.
None of your points have borne scrutiny, Paul. Not one.
That is what I have done. That is what you won’t do.” Your factual inversion is revealed by reference to the actual history.
[irrelevant comments snipped]
You just had to get the word “torture” in there. Galileo was NEVER TORTURED or threatened with torture.
Again contradicted by the Vatican documents themselves, which clearly reveal the threat of torture. On compassionate, friendly, Urban VIII’s explicit order.
Wrong on all counts, Paul.

A full religious war has broken out on wattsup.
A word of caution, from bitter past experience.
This year, the Clan MacRae is commemorating the 300th Anniversary of Battle of Sheriffmuir of 1715, an earlier religious war between the Highland Scots and their Catholic allies and the British Protestants. We lost 90% of our adult men that day, and the battle was deemed a draw – nothing was settled.
This year is also the 800th Anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215. Magna Carta marked a critical beginning of Rule of Law in the modern era. Pope Innocent III wrote a Papal Bull annulling Magna Carta, calling it “illegal, unjust, harmful to royal rights and shameful to the English people”. Papal Bull indeed…
Rule of Law is only practiced today in about 10% of the countries in the world – not surprisingly, they are the prosperous ones. Even in these 20 or so fortunate countries, Rule of Law is under threat from the pack of scoundrels and imbeciles that will always be with us.
On my every visit to London, I visited Magna Carta at the British Museum, and more recently at its new home at the British Library. The Papal Bull of Innocent III also resides there, a reminder of the human fallibility of popes and princes.
The last time the Catholic Church tried to control the climate, they did so by burning witches during the Little ice Age. It has been estimated that 40,000 to 50,000 innocents were tortured to death for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies over several hundred years. This huge addition to the planet’s carbon footprint did little to alter the natural global cooling that destroyed crops and caused widespread starvation, disease and death.
The latest climate control nonsense from the Vatican will be equally foolish, tragic and ineffective. The Vatican is condemning the third world to perpetual poverty and servitude through continued energy starvation.
There are several lessons here, for those who choose to learn them.
Best regards to all, Allan

In fairness, the Protestants also burnt some witches, but their carbon footprint was lower.
With apologies to the suffering of my Anabaptist ancestresses, who were typically drowned rather than burnt, to make the punishment fit the “crime”.


Now on to the 2015 federal election in Canada, COP 21 and the U.S. 2016 election.
What effect will all the hatred stirred up/uncovered by this Papal pronouncement have on these events?

EXCELLENT. Even better, what’s the answer?

OK – tell us how you really feel…
‘Nay, nay,’ quod he, ‘than have I Cristes curs!
Lat be,’ quod he, ‘it shal nat be, so theech!
Thou woldest make me kisse thyn old breech,
And swere it were a relik of a seint,
Thogh it were with thy fundement depeint!
But by the croys which that seint Eleyne fond,
I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond
In stede of relikes or of seintuarie;
Lat cutte hem of, I wol thee helpe hem carie;
Thay shul be shryned in an hogges tord.’
– The Canterbury Tales – The Pardoner’s Tale


Personally, I think the Pope will burn in hell for this. But then he knows that, if he believes in God.


John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
There is no truth in the Global Warming fabricated by the IPCC and its lackeys.
(1) But, as everyone here knows, Global Warming isn’t science, and never was about science. It’s wealth-redistribution politics. (Thank you, Ottmar Edenhofer.)
(2) So the Pope is not dabbling in science, here; he’s mucking about with politics. He may know a little chemistry; he knows less than nothing about politics.
(3) The result is going to be much uglier than the Galileo affair.
(4) Recent Popes may have rehabilitated Galileo. No one can rehabilitate the Papacy after this is over. We’re facing a thousand year Reich with no one to free us.

@Allan MacRae
Wonderfully stated Allan. You are a historian or very well read, it seems. Thanks for the well thought out post.

Bubba Cow

Yup, beat me to it
thank you, Alan

Thank you both for your kind comments. Some thoughts:
Excess Winter Deaths are approximately 10,000 per year in Canada, up to 50,000 per year in the UK and about 100,000 per year in the USA. I have been writing about Excess Winter Mortality since at least 2009.
On May 24, 2015 veteran meteorologist Joe d’Aleo and I published an article entitled “Winters not Summers Increase Mortality and Stress the Economy” at
Global warming alarmists continue to over-emphasize the danger of heat and ignore cold in their papers and in stories for the media. The danger associated with this misdirection is that cold weather kills many more people that hot weather.
This conclusion is clearly supported by many studies of populations in a wide range of climates. Examples are provided below from a study of thirteen countries, as well as national studies from the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Furthermore, this conclusion is not new, but has been known for many decades.
Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings were published in The Lancet.
A total of about 50,000 Excess Winter Deaths occurred that winter [2012/13] in the UK.
Similarly, the USA death rate in January and February is more than 1000 deaths per day greater than in July and August.
In 2008, there were 108,500 ‘excess’ deaths during the 122 days in the cold months (December to March).
The Canadian death rate in January is more than 100 deaths/day greater than in August, for the years 2007 to 2011.
… death rates in Australian cities were up to 30 per cent higher in winter than summer.
[end of excerpts]
Data from The Lancet study supports the hypo that adaptation is the key to survival in winter – and perhaps flu shots when they work. Adaptation includes better home insulation and heating systems, and cheap reliable energy,
The highest death rates attributed to cold weather occur in China, ITALY, Japan and the UK.
The next highest group includes Australia, South Korea, Spain, and the USA.
Next come Canada, Sweden and Taiwan.
Brazil and Thailand have the lowest winter death rates.
These death figures are HUGE and daunting – AND THEY HAPPEN EVERY YEAR…
This bleak reality reflects, in my opinion, an egregious error in government climate and energy policy that is costing many lives.
It is hard to believe that anyone could be so foolish as to drive up the cost of energy AND also reduce the reliability of the electrical grid, which is what politicians have done by subsidizing grid-connected wind and solar power.
When uninformed politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer.
Could someone from the warmist camp please explain to me again why warm is bad and cold is good? This only seems true if you are trying to kill people.
The environmental movement, which has promoted this global warming scam and the “green energy” debacle, should be held primarily responsible for this unfolding tragedy.
Cheap. reliable, abundant energy is the lifeblood of modern society. It IS that simple.
Best wishes to all, Allan
Excess winter mortality in Europe: a cross country analysis identifying key risk factors
Table 1 – Coefficient of seasonal variation in mortality (CSVM) in EU-14 (mean, 1988–97)
Austria 0.14 (0.12 to 0.16)
Belgium 0.13 (0.09 to 0.17)
Denmark 0.12 (0.10 to 0.14)
Finland 0.10 (0.07 to 0.13)
France 0.13 (0.11 to 0.15)
Germany 0.11 (0.09 to 0.13)
Greece 0.18 (0.15 to 0.21)
Ireland 0.21 (0.18 to 0.24)
Italy 0.16 (0.14 to 0.18)
Luxembourg 0.12 (0.08 to 0.16)
Netherlands 0.11 (0.09 to 0.13)
Portugal 0.28 (0.25 to 0.31)
Spain 0.21 (0.19 to 0.23)
UK 0.18 (0.16 to 0.20)
Mean 0.16 (0.14 to 0.18)

Why is high Excess Winter Mortality relevant to the Pope, the current Bishop of Rome?
1. Because the Pope is supposed to protect his devoted subjects, and especially the young, the elderly and the poor
2. Because Excess Winter Deaths particularly target these populations, especially the elderly and the poor.
3. Because some of the highest Excess Winter Deaths occur in Catholic countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland – see the above Table.
4. Because a warmer world would reduce Excess Winter Mortality – cold weather kills many more people than warm weather. even in warm climates.

Dave O.

Has the Pope taken a vow of fossil fuel celibacy? If so, this would put him in an elite club of non-hypocrites.

Bill Illis

The new adjustments from Karl 2015 appear to have been incorporated now as stated by the NCDC in their Faq page (you know the ones where the specifically designed to measure ocean temperatures from the drifting buoys are just discarded for no reason and the ship hull/engine intake temperature measurements are substituted instead and the specifically designed to measure ocean temperature satellite data is just ignored and is not used at all as has been the case for 2 years now).
These are the adjustments from the older version of 3.5.2 (how the heck does one get to a version numbered 3.5.2, the actual number of adjusted versions could be up to 300 adjustments with three decimals of versions on the go now).
(I might note that something I have mentioned previously is that the NCDC seems to have fixed the problem they accidentally introduced without knowing it in the 3.3’s and on to the 3.5’s series where there was serious seasonality left in the ocean data. The summer north atlantic and the summer north pacific hotspots will now dissappear when the new maps are produced. That also means the AMO index etc. will now be completely revised someday soon).
Naturally, at least 0.2C of warming has been added in the most recent set of adjustments. Starting to get up to about 0.5C of total adjustments in the global/land/ocean index now.

Paul Westhaver

The pause is definitely not there any more.

I assume you’re being sarcastic. I certainly hope so.


Consensus ‘settled’ beliefs then, consensus ‘settled’ belief now….. and torch anyone (or as Kennedy and the Dims keep saying, jail or shoot them).
Of course, this gives the leftists fits who summarily attacked Santorum for having the gall to dare mention it.

Bubba Cow

I strongly believe that we must get all aspirants to the throne to describe for us their Energy Policies. Stay away from global warming, climate change, carbon pollution.
How are you going to ensure that our lights will turn on and our homes will have heat?


“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Encyclical identifies CO2 as the major cause of climate change, but CO2 is not a pollutant.”
The carbon dioxide cycle, the methane cycle, and the nitrogen oxide cycle are all completely natural to geological and life processes. They are all present naturally on earth in enormous, unquantifiable amounts. Co2 from volcanoes, methane from plant material under UV light from the sun and from seabeds, and nitrogen oxide–>nitrous oxide from combustion and crops are plainly part of entirely natural atmospheric cycles and are life sustaining.
It is true, they are generated by humans who are engaged in the most important gifts of God to man, that is, in marriage, family, having a home, traveling, growing food and keeping domestic animals. When the land is blessed, these livelihoods will be pursued, protected, and enjoyed.
The fact that all of these natural cycles appear as filth to the Roman Pontifex Maximus is not a good sign for anyone. This is a truly bad indication that this head of the Vatican State sees the good pursuits of life like fire, cattle, farming, personal transportation, and nice clean electrons flowing from steam turbines run by fire, as criminal. None of these are criminal or sins. To the contrary, they are the gifts of God, and it is He who gives us all the ability to enjoy even the mundane occupations we all have to engage in.
I wouldn’t sign any Concordats with this Jesuit, to return us the the emissions conditions of 1750. What a coincidence, the US was not in existence and could have become a Vatican possession at that date.

Bubba Cow

+ a good bunch

Thank you Bubba Cow! At least the Vatican was specific about the gases, because Co2 is only one of them.
Item 23 of the Encyclical provides: “a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.”

Bubba Cow

plus the H2O cycle … just to add to your list

En deux temps, trois mouvements.comment image
Imagine that trace human caused gas exerting so much leverage over all that water vapor.

Joseph Walker

Three thoughts about this –
1, Anthony, the only chance to really solve this tragic misunderstanding by the Pope and his advisers is for a Catholic to ask for an audience with the Pope directly, then 2 people go to Rome and present (in 10 minutes).the facts we all learned at ICCC10 — in a straight forward and loving manner. If that doesn’t work then you didn’t have a chance in the first place. Mankind needs the church on our side.
2. I am an Episcopal Christian and I have a great deal of respect and hope for the Catholic church. I hope that we will not treat the Catholic church like bloggers from the warm side treat us, and that the posters and blog administrators on WUWT will not allow language on this blog as we have seen on those bad blogs.
3. We all know Human Caused Global Warming is not a real problem wrt climate. The Battle of Sheriffmuir was a time for combat but today is not. We need to change hearts,
We should not bring evil. I can tell you that battle is hell. I pray we find common cause.
Congrats Anthony on your award and the work product that brought it to you.
And Best Regards to Allan MacRae above.
Joe Walker

Bless the Pope, the Cult of Calamitous Climate is officially adopted by the Catholic Church.
Step right up.. buy your indulgences at either office.
Since both profit enormously from our most gullible citizens it is only natural that they should share sucker lists.
I mean cooperate to save the world.

Fun… and truth in there somewhere…

Joe Dunfee

It should also be pointed out that Galileo had rejected the elliptical paths for the planets that Kepler had promoted, in favor of the Copernican perfect circles. And though the overall thinking of Copernicus was more accurate, the Ptolemaic system was more accurate when trying to predict the planets motions I.e. the evidence favored the Ptolemaic system.
The elliptical paths that Kepler proposed must have seemed quite strange at the time. What would keep an object in an elliptical path? It was not until Newton proposed the idea of universal gravity that there was a reason for an elliptical path.
Not having the exact model can sometimes make a better model look wrong, if the evidence favors another model. Perhaps that is like the AGW view. We know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that temperatures from ground based thermometers near populated areas have shown a rise over the past have century. But, if the model for CO2 in the atmosphere and how our whole climate works is incorrect, and the model for how we should adjust the temperature data is wrong, then the who AGW concept is wrong.

Except that Galileo’s telescopic observations showed the Ptolemaic system false. That the Church clung to it as objective reality in the face of this incontrovertible demonstration that it was physically wrong shows that religious doctrine was more important than science to the 17th century Church. And 18th. And 19th.

Good evening sturgishooper. Let me support you in what you are saying. It is absolutely correct that Galileo was falsifying the Ptolemaic system. For centuries, the Roman Church upheld the writings of Ptolemy and other truly mistaken ancient Greeks as the standard of education and knowledge.
Galileo himself wrote,

“Persisting in their original resolve to destroy me and everything mine by any means they can think of, these men are aware of my views in astronomy and philosophy. They know that as to the arrangement of the pars of the universe, I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth rotates on its axis and revolves about the sun. They know also that I support this position not only by refuting the arguments of Ptolemy and Aristotle, but by producing many counter-arguments; in particular, some which relate to physical effects whose causes can perhaps be assigned in no other way. In additgion there are astronomical arguments derived from many things in my new celestial discoveries that plainly confute the Ptolemaic system while admirably agreeing with and confirming the contrary hypothesis. Possibly because they are disturbed by the known truth of other propositions of mine which differ from those commonly held, and therefore mistrusting their defense so long as they confine themselves to the field of philosophy, these men have resolved themselves to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out of the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible. These they apply, with little judgment, to the refutation of arguments that they do not understand and have not even listened to.”

Perhaps I may remark that Ptolemy was also a geographer and all maps based on his writing showed no possible route around Africa. Another error of clinging to Greek scholastic dust. But the Phoenicians had rounded the tip of Africa in 600 BC!

That the Phoenicians sailing for the Pharaoh had circumnavigated Africa because they marveled at sailing west with the sun on their right hand.
Good points.
The Church for most of its history has been anti-scientific, despite the many devout Catholic scientists who have made great contributions.
It’s an issue older than St. Augustine, who argued that the Church should not support a literal interpretation of Genesis (and other parts of the Bible) which contradicted pagan science, because it damaged the propagation of the faith.

The church had not rejected Galileo’s ideas due to them contradicting church doctrine as you guys are trying to portray. In the 1616 session where Galileo’s teachings were first examined, Cardinal Bellarmine specifically addressed the possibility Galileo’s teachings could be true, saying if they were ever proven, the Church would need to reassess their interpretation of the Scripture on the subject.
Even when Galileo was found “guilty” of heresy (actually “vehemently suspected of heresy”), the tribunal made it clear the problem lied in “in teaching as truth that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world.” That Galileo taught his ideas as truth, rather than just ideas, is what caused the entire problem. Galileo didn’t have proof of his beliefs so it was wrong for him to teach them as truth. That’s what the Church found. In fact, Galileo’s contemporary and colleague Descartes suggested Galileo’s trial could be viewed as a victory for science as despite Galileo’s trial, the Church did not rule heliocentrism as doctrine.
That’s right. Even after convicting Galileo (and giving him about the lightest sentence imaginable) for teaching as truth things he couldn’t prove, the Church did not decide on any official doctrine for whether or not the Earth revolved around the sun. Anyone who wanted to approach science in a scientific manner, and only state as true (rather than theory) things they had strong evidence for, was still free to.
The Church’s ruling may not have been a good one, and it may deserve some criticism for what it did, but in the end, Galileo didn’t have any proof for his theories but still taught them as fact. That’s unscientific, and that’s what the Church punished him for. The Church basically punished Galileo for being unscientific.

David Ball

Brandon Shollenberger June 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm says;
The Church basically punished Galileo for being unscientific.
Wow. You really spun that around.
You may want to clean the spittle off your screen, as it inhibits reading comprehension.
As usual, the pseudo-intellectuals are out in full force, completely missing the point of the article, yet “pontificating” (see what I didi there) over something they have clearly not understood.
Dr. Ball’s articles are superb at drawing out those who think they understand, but don’t.

Paul Westhaver

Joe Dunfee
“Galileo had rejected the elliptical paths for the planets that Kepler had promoted, in favor of the Copernican perfect circles.”

So what? The big issue was the sun in the center and the planets going around. Who but a nitpicker cares about the elliptical detail?


You do a really good job replying to many of the errors posted on this site and you usually do so in a very polite way. I was therefore sorry to see you losing your cool with another commenter. As a fellow Catholic could I ask you to please keep to tackling the ball rather than the man in future. Big Jim Cooley claims that religion is just a search for comfort. i have replied that Jesus Christ doesn’t exactly make it easy for us to follow him. Part of Christ’s cross that we have to carry is that we have to deny any tendency we may feel to get angry at or annoyed with other people. St Teresa of Avila is very good on that subject. See ‘The Way of Perfection’. It’s far easier being an atheist. That’s the real search for comfort as you can invent any morality you wish. You can invent as easy a morality as you like. That’s often the reason that people become atheists. They find Christian morality too burdensome.

The Pope’s hyperbolic Climate encyclical will hurt both the church, and, ironically, the world’s poor, which the Catholic Church has historically done so much to help.
CAGW’s hypothetical projections are approximately 5~7 years away from exceeding the statistical criteria required for formal disconfirmation (3+ SDs off from reality and no global warming trend for 25 years).
Although the Pope is correct that man must be good stewards of Earth, industrialized countries have, in fact, greatly improved air quality standards over the past 30 years, as can be seen from EPA’s own data:
For the Pope to assert that pollution is getting worse and worse, simply does not reflect reality. Also, the Pope’s assertion that CO2 is a pollutant is patently false. If anything, a very strong case could be made that CO2 levels are still much too low….
Restricting cheap fossil fuel use will disproportionately hurt the world’s poor by greatly reducing economic development, substantially increasing food prices and inhibit much needed infrastructure development.
Pope Francis means well, but his science advisors have terribly misled him on the efficacy of the CAGW hypothesis.

masInt branch 4 C3I in is

Looks like Ramadan is going on.
The DOW ended a bit up, others a bit down.
On the web, a old-cat gave shelter to a young-cat filmed during an earthquake.
A few hundred million people die for one reason or another.
A few Tens of hundreds of million people were born.
President Obama still does not understand what “American” is.
Seems the world is working despite the hatred from the Latin Pope.
Ha ha

You “rule” 1,000,000,000 people and have no productive – REAL – solutions to show.- just like very other “world leader,” currently. It’s time for hands-dirty knowledge over pretty rhetoric.

Speaking of the Sun, anyone know why David Hathaway left Marshalls and transferred to Ames?
Site says he will maintain his sunspot prediction page once he is settled in.


18 June: UK Telegraph: Pope Francis and the parable of the plankton
The papal encyclical on the environment goes far beyond climate change – from saints who talk to plants to the plight of plankton and sponges and the beauty of skyscrapers
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
The text of Laudato Si does all the things it was supposed to do: it warns of doom from man-made climate change, it lambasts politicians for failing to act more decisively and takes aim at the global financial system and the plight of the poor…
He relishes taking a pop at the priorities of many in the comfortable, privileged West who preach an environmental gospel from the safety of their “carefully manicured green spaces” and “ecological” neighbourhoods.
***He is too polite to mention readers of The Guardian but we know what he means…
18 June: Gay Star News: Lord Browne: This time – the Pope is right
Former BP chief, Lord John Browne, says that industry must lead the way in saving the planet
I am sure that many Gay Star News readers disagree with the Pope on matters to do with sexuality. But I must confess that his call to action on climate change is right…
The Pope’s encyclical states that humans have a responsibility to take action because we are God’s custodians of the earth. But here I must disagree with the Pope. It is Gaia Theory that makes the right point. Humans are not all that important when it comes to the survival of our planet. It is our own destiny that is in peril if we fail to act on climate change. The planet will survive. Our actions are about self-preservation…
(The Pope’s encyclical states that humans have a responsibility to take action because we are God’s custodians of the earth. But here I must disagree with the Pope. It is Gaia Theory that makes the right point. Humans are not all that important when it comes to the survival of our planet. It is our own destiny that is in peril if we fail to act on climate change. The planet will survive. Our actions are about self-preservation.)
Wikipedia: L1 Energy is an oil and gas investment company controlled by the Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, through Alfa Group, and chaired by Lord Browne.
On 2 March 2015, it was announced that Lord Browne was the Executive Chairman, and would be renouncing his other roles to build a major new oil and gas company from scratch…
L1 Energy is based in Hamburg, where Browne was born, and its focus will be in acquiring assets in North America and the Far East.


The Pope’s agenda has nothing to do with temperature or ecology. He’s only interested in wealth redistribution because he believes it will save humanity and he’s said that time and again. He’s acting the role of a very useful idiot considering the size of his captive audience. His choice of words and associations make it clear he despises Capitalism and successful industrialized countries and this is his chance to get even. Unfortunately instead of being a sheepherder of faith he’s nothing more than another appointed politician and bureaucrat……just like the UN….under the guise of a being a spiritual guide. Sad but obvious.

When he speaks the world listens,
On his proclamations they reflect,
Being used by politicians
Makes the church more suspect.
Serving God or the UN?
Seems like he’s made his choice,
Denying the poor cheaper energy,
I’m sure they’ll rejoice.

It sounds harsh, Mark!, but I agree with you. He’s blinded because he knows what he’s doing (thru his natural man).


oops, the Lord Browne Gay Star piece has a duplication in brackets, which should have been
(John Browne was the CEO of BP 1995-1997 and is currently the Executive Chairman of L1 Energy. He is the author of The Glass Closet, a commentary on the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people in business)

Louis Hunt

In item 24 of his encyclical, the Pope says:

If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.

Did the Pope even look at “present trends” before he wrote that sentence? If the trends of the first decade and a half of this century continue on through the rest of the century, the climate won’t change much at all. How do you get “unprecedented destruction” and “extraordinary climate change” from that? The Pope will be dead and canonized by the time he is proven wrong at the end of this century.

F. Ross

SH says “yada, yada, yada…”
PW says “aday, aday, aday…”
Please give it a rest.

Mike Henderson


It’s so nice to know the parents are in charge here…
[???? .mod]

M Courtney

I think John Klug is suggesting that the anger expressed in the comments above is akin to temper tantrums from teenage tearaways.
And that they should have been sent to bed without any supper.
Or at least, I’m suggesting that.

Not exactly what I was thinking, but this works easily as well for me (talk about reading between the lines!). 🙂

Do you want to re-interpret the 2 previous comments to mine?


Does the Pope know?
Unfortunately, the temperature in the lower troposphere falling since 1998 and will fall further. El Niño is weakening, and AMO decline. This is proof that CO2 does not work, because the CO2 is in the troposphere.

Dr. Strangelove

The Encyclical on climate change is a waste of time. The Pope should do something more productive. Where is the Encyclical on pedophile priests?
Pope Francis has revealed that around one in every 50 Catholic priests is a paedophile.
Condemning the issue as a ‘leprosy’ which infects the Church, the Pontiff was yesterday reported as claiming that even bishops and cardinals are among the ‘2 per cent’ carrying out child abuse.
He also said that many more in the Church are guilty of covering it up, adding: ‘This state of affairs is intolerable.’
In his interview, Francis was quoted as saying: ‘The Church is fighting for the eradication of the habit and for education that rehabilitates.
‘But this leprosy is also present in our house. Many of my colleagues who are working against it tell me that paedophilia inside the Church is at the level of 2 per cent.’
He said that the figures supplied by Church officials were supposed to reassure him, but added: ‘But I have to say that they do not reassure me by any means.
‘On the contrary, I find them deeply concerning. Among the 2 per cent who are paedophiles are even bishops and cardinals.’
Last week the Pope said the Catholic Church had been guilty of ‘complicity’ in covering up what he called ‘despicable actions’ and ‘grave sins’.