Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Simple Galileo Fallacy

I frequently hear those on the fringe say that while there is no evidence for their claims, they are in good company. Galileo was called a crank in his day, but he was right. By that logic homoeopathy, for example, must be right as well. Let me take a moment to pop that absurd little bubble.

Galileo's public support of heliocentrism was, indeed, harshly criticised by many, as is homeopathy now. But like the wild-eyed incredulous, anti-science alternative medicine movement, Galileo was also maligned mostly by the anti-science lunatic fringe. Scientists generally agreed with him because his arguments had logic, reason, and evidence. Those who rejected him and his ideas were those who rejected, or were afraid of, science. Just like the Alt-Med people. The homeopaths are not in good company. Do the cranks think before they speak? I don't think so either.

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