Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, November 27, 2017

Redi And The Value OF Controlled Experiments

In keeping with the spirit I outlined in the last post, it's worth mentioning from time to time the work of Italians in the field of science.

Francesco Redi is one such person.

The interesting aspect of Redi's role in science - using a controlled environment to examine the theory of spontaneous generation - is that it actually shows the Church was not hostile to science as we've become way too accustomed to thanks to the misunderstood story of Galileo.

The issue wasn't that the Church felt Galileo was challenging it. On the contrary, the Church was a purveyor and promoter of science. In Galileo they were up against a stubborn and resolute individual who insisted on writing about the Copernicus Theory that the Church demanded proof and which Galileo could not deliver.

This was the crux of the dispute.

Redi was Galileo's contemporary and his work and its relationship to the Church was nothing like what Galileo endured thus lending credence that the Church was not a backward institution rooted in superstition. Perhaps, as Scientus (in link above) observes, Redi was just better at arguing his position? Interesting notion and quite possible indeed.

This is an inaccurate and incorrect view just as scholars claim the essence of Christianity is aggression and racism.

To take such a stance, in my view, is unproductive if not tragic.

In fact, Italians practically invented the scientific method. Again Scientus explains:

"It is difficult to credit any one individual with the invention of the scientific method. The development of the scientific method seems more an evolution than a discovery or invention. Although Galileo is often credited with its invention, there were well known physicists and philosophers who were advocating similar ideas and conducting similar experiments before and during his time. Galileo's writings on method focused on the demonstrative regress of his predecessors at the University of Padua and the Jesuits' Collegio Romano. Giuseppe Moletti, a professor at the University of Padua, performed and recorded a well-designed and well-controlled experiment on free fall when Galileo was only 12 years old (see Galileo's Contemporaries). Another criticism of the single inventor approach is based on the belief that craftsmen throughout the world could not have achieved such high levels of craftsmanship without using the approach described in the scientific method."

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