Monday, January 16, 2017


My father used to tell me a story, The way my father told it, Galileo was a brilliant man of science and math, who publicly believed that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the other way around (thanks to Copernicus).  The Church did not agree with him and threatened to kill him unless he recanted. Galileo did recant, but muttered under his breathe that still the Earth moves. And here my father's eyes would light up and he would smile, proud to have taught me something. 

This is my memory of a simple version of a story. The real details are more complex and nuanced, but that isn't what has got me hung up. What is the point of the story - what was my father trying to teach me? Is it noble to recant in the face of opposition? Is it honorable to put the truth aside when your life is on the line? Or maybe not even your life, but your career or reputation? 

I have reached past a point where I can accept blindly the "truths" that were taught to me as a child. I reject the idea that those who are smartest are those who keep their heads down in the face of injustice and lies. 

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