Galileo, the Church, and the Sciences and Humanities.

Galileo pursued some knowledge, and presented it to the priestly class of Knowers tasked with Knowing, and they told him to fuck off.

First, the Galileo affair was pretty unique, which is why is ends up being the example quoted again and again. Second, again, while you may have a point about the power hold of institutions on epistemology, your example is so oversimplified and straight up wrong in all of its assumptions just to give a 'pat' lesson instead of engaging with the actual situation.

That is absolutely untrue. It both mixes up some false idea that Galileo was working on 'secular science' outside the bounds of the Church, that 'the priestly class' were conducting natural sciences under some other some competing epistemology, and gets the reaction of the Church wrong.

The cartoon story of Galileo being a rogue scientist who brazenly took on the established "knowledge keeping institution" from the outside is false. But it tells a pat and anachronistic narrative about the scientists vs the superstitious priests that ends up borrowing more from modern day American Fundamentalist Protestantism or the Scopes Monkey Trials than anything going on in 16th century Italy.

"the priestly class of Knowers tasked with Knowing" is a nonsensical rendering in regards to any discussion of the natural sciences.

If you asked the Church, they would have told you that the process they were undertaking was perfect!

No they wouldn't have... The fucking university that Galileo worked at was founded by a pope and was a thoroughly Catholic institution during Galileo's time. The reason Galileo got into controversy and that it was of general interest to the Church was because the Church and much clergy were thoroughly involved in doing science.

The Church was absolutely wrong in the Galileo affair, and DID invoke scripture as an argument, but you are framing it in the populist narrative that somehow Galileo was operating in some secular framework that the Church was institutionally opposed to, which is entirely false.

Again, while the Church treated Galileo wrongly and his punishment was not cool, this is still constantly blown to cartoonish degrees. Galileo was allowed to pursue and write about his heliocentric ideas and the details of his ultimate suppression really had as much to do with politics and egos as anything else.

Yes, you certainly try to draw that very conclusion, but you extend it to being a point about epistemological suppression, which is false in this case. Galileo was not punished or sidelined for bringing about an epistemological shift.

They set out to understand the world as God created it,


and he told us all about how.

Not with the dichotomy that you are implying or drawing a narrative with. The 16th century Catholics Church was not a 20th century American Bible fundamentalist, no matter what your internet atheism edgewars have taught you. Fuck here's St. Augustine weighing in over 1000 years earlier:

"Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances,... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, lest the unbeliever see only ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn."


If something looks like it fits, glory to god, if something looks off, appearances can be decieving.

Again, this can be certainly rendered accurate with the proper context and nuance, none of which you have here. The way it is framed in your story is completely at odds with the Church's relationship with scientific, astronomical, and mathematical inquiry at the time.

The process by which the Church learned things, knew things, and acted on those things was leading them to investigate fruitless avenue, "know" false things, and make bad policy.

Once more, not really true. Galileo is a common example because of how unique and high profile his situation was. The church was actually responsible for a tremendous amount of fruitful progress in the sciences and humanities.