Sunday, April 07, 2019

Lines of Significance

I read an article the other day about one of my Berkeley professors, John Heilbron. I should say that I stumbled upon the article because I was not looking for anything remotely like it. The article, by Geoff Manaugh, concerned Heilbron's discovery that the great cathedrals of Europe had served as observatories. Manaugh titled his article "Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls: After centuries of war, Catholicism and science reconciled over meridian lines." I suspect that Manaugh missed one of Heilbron's points, namely, that the warfare-between-science-and-religion motif is much overdone. I was also amused that Manaugh initially thought that the Church had executed Galileo. Other than these misunderstandings, the article is pretty good.



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