By Holly Tucker
There are some books that are just too good not to mention. Galileo Goes To Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion, edited by Ronald L. Numbers, is one of them.
Just out from Harvard University Press, Galileo tackles some of the enduring legends in the history of science. To wit:
*That the Medieval Christian Suppressed the Growth of Science
*That the Medieval Church Prohibited Human Dissection
*That Galileo was Imprisoned and Tortured for Advocating Copernicanism
*That Rene Descartes Originated the Mind-Body Distinction
*That Evolution Destroyed Darwin's Faith in Christianity--until He Reconverted on His Deathbed
*That Creationism is a Uniquely American Phenomenon
The book debunks 25 myths in all--and the short chapters are written by top scholars in the history of science, medicine, and religion. This is one of those brilliant books that appeals to folks outside of the halls of academe, while also showcasing the talent within it.
For folks trying to separate fact from fiction, Galileo Goes to Jail is one very enjoyable and informative read.