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Giordano Bruno: A Martyr, Yes, but Not for Science


On a new episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid continues his conversation with historian of science Michael Keas about Keas’s new book Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion.

Download the podcast or listen to it here.

In Chapter 4, Professor Keas explodes the myth that Giordano Bruno was a martyr for science, as science popularizers such as Neil deGrasse Tyson make him out to be. Bruno was indeed burned at the stake in 1600 for disagreeing with the Roman Catholic Church — which Keas heartily agrees was a bad move on the Church’s part.

But Bruno was not executed for his view that we live in a vast universe with vast numbers of planets. Rather, he was burned for his religious view that an infinite God had to make the universe that way — and that everyone’s soul “transmigrates” to other planets after death, rather than meeting a final judgment. Tune into learn more from Keas about this and other details about the Bruno myth, and the true history it obscures.

Photo: Monument to Giordano Bruno, Rome, by Francesca Soria [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons.