Category Archives: Science

On Propaganda

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” –Winston Churchill

A comprehension on a satisfactory level of the function and mechanisms of propaganda makes you a better citizen. I always believed that propaganda should be taught in high-schools. My definition of this term is simply to disseminate a message to people through specific mediums. For many there’s no negative sign before this noun. It’s the use of it that can be characterized as positive or negative. Propaganda evolved into a science during the 20th century. Two names easily stand out: the great Vladimir Lenin and his most successful “disciple”, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Most propaganda techniques and methods still used today were created or perfected by those two masterminds.

Goebbels in his office
Goebbels in his office
Lenin in his office
Lenin in his office

Gallileo vs. The Holly Office

Galileo before the Holy Office (detail from a painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury)
Galileo before the Holy Office (detail from a painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury)

Scholars tend to forget the reason why Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church. His book on heliocentricism wasn’t a purely scientific one but touched matters of religion too. This is precisely why his “Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo” entered the list of the banned books of the Catholic Church; the harrowing –for scientists up until the 1960s (!) – “Index Librorum Prohibitorum”.Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632)

 

Only books that linked scientific discoveries with the Bible were banned.

And this is exactly why other books that could be indicated as even more subversive (like “On the origin of species” or Newton’s “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica”) were never banned…

Yes. Believe it or not, Darwin himself -although his ideas were disliked by individual priests- was never accused by the Roman Inquisition!

Galileo Galilei  (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)