Galileo on Trial: A brief look at what it is like to argue with mainstream economists

“Galileo. You are hereby charged with the crime of continued support of the theories of Copernicus – namely, heliocentrism, which the church has declared to be both heresy and nothing new. What say you?”

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

“Now be careful, Galileo. Are you telling this Inquisition that we must listen to our own senses, reason and intellect?”

“I am.”

“Galileo! We must never listen to our own senses, reason and intellect. We must listen to holy mother church. And holy mother church is the orthodoxy and its teachings are followed by people around the world.”

“That is an appeal to authority.”

“No idea what that means.”

“It means that because you are the orthodoxy and your teachings are followed by people around the world, we must automatically assume you are correct. I question your veracity.”

“What’s your point?”

“My point is that just because a majority believe something doesn’t necessarily make it so.”

“So? We already knew all of this.”

“If you knew this already, why then did you appeal to authority?”

“No idea what that means. But why are you questioning this inquisition’s veracity?”

“Because, you ignore your own God-given senses, reason and intellect in favor of mysticism.”

“That’s unfair and wide of the mark! You are going too far.”

“It is mysticism. Copernicus was right. Science demonstrates that the Earth indeed goes around the sun. Look, I mean no harm. All I want is to uncover the reality. If you would just consider my work on..”

“Get to the point.”

“If you’d quit interrupting me for a moment, I’d…”

“What’s your point?”

“That the sun is at the center.”

“You keep saying this, but what is your point?”

“Now you are being disingenuous.”

“Again, that’s going too far. Your attack on this Inquisition as being disingenuous doesn’t look good on science, you know. Tell us, Galileo: Why did you ignore the angels which push the heavenly bodies around the Earth and instead question our veracity?”

“There are no angels which push the heavenly bodies around the Earth. Heavenly bodies go around the sun.”

“You keep saying this. Get to the point.”

“Sir, you very well know what my point is.”

“No, I do not know what your point is. Obviously.”

“Geocentrism is a fantasy model of the solar system. You can neither add to it nor modify it in any way that will result in anything meaningful.”

“Geocentrism theory explains things just fine without Heliocentrism. Besides, your Heliocentrism theory isn’t robust.”

“How is a scientifically-based, empirical and observational evidence-supported description of reality not robust? My telescope provides clear evidence that you are wrong.”

“You are not allowed to criticize holy mother church’s Geocentrism theory unless you have a better explanation for the motion of heavenly bodies.”

“But I do! Heliocentrism.”

“And as I said, it’s not robust.”

“That is rationalization. An attempt to justify continued reliance on a failed theory that is in keeping with your religious beliefs.”

“No idea what that means.”

“Look, the sun is clearly a large ball of fire that provides light and heat for the Earth. Good so far?”

“This is nothing new. Everyone already knew this.”

“If it lights and warms the Earth, then it must also provide light and heat for all of the planets.”

“Get to the point.”

“The planets also move in the heavens. I have observational evidence from my telescope which shows the moons going around Jupiter. So, firstly, why would they do that if everything goes around the Earth?”

“What’s your point?”

“Jupiter is large and the moons are much smaller. That implies that it is entirely possible for smaller heavenly bodies to go around another larger body.”

“Get to the point.”

“Since the sun is the source of light and heat, it is entirely possible that the object is not only large, but much larger than all other heavenly bodies and so, all heavenly bodies are going around the source of heat and light. If you then apply math to that premise, you’ll discover that the observed motion of heavenly bodies is dependent on the sun.”

“No idea what that means.”

“Oh my God! This is just like talking to one of those dolls that has a string you pull. ‘The Earth goes around the sun.’ Pull string: ‘What’s your point?’ ‘My point is the Earth goes around the sun!’ Pull string: ‘No idea what that means.’ Totally ridiculous!”

“That’s unfair!”

“Explain to me how that is unfair?”

“Your discussion of real effects from the sun, and the insistence on the motion of heavenly bodies being driven by the sun, is pretty dated. Copernicus already proposed this theory, which we stated at the beginning today and so, your explanation is nothing new which we’ve also stated here. You then heap unprofessional sarcasm and humor on this Inquisition. Why?”

“Copernicus was right. I have observational and empirical evidence that supports his claims.”

“No idea what that means.”

“God! You make me want to smash my head against this table.”

“What’s your point?”

“Nothing that you say concerning the motion of heavenly bodies is true.”

“Heresy! Be careful, Galileo! Again, might I remind you that holy mother church is the orthodoxy and its teachings are followed by people around the world.”

“And again, might I remind you that your statement is an appeal to authority.”

“You are asking to be placed under house imprisonment for the rest of your life, Mr. Science Man!”

“If so, will you be visiting me?”

“No, I will not! I would never visit you or even speak to you again!”

“Ok, it’s a deal. Lock me up.”

“Very well. You leave us no alternative, Galileo.”

“Heliocentrism is the alternative.”

“No idea what that means. What’s your point?”