Their vain presumption of knowing all can take beginning solely from their never having known anything; for if one has but once experienced the perfect knowledge of one thing, and truly tasted what it is to know, he shall perceive that of infinite other conclusions he understands not so much as one.
I am inclined to think that the authority of Holy Scripture is intended to convince men of those truths which are necessary for their salvation, which, being far above man's understanding, can not be made credible by any learning, or any other means than revelation by the Holy Spirit.
Being infinitely amazed, so do I give thanks to God, Who has been pleased to make me the first observer of marvelous things, unrevealed to bygone ages.
The Grand Duke [of Tuscany] ...after observing the Medicaean plants several times with me ... has now invited me to attach myself to him with the annual salary of one thousand florins, and with the title of Philosopher and Principal Mathematicial to His Highness; without the duties of office to perform, but with the most complete leisure; so that I can complete my Treatises...
The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens.
I would beg the wise and learned fathers (of the church) to consider with all diligence the difference which exists between matters of mere opinion and matters of demonstration. ... [I]t is not in the power of professors of the demonstrative sciences to alter their opinions at will, so as to be now of one way of thinking and now of another. ... [D]emonstrated conclusions about things in nature of the heavens, do not admit of being altered with the same ease as opinions to what is permissible or not, under a contract, mortgage, or bill of exchange.
But, because my private lectures and domestic pupils are a great hinderance and intteruption of my studies, I wish to live entirely exempt from the former, and in great measure from the latter. ... in short, I should wish to gain my bread from my writings.
I am certainly interested in a tribunal in which, for having used my reason, I was deemed little less than a heretic. Who knows but men will reduce me from the profession of a philosopher to that of historian of the Inquisition!
What has philosophy got to do with measuring anything? It's the mathematicians you have to trust, and they measure the skies like we measure a field.
One can understand nature only when one has learned the language and the signs in which it speaks to us; but this language is mathematics and these signs are methematical figures.
That sculpture is more admirable than painting for the reason that it contains relief and painting does not is completely false. ... Rather, how much more admirable the painting must be considered, if having no relief at all, it appears to have as much as sculpture!
The Universe is a grand book which cannot be read until one first learns to comprehend the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics.
I do not know what to say in a case so surprising, so unlooked for and so novel.
The number of fixed stars which observers have been able to see without artificial powers of sight up to this day can be counted. It is therefore decidedly a great feat to add to their number, and to set distinctly before the eyes other stars in myriads, which have never been seen before, and which surpass the old, previously known stars in number more than ten times.
Spots are on the surface of the solar body where they are produced and also dissolved, some in shorter and others in longer periods. They are carried around the Sun; an important occurrence in itself.
The number of people that can reason well is much smaller than those that can reason badly. If reasoning were like hauling rocks, then several reasoners might be better than one. But reasoning isn't like hauling rocks, it's like, it's like racing, where a single, galloping Barbary steed easily outruns a hundred wagon-pulling horses.
It has always seemed to me extreme presumptuousness on the part of those who want to make human ability the measure of what nature can and knows how to do, since, when one comes down to it, there is not one effect in nature, no matter how small, that even the most speculative minds can fully understand.
Alas! Your dear friend and servant Galileo has been for the last month hopelessly blind; so that this heaven, this earth, this universe, which I by my marvelous discoveries and clear demonstrations had enlarged a hundred thousand times beyond the belief of the wise men of bygone ages, henceforward for me is shrunk into such a small space as is filled by my own bodily sensations.
Well, since paradoxes are at hand, let us see how it might be demonstrated that in a finite continuous extension it is not impossible for infinitely many voids to be found.
It was granted to me alone to discover all the new phenomena in the sky and nothing to anybody else. This is the truth which neither envy nor malice can supress.