In this Era of Dumbass Chic, we can at least console ourselves that we have gotten this far in human progress in spite of the dumbasses we celebrate on 


It was February 26, 1616 when the great astronomer Galileo Galilei was banned by the Catholic Church from teaching or defending his discovery that the Earth orbits the Sun, not the other way around.

You see, back then, Church officials knew most people were backward, illiterate and extremely superstitious, what with Europe being not so far removed from the Dark Ages and most people dying of consumption at 28, and the Catholic Church had their faithful convinced of all sorts of crazy bullshit that didn’t even have anything to do with religion or the Bible.

They just made shit up for kicks, and you had to believe it or they’d relieve you of a body part, maybe burn you at the stake for sport just to perk up a slow day.

So you can see what scholars and scientists like Galileo were up against in an age when clerics considered the Earth to be the Crown of Creation around which every other heavenly body revolved, and clerics had incredible power over life and death.

The Church had its hands full in those days, what with trying to outlaw the printing press that was spearheading the explosion of literacy that saw millions of formerly unlettered rubes finally getting to read things for themselves and letting out a collective “Heywaitaminute!” to the powers that be that had been handing them a line of bullshit their whole lives.

Then there were those pesky Protestants challenging Rome’s authority and forming new churches, popular rebellions modifying the power of royalty, and even schools being built for (gasp!) poor children in some places.

Scientists were emboldened to share their discoveries, so after some dicey years wondering if he would be the next bonfire of the Roman Inquisition, Galileo was finally free to talk shop with other scientists and share some more amazing scientific discoveries with humanity.

Next thing you know we’re curing polio and putting a guy on the moon, pretty much shutting up the Science Deniers for good and embarking on a Golden Age of Applied Science. 

Just kidding of course. The Inquisition is back, bitches, and the Anti-Science Brigade is alive, unwell in the head, and reviving conquered diseases by refusing Voodoo Vaccinations, poisoning the planet because fuck our children’s futures and, no shit, this is real, creating Flat Earth pages on social media that call the rest of us “Globetards,” just in case there’s anyone left who’s still unaware of the aggressive imbecility they do their very best to publicize. 

The only difference between Galileo’s 17th Century tormentors and today’s enemies of science is that ours get to broadcast their proud ignorance globally in nanoseconds, courtesy of a worldwide communication network provided by the people whose work they deny.

• Suggested Activities: Stick to the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.

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