Thursday, June 22, 2017

Repugnance to Science: Brecht's "Life of Galileo" at the Young Vic

I had the great pleasure of seeing a timely production of Brecht's Life of Galileo at the Young Vic.
Before his troubles with the Church, Galileo has a Silicon Valley vibe:
"When a young man in Siena, I saw how a couple of builders, after five minutes argument, replaced a thousand-year-old system for moving graniteblocks by a new and more practical arrangement of the tackle. Then andthere I knew-the old age is past and a new age is here."

Later in the play, the Cardinal Inquisitor explains to the Pope why the Church should regard science with repugnance:

" A terrible unrest has come, into the world. It is this unrest in their own minds which these men would impose on the motionless earth. They cry: the figures compel us. But whence come their figures? They come from doubt, as
everyone knows. These men doubt everything. Are we to establish human
society on doubt and no longer on faith? ‘You are my master, but I doubt if
that is a good thing.’ That is your house and your wife, but I doubt whether
they should not be mine.’ "

Climate change anyone?

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