The Catholic Church, Art, Beauty and Science
It has been said that the Catholic Church was always vehemently against science. Much of the argument is based on the censure of Galileo in 1612 by Father Tommaso Caccini, who declared that Galileo could not teach his theory that the Sun sat at the center of the Universe and that each planet in our solar system traveled in an elliptical pattern. This was contrary to the church teachings that the Earth was the center if the Universe and the planets all moved in perfect circles around the Earth. When Galileo was ordered to appear before the Holy Office of Rome in 1632 his ideas put forth in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was found suspicious of heresy by a papal trial.
While Galileo had trouble with the Roman Church, not all scientists had that experience. During the Renaissance period in the 1450’s, the Catholic Church commissioned many studies. Each one was aimed at trying to find the truth of our origins and how the world works. When you look closely, it seems that what the Church was interested in finding was not just how things work, they were truly interested in discovering the true form of God, since the bible says God created man in his own image. The Church had been the keeper of all the scientific information throughout the dark ages and literature from the Renaissance attests to the Church’s obsession to understand Mother Nature, by commissioning nude statues and then dissecting the forms mathematically.
One of the most easily recognized symbols of this obsession is a work of art depicting man in a circle that is used to denote medicine in the twenty-first century. Leonardo is the artist that created that depiction. His Vitruvian Man is in the Vatican vault
collection. This means that the Church did look at mathematics and how the mathematics related to human beauty.
While I believe that Leonard and the Church were wrong in his artful representation of how to mathematically prove beauty, (as Leonardo was trying to fit an ellipses into a sphere), he did get one thing right: The origins of human life were built on the ellipsis.
Most atoms on earth are at least slightly elliptical, due to the force of gravity upon them. It is the mistakes that atoms make under gravity that led to life on earth. Solar systems that have planets in spherical orbits are believed to be dead star systems. Consequently, it is widely believed that life can only be found on solar systems with planets in elliptical orbits. The effect of the elliptical orbits on gravity is the combination that creates life as we know it.
When elliptical atoms combine, their shape causes imperfections in the stacking of the atoms. These slight imperfections are the reason that crystals grown on earth are always unique from one another. On the other hand crystals grown in micro-gravity, always form a perfect crystal. The atoms stay almost perfectly round, because gravity does not work on them. There are a few atoms that are not elliptical, but rather round and stable that can be found on Earth. One is gold, which is, of course, highly sought after.
Come Up to Beauty – Ron