If you ask anyone to name ten famous scientists, Galileo Galilei will probably appear in the top five, perhaps even the top three. He’s usually credited as the “Father of Modern Science,” rightly so given the huge number of subjects he covered. He was an astronomer, a physicist, a natural philosopher, an engineer, and, according to Ted Cruz’s recent comparison, a climate change denier.
During an interview with the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, the wannabe theocrat defended his climate change denying position by comparing himself with Galileo when challenged on it by reporter Jay Root.
According to Cruz:
I’m a big believer that we should follow the science and follow the evidence. If you look at global warming alarmists, they don’t like to look at the actual facts and the data. The satellite data demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years.
Cruz trotted out the old lie that environmentalists and people who don’t want our society facing an existential threat are seeking to impose “government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.”
He then compared himself to Galileo, saying that, “Today the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-earthers. You know it used to be: ‘It is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat.’ And this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.”
Except another famous Italian, Pythagoras (who moved to Magna Gracia in 530 BCE), proved the Earth was round several thousand years before Galileo even existed, and a few centuries years after that, a Greek by the name of Eratosthenes figured the Earth’s diameter to be roughly 39,690km, an error of about 1.6%. Eratosthenes’ measurements were accurate enough that had Christopher Columbus gone with them instead of assuming the world was smaller, Columbus would have realized he landed in a previously uncharted land instead of assuming it was India.
I don’t think it was ever accepted scientific wisdom the world is flat, even Aristotle accepted a spherical earth; Cruz appears to be conflating science with the Bible, which does say the world is flat, and is wrong because of it.
Ted Cruz seems to me like the kind of guy who thinks the Earth is a sphere. Which, by the way, is also wrong. Just like everything else he says.
[h/t Ed Schultz]