In Chapter 4 of Unbelievable, historian of science Michael Keas explodes the myth that Giordano Bruno was a martyr for science, as science popularizers such as Neil deGrasse Tyson make him out to be. Bruno was indeed burned at the stake in 1600 for disagreeing with the Roman Catholic Church — which Keas heartily agrees was a bad move on the Church’s part. But Bruno was not executed for his view that we live in a vast universe with vast numbers of planets. Rather, he was burned for his religious view that an infinite God had to make the universe that way — and that everyone’s soul “transmigrates” to other planets after death, rather than meeting a final judgment. Tune into learn more from Keas about this and other details about the Bruno myth, and the true history it obscures. Michael Keas, a scholar who holds a PhD in the history of science, demolishes myths that have been around for centuries and are widely accepted today. He provides much-needed intellectual ammunition for religious believers tired of being portrayed as anti-science.
The medieval idea of burning people because of their religious beliefs is horrific enough, but it only adds to the tragedy to say Bruno’s death illustrates the warfare between faith and science.