Lesson Plan

Galileo and the Inevitability of Ideas

Modern Persian Astrolabe.
Photo caption

Modern Persian Astrolabe.

Galileo has long stood as an emblem of intellectual freedom and the triumph of truth over superstition. Yet his achievements can also help students recognize the contingency of even the most inevitable-seeming historical developments and how the consequences of historic turning-points extend into our lives today.

Guiding Questions

How did Galileo change the ways in which people and institutions imagined the world?

How have the arguments surrounding Galileo's ideas continued to stir debate in the world?

Learning Objectives

Evaluate the historical significance of Galileo's scientific achievements.

Assess the element of "inevitability" in our perception of historical developments.

Examine the values underlying historic choices.