All Those Great Scientists Burned at the Stake...

Add a website analyzing Grateful Dead song lyrics, I ran across the following comment:

"'That's it for the other one' always made me think of the greats who were burned for believing 'controversial' beliefs that have since become accepted fact."

I think this is notable because of how widespread this nonsense is. I actually encountered a PhD economist who casually threw out the “fact” that “lots of great scientists were burned at the stake.”

I can think of exactly one figure who might, by some stretch, be called a scientist, who was burned at the stake: Giordano Bruno. And the only charge against him somewhat connected to a scientific idea regarded his belief in an infinity of  “worlds,” hardly something that has become an “accepted fact.”

One person, who was not even really a scientist, but more a speculative cosmologist. And yet educated people continue to believe that lots of scientists were killed for their findings.

I even ran across one person online who contended that people were killed for “denying the earth is flat,” something that every educated person in the Middle Ages knew was not true.

Ah, propaganda!


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