Question - how many of you have heard of the name 'Simon Marius' before? I can tell you for a fact that I was 'today years old' when I found out that someone had discovered the moons of Jupiter, completely independently, at almost the exact same time as Galileo.
How crazy is it that two men, in two different countries, could make almost the identical discovery at the exact same time over 400 years ago using equipment that was so basic... but only one of them was noted in the history books as having a massive impact on our understanding of our solar system.
From his discovery of the moons of Jupiter, Galileo went on to support the Copernican theory that the Sun was in fact the centre of the solar system and that the Earth merely orbited around it and not the other way as believed by the Church. The Roman Inquisition first demanded he abandoned his belief of 'heliocentrism' in 1616, 6 years after he had discovered the first piece of evidence to prove this theory. In 1633 he was forced to recant his views, going against everything that he had discovered through Science and state that he believed that the Earth was the centre of the solar system and was sentenced to life under house arrest until he died in 1642.
It wasn't until much later, in 1687, when Isaac Newton's laws of motion were pulbished, that an explanation for Kepler's laws for theory of heliocentrism began to be accepted by the general public - but still not by the Church!! Fast forward over 300 years to 1992 and Pope John Paul II FINALLY declared that Galileo was in fact correct and should have never been found guilty of heresy.
The thing that comes to mind when I look at this piece of history is what we are facing today. The evidence was there... identified by MULTIPLE scientists who were working INDEPENDENTLY in COMPLETELY DIFFERENT countries... but no one listened. We have been hearing from climate scientists for years that what we are doing to our Earth is causing irreversible damage - but people (unfortunately it's mostly those with 'power') choose not to listen. I don't know whether they are scared... if they don't believe it, it can't be true? But I really, really hope that the events that are taking place in Australia at the moment provide these 'non-believers' with the wake up call they need to realise that something needs to be done.