Galileo Galilei Comes Back to Italy — Science and Transhumanism Under Attack

 

Scientists Found Guilty

[Editor’s note: Six Italian scientists and one government official were found guilty recently of multiple manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in L’Aquila Italy in 2009. See this excellent article in Nature for more information]

The Italian and scientific international community has been left shocked by the sentencing to six years in prison and to a fine more than 7 million Euro for the members of the “Great Risks Commission” (GRC) regarding the earthquake in the city of Aquila in 2008.

Photo Credit Alessandro Giangiulio (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandro_giangiulio)

The Presidency of Council must also pay together with GRC.

The case is about the lack of a public declaration regarding the possibility of a “Big One” earthquake that the Italian Judges believe are the duties of the same Commission.

The accusation was even of accidental murders and injuries.

As you know there is no scientific possibility to predict seismic events like earthquakes. [See Radon To Predict Earthquakes? Most Scientists Still Skeptical]

In the country of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno, martyrs of Science, this fact seems to signal the return to a period of dark ages. I, as physicist and politician, have made several press communications, letters, articles and institutional actions regarding this question.

Science has no institutional duties, but it must give only support to decision makers; and so we can’t expect any more from scientists even if it is clear that judges cover the spaces that politics sometimes leave deliberately uncovered.

Consequently the President of the actual Commission Luciano Maiani, resigned in support of his former colleagues.

This issue regards the delicate theme of the relationship between Science, Politics and Society, and prejudices–in my opinion- the possibilities, in the future, to express an opinion about these kinds of events.

 

Transhumanism Under Attack

Unfortunately I must also mention a rude article of the Italian newspaper “Il Foglio”, Mr transhumanist: He played with the Bees, teaches Seraphicum and wants to improve the speciesby its director Giuliano Ferrara that is infamously known for his backward positions against Science and Technology in general and Transhumanism in particular.

After this article I was called by Vatican University of Seraphicum, in Rome, where I taught for 3 years “energy and environment”; they told me that I was dismissed without notice because very high authorities of Vatican were very angry with me (perhaps the Pope Benedetto XVI). In Italy, Catholic Church doesn’t pay taxes to Italian State.

— Giuseppe Vatinno

 
The Trial of Giordano Bruno by the Roman Inquisition. Bronze relief by Ettore Ferrari on the base of his bronze statue of Bruno, Campo de’ Fiori, Rome, 1880

 

6 Comments

  1. Let me get this straight, are you seriously saying that you were fired because you were a transhumanist? What odd times we live in!

  2. According to Nature, that isn’t correct. The only person that actually gave an assurance was Bernardo De Bernardinis, then deputy director of the Civil Protection Department, who reportedly stated, “the scientific community tells me there is no danger because there is an ongoing discharge of energy”. Again, according to Nature, several of the indicted scientists consider this statement to be scientifically incorrect. There are valid questions about how scientists communicate information to non-specialists especially when the information is incomplete and also has immediate consequence of this sort. That is quite different however from indicting scientists for erroneous theories or poor communications. The risk of shutting down scientific communication is too great to allow this to be a consequence of such errors.

    More details here: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110914/full/477264a.html

    “Unnerving though these clusters may be, experts agree that seismic swarms rarely precede major earthquakes. In 1988, seismic engineer Giuseppe Grandori, now professor emeritus at the Polytechnic of Milan, and his colleagues published a retrospective analysis of seismic swarms in three other earthquake-prone Italian localities (G. Grandori et al. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 78, 1538–1549; 1988). They concluded that a medium-sized shock in a swarm forecasts a major event within several days about 2% of the time, and Grandori says that the same was probably true for the region around L’Aquila.”

    • “They concluded that a medium-sized shock in a swarm forecasts a major event within several days about 2% of the time, and Grandori says that the same was probably true for the region around L’Aquila.”

      Problem is, people who don’t work with them constantly have no understanding of probablity. If you tell the average person something has a “2% chance” of happening they’ll act as though it was 0 and throw a fit when it occurs.

  3. The verdict was not because they had failed to predict the earthquake, but because they gave false assurances that there would be no earthquake. So all this nonsense about Italy slipping back into the Dark Age is just that.

  4. It’ the death of the Renassiance and the slide back to the Dark Ages all over again.

  5. This doesn’t bode well for Europe at all. What’s next? A total ban on all public internet access that allows free thinking?

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