12 April- Yuri Gagarin
12 April- Yuri Gagarin

Efficacy of Proclamations, Beliefs and Facts: how April 12 changed the world

One has to be cautious at this important period in the Christian year, Easter, that what self-proclaimed organisations of the truth teach or declare to be heresy may not, in the light of history, be correct.

It was just 454 years ago on the April 12 that an astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei, was brought before chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, who began the inquisition of Galileo for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church.

Galileo was found guilty and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Errors of fact of this magnitude are not limited to the Catholic Church but are more often than not related to one or another religion. It is relevant to note that it took the Church over 300 years to admit that maybe Galileo was right and that the Earth is not the immovable centre of the Universe, a relative fact that was known well before Galileo began his Dialogues.

But being relatively right is not protection in history, and we can only wonder what other proclamations by the churches of this planet will be realised, in the next 300 years, to be simply errors of those lacking scientific wisdom but basing their declaration of ‘heresies’ on their positions of power. Of course, we also have the proponents of false science with for instance their ongoing ‘flat earth’ theories, but that is for another day.

This brings us to 1961, April 12, yesterday, just under 400 years after the trial of Galileo commenced, when a young Russian test pilot, Yuri Gagarin flew about 300km above the earth in a space capsule, Vostok 1. Then it was only exactly another 20 years before the launch of the space shuttle. In between those milestones, the Russians and the Americans competed for control of the moon with the Americans landing first though the Russians had the first soft crewless landing.

Today, there are some who, reflecting on religious beliefs or just foolishness, still believe that none of this happened. Similarly, many follow the social media conspiracy theories that are based on false reporting and real ‘fake news’.  Are they right or wrong, deluded or illuded, or just relatively different?

Delusion has no boundaries in time and only death can relieve the deluded of their sins of omission. Interestingly April 12 marks the death of a man of great illusion for his country and the world at large, yet a man whose last days maybe were tinged with delusion.

That man was FDR, Franklin D. Roosevelt. His death came not long after the famous Yalta meetings with Churchill and Stalin, the practical outcomes of which still trouble the world today and provide evidence of delusion that humans in power have about goodwill. Churchill, had been the same man who sent so many thousands of Australians and New Zealanders to their death alongside the defending Turks on the shores of Gallipoli in April 1915.

The only reality is … yesterday? When April 12 changed the world.

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