Galileo, Inchofer, and Popper

From Galileo by John L. Heilbron

p. 318 ‘However, false is not useless. The motion supposed by Copernicus can be employed in calculations, and might even be useful to the faith if mathematicians emphasized their falsity along with their utility. Here Inchofer had in mind the minor truth later rediscovered  by Karl Popper: “mathematicians [should] … work more and more toward trying to falsify theories rather than to defend them“. To this anticipation of modern epistemology Inchofer added a pinch of ancient wisdom, Urban’s Simple in the words of the Preacher: “no man can find out the work that God maketh from beginning to end.”‘


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