92+ Best Galileo Galilei Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaulti de Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa. Galileo has been called the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of the scientific method”, and the “father of modern science”. Profoundly inspirational Galileo Galilei quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Galileo Galilei Quotes

Alas! Your dear friend and servant Galileo has been for the last month hopelessly blind; so that this heaven, this earth, this universe, which I by my marvelous discoveries and clear demonstrations had enlarged a hundred thousand times beyond the belief of the wise men of bygone ages, henceforward for me is shrunk into such a small space as is filled by my own bodily sensations. – Galileo Galilei

Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so. – Galileo Galilei

I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations. – Galileo Galilei

Nonetheless, it moves. – Galileo Galilei

In the sciences, the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. – Galileo Galilei

It was granted to me alone to discover all the new phenomena in the sky and nothing to anybody else. This is the truth which neither envy nor malice can suppress. – Galileo Galilei

Knowing thyself, that is the greatest wisdom. – Galileo Galilei

To be humane, we must ever be ready to pronounce that wise, ingenious and modest statement ‘I do not know’. – Galileo Galilei

Vision, I say, is related to light itself. But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it, I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass over this in silence. – Galileo Galilei

Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together. Here, at Padua, is the principal professor of philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, [telescope] which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? what shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! and to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa laboring before the grand duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky. – Galileo Galilei

Scripture is a book about going to Heaven. It’s not a book about how the heavens go. – Galileo Galilei

I cannot but be astonished that Sarsi should persist in trying to prove by means of witnesses something that I may see for myself at any time by means of experiment. Witnesses are examined in doutbful matters which are past and transient, not in those which are actual and present. A judge must seek by means of witnesses to determine whether Peter injured John last night, but not whether John was injured, since the judge can see that for himself. – Galileo Galilei

What has philosophy got to do with measuring anything? It’s the mathematicians you have to trust, and they measure the skies like we measure a field. – Galileo Galilei

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved. – Galileo Galilei

The number of the fixed stars which observers have been able to see without artificial powers of sight up to this day can be counted. It is therefore decidedly a great feat to add to their number, and to set distinctly before the eyes other stars in myriads, which have never been seen before, and which surpass the old, previously known stars in number more than ten times. – Galileo Galilei

Holy Scripture could never lie or err…its decrees are of absolute and inviolable truth. – Galileo Galilei

They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly. … Hence, they have had no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the new doctrine from the very pulpit. – Galileo Galilei

Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written. – Galileo Galilei

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. – Galileo Galilei

Nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages… – Galileo Galilei

The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens. – Galileo Galilei

Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new. – Galileo Galilei

If experiments are performed thousands of times at all seasons and in every place without once producing the effects mentioned by your philosophers, poets, and historians, this will mean nothing, and we must believe their words rather than our own eyes? – Galileo Galilei

We see only the simple motion of descent, since that other circular one common to the Earth, the tower, and ourselves remains imperceptible. There remains perceptible to us only that of the stone, which is not shared by us; and, because of this, sense shows it as by a straight line, always parallel to the tower, which is built upright and perpendicular upon the terrestrial surface. – Galileo Galilei

Measure what can be measured and make measureable what cannot be measured. – Galileo Galilei

But what exceeds all wonders, I have discovered four new planets and observed their proper and particular motions, different among themselves and from the motions of all the other stars; and these new planets move about another very large star [Jupiter] like Venus and Mercury, and perchance the other known planets, move about the Sun. As soon as this tract, which I shall send to all the philosophers and mathematicians as an announcement, is finished, I shall send a copy to the Most Serene Grand Duke, together with an excellent spyglass, so that he can verify all these truths. – Galileo Galilei

But let us remember that we are dealing with infinities and indivisibles both of which transcend our finite understanding, the former on account of their magnitude, the latter because of their smallness. – Galileo Galilei

Nature is written in mathematical language. – Galileo Galilei

It seems to me that it was well said by Madama Serenissima, and insisted on by your reverence, that the Holy Scripture cannot err, and that the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable. But I should have in your place added that, though Scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways; and one error in particular would be most grave and most frequent, if we always stopped short at the literal signification of the words. – Galileo Galilei

I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or the Moon or my glass [telescope]. – Galileo Galilei

I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them. – Galileo Galilei

There are those who reason well, but they are greatly outnumbered by those who reason badly. – Galileo Galilei

You can’t teach anybody anything, only make them realize the answers are already inside them. – Galileo Galilei

That sculpture is more admirable than painting for the reason that it contains relief and painting does not is completely false. … Rather, how much more admirable the painting must be considered, if having no relief at all, it appears to have as much as sculpture! – Galileo Galilei

With regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them. – Galileo Galilei

The vain presumption of understanding everything can have no other basis than never having understood anything. For anyone who had ever experienced just once the perfect understanding of one single thing, and had truly tasted how knowledge is accomplished, would recognize that of the infinity of other truths he understands nothing. – Galileo Galilei

Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. – Galileo Galilei

What ever the course of our lives, we should recieve them as the highest gift from the hand of God, in which equally reposed the power to do nothing whatever for us. Indeed, we should accept misfortune not only in thanks, but in infinite gratitude to Providence, which by such means detaches us from an excessive love for Earthly things and elevates our minds to the celestial and divine. – Galileo Galilei

If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon. – Galileo Galilei

The greatest wisdom is to get to know oneself. – Galileo Galilei

The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics. – Galileo Galilei

In regard to the philosophers, if they be true philosophers, i.e., lovers of truth, they should not be irritated that the earth moves. Rather, if they realize that they have held a false belief, they should thank those have shown them the truth; and if their opinion stands firm that the earth doesn’t move, they will have reason to boast than be angered. – Galileo Galilei

For my part I consider the earth very noble and admirable precisely because of the diverse alterations, changes, generations, etc. that occur in it incessantly. – Galileo Galilei

The surface of the Moon is not smooth, uniform, and precisely spherical as a great number of philosophers believe it to be, but is uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences, being not unlike the face of the Earth, relieved by chains of mountains and deep valleys. – Galileo Galilei

Nothing occurs contrary to nature except the impossible, and that never occurs. – Galileo Galilei

Wine is sunlight, held together by water. – Galileo Galilei

I am inclined to think that the authority of Holy Scripture is intended to convince men of those truths which are necessary for their salvation, which, being far above man’s understanding, can not be made credible by any learning, or any other means than revelation by the Holy Spirit. – Galileo Galilei

Two truths cannot contradict one another. – Galileo Galilei

But some, besides allegiance to their original error, possess I know not what fanciful interest in remaining hostile not so much toward the things in question as toward their discoverer. – Galileo Galilei

See now the power of truth; the same experiment which at first glance seemed to show one thing, when more carefully examined, assures us of the contrary. – Galileo Galilei

I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. – Galileo Galilei

It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon. – Galileo Galilei

In my studies of astronomy and philosophy I hold this opinion about the universe, that the Sun remains fixed in the centre of the circle of heavenly bodies, without changing its place; and the Earth, turning upon itself, moves round the Sun. – Galileo Galilei

Who would dare assert that we know all there is to be known? – Galileo Galilei

Science proceeds more by what it has learned to ignore than what it takes into account. – Galileo Galilei

Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. – Galileo Galilei

By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. – Galileo Galilei

In the long run my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their minds which, either because of its being their own or because of their having received it from some person who has their entire confidence, impresses them so deeply that one finds it impossible ever to get it out of their heads. – Galileo Galilei

I would beg the wise and learned fathers [of the church] to consider with all diligence the difference which exists between matters of mere opinion and matters of demonstration. – Galileo Galilei

They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment and growth of the arts; not their dimination or destruction. – Galileo Galilei

God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word. – Galileo Galilei

One can understand nature only when one has learned the language and the signs in which it speaks to us; but this language is mathematics and these signs are mathematical figures. – Galileo Galilei

The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go. – Galileo Galilei

The Grand Duke [of Tuscany] …after observing the Medicaean plants several times with me … has now invited me to attach myself to him with the annual salary of one thousand florins, and with the title of Philosopher and Principal Mathematical to His Highness; without the duties of office to perform, but with the most complete leisure; so that I can complete my Treatises. – Galileo Galilei

To understand the Universe, you must understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics. – Galileo Galilei

It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the bare meaning of the words is concerned. – Galileo Galilei

To excite in us tastes, odors, and sounds I believe that nothing is required in external bodies except shapes, numbers, and slow or rapid movements. … if ears, tongues, and noses were removed, shapes and numbers and motions would remain, but not odors or tastes or sounds. – Galileo Galilei

It has always seemed to me extreme presumptuousness on the part of those who want to make human ability the measure of what nature can and knows how to do, since, when one comes down to it, there is not one effect in nature, no matter how small, that even the most speculative minds can fully understand. – Galileo Galilei

Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe. – Galileo Galilei

The number of people that can reason well is much smaller than those that can reason badly. If reasoning were like hauling rocks, then several reasoners might be better than one. But reasoning isn’t like hauling rocks, it’s like, it’s like racing, where a single, galloping Barbary steed easily outruns a hundred wagon-pulling horses. – Galileo Galilei

And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will? When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the whim of others? When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please? These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin of commonwealths and the subversion of the state. – Galileo Galilei

The deeper I go in considering the vanities of popular reasoning, the lighter and more foolish I find them. What greater stupidity can be imagined than that of calling jewels, silver, and gold precious, and earth and soil base? – Galileo Galilei

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him. – Galileo Galilei

Surely, God could have caused birds to fly with their bones made of solid gold, with their veins full of quicksilver, with their flesh heavier than lead, and with their wings exceedingly small. He did not, and that ought to show something. It is only in order to shield your ignorance that you put the Lord at every turn to the refuge of a miracle. – Galileo Galilei

You may force me to say what you wish; you may revile me for saying what I do. But it moves. – Galileo Galilei

Being infinitely amazed, so do I give thanks to God, who has been pleased to make me the first observer of marvelous things, unrevealed to bygone ages. – Galileo Galilei

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use. – Galileo Galilei

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. – Galileo Galilei

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty. – Galileo Galilei

I believe that the intention of Holy Writ was to persuade men of the truths necessary to salvation, such as neither science nor other means could render credible, but only the voice of the Holy Spirit. – Galileo Galilei

But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man. – Galileo Galilei

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. – Galileo Galilei

You cannot teach a person something he does not already know; you can only bring what he does know to his awareness. – Galileo Galilei

It reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypotheses. To refute the latter I collected many proofs, but I do not publish them … I would dare to publish my speculations if there were people men like you. – Galileo Galilei

The Universe is a grand book which cannot be read until one first learns to comprehend the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics. – Galileo Galilei

Mathematics is the key and door to the sciences. – Galileo Galilei

I therefore concluded, and decided unhesitatingly, that there are three stars in the heavens moving about Jupiter, as Venus and Mercury about the Sun, which at length was established as clear as daylight by numerous other observations. – Galileo Galilei

The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. – Galileo Galilei

We must say that there are as many squares as there are numbers. – Galileo Galilei

If there were as great a scarcity of soil as of jewels or precious metals, there would not be a prince who would not spend a bushel of diamonds and rubies and a cartload of gold just to have enough earth to plant a jasmine in a little pot, or to sow an orange seed and watch it sprout, grow, and produce its handsome leaves, its fragrant flowers, and fine fruit. – Galileo Galilei

The Milky Way is nothing else, but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters. – Galileo Galilei

Philosophy itself cannot but benefit from our disputes, for if our conceptions prove true, new achievements will be made; if false, their refutation will further confirm the original doctrines. – Galileo Galilei

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