30 JUNE 2001, Page 32

Astronomical error

From Professor Peter Geach Sir: It is a matter of historical record that the opinion for which Galileo was suspected of formal heresy was that the sun is the unmoving centre of the universe. His correspondence shows that he did hold this opinion; and the opinion is false. It is irrelevant that his opponents were wrong about other questions. As for his saying about the Earth Eppur si muove', this is just scientific hagiography.

Peter Geach