Plenty of people are arrogant. An alarming number of those are fat. But very few can claim to be just as badass as Galileo Galilei. He practically invented all of science saying:
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
Galileo discovered Jupiter’s moons, sunspots, mountains on the moon and that the Milky Way is not a big milky cloud – but rather, a whole load of stars. He also dabbled in making cannons more accurate, building thermometers, and inventing the compound microscope.
Galileo knew what was going with the Earth and the Sun. The Earth orbits the Sun – and he wasn’t about to let anyone forget it. There had been those (like Copernicus) who reached the same conclusion. But no one was enough of a self-assured arrogant badass to incessantly tell everyone … until Galileo.
Galileo got permission from the pope to write a book about the heliocentric and geocentric theories of the solar system. Much like a book on creationism and evolution, it came down pretty one sided. The inquisition didn’t like that and found him “vehemently suspect of heresy”.
He defended his views, but after being tortured he reluctantly proclaimed:
I have been judged suspect of heresy, that is, of [believing] that the sun [is] in the centre of the universe and that the earth is not at the center. Wishing however, to remove from the minds of your Eminences this suspicion, I curse and detest the said errors.
After which he defiantly muttered “and yet it moves” – because he was Galileo, remember?
In the end, the inquisition banned his book and sentenced him to house arrest.
So, was that the end for Galileo? Haha … no. While under house arrest (for being a badass) Galileo invented physics. He wrote an overwhelmingly clever book on the subject. (We know it’s good because Einstein said so … and it has 5 stars on amazon.com.) Despite the reputation of physics as hard and dry; if Galileo hadn’t invented it, you might not have the glowing device you are using to read this.
He’s also in a song by Queen.