A telescope from the collection of Marvin Bolt, the science and technology curator at New York’s Corning Museum of Glass. (Steve Pitkin/Adler Planetarium/Associated Press)

Late last night, Galileo’s skeletal hand (not the one that’s in a museum, the other one) reached out of a grave and gave me this letter. I reproduce it in full.

Dear Ted, Dear Everyone,
Please stop dragging me into this. Please, please stop.

I spent most of the afternoon spinning vigorously in my grave. If someone had hooked me up to a generator, I could have powered a small village.

I spun because Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) told the Texas Tribune the following, as transcribed by Kate Sheppard of the Huffington Post: 

On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be [that] it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.

Ted, your grasp of history is as secure as your grasp of science.

This is so wrong. This is more wrong than the geocentric model of the universe, the thing I actually spent my life debunking. (We knew Earth wasn’t flat, dang it. Columbus had already sailed!) What I battled wasn’t a ruling scientific theory, either. It was religious dogma. I am not saying that those are opposites, but mistaking one for the other is like mistaking you for someone with an understanding of climate science.

In fact, when you say “accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat” you mean “non-accepted non-scientific not-wisdom that had nothing to do with the flatness of the Earth.” Other than that, though, accurate.

If this shook hands with the literal truth of what happened, they would both vanish.

It is an honor just to be remembered. So few of us historical figures are. But how do I put this? What is an analogy that will penetrate?

It’s like saying “by opposing vaccinations, I am just following in the footsteps of a heretic called Edward Jenner, who as we all know invented the light bulb.” This is like invoking Elizabeth Cady Stanton to support Men’s Rights Activism, but crediting her with Prohibition. It’s like saying, “I am a Democrat, just like Ronald Reagan, who of course won the Civil War.” You might as well thank Tesla every time you perform dark magic.

Look, I’m the last person who wants to get dogmatic about science. If the facts stop supporting the theory, scientists will change the theory. That’s how it works. Heck, I even recanted when I was right. 

And I don’t care what you believe about the climate. I mean, I’m dead already. I don’t care what you do with the place. Just don’t use my name to lend yourself credibility. Once being forced into a lot of inaccurate statements by people whose grasp on science was lacking is enough.

Eppur si muove,

Galileo Galilei

Confidential to JB, HRC, RP, MR, RS, SW, CC or even BC or NG or SP or MO’M: Please, please get into this soon so that I do not have to write to Ted Cruz every day.