But the whole image of being 'anti-science' is fallacious (at least you knew to mention Bruno--most people hold up the Galileo issue as the definitive "proof" of the anti-science leanings of the Church and fail to come up with even ONE other instance). The Galileo affair can be taken as evidence of the PRO-science leaning of the Church--turning 1500 years of accepted scientific fact over because one man said he had proof but couldn't produce any, makes no sense no matter WHAT age you live in. Galileo taught as fact that which he couldn't prove was fact. Proof was all the Church was after. As you mentioned, the disconnect comes in the speed with which the Church acknowledged the proof. There was not sufficient proof until Newton, at which time the Church should have reversed, which it didn't.
As for the Letter to the Grand Duchess, it is actually something I am going to be giving my students on Tuesday...
Hmmm. That's a pretty bold statement.
Given that the Church used force to quiet Galileo, it's also a very hard one to support.