First let's look at what Cruz said (from Talking Points Memo):
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) likened himself to Galileo as he defended his position as a climate change denier in an interview Tuesday in New York City with the Texas Tribune.Ah, yes. The cherry picked data.
Cruz, the first Republican to announce his 2016 presidential candidacy, spoke about climate change and defended his stance in the interview with Tribune political reporter Jay Root.
"I'm a big believer that we should follow the science and follow the evidence," Cruz said. "If you look at global warming alarmists, they don't like to look at the actual facts and the data. The satellite data demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years."
If one (for example the Junior Senator from Texas) were to actually follow the science and follow the evidence, that person would understand that it's a myth to say that there's been no warming for 17 years. From Politifact:
Cruz said, "Satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there's been zero warming."Someone who actually followed the evidence would know this.
Cruz does have a point: There’s been little global temperature change since 1998, and the temperatures measured are lower than what many computer models had predicted.
However, focusing on that period essentially means cherry-picking a timeframe that starts at an extremely warm year and ignores that the first decade of the 21st century -- even as it’s been stable -- has been the warmest on record. While scientists don’t deny that there’s been a recent "pause" in warming, they expect it to be a temporary trend. Not only is one anomalous period not enough to undercut longer-term projections, but other types of measurements do show evidence of continued global warming over the past two decades, including rising ocean temperatures and shrinking sea ice.
Cruz’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.
But let's get to his Galileo metaphor.
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) was an Italian mathematician, physicist, and astronomer who got into a little bit of trouble with the Roman Catholic Church for daring to assert that the Earth was not at the center of creation.
So here's where Cruz is definitely NOT like Galileo; Cruz is using cherry picked evidence to argue against a well grounded scientific theory based on mounds and mounds of scientific evidence and Galileo was using actual scientific evidence against a religious bureaucracy that had no evidence at all to support its unscientific dogma.
So what was Galileo's dispute with the Church?
He said that according to his evidence, the Earth moved around the sun.
The Church said that was impossible because The Bible says (for instance):
[T]he world is established; it shall never be moved (1 Chronicles 16:30).And that at the Battle of Jericho, God did this:
The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day (Joshua 10:13).See the problem for Galileo? The Bible clearly says (multiple times, in fact) that the earth does not move. The Bible did not say that God commanded the earth to stop spinning in order for the sun to remain in the same place in the sky but for the sun to stop moving across the sky.
The earth does not move, according to The Bible, the sun does. And if you take your Bible literally and believe that it's literally true, you have to as well.
As for Senator Ted Cruz, he misunderstands the story he's using to support his own scientific illiteracy.