Nicolaus Copernicus surmised that the Earth rotated around the sun in about 1514, and no one killed him for thinking that. When Galileo later declared that Copernicus was right, and that the Bible was therefore wrong…the Catholic Church told him (and I’m paraphrasing here):

“Hey, man. We all know you’re probably correct about this. We concede that you’re a wizard, and what you’re saying makes sense. But you gotta let us explain this stuff to the rest of the world very, very slowly. We can’t suddenly tell every pasta-gorged plebeian in rural Italy that we live in a heliocentric universe. It will blow their minds and fuck up our game. Just be cool for a while.”

- Chuck Klosterman – But What If We’re Wrong?