In response to Dr. Korfhage’s question?
I honestly think that it’s just him using grotesque imagery to voice his distaste for the new age. The part about the whore could be a reference to how he believes that people (including himself) are selling out and dumbing themselves down in order to just get by, but I think that that passage doesn’t have any deeper meaning, and is just Galileo’s way of showing how much he hates the new age. I think it also means that the new age, in comparison to the prior age, is cheaper or less pure. The “spattered in blood” aspect, I think, is referring to the Church’s absolute control over the minds of people and any deviation could result in torture or death. The portion about being splattered in blood also refers to all of the scientists who died when they attempted to share their new ideas, and also all of the others who supported them who were killed or tortured for being perceived as going against the church. I think that’s actually a literal representation rather than a metaphor. Another way to interpret this quote literally is to break down what a “whore” or prostitute is. They are selling themselves for money, which in a way is what scientists in this new age are doing, and no harm is done. However, if a prostitute is spattered in blood, it implies that whatever transaction was taking place went wrong, resulting in some kind of harm. The scientists of this time are spattered in blood because they only expected to sell their work for money, but never expected to be harmed or thrown in jail, i.e, spattered with blood.