Sunday, September 13, 2020

Is Religion the Enemy of Science?

By Rebekah K

We all know the story of Galileo. Galileo is famous for trying to popularize Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the Sun around the Earth. The sinfully short version of his story is that since his Copernican model contradicted the bible, he was told by the Catholic Church not to speak of it. When Galileo could not keep this promise, he was held before the Inquisition in 1633, declared a heretic, and sentenced to spend the rest of his days in house arrest.

Galileo is remembered for his discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, if not for his heresy and punishment. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church, in this instance at least, is remembered as the mistaken, cartoonish villain who punished Galileo for something that we now know—the religious and nonreligious of us—to be essentially proven absolutely true. When you bring this up with a Catholic, however, they’re likely to say, “We’ve all made mistakes. How were they to know they were in the wrong? Heliocentrism contradicted their interpretation of Scripture at the time. We’ve since adjusted our interpretations to account for it.”

In other words, Catholics no longer hold to geocentrism, thanks to Galileo and the astronomers before him. The two have since reconciled; the Catholic Church cleared Galileo’s name of wrongdoing in 1992. Did you read that right? Yes, 1992. I doubt that it consoled Galileo much to be forgiven 350 years after his death.  Read more >>