Quote of the Day (David Miller)

Science was the best vehicle for determining whether Galileo was right. Church leaders who feared the crumbling of their Aristotelian theologies were not the best persons to make such a determination. Likewise, the discipline of history is the best vehicle for determining the historicity of Adam and Eve. Church leaders who fear the crumbling of their evangelical theologies are not the best persons to make such a determination.

– David Miller, “Regarding the Evangelical Kerfuffle about the Historicity of Adam and Eve” on his blog Divine Salve

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  • Just Sayin’

    Aristotelian (-Thomistic) theologies are alive and well, and living in the Catholic Church!

  • Andom

    can someone tell us when the first real scientific evidence of the Earth movement was found by scientists?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    The decisive evidence came after Galileo, yet of course some evidence was there before, and so it is hard to specify a precise time for the “first real scientific evidence.” Perhaps if you could clarify what sort of information you are really looking for, that would help.

  • Gakuseidon

    David Miller: Science was the best vehicle for determining whether Galileo was right. Church leaders who feared the crumbling of their Aristotelian theologies were not the best persons to make such a determination.

    The scientists of Galileo’s day DID question Galileo’s theories. The myth that this was simply “science vs religion” appears to have been created in the 19th Century, along with many other similar myths.

    From the Galileo Wiki page:

    “Galileo’s championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system.[10] He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax…”

    “For Galileo, the tides were caused by the sloshing back and forth of water in the seas as a point on the Earth’s surface speeded up and slowed down because of the Earth’s rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun. Galileo circulated his first account of the tides in 1616, addressed to Cardinal Orsini.”

    “Galileo dismissed as a “useless fiction” the idea, held by his contemporary Johannes Kepler, that the moon caused the tides. Galileo also refused to accept Kepler’s elliptical orbits of the planets, considering the circle the “perfect” shape for planetary orbits.”

    Also Tim O’Neill comments on “the Myth” of science vs religion on his blog, here: http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/10/gods-philosophers-how-medieval-world.html

    “As mentioned above, no manifestation of “the Myth” is complete without the Galileo Affair being raised. The proponents of the idea that the Church stifled science and reason in the Middle Ages have to wheel him out, because without him they actually have absolutely zero examples of the Church persecuting anyone for anything to do with inquiries into the natural world. The common conception that Galileo was persecuted for being right about heliocentrism is a total oversimplification of a complex business, and one that ignores the fact that Galileo’s main problem was not simply that his ideas disagreed with scriptural interpretation but also with the science of the time. Contrary to the way the affair is usually depicted, the real sticking point was the fact that the scientific objections to heliocentrism at the time were still powerful enough to prevent its acceptance. Cardinal Bellarmine made it clear to Galileo in 1616 that if those scientific objections could be overcome then scripture could and would be reinterpreted. But while the objections still stood the Church, understandably, was hardly going to overturn several centuries of exegesis for the sake of a flawed theory.”


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