Why is Galileo’s theory today so uncontroversial? Does it not challenge sacred scriptures and contradict the specialness of mankind similar to evolutionary theory?
Why are the words of Augustine, which Galileo took to heart, unheeded by so many theists today?
It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.
–De Genesi ad literam 1:19–20, Chapt. 19 [AD 408]
Should scientists work unencumbered by religious predilections, or should scientific discoveries and conclusions be reviewed for acceptability by religious authorities?
Given the 400-year gap between Galileo’s punishment and the Church’s contrition, should we expect to see an embrace of Darwin by religious people in 250 years’ time?