KOSSHER - Galileos Views on Science, Scripture, and Truth...

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Galileo’s Views on Science, Scripture, and Truth Galileo made his first foray into the field of astromony with his 1610 publication The Sidereal Messenger . His findings found staunch support in The Church and its most eminent patrons, in particular Father Odo van Malecite. But the response to Galileo’s scholarship was about to take a turn for the worse. Following his move to Florence, Galileo’s dabbling in Copernicanism drew vehement criticism from philosophers of the Scholastic school of thought, who contended that Scholasticism was an axiomatic truth. This tension subsequently led to a series of heated debates, which finally culminated into the accusation that Galileo was a heretic. This prompted Galileo to write his “Letter to Castelli” (1613) and later the “Letter to Christina” (1615). In these letters, Galileo takes a defensive stance and asserts that Copernicanism is a valid viewpoint. Additionally, he warns that the Church and its image for all posterity could be endangered, were it to censor scientific findings that ran counter to their own beliefs. Many of Galileo’s contemporaries believed that the Earth was fixed at the center of the universe and that the Sun circled around it. Given their belief, these philosophers invoked several Biblical passages to support their anti-Copernacist stance. Of these Biblical passages, perhaps most noteworthy is the Joshua passage. However, consider Galileo’s prior study of Joshua, it immediately occurred to him that he could not possibly frame the concept of geocentricism in such a way that it would be feasible vis-à-vis Biblical scripture. This realization prompted Galileo to propose an alternative relationship between science and Scripture, one in which “biblical interpretation depended on physical investigation” (9).
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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KOSSHER - Galileos Views on Science, Scripture, and Truth...

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