GREATPURPLESHARK wrote:True ! And the fact that many people were jailed or even killed for promoting the theory of heliocentrism over the course of more than a century kind of reminds of the fact of religion’s eternal opposition to scientific progress and highlights that other guy’s question about what harm does religion do.
Oh dear. I really don’t mean this in a personally offensive way but your understanding of science and history appears to be superficial and informed by pop culture rather than actual rigorous historical investigation. This is a common myth that is easily debunked by actually researching the topic. Galileo was jailed for being a **** disturber and making many political enemies, not because of some anti-science faction within the Church. His theories were questioned not because he was proposing something new (it wasn't) but because he was advocating the Copernican model as true when at the time the science was far from settled, and eventually the Kepler model proved to be more correct than the Copernican model. The Pope was actually an imprimateur on one of his previous writings. There is little to no evidence that religion suppressed science, and in fact most western science was practiced and performed by clergy.
Hello shefcurry, although I certainly appreciate that you said you are not trying to give offence with your comments, there really is no other way to view them when you insult my scientific and historical knowledge. As i stated in one of my previous posts, no-one, not even scientists, can be expected to be experts in every aspect of science that a discussion like this entails, but if you can find some scientific statement I have made that is provably false I would be grateful to be corrected, since I believe I am an honest person with a great deal of scientific knowledge, so if I am wrong I need to know where exactly. Also, as someone with an additional degree in history I am dismayed that you are attempting to impune my research abilities and describe my historical knowledge as “superficial” when I have, and am about to pass on, solid sources for the information I have offered in this thread Of course history is even more rife with interpretational disagreements than science, but I will not attempt to address the more controversial aspects of our discussion, but instead stick to established historical fact to shore up my arguments.
First, you state that Galileo was NOT “jailed” for proposing the Heliocentric theory (house arrest is somewhat less than “jail”, but he may well have been held in some location and not allowed to leave while being interrogated by the Roman Inquisition, so I can live with the term “jailed” despite it not being 100% accurate). Here is some basic information and historical research about Galileo’s experiences at the time. Please note that I have removed a lengthy section from the historical research document where it details his release, writing of a second book with much the same information but rewroked so as not to appear to endorse the heliocentric model, his subsequent arrest for it, and I have moved on to the end result of that second trial, which resulted in his house arrest.
(From Wikipedia) “The Scientific Revolution began in 1543 with Nicholas Copernicus and his Heliocentric theory and is defined as the beginning of a dramatic shift in thought and belief towards scientific theory. The Scientific Revolution began in Europe where the Catholic Church had the strongest hold.
Throughout the 16th and 17th century, the Church continued to feel threatened by the emerging ideas by the scientists, most prominently Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. In response, the church deemed them heretics and attacked some of the most defiant ones including burning Bruno at the stake and denouncing Galileos statement and placing him under house arrest until his death in 1642.”
(From “February 2016: 400 Years Ago the Catholic Church Prohibited Copernicanism”)
In February-March 1615, one Dominican friar filed a written complaint against him, and another one testified in person in front of the Roman Inquisition. They accused Galileo of heresy, for believing in the earth’s motion, which contradicted Scripture, e.g., the miracle in Joshua 10:12-13.
The Inquisition launched an investigation. Galileo’s writings were evaluated and other witnesses interrogated. The charges against Galileo were unsubstantiated. However, the officials started worrying about the status of heliocentrism and consulted a committee of experts.
On February 24, 1616, the consultants unanimously reported the assessment that heliocentrism was philosophically (i.e., scientifically) false and theologically heretical or at least erroneous.
The following day, the Inquisition, presided by Pope Paul V, considered the case. Although it did not endorse the heresy recommendation, it accepted the judgments of scientific falsity and theological error, and decided to prohibit the theory.
Thus, on February 26, the Inquisition’s most authoritative cardinal, Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), met with Galileo in private and gave him the following warning: the Church was going to declare the idea of the earth’s motion false and contrary to Scripture, and so this theory could not be held or defended. Galileo agreed to comply. (Here is where I skip ahead to the results of the second trial) The Inquisition summoned him to Rome, and the trial proceedings lasted from April to June 1633. He was found guilty of suspected heresy, for defending the earth’s motion, and thus denying the authority of Scripture.
“Suspected heresy” was not as serious a religious crime as “formal heresy,” and so his punishment was not death by being burned at the stake, but rather house arrest (for life).
The original controversy ended then, but a new one began, about the facts, causes, responsibilities, and lessons of the original one. The Church’s condemnation of Copernicanism and Galileo became the iconic illustration of the problematic relationship between science and religion.
Shefcurry, you also go on to say that there was little to no evidence to suggest that religion suppressed science, and that most science was actually done by clergy.
You are correct about much science being done by clergy. There are several important reasons for this. First, at that time (over many centuries) pretty much everyone in Europe was Christian, especially since the enormous pressure, on pain of inprisonment and even death, by the church to proclaim your faith led many to be or pretend to be religious. Secondly, scientifically curious people often found their way to the clergy because, as far as scientific research was concerned, that is where the money was ! Third, for many centuries the church was a generous donor to scientific research due in large part to their earnest beliefs. They felt that what they believed was true and that scientific research would only serve to reveal the truth of their god. It was only after many years and too many instances to count of science debunking religious claims by the thousands, particularly ones that threatened their core beliefs direct from scripture (as opposed to claims made with reasons not mentioned in the bible) that the church began to suppress nw findings, and then actively oppose scientific research that disagreed with any scriptural positions. The church was absolutely brutal in their fear and suppression tactics over many, many years.
Here are some other examples of the church opposing scientific findings, these are only a very few of a great many I could reference so if these are not enough let me know and I will take up three more pages in this thread with them:
Darwin and others have received much criticism and pressure from the church, and they seem to want to discredit evolution due to the unreasonable and unsupported belief that if they do it will somehow go back to “proving” that god did it (this is especially true for creationists that believe the genesis story of adam and eve is literally true and that it “disproves” evolution, despite evolution by natural selection being one of the most, if not the most, thoroughly proven theories in the history of science.)
- Zoology: Conrad Gessner's great zoological work, Historiae animalium, appeared in 4 vols. (quadrupeds, birds, fishes folio), 1551–1558, at Zürich, with a fifth (snakes) being issued in 1587. This work is recognized as the starting-point of modern zoology. There was extreme religious tension at the time Historiae animalium came out. Gesner was Protestant. Under Pope Paul IV it was felt that the religious convictions of an author contaminated all his writings, so – without any regard for the content of the work – it was added to the Roman Catholic Church's list of prohibited books.
The church actively refused to install lightning rods in bell towers, or to remove bell ringers from church towers during storms because they believed that god, who controlled lightning, would never strike one of his own churches, despite the enormous evidence to the contrary. Eventually, enough bell ringers were struck by lightning and injured or killed that prohibitions were put in force against allowing them to ring the bells during storms, and lightning rods were installed in most church towers.