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xTheDreamer's avatar

How has Galileo influenced the Church?

Asked by xTheDreamer (845 points ) November 23rd, 2010

I was wondering how Galileo has influenced the Church or to what has he influenced the Church in his era.

I only know that the Church did not liked Galileo’s theory of how the Earth rotates around the sun and not what the Church has thought it was(thus the Earth was central of the universe and other planets rotated around it) and they were very upset about this. This is how the Church reactions was.

You would hear that back in those days the Church had the power to influence the people in the society but has Galileo ever had any influence on the Church? And how so?

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14 Answers

Zyx's avatar

He tried to become a renaissance singularity but went HERESY supernova instead.

JLeslie's avatar

I think so. The Catholic church seems open to science open to the knowledge, and the scientific method. I would guess that Galileo’s perservence an connection to the Catholic church, and the conlict back then, helped pave the way for the church to pause the nex time they challenge science. Catholics seem to believe in scientific possibilities, even if they feel the science is morally wrong, it is two different things. Since evolution is not abut morality they are willing to listen. Since embryonic research seems to be connected to morality and ethics they are against it. I see some logic there, even if I disagree with the church..

PhiNotPi's avatar

Well, the scientific age strongly influenced the church. I forced it to give up a lot of its old ideas and replace them with ideas that have been scientifically verified. For example, the catholic church no longer teaches that the sun revolves around the earth. Galileo did not influence the church, but his idea became undeniably true.

Nullo's avatar

Mostly what the Church didn’t like was the way that Galileo – something of a troll – made fun of the Pope. All that they needed was an excuse.

You will not find many flat-earth geocentrists in the Church, if that helps you any.

marinelife's avatar

Galileo influenced the Reformation.

gasman's avatar

Here’s the short version:

1610 Galileo publishes observations supporting the heliocentric view of Copernicus.
1616 The Catholic church prohibits the Copernican system. Galileo is tried by the Inquisition & put permanently under house arrest.
1642 Galileo dies.
2000 Pope John Paul II issues a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church’s history, including the trial of Galileo.

AdamF's avatar

The mere fact that in the 21st century they were willing to spread dangerously stupid misinformation regarding condoms and HIV indicates that the answer to the post’s question is “not enough”. They still see scientific evidence as subservient to church dogma, even when they are in direct contradiction.

JLeslie's avatar

@AdamF What is the misinformation about HIV?

JLeslie's avatar

@AdamF That is certainly frustrating and upsetting. Equally annoying is when Surgeon General Koop wanted to get on the airwaves and talk about HIV transmition and promote condoms the conservative Christian government we had under Reagan, well at least he had to answer to the Christian right, basically told Koop they are not going to have the goverment talking about sex for a gay man’s disease. This is part of what led to Koop leaving the position, he a conservative man himself, but resposible for the country’s health, had a hard time with this conflict between him and the administration. The administration turned their backs on health safety in many ways, including not making blood platelet therapy safe for hemophilics sooner, which is a complete disgrace. The gay community and Hollywood got the word out about HIV, and later women infected by their cheating husband’s, and parents who were watching their hemophilic children die turned things around.

AdamF's avatar

Tragic. I never knew that story….but unfortunately not surprising….

Seems inevitable…if we divorce issues of morality from real human suffering and wellbeing, we readily end up in some pretty tragic places.

JLeslie's avatar

@AdamF I doubt there was any info printed about it, not sure I never tried to google it. I have a relative who worked for the Surgeon General at the time. Well, there probably is information out there about people frustrated with the governments actions, but not sure it would talk about the behind close doors comments about it being a gay disease, etc. I would bet pharmaceuticals did not want to have to take the extra step, expense, to make the platelets safe, just an assumption on my part, they probably fought regulation on it.

Hell, today there are still people pushing for abstinence only classes for our students when we should be screaming from the roof tops sex can give you cancer and AIDS, and people do die from both. The f!!king government basically did nothing about letting people know you get cancer from your boyfriend, and they have known for years, and neither did the medical establishment. Things were said like, the more sex partners you have, the higher likelihood you can get cervical cancer. That does not tell enough about specifically why, it sounds like a moral judgement. I have known since my late teens, and I am 40. Finally, a pharmaceutical company made a vaccine they want to sell, and suddenly we know HPV causes cervical cancer? Come on!

Bazaar irony, that in one of my examples I accuse pharma for blocking safety regulation, and in the next example I give them credit for getting the word out on the connection between a STD and cancer.

gasman's avatar

On the recent papal stance on condoms: cartoon

submariner's avatar

As Nullo said, Galileo was condemned not so much for what he said as the way he said it. At the time, upholding the Church’s authority was far more important to the hierarchy than the question of whether the Earth revolved around the sun or vice versa.

By the way, if Einstein is right, then the heliocentric model is no more correct than the geocentric model. So, no, Galileo’s position is not undeniably true. Those who have made Galileo into some kind of secularist saint are just as dogmatic in their thinking as the 17th century clergymen they condemn.

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