During the 1500's Aristotle, an ancient philosopher believed that the Sun moved around the Earth. He believed the center of the universe was a static Earth, the home of man and that the Sun was one of many heavenly bodies that circled endlessly around the Earth. This philosophy was widely accepted by the Catholic Church. The Vatican believed that astronomy was an investigation of God’s work. The sky was used as a calendar to give spiritual significance to Aristotle’s Earth centered astronomy. Another philosopher of the time Ptolemy believed the Earth was solid and unmoving and developed the Ptolemaic system filled with geometrical devices.
In 1540 a Polish clergyman, Nicholas Copernicus developed the idea that the Sun, not the Earth was at the center of the universe. He described the Sun as a royal throne ruling the planets that orbited it. The Copernican system stated the Earth never stood still and moved in two separate motions. The Earth revolved around the Sun each year and spun on it own axis once each day. No one b...
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...y the world in ten days without reason. Faith without reason is blind acceptance. We need reason or evidence to support our faith.
Galileo was a Catholic and believed in God throughout his life. “I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use. [Galileo Galilei]” Galileo used his intelligence and reason to revealed new truths about the universe. He was a man of courage and strong convictions. It wasn’t until 1992 that the Catholic Church "vindicated" Galileo by Pope John Paul II. The Pope issued a formal apology for every one of the mistakes committed by the Catholic Church over the last 2,000 years of the churches history. He never specifically apologized to Galileo.
PBS, Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
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