Galileo on religion and science

Topics: Bible, Religion, Faith Pages: 3 (1648 words) Published: February 15, 2015

Explain Galileo’s attempt to make science and religion compatible, with particular reference to methods of justification. How successful is he? Use Kuhn’s notion of incommensurability to investigate Galileo’s attempt to reconcile the propositions of science and religion.

There will always be a battle between religion and science, it is a truth universally acknowledged. Galileo attempted to make the two compatible by suggesting that the truth can only be sought out if the notion under consideration can be accurately tested and if the opposing view can be founded as false. Galileo’s goes into depth about the truth of scripture and the sciences, intertwined with the reason of man, in his letter to Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. Early on in the letter Galileo, infers from St Augustine that the Holy Ghost did not intend to teach “how heaven goes” rather “how one goes to heaven”. Galileo interprets this as the underlying basis for the “common” people to believe that man should not concern themselves with science and that it is against the Bible, and therefore blasphemous. Furthermore this misconception is continued, as Galileo believes that the “common” people understand the truth in the Bible is largely to do with one’s salvation and other physical things such as whether the Sun or Earth are mobile, are irrelevant. From this Galileo leads on to discuss that “physical problems” are able to be solved through “sense-experiences” and reason, as well as the “authority of scriptural passages” highlighting that either are valid to contain the truth. Galileo argues that God gifted man with the power of reason and logic, so that they would be able to discover and learn about his creation. God did not “set bounds to human ingenuity” so why should the church impose them, by discrediting and prohibiting some of the greatest work of philosophers and scientists? Galileo had two types of physical propositions: those that are able to be subjected to tests...
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