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Galileo and the church

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What are Galileo's his most convincing arguments for saying that science and religion should not be regarded as antagonistic?

What role does mathematics play in Galileo's argument? How does he answer those who were concerned that a stationary sun and a moving earth were in conflict with the Bible, and with the story in Joshua (Book X: 12-14) where Joshua commands the sun to stop in the heavens over Gibeon in the battle with the Amorites in order to lengthen the day?

What does Galileo say is wrong with this argument? Why is this important to the point Galileo wishes to make about the Scriptures?

Was the "Letter" was an effective defense of Galileo's ideas or not?

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Solution Summary

Here, Galileo's views in the relationship between science and religion is briefly explored. In particular, the Letter to the great Duchess and the arguments against the literal interpretation of Joshua's chapters are explored.

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Galileo is known for his problems with religion, due to the the change that his discoveries implied, supporting the heliocentric solar system of Copernicus. However, he does not oppose religion, but just perceives them as two different things. According to him, we use different senses to perceive and measure the parameters of science, compared to the faith of religion. He expresses this opinion in the following passage:

"They go about invoking the Bible, which they would have minister to their deceitful purposes. Contrary to the sense of the Bible and the intention of the holy Fathers, if I am not mistaken, ...

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