In the middle ages, the science was designed in order to help a person to understand about God and not the worldly material. It is difficult for the medieval scientists to examine the universe outside the bound of religion. During the era from 1300s-1500s, it is considered that science is one of the branches of religion and the thoughts of scientists that the earth is the stationary object and is the center of the universe is held firmly. This view which according to the church is written in the Bible is first challenged when the Copernicus presented his idea that the earth is neither stationary nor it is the center of the universe. New laws were developed overthrowing the concept of science that revolves around the religion and is changed subsequently by the new concepts that are based on the natural laws.
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) shattered the views of Ptolemy and Aristotle. In his book, which is not published until his death, he states that the center of attention of the universe is sun rather than earth and all the planets revolve around the sun in circular orbits. This theory that he presented is named as the Heliocentric Theory. His book as a consequence has enormous religious and scientific backlash. By asserting that the earth is just like the other planets, the impression is destroyed that the heavenly world is different from the earthly world. The Church and religious leaders understood the importance of the Copernicus findings. Luther said that the Copernicus is a fool who wants to turn the astronomical world upside down. Catholic Church declared the theory of Copernicus false in 1616 and continued to hold the view that the earth is the universe focal point.
Galileo Galilee continued the attack on the traditional scientific views. He formulates his ideas using the observations rather than establishing his theories on speculations. For example, his falling bodies law of motions. It was Galileo who established the experimentation which is the modern science cornerstone. He applied his methods of experimentations to astronomy with the help of his newly built telescope. Using the telescope, he discovered Jupiter's moons and said that the moons had the surface containing mountains just like the earth. This discovery destroyed the earlier version that asserts that basically, the planets are a sphere of crystals. Along with this, he also contradicts the notion that the earth is the focal point of the universe and all other planets and sun move around it. Although the notion of the earth as a center of the universe is destroyed by the Copernicus the Galileo destroys this notion using the way of experimentation. Following his book publication in 1632 that criticizes the Ptolemy and Aristotle work, Galileo was incarcerated and then heresy tried by the Inquisition of Papal and is thus forced to take back his views. In modern days, the trial of Galileo is given as an example of the conflict between scientific knowledge and religious beliefs.
Before the work of Galileo, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) who is of German dissent used the data of Brahe to support the idea of Copernicus that basically all the planets moved around the sun rather than the earth but on contradictory to the Copernicus idea of circular orbits, presented the idea of elliptical orbits. Kepler presented his three planetary laws of motion were based on the relationship based on mathematics and predicts accurately the motion of the planets in a universe around the sun.
John Locke published the letter on the separation between the State and the Church which is also known as the Letter Concerning Toleration argues that there should be a fully observed separation between the State and the Church. In his remarkable letter, it is asserted that the power of the magistrate should be limit and thus should only use its authority to address the issues of securing its subjects properties and ensures the civil peace is established. In other words, the power to inflict on someone unbelief and belief should not be possessed by the state in any given doctrine. Unlike Hobbes, who thinks that the religious uniformity is the only way that can bring the well-being for the civil society, Locke believes that more the number of the religious groups more would be the peace in the society. The response from the church is immediate to the letter of Locke. The clerics of High Church of Angelica Jonas Proast and Thomas Long published the response. John states in its response that the main reason of the letter is to use the disguise of Christians by an atheistically Jesuit plot that wants to achieve the domination by bringing the ruin and chaos to the state and the church.
For many years the Catholic Church holds the view of scientific discovery related to the God and attributed every new thing that comes to the Bible. As the main reason of the discovery according to the Catholic Church should have to be centered on the religion, so if some discovery comes against the teaching of the Church, it would mean that the things told by the Church are wrong. Basically, the discoveries that are led by the Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler are against the fundamental views of the Church and Bible, thus it confronts the belief of the Bible as the true word of God. It also challenges the authority of the Church to hold the scientific point of view. The letter was written by Locke also tries to restrict the authority of the Church thus is prone to the attack from all the Catholic community.
Bruce, James E. "Seventeenth Century C hristianity." The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (2012).
Edmeades, D. C. "Science Under Threat?." Agricultural Science 21.1 (2009): 16.
McComas, William F. "The principal elements of the nature of science: Dispelling the myths." The nature of science in science education. Springer, Dordrecht, 1998. 53-70.
Peterson, L. Lee, and Gary K. Pranger. "THE LASTING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT." ORU HISTORY & HUMANITIES MODERN WORLD-READER I 1600-1850: 77.
Thomas, Allen, and Wade Rowland. Galileo's Mistake: a new look at the epic confrontation between Galileo and the Church. Arcade Publishing, 2003.
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