The very quote which Galileo used.
- St Augustine as quoted
- It is to be held as an unquestionable truth that whatever the sages of this world have demonstrated concerning physical matters is in no way contrary to our Bibles, hence whatever the sages teach in their books that is contrary to the holy Scriptures may be concluded without any hesitation to be quite false. And according to our ability let us make this evident, and let us keep the faith of our Lord, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom so that we neither become seduced by the verbiage of false philosophy nor frightened by the superstition of counterfeit religion.
- Galileo's words after quote
- From the above words I conceive that I may deduce this doctrine That in the books of the sages of this world there are contained some physical truths which are soundly demonstrated, and others that are merely stated; as to the former, it is the office of wise divines to show that they do not contradict the holy Scriptures And as to the propositions which are stated but not rigorously demonstrated, anything contrary to the Bible involved by them must be held undoubtedly false and should be proved so by every possible means.
Now if truly demonstrated physical conclusions need not be subordinated to biblical passages, but the latter must rather be shown not to interfere with the former, then before a physical proposition is condemned it must be shown to be not rigorously demonstrated─and this is to be done not by those who hold the proposition to be true, but by those who judge it to be false.
Quoted here from on the Stanley Jaki blog : Galileo on Science & the Bible
Well, for one thing, Galileo's theses about geokinetism and heliocentrism (the latter in an absolute sense now abandoned by mainstream science) were shown not to have been rigorously demonstrated, before they were condemned in connexion with his first book on the matter in 1616, and therefore also before the next condemnation, in connexion with Galileo himself being a suspect in 1633.
Furthermore, the not rigorous demonstration back then has not been supplemented with a more rigorous one since.
And for another thing, Galileo seems a bit mistrusting about clarity of Bible, so that St Augustine's liberty to start either way, the Christian confronted with un-Biblical or apparently such matters being free to chose where he first wants to seek the error, is here being shifted to a kind of priority of the physical or generally speaking scientific research.
I think this wrong.
I think someone who does correctly condemn a physical thesis as un-Biblical even before investigating the physical evidence, because the Bible is sufficiently clear, will defintely be rewarded for the confidence by later finding the physical evidence insufficient for the thesis he condemned.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Feast of St Luke