Atheists often bring up the Catholic Church’s persecution of Galileo in an attempt to paint creationists as ignorant, intolerant, and hostile to science. Galileo discovered that the earth orbited the sun and that our planet was not the center of the universe. He is often portrayed as humbly bringing this scientific proof before the Catholic Church for their consideration. This is not an accurate picture. William Shea wrote that Galileo instead arrogantly demanded that the Church immediately endorse his views rather than allow the truth to be gradually accepted by the scientific community (it was rather shocking). Galileo was tried for heresy and placed under house arrest. He was, however, still allowed to continue his work and publish his findings. So the Catholic Church did not attempt to “hush up” Galileo’s research, although it could have done so. Philip Sampson noted that Galileo’s conflict with the Church was more about his attitude than his scientific findings. Galileo himself believed the main cause of his trouble came from a 1632 essay he wrote which mocked Pope Urban VIII. Hear the condescending elitism in a letter to his colleague Johannes Kepler. “My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd” (Wikipedia). Kepler had made similar discoveries and was not persecuted. Why not? Any conflicts Kepler had with the Church were connected to his Protestantism, not his science. The Galileo affair was not the definitive clash between science and religion that some have made it out to be. The Bible does not teach that planet earth is at the center of the physical universe (geocentrism), although some in past times have misinterpreted it to say so. The Bible teaches accurate science which is always proven true even though it may take man thousands of years to discover this truth.
Shea, William. “Galileo and the Church” from God and Nature (p. 132), 1986.
Sampson, Philip. Six Modern Myths. Intervarsity Press: 2000 (p. 33)