Scientific Advancements and the Close-Mindedness of the Catholic Church

Scientific Advancements and the Close-Mindedness of the Catholic Church

Document details
Category: Religious Studies Essay
Subcategory: Christianity Studies
Words: 299
Pages: 1

During the 17th and 18th centuries, there were great advancements in the scientific field. These advancements included scientific, mathematic, and planetary discoveries. Unfortunately, along with these discoveries came fear of that which isnt understood. The works of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton led to just such fears. Nicolaus Copernicus was the earliest of the three scientists to pose a threat to religious authorities. His work On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres stated that the planets revolved based on heliocentrism. This idea posed a threat to the Catholic Church because the common held belief during that time was that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around the earth. Galileo Galilei supported Copernicuss theory of heliocentrism and even attempted to explain it through use of the Bible. This threatened the Catholic authorities because they believed that Galileo was using his own interpretations of the Bible and this may in some way prove the church wrong. This of course would deal a staggering blow to the church. Sir Isaac Newton may have been the most blunt in the statement of his theories. The church during Newtons time believed that the hand of God pushed the planets in their orbits. Then, Newton discovered the principles of gravity and inertia. This threatened the church because Newton was suggesting that God had no influence on the planets orbits. Newton also stated that discoveries should be made through experiments and reason, thereby lessening the importance of scriptural interpretation in the eyes of the church. All three scientists threatened the Catholic Church, either directly or indirectly. Though these discoveries may seem like common sense today, even their suggestion during the 17th and 18th centuries could cause a religious uproar because of the close-mindedness and lack of understanding of the Catholic Church....

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