Christianity Versus Astronomy:
Copernicus (1473-1543) enraged the Church by writing that the Earth might orbit the Sun. Christian theology holds that the great scheme of God revolves around Humankind; God's only son is a human, God created the Earth and all other animals for Mankind (Genesis 1:28 etc), and the destruction of creation centres around events occurring on planet Earth, to Humans. It was deeply challenging to Christians to face the facts that the Earth wasn't the centre of the universe. Also challenging were other basic facts of astrology; that the universe is massive, the Earth only one of many planets, and the likely fact that there is life elsewhere in the universe too.
[... Conclusion reads:]
Scientists had to suffer torture, silencing, imprisonment and death at the hands of Christians who didn't agree with newly discovered facts about the world. Christianity lost the first battle with astronomers who realized that, contrary to what Christians asserted, the Sun did not orbit the Earth, and that the Universe doesn't seem to be designed specifically for humankind. Copernicus (1473-1543), Kepler (1571-1630), Galileo (1564-1642), Newton (1643-1727) and Laplace (1749-1827) all fought battles against the Church when they published scientific papers challenging religious orthodoxy. Bible verses were all the theories Christians needed; and Joshua 10:12-13, 2 Kings 20:11, Isaiah 38:8 and Isaiah 30:26 all contradicted astronomers. But through intelligence and clever politics, truth gradually won out over dogma, and the Church retreated... only to go on to fight similar ignorant battles, and violently impose dogmatic errors, in the arenas of physics, biology and philosophy.
Without such interference from theists, science would have been more than a thousand years more advanced! Kepler in the 17th century only revived Greek astronomical knowledge that was condemned and hidden by Christians (Ptolemy et al) in the second century.
Christianity vs. Astronomy
December 3rd, 2006