Essay on Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 1695

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In 1695 Galileo wrote a Letter to The Grand Duchess Christina. This letter discussed the relationship between the traditional biblical beliefs of the time (the basis on which their society was built), scientific discoveries, and their correlation with one another. The purpose of the letter was to inform that the scientific discoveries being made were not hearsay or contradictory to the Bible, rather they were natural laws, which could coincide with Scriptural based beliefs, not oppose them. In the Letter to The Grand Duchess Christina, Galileo implies that science is the means by which G-d meant for humanity to understand scriptural truths. This belief can be applied to the present day by finding equilibrium, and in turn allowing for a …show more content…
Galileo then goes on to state, “this granted, and it being true that two truths cannot contradict one another, it is the function of expositors to seek out the true senses of scriptural texts,” which can be done through science (Grand Duchess). Science can be used as tool to refine one’s understanding of the scriptural truth, not oppose it. He then wrote, “We conclude that God is known first through Nature, and then again, more particularly, by doctrine, by Nature in His works, and by doctrine in His revealed word,” which further emphasized the fact that the purpose of science was not to change the truth, but rather enlighten society as to the proper meaning of the truth (Grand Duchess).
Another wide-spread belief that Galileo challenged in his letter was the concept that the Earth was considered to be the center of the universe. Galileo claimed “the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth revolves about the sun” (Grand Duchess). This concept was extremely controversial, for at the time, society believed in the Aristotelian theory, that the Earth was situated at the center of the solar system. Galileo acknowledged the fact that the Bible states that the sun moves while the earth is still. Yet he deduced that “since the Bible cannot

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