“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”
“We don’t know much about Galileo,” quipped comedian Milton Jones, “except that he was a poor boy from a poor family.” Despite the intended humor, Galileo was born into a household of moderate means. His father was a professional musician, playing the lute and composing. Some financial problems early in adulthood led Galileo to inventing to earn money. In this he was relatively successful, designing a hydro-static balance and an early type of thermometer. The most significant devices that he built would probably be his telescopes. Eventually, he built one with a 30x magnification.
Of his many observations, perhaps his most famous was that he observed small objects close to the planet Jupiter. He tracked their movement and realized that they did not orbit the Earth. At the time, most intellectuals assumed that astronomical objects orbited the Earth, though some, like Copernicus, had suggested that they orbited the Sun. Galileo’s objects did not orbit either and clearly seemed to orbit Jupiter – they were moons of Jupiter.
Galileo’s support for a heliocentric view of the universe got him into trouble with the authorities. Even church clerics preached against him – the Dominican sarcastically quoted Acts 1:11 with reference to Galileo – “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?”
Of course, Galileo’s discoveries did not contradict the Bible. Far from it – Galileo believed firmly in the truth of Genesis and expected to see order in the universe because he knew everything had been made by the Creator.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord God, that Your glory is revealed in the heavens. Thank You, Lord, for the talents You have given to people in every age to work to find out more about the universe in which we live. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Statham, D. (2018), The truth about the Galileo affair, < https://creation.com/galileo-church >, accessed 8/30/2019. Image: Public Domain.
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