New book debunks 25 myths about religion and science

June 3rd, 2009 - 3:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Ottawa, June 3 (ANI): A new book by an Italian astronomer has exposed 25 myths about religion and science.

According to a report by The Globe and Mail, the book is a collection of essays by Canadian, British and US scholars.

One of the most prominent myths is that during the medieval period, all the scholars of the world believed that the world is flat.

But, according to Professor Lesley Cormack, Simon Fraser University’s dean of arts and social sciences, every major Greek geographical thinker, all the major Roman commentators, virtually all the popular vernacular writers and giants of theology agreed the world was round.

Professor Cormack said that it was largely the invention of 19th-century scholars, many of them American, promoting a scientific and rational view of the world that, according to them, the Roman Catholic Church had suppressed until Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic ended in the Western hemisphere and not by falling off the edge of the world, thus ushering in modernity and America.

The book puts the boot to beliefs that Italian astronomer Galileo was imprisoned and tortured for advocating the Copernican view of the Earth revolving around the sun rather than the other way around.

In the book, University of Nevada philosopher Maurice Finocchiaro says that the imprisonment and torture of Galileo on a verdict of “vehement suspicion of heresy” for supporting Copernicus’s view of the cosmos is totally bogus history.

It’s bogus history, he writes, that stems from the misreading of a very ambiguous sentencing document.

Although the document ordered imprisonment, evidence emerging centuries later from other documents strongly indicates the church Inquisition never carried it out.

The book also refutes the belief that the medieval church prohibited human dissection, Rene Descartes originated the mind-body distinction, and that Einstein believed in a personal God. (ANI)

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