The challenge of science to a christian belief

The belief in God being the creator and the belief in the uniqueness of men and women in God's creative acs are both fundamental to Christain belief.

The bible is the source of revelation and the genesis explains these beliefs Christians have. They were used to support the idea of a geocentric universe where the earth is the centre.

Galileo supported the heliocentric belief where the sun is at the centre of the earth. This is because he based his conclusion on observation and mathematical calculation.

Darwin later then developed a theory based on scientific observation, on the origin of species. All species evolved over millions of years by natural selection where the least suited species would die. This contradicts the biblical account of creation.

Theories like these and the origin of the universe challenges many aspects of the Christian belief. If the universe and humans are subject solely to scientific laws, doubt would be cast on religion. 

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Galileo's cosmology

Galileo supported the cosmological theories and supported heliocentrism.

This theory challenged the christian views on geocentrism and if this was questioned, this would then make other questions arise about the creation of the universe.

It challenged the truth and accuracy of the teaching and so also challenges its authority. 

The Church was concerned and placed him under house arrest. Overtime the evidence for heliocentrism has been overwhelming and very few Christians now oppose this view.

Scientists such as Einstein and Hawking suggested that Galileo should be considered the father of modern science. 

Earth isn't the prime mover. 

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Darwin's evolutionary theory

Darwins idea on natural selection contradicts the creation story. He believed in evolution and natural selection and went to the Galapagos Island and saw the different species of birds. Certain birds were adapted to their environment and noticed that the birds with thinner beaks could not survive because they can't catch enough food.

He challenges the views God created human beings and the process of evolution does not require any belief in God as it is purely a natural mechanism.

Papal encyclical said the soul came from God, then compatible theories of evolution is taught.

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Christian responses to science

Some christian stick with a literalist view where they take the creation account literally and nothing else can be true or contradict it. 

Some would take the bible metorphorically and as symbol so non literaly. 

Most Christians argue that both cosmology and biology can compliment christian philisophical theories such as the cosmological and design arguments.

John Polkinghorn sad that science explains how and religion explains why.

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Points for discussion

Evidence- both cosmology and evolutionary theories are based on evidence. Religious believers only rely on faith where scientists rely on empirical evidence. 

authority- Many have chosen the authority of science of religion as religious views have been questioned which therefore questions the authority. 

Decline in faith- secularism has occured and from the impact of humanism, it makes science more approachable. 

science as a theory- Science can be seen as theory instead of fact for some theories. Some theories that have been proven can later be falsified. Thomas Kuhn made the idea of paradigms where there should be an agreement on a set of assumptions between scientists. 

Humans made in God's image- imago dei. If evolution occured, at what point did God give us a soul and make us in his image. 

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