Through the reading of Galileo “The Starry Messenger”, and “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina”, I wanted to look further into two questions. The questions are, to what extent is it more effective to understand sacred scriptures through the book of nature as suggested by Galileo, and How do we distinguish between what is recognised as knowledge and what’s not (In terms of gaining knowledge). I believe that Galileo’s belief that sacred scriptures should follow the proof that nature provides is true, because it limits the amount of interpretations that a scripture could hold. As Galileo claims, “mistrusting their defence so long as they confine themselves to the field of philosophy, these men have resolved to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out of the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible”. The sacred scriptures are used by the church to create a false shield which protects their interpretations, while blocking out all other thoughts and interpretations which don’t aline with the ones of the bible. This can be problematic, as not only does it limit the bounds of knowledge that people can have, but also generate vague and ‘inaccurate’ interpretations of scriptures. Also, it is more useful to interpret the bible through nature, since nature is something which is tangible to us, thus making more understandable.
In the second question, I asked how knowledge can be distinguished between what is, and what is not. I believe that knowledge is something that changes overtime, thus there is no true form of knowledge, as the knowledge base of anything can be proven and disproven later. This can be seen through how the Ptolemaic theory was at first proven ‘true’, but is later disproved by Galileo. The theory claims that the earth is the stationary center of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres. People believed the theory because it was the theory which best explained the positions of planets, and also did not conflict with the bible, thus not deemed as heretical by the church. Galileo said, “it is impossible for a conclusion to be declared heretical while we remain in doubt as to its truth, then these men are wasting their time clamouring for condemnation of the motion of the earth and stability of the sun, which they have not yet demonstrated to be impossible or false”. Without solid evidence from nature, what is seen as knowledge can be vague, as that form of knowledge can change in the future, through new theories or claims.