James ussher dating
Both Copernicus and Galileo considered themselves to be Christians, yet they knew that their beliefs conflicted with the official teachings of the church on matters of science.Almost everyone today, Christian and non-Christian alike, accepts the scientific validity of the theories of Copernicus and Galileo (but see a contemporary Christian "scientist" who disputes this! Biblical passages that at one time were interpreted as proving that the earth was stationary (Ps 75:3) or that the sun revolved around the earth (i.e., it rose and set) (Ps 50:1) were reinterpreted by Christians, explaining the language of the Bible as figurative rather than literal.In his earlier life Darwin had studied for the ministry, but he became engrossed in the idea of biological evolution after serving as the resident naturalist aboard the Beagle as it sailed around the world, stopping in such places as South America and especially the Galapagos Islands.On this voyage Darwin encountered evidence of great diversity between animals of the distant past and those of the present.The problem, Christians began to see, was not with science, nor with the Bible, but with improper interpretations of the Bible, for example, forcing it to be literal when it should have been taken figuratively or phenomenologically (i.e., describing events as they appear from a human perspective, like the "rising" of the sun).Slowly but surely, the Christian acceptance of modern science attracted more and more adherents.
Darwin also read with interest the work of the geologist Charles Lyell (Principles of Geology), who claimed, based on his scientific studies, that the earth was much older than the 6,000 years calculated by Bishop Ussher based on biblical genealogies and a literal reading of scripture. Most scientists, including devout Christians, had long been convinced from a study of the increasingly large fossil record that evolution was a fact, but they had been unable to explain it satisfactorily.
Darwin's proposal of descent with modification as a result of natural selection seemed to fit the evidence better than any other previous theory.
Many scientists agreed with the concept of evolution, but they doubted that natural selection was a sufficiently powerful factor to drive species to change over time.
However, his book On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres was added to the Index of Forbidden Books maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, and Christians were forbidden to read it.
Galileo Galilei built telescopes and began looking through them at the heavens.
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They have modified their interpretations of the Bible to accommodate the theory of evolution. Other people, who relied on observations of the world around them, believed that the earth was much older.