Giberson — who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia — says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.Whenever scientists attack religion, they always cite Galileo as the proof that Christianity has egg on its face, and that science has a monopoly on Truth with a capital T.
"When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face," Giberson says. "The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it."
Fuzale Rana isn't so sure this is a Galileo moment: That would imply the scientists are correct. But he does believe the stakes are even higher in today's battle over evolution. It is not just about the movement of the earth, but about the nature of God and man, of sin and redemption.
"I think this is going to be a pivotal point in Church history," he says. "Because what rests at the very heart of this debate is whether or not key ideas within Christianity are ultimately true or not."
Galileo defied the Church by claiming to have proved that the Sun was stationary, when the Church had commissioned him to write a book that presented both the heliocentric and geocentric models. He also ridiculed the Pope.
Galileo did not have ultimate truth on his side of the debate, either under today's standards or the scientific standards of the day. For the past century, the consensus has been that motion is relative, and the idea that the Sun is stationary is nothing more than a convenient fiction. Under the standards of 1600, Galileo's arguments were fallacious and the Church officials correctly pointed out his errors. I explain this in my book.
All of this has very little to do with Adam and Eve, except that anti-religion scientists always make these false arguments.