As another historian of science, David Lindberg, noted, whatever literal position the institution took was largely because of the tense situation following the Protestant Reformation concerning interpretation of scriptures, where the Reformers condemned the Church for not being true to scriptures enough. The Medieval Church was well known for its relaxed positions concerning scriptural interpretation.
Let's also keep in mind Galileo was a devout Catholic his entire life, and at least one of his daughters became a nun. He even wrote a treatise calling theology "the queen of all science".
Are there any arguments against Catholicism that go beyond 1600?I'll give you another example. Not scientific this time, but about the nature of organized religion.
That can be said of anybody or any institution for that matter, religious or secular. BTW, indulgences are not part of Dogma.The point is, the church doesn't change until it suits their own purpose.
And this contradicts Catholicism how exactly? In another discussion, I brought up the issue with Jennifer of how St. Thomas Aquinas speculated that a human fetus doesn't attain a soul until 40 days after conception. This was largely based on scientific data at the time(13th century). Now through subsequent scientific research we know much more about how life first begins, so many theologians now speculate that a fetus attains a soul much earlier.Whereas a (good) scientist would say: "Hey, this is an odd observation. Let's try to explain it now and come up with a good theory." And then subsequently accepts it if another scientists says: "But wait, now these other observations are unexplained so the initial theory must either be wrong, or changed to encompass this."
This also plays into the Galileo affair, since the Church's interpretations of scriptures was made in light of the astronomical theories of Ptolemy(which were Geocentric in nature).
So the Church does intepret scriptures in light of scientific research, not against it. This approach was outlined by St. Augustine of Hippo:
So yeah. Theology and science are not opposed, but you can't insist that theology blindly follow science, since they aim towards different ends and achieve them through different means."The purpose of the Bible is redemptive, said Augustine. God gave us the Bible to instruct us in the knowledge of salvation, not science. In his Literal Commentary Augustine asked what Scripture teaches about the shape or the form of the heavens, a topic that many ancient writers addressed. Are the heavens spherical or flat like a disc? Or, does it matter? He responded: "Many scholars engage in lengthy discussion on these matters, but the sacred writers with their deeper wisdom have omittedthem. Such subjects are of no profit for those who seek beatitude, and, what is worse, they take up very precious time that ought to be given to what is spiritually beneficial." These words may seem to suggest that Augustine disparaged science, and he has been interpreted that way by secular-minded readers. He did not think that natural knowledge was worthless, only that it was inferior to knowledge of God, who made nature. Augustine was saying that the biblical authors were not giving a definitive theory of the heavens in a scientific fashion.
Augustine warned against a danger among Christians of his day and ours. If the Christian insists on a certain scientific theory as if it were the teaching of the Bible, and it turned out to be wrong, then the unbeliever will reject the Bible wholesale and miss the saving purpose God has in composing it. This danger is so real that Augustine emphasized it a number of times in his writings. Unreliable knowledge of nature is not damning but it can be a stumbling block "if he thinks his view of nature belongs to the very form of orthodox doctrine, and dares obstinately to affirm something he does not understand." In this case, the Christian's lack of true knowledge becomes an obstacle to the unbeliever's embracing the truth of the gospel. The great harm, says the bishop of Hippo, is not that "an ignorant individual is derided" but that "people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions and . . . the writers of Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men."
HOW AUGUSTINE REINED IN SCIENCE (This Rock: March 1998)