Tuesday, February 5, 2008

the evangelical outpost: The Myth of Galileo:
A Story With A (Mostly) Valuable Lesson

I can see your eyes glazing over at the thought of reading this. (see link)

I'm often surprised at how much of our "common knowledge" is distortion of the truth, or complete falsehood, and blindly repeated by those who should know better. Galileo is usually pictured as some kind, infallible old genius, innocently going about his earth shattering discovering, when (without provocation) that nasty Pope throws him on the rack. How much crap do we, ourselves, simply repeat as gospel to make our points (and worse, make our decisions), when in reality those facts are mere distortions and/or myths?

Intelligent people feel immune to deception. Once they "know" a thing, it becomes unquestionable. So how do they "know" the thing? Well they heard it or read it from some other bonifide intelligent person of course. Temper this with political or existential bias and you have truth for them. True because other intelligent people say it is true. True because it feels true. True because it makes them feel good about their world view. Sound like you and me? I think so. Whether wildly intelligent or commonly stupid, we are all prone to deception by our very natures.

This might be a good place to mention tempering our truth with the written Word of God (Holy Spirit in written form) and tempering our truth with the living Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. Should Christians have better insight into the truth? It would seem so. But I suppose the necessity of relying on the Holy Spirit would be a prerequisite. Christians have a choice (by some accounts) whether or not to rely on the Holy Spirit, therefore a Christian's advantage is not automatic.

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