Revisionist science historians, beginning largely with Voltaire, blame the Bible for the error that the sun orbited the earth. However, Aristotelian thought ruled the scientific world, what there was of it, for about 2,000 years. Through defective experiment, Aristotle determined that the earth was at rest, and therefore, the sun must orbit the earth and not vice-versa. Church leaders sadly, along with virtually all the western world, submitted to Aristotle on this and many other false, non-biblical ideas.
Galileo Galilei, often opposed to Aristotle, staunchly defended the Bible. On December 21, 1613, he sent a letter to Benedetto Gastelli (a Benedictine monk and a pioneer in hydrostatics). “The holy scriptures cannot err,” Galileo wrote, “and the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable… Holy Scripture and nature are both emanations from the divine word; the former dictated by the Holy Spirit, the latter the executrix of God’s commands… I believe that the intention of the holy writ was to persuade men of the truths necessary for salvation, such as neither science nor any other means could render credible, but only the voice of the Holy Spirit.”