In 1632, Galileo Galilei wrote his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, an act that eventually drew the condemnation of the Catholic Inquisitors; he was convicted of heresy for thinking the Earth rotated around the Sun and not vice versa, and lived the rest of his life under house arrest.
Galileo was a staunch believer in God and felt that his observations and discoveries increased God's glory rather than diminishing it-- he thought, rightly, that what we observe with our eyes proves rather than disproves the existence and might of God, and if our careful observations go against our ideas of God and His creation, we need to examine both our observations of the natural world and our ideas on what the Bible says. If all truth is God's truth, why be afraid of it? But the Catholic hierarchy of the time was bloated and drunk with power, and could only think of maintaining the status quo (and its lawless position of authority over the thoughts and beliefs of others). This clouded the vision of the inquisitors, making it impossible for them to view the evidence objectively.
I thought of this last night after reading an article on how NASA has established that the sun heats the earth. (Yes, this is a concept already present in every first grade science book.) The scientists at NASA have conceded that the sun has had an influence over the temperature changes of the Earth at least as far back as the Industrial Revolution.
I am proud of them for this.
Despite the fact that common sense tells us the sun heats the earth, NASA has established, using the scientific process (which takes nothing for granted), that even after machines and engines came into broad use during the Industrial Revolution, and people migrated increasingly to cities (causing more 'heat islands'), the sun still had a role in heating the earth.
Do you see where this is going? Perhaps man is not at the center of the universe after all. Perhaps we are little, and there are forces at work the likes of which we can barely begin to understand. Perhaps there is something the global warming theorists haven't considered. The scientists are being very Galilean and using their eyes and their reasoning ability, rather than accepting what they have been told by the powers that be.
Then I read this paragraph:
"While the NASA study acknowledged the sun's influence on warming and cooling patterns, it then went badly off the tracks. Ignoring its own evidence, it returned to an argument that man had replaced the sun as the cause current warming patterns. Like many studies, this conclusion was based less on hard data and more on questionable correlations and inaccurate modeling techniques."
They didn't quite have the courage to stand up and present the facts of the study objectively.
But I am still encouraged. The fact that they are even considering that something other than man might have an effect on global warming and cooling shows that we aren't completely out of the realm of common sense yet.
Credits: The book, "Galileo's Daughter" by Dava Sobel, warmed my thoughts on this subject. Also, I thank the DHM at The Common Room blog for pointing out the news article on NASA's findings. And I thank my children for their ideas on the significance of studying the heating of the earth since the Industrial Revolution.