Critics frequently point to the 1633 trial of Galileo Galilei as an example of Christians being anti-science. Unfortunately for the critics, the facts show just the opposite. However, the facts also reveal the Galileo issue was still being debated more than thirty years after man landed on the moon.
The Galileo affair was all about the question of whether the Sun and planets revolved around the Earth (geocentric model) or whether the Earth and planets revolved around the Sun (heliocentric or Copernican model). Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 - 1543) explained his heliocentric model in On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. Galileo simply helped validate the heliocentric model with observations made through his new telescope.
Rather than denying it, the Church embraced Copernican theories to such as extent that in 1582 it replaced the Julian calendar with the improved Gregorian calendar, the one we use today. While the Church saw Copernican theories as valid, they hesitated acknowledging them because they seemingly refuted portions of the Bible such as:
So, the real problem was alignment of some Biblical interpretations with clearly visible physical reality.
Shortening the story… Galileo embarrassed Church leaders by telling them how to rationalize Copernican theories and the Bible. In 1633, he was ultimately found "vehemently suspect of heresy", sentenced to house arrest and had his writings banned. The Catholic Church eventually dropped the general prohibition on books advocating Copernican theories in 1758 but did not rescind the 1633 decisions against Galileo or his writings until 1820.
If you assume this ends the story…think again.
It wasn’t until 1992, that the Church recognized Galileo as “a brilliant physicist”. Then, in 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for the mistakes committed in the Church’s 2,000-year history, including the trial of Galileo. A statue of Galileo was erected inside the Vatican walls in 2008…more than 400 years after the fact.
Galileo’s situation demonstrates the church is made up of humans who can be slow to react, but it is definitely not anti-science. In fact, there are scores of examples showing that the science that underlies modernity is a direct result of Christianity: medicine, hospitals, education & higher education, reading & writing for the masses, logical reasoning, experimentation and scientific investigation, empirical science and much more.