On small things the popes have been reluctant…very small things. The Bible says the earth is flat. Of course, it looks flat – because it is so vast you can’t see its roundness. Just standing on the earth you can see it is flat. Don’t believe your eyes, they can deceive you many times. So when for the first time it was said that the earth is a globe, it is round, immediately the pope comes in – that it goes against the Bible. So what?
If it goes against the Bible, throw the Bible away! It proves the Bible is wrong. It proves that the Bible is not written by God; otherwise he would not have been so stupid. At least God sitting in heaven could have seen the roundness of the earth. Human beings cannot see it; they are standing on the earth itself, their vision is not so vast. But God, sitting in seventh heaven…. You can see the roundness of the moon, the roundness of other planets – cannot God see the roundness of the earth? It is a planet.
If the Bible was listened to, America would not have been discovered. It was discovered against the Bible, remember; it stands as proof against the Bible. This man Columbus did not listen to the priests, to the popes, did not listen to all the advisors. He jumped and risked his life. “Because,” he argued, “if the earth is round, then how many days it takes does not matter; if I go on and on and on, I will come back to the same point – if the earth is round.” It was through tremendous courage, rebelliousness, disobedience, that he discovered America. He thought it was India – hence the Red Indians; he thought he had discovered India. It was only later on that he found that this was not India, this was an absolutely new place, a new world.
The Bible says the sun goes around the earth. Yes, it appears so, because we are on the planet earth, and the earth is moving so fast we cannot feel its movement. And to feel movement you have to see something unmoving; only in comparison can you feel the movement. When you are moving in a train, you know that you are moving because the trees are standing by the side, the stations are standing by the side, and you are passing them by. But sometimes, if two trains are moving together in the same direction, with the same speed, you may for a moment become confused as to whether your train is standing or moving, or whether the other train is moving or standing, unless you see something static to compare with. Because we are on the planet earth and everything is moving with us – the trees, the mountains, the oceans, everything is moving with us with tremendous speed – we cannot feel it.
But Galileo was forced to change his statement. The pope dictated to him: “You have to write in your discoveries that the sun goes round the earth, not vice versa” – because if the earth goes round the sun, then the Bible is proved wrong. It is so idiotic. As if we are here just to prove everything in the Bible right! Nobody is concerned about truth: the Bible has to be proved right by the Christians, the Koran has to be proved right by the Mohammedans, the Gita has to be proved right by the Hindus. Nobody is interested in the truth.
My whole interest is truth.