Questions about the reconciliation of the Torah and the science are very frequent and popular, but they are nothing new. The sages were asked similar questions by the philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome.
Pesochim 94a is a good example of such dispute, where R' Yehuda easily admits that the scientific approach sounds better than our Sages' (an extensive explanation here, thnx DoubleAA):
"תנו רבנן שנו חכמים: חכמי ישראל אומרים: גלגל קבוע ומזלות חוזרים וחכמי אומות העולם אומרים: גלגל חוזר ומזלות קבועין. וכו' אמר רבי: נראים דבריהם מדברינו שביום מעיינות צוננים ובלילה מעיינות רותחים"
The Jewish Sages say that during the day the sun travels beneath the firmament and is therefore visible, and at night it travels above the firmament. And the sages of the nations of the world say that during the day the sun travels beneath the firmament, and at night it travels beneath the earth and around to the other side of the world. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: And the statement of the sages of the nations of the world appears to be more accurate than our statement. A proof to this is that during the day, springs that originate deep in the ground are cold, and during the night they are hot compared to the air temperature, which supports the theory that these springs are warmed by the sun as it travels beneath the earth.
If I'm not mistaken, the Sages' position is based on the Oral tradition, otherwise, there would be no point in such a dispute. And nevertheless, Rabbi discarded the tradition in favor of the empirical science.
There are numerous other, "pseudo-scientific" statements by our Sages, for example, snake gestation period of 7 years (Bechoros 8a), regrowing hymen before age of 3 (Niddah 45a) and more. Some of them (the former) are purely theoretical, but some (the later) are bases for various Halachic decisions.
What does R' Yehudah's statement mean in general terms (not concerning this specific claim)? How can he discard the Sages' oral tradition in favor of scientific theories?
And does his example let us do the same - in case of a discrepancy between our Sages' claims and the current science - to accept current scientific theories over our tradition?