Geocentrism? Seriously?

By Phil Plait | September 14, 2010 7:00 am

geocentrism_flyerIn my long, long experience as both a scientist and an active skeptic, I have seen people believe in a lot of seriously, um, odd stuff. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how overwhelmingly the evidence is against them, or how even simple logic will unravel their tangled theories. They cling to these beliefs like a drowning man clings to a life preserver.

And even with all this, I have to scratch my head over Geocentrists.

These are people who believe that the Earth is fixed in space, unmoving and unmovable, and the Universe literally revolves around it. Without exception, in my experience, these followers of Geocentrism believe in it due to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Finding passages in the Bible to support this belief isn’t hard; Genesis is loaded with them.

However, like young-Earth creationism, the problem here is in that "literal" part*. If you take the Bible to be true word for word, then you have to deny a vast amount of reality, and almost everything we’ve learned about the Universe since the Bible was written.

That has not stopped some people, nor even slowed them down. A group of Geocentrists is holding a conference this November in Indiana. Called "Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right", it features a veritable who’s who in geocentrism — not that there’s a lot of them. The meeting flyer is presented above; click it to see the conference details. The conference website is full of all sorts of claims saying Geocentrism is real, science is wrong (except where it supports them; cherry-picking is something else they have in common with creationists), the Bible is the only truth, and so on.

Well, as you might expect, I have something to say about that.

As much as I’d love to attend that meeting — in much the same way I’d love to extract my own tonsils with a spork and a pair of pliers — I don’t need to. Geocentrism is so wrong, so amazingly wrong, that it falls apart with just a little thought. What follows below is a little thought.

Geocentrism is a valid frame, but not the only one

I have two things to say that might surprise you: first, geocentrism is a valid frame of reference, and second, heliocentrism is not any more or less correct.

Surprise! Of course, the details are important.

lardfork_heliocentrismLook, I’m human: I say "The Sun rose in the east today", and not "the rotation of the Earth relative to the rest of the Universe carried me around to a geometric vantage point where the horizon as seen from my location dropped below the Sun’s apparent position in space." To us, sitting here on the surface of a planet, geocentrism is a perfectly valid frame of reference. Heck, astronomers use it all the time to point our telescopes. We map the sky using a projected latitude and longitude, and we talk about things rising and setting. That’s not only natural, but a very easy way to do those sorts of things. In that case, thinking geocentrically makes sense.

However, as soon as you want to send a space probe to another planet, geocentrism becomes cumbersome. In that case, it’s far easier to use the Sun as the center of the Universe and measure the rotating and revolving Earth as just another planet. The math works out better, and in fact it makes more common sense.

However, this frame of reference, called heliocentrism, still is not the best frame for everything. Astronomers who study other galaxies use a galactic coordinate system based on our Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun is just another star inside it. Call it galactocentrism, if you want, and it’s just as useful as geo- or heliocentrism in its limited way. And none of those systems work if I want to know turn-by-turn directions while driving; in that case I use a carcentric system (specifically a Volvocentric one).

You use coordinate systems depending on what you need.

So really, there is no one true center to anything. I suppose you could say the Universe is polycentric, or more realistically acentric. You picks your frame of reference and you takes your chances.

Relatively speaking, you’re still wrong

teach_geocentrismSo geocentrism is valid, but so is every other frame. This is the very basis of relativity! One of the guiding principles used by Einstein in formulating it is that there is no One True Frame. If there were, the Universe would behave very, very differently.

That’s where Geocentrism trips up. Note the upper case G there; I use that to distinguish it from little-g geocentrism, which is just another frame of reference among many. Capital-G Geocentrism is the belief that geocentrism is the only frame, the real one.

Geocentrists, at this point, fall into two cases: those who use relativity to bolster their claim, and those who deny it.

Those who use relativity say that geocentrism can be right and is just as valid as heliocentrism or any other centrism. That’s correct! But the problem is that using relativity by definition means that there is no One True Frame. So if you use relativity to say geocentrism can really be Geocentrism, you’re wrong. You’re using self-contradictory arguments.

Fail.

The other flavor of Geocentrist, those who deny relativity wholesale, are wrong as well. Relativity is one of the most well-tested and thoroughly solid ideas in all of science for all time. It is literally tested millions of times a day in particle accelerators. We see it in every cosmological observation, every star that explodes in the sky, every time a nuclear power plant generates even an iota of energy. Heck, without relativity your GPS wouldn’t work.

Relativity is so solid, in fact, that anyone who denies it outright at this point can be charitably called a kook.

So — you guessed it — either way, Geocentrism is wrong.

A little light warning

Those are really the strongest arguments against Geocentrism. You either have to misuse relativity, or deny it entirely, and either way you lose, GOOD DAY SIR!

There are other arguments used, and they seem like good ones but in fact they don’t work out in real life. For example, the most obvious one is that distant stars are light years away. If they circle us once per day, they must move faster than light, which is impossible! This is true even for Neptune; at its distance it would have to move at just faster than light to make one circle every 24 hours.

I thought about this, and wound up asking my friend the cosmologist and fellow Hive Overmind blogger Sean Carroll. He confirmed my thinking: relativity says the math has to work out if you change a frame of reference, so if you do the detailed relativistic equations to look at the motion of distant objects, it still works. Things actually can move faster than light relative to the coordinate system, it’s just that things cannot move past each other with a relative speed greater than light. In the weird geocentric frame where the Universe revolves around the Earth, that is self-consistent.

In other words, the Neptune-moving-too-quickly argument sounds good, but in reality it doesn’t work, and we shouldn’t use it.

Uncommon sense

Sometimes, you can make things easier by simplifying. However, you can’t oversimplify, because in the end it makes things harder.

Some geocentrists assert the Earth doesn’t move because it’s just plain obvious. The stars appear go around us, so maybe they really just do. And that makes things simple. But it doesn’t. I mean, it makes calculating the times of sunrise and sunset easier, but it makes it a lot harder to send a space probe to Saturn, since according to them it’s moving at 1/3 the speed of light around us. Far easier to use a heliocentric coordinate system there.

And Geocentrists have to assume that all local phenomena are caused by cosmic motion. For example, the Coriolis effect, which makes hurricanes spin different ways in the northern and southern hemispheres, is relatively easy to explain if you assume a spheroidal rotating Earth. For a Geocentrist, you have to assume that the Universe itself is revolving around us, and affecting the weather here. Again, the math works out, but it’s standing a pyramid on its tip: you have it precisely backwards. And with one poke the whole thing falls over.

We also know earthquakes can affect the rotation of the Earth. That makes sense since they shift the mass around on the surface, and that changes how the Earth spins. To a Geocentrist, though, that earthquake affects the entire Universe.

That’s simpler?

I could give example after example of this, but you get the drift.

Geocentrism fails fundamentally

In the end, the actual evidence is totally against the Geocentrists. The only way — the only way — they can assert their idea being factual is to rely on the Bible itself, and ignore everything else. That’s a losing game, because every time a new discovery comes along, they have to ignore it. Of course, ignoring facts is clearly something they are very well-versed in.

If they want to have a faith-based conference where they show everyone that the Bible says the Universe is Geocentric, then by all means they can do that. But when they say that science backs them up — or even that scientists are suppressing The Truth (which one conference speaker is apparently claiming, given his talk title of "Geocentrism: They Know It But They’re Hiding It") — well, the scales have not yet fallen from their eyes.

I understand that to them, these beliefs are deep-seated and as true to them as, say, gravity is to me. But the Universe doesn’t care how strongly you believe in something. If it ain’t right, it ain’t right.

Geocentrism ain’t right. No matter how much spin you put on it.



* Even the dyed-in-the-wool loaded-with-nonsense website Answers In Genesis has a page refuting Geocentrism. That’s gotta hurt.


Note that I’m talking about people who just deny relativity is right. Continuing to test it scientifically is fine and encouraged; we know relativity works, but like Newton’s theory of gravity, relativity does not encompass all situations all the time. Pushing the boundaries of it may yet yield new insight on the Universe.


Related posts:

- My whole life revolves around the Sun
- Why biblical geocentrism is wrong
- More on geocentrism
- Teach geocentrism!


Comments (274)

  1. Tim

    Geocentrism ain’t right. No matter how much spin you put on it.

    Don’t be a dick, Phil.

  2. Cochise

    Wow….. I thought Geocentrism was dead?

  3. What, geocentrism isn’t true? Oh nooooo….!

    Although scientists can do this too. A famous case in point being Fred Hoyle and the big bang. Or even things like inflation. Though inflation is by *no means* as set in stone as the earth revolving around the sun, I know many active working physicists who, despite the mounting evidence for inflation over the last few decades, continue to dismiss inflation as just some crazy idea cosmologists just like to play around with.

    Or, months ago I saw on a science website an article about dark matter and some of the comments, which claimed to be by educated science loving people, were filled with distain toward dark matter and were going so far as to question why the government would fund the study of such crazy ideas as if it was a waste of money. And again, the evidence for dark matter has been mounting for decades in several independent ways.

    So yes, it is fun to poke at creationists but a *really* concerning thing to me is even educated science loving people (even scientists) can so easily dismiss ideas with decades of mounting evidence like inflation or dark matter and in some cases even state that “such voodoo” science should perhaps not be funded.

  4. I have “Teach the controversy” as a hoodie! :D

    Also, I think Philip K. Dick’s “reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away” is as applicable as ever.

  5. Dawn

    Well, if you believe the bible only, there is really NO world outside of the middle east. So, North and South America don’t exist, Australia/New Zealand don’t exist, Europe doesn’t really exist (except for Greece and Italy), Asia doesn’t really exist (except for Turkey), there are no countries south of Egypt…after all, only the countries mentioned in the bible exist, right?

    I don’t know how you can be a Geocentricist when you look at all the other nations of the world. How can the Southern Cross exist when it’s not mentioned in the bible as some of the “unmoving stars”? How can we believe in the planets that can’t be seen with the naked eye? There is so much wrong. I just can’t get it.

  6. Bouch

    Two Young Frankenstein references in a row. Phil, you’re on a roll!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Awesome. galileowaswrong.com is down. Well done!

  8. JMW

    You drive a Volvo?!?!?

    Oh, Phil, Phil, Phil…

  9. Dedalus1953

    Okay, I missed the YF allusion here. Please help! (BTW, where can i get one of those OUTSTANDING I Heart Heliocentrism” shirts?)

  10. thrutch

    Doesn’t “G”eocentrism also play merry hell with mass and gravity?

    Also could we have a 3 way cage match between the Geocentrics, the Flat Earthers and the Hollow Earthers?

  11. Chris

    Congratulations Phil, I tried looking at that website and their bandwidth limit was exceeded! I am curious where they got their PhDs and in what subject. I wonder if they hold to the view that the Earth was the center of the universe not because it is the most important point, but it is basically where all the junk falls as was historically believed.

  12. Stan9FOS

    Daniel, that PKD quote is the best on reality I’ve come across in a long while. Reminds me of one of Lewis Carrol’s, relating to identity/ego:
    Tweedledum, speaking about Tweedledee: “Sometimes he goes away, but I’m always right here.”

  13. DTSLW

    MY BRAIN! IT BLEEDS!

  14. @Phil: “… a veritable who’s who in geocentrism …”
    Don’t you mean who’s woo?

    It would seem like things would work better for them if they simply accepted a rotating earth as the center of the universe. But I don’t suppose that would occur to them.

    Lots of discussion of the at Pharyngula as well, and on the BAUT board.

  15. jjdaddyo

    What? You mean everything in the galaxy does not rotate around the Earth?
    The flat, flat, Earth?

  16. I ♥ that poster, though. It’s like Sesame Street. “One of these scientists is not like the others, which one is different? Do you know? Can you guess which scientist is not like the others, and I’ll tell you if it is so.”

  17. Jason

    Ok. GeoCentrism? Really? Do they get into fights with the Flat-earth People?

  18. I thought the universe revolved around me. So much for Gumbycentrism.

  19. Zucchi

    Do we really need to spend our time and energy defending something that’s already almost universally believed, when there are serious threats (to the state of knowledge in the general public) from Creationists and Global Warming denial?

    I think we overloaded the conference website. I’m curious about what they say about the stars. Do they believe in the Ptolomaic system, with crystalline spheres? (I thought of writing an alternate-universe story where that cosmology is real; turned out somebody already wrote it.)

  20. Bubba

    How is it not obvious to bible thumpers that what was written about the universe all that time ago is is simply the extent of what people knew about their world back then? I find their ignorance as irritating as a mosquito bite. Don’t scratch – ignore.

  21. Matt

    The only real frame is egocentrism. Anything else is mere off-set.

  22. LaurenF

    Hurrah, Volvos!

    @Dawn #4 – Oh man, you’re right!I’ve never thought about the idea of biblically correct international relations anymore. Makes things SO much easier when you can just point at your adversary and say, “You’re not in the bible, so you can’t be real.” Why didn’t anybody think of this before?? It’s not just the science classes that need overhauled, it’s the social studies/geography/civics/etc. courses as well!

    (Please note, if somebody has thought of this before, and not in a mocking way – if there really is a Christian home school course out there somewhere that doesn’t acknowledge countries that don’t exist in the bible… I don’t really want to know. It would make me cry. Especially since you know it would be in America in which case the doublethink would just be at head-explody levels.)

  23. Jason

    @16 Bubba

    Believe it or not, some of us DO realize that. Some of us also realize that a truly infinite God is not limited by our understanding of how we think things ought to be. Are there differences between Science and Biblical belief? Yes there are, but I chalk those up to either a human Mis-interpretation of Scriptural truth, OR secondarily, an incomplete understanding of the Universe.

  24. I Hope

    Are we SURE… I mean, really honestly for sure SURE… That it’s not some terrible internet joke? I mean — I don’t want to offend — but some sheriff just put together an alert about Pedobear. I mean, Pedobear won’t stalk your kids, it’s a stupid internet meme but some people thought the guy was for real until he admitted it was a joke… I don’t mean to point out something that’ll offend everybody, of course, but I will have to stop breathing unless we can honestly say there’s at least a 15% chance this flyer/geocentrism thing is a joke.

    I’m not asking for much, I think. So can we just humor me and pretend it’s all a joke? :-) Because if there’s a bunch of dudes who really believe this, I’m selling my TV, my computer, my phone… My sporks… and going to live in a cave in the woods. At least I’ll be safe there.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I guess they have a website? I’m off to the woods, then.

  25. Rory Kent

    The Geocentrists refute thsi by saying we’re a special exemption, but surely the fact we’ve seen planets orbiting other stars is damn strong evidence for heliocentrism?

    Is anyone else concerned that some of these geocentrists hold PhDs in Relativity and the like?

  26. Neeneko

    Eh, I have a feeling that much of this is just a plug to sell their two volume monstrosity of a book. On the website they make a big deal out of all this evidence and science they have, but you have to read the book to find out what all these secrets of the universe are.

  27. #18 Jason

    If the Bible contained divine truth, you’d think the omnipotent, omniscient diety who dictated/inspired it would make sure that truth was unambiguous. Yet every day I converse with True Christians who swear the Holy Spirit dwells with in them and guides them unerringly to the Truth by giving them The One True interpretation of scripture. And none of these True Christians get the same message, even though the same Holy Spirit supposedly dwells within each of them. Apparently, the Holy Spirit is quite the merry prankster, as I often see True Christians telling each other they are lost and doomed to hell because they are not interpreting the scripture “the way God wants us to”. Balderdash. The simple truth is that people read the Bible and interpret it through the lenses of their own unique upbringings and personal experiences. Then they convince themselves that this alleged “Holy Spirit” has told them the One True Meaning, and that others who interpret differently are fooling themselves. Hence, we have thousands of different sects of Christianity, all supposedly guided by the same Holy Spirit – and all of them think they have the right answer. In reality, there are as many versions of Christianity as there are Christians.

    The simple truth is is that the attempted descriptions of reality (e.g. the creation story) in the Bible is nothing more than mythology, created by humans who made up tales about how they perceived the world to be based on their level of technological understanding at the time the books were written. If you disagree with this point, then feel free to explain why the ancient “six days of creation story” in Genesis is correct and all the other hundreds of ancient creation myths from around the world are wrong. And if you say that Genesis is metaphor and/or allegory, you open up the rest of the Bible to the exact same labeling. Centuries of apologetics trying frantically to show “what God is really trying to say” in scripture just makes the deficiencies of the religion that much more apparent. After all, an omnipotent being should be able to write in a fashion that everyone gets the same message… right? Right??

    This is why I left Christianity after 25 years. It simply makes zero sense. It (and every other religion) is at best a placebo, at worst a horribly harmful drug. And that really is the nicest thing, out of hundreds of things, that I can say about my former religion. This is a family blog, ya know.

  28. Sir Craig

    Not being versed enough in what Geocentrists believe (other than the whole Earth=center nonsense), it seems that the whole star speed thing might be explained (as far as the Goecentrists are concerned) by stating, “We never said the Earth itself doesn’t also rotate – it just happens to rotate at X revolutions per day, while the stars, other planets, etc., travel at Y rph. This will still produce the appearance of stars travelling around our Earth without breaking any laws of relativity.” Of course I’m merely guessing and not trying to introduce any strawmen arguments.

    By the way, Phil, I wouldn’t be so quick to describe non-Answers in Genesis as firmly against the notion of Geocentrism. According to this article, the Earth, while perhaps not the center of the universe, is close enough to being the center because they seem to think some kind of “white hole” created by “god” puked up the universe around the Earth in an even distribution. And how do they know this? Because no matter where on the planet they look to the heavens, they see the same distance! Never mind that a simpler explanation for this might be because we are using the same instruments, with the same limits, all over the planet – that doesn’t support the god theory. Also ignore the fact that a white hole is a physical and mathematical impossibility in this universe.

    My question for Geocentrists: How is it the apparent retrograde orbits of the other planets doesn’t completely fly in the face of all physical laws? What the hell would compel planets to double back on themselves?

  29. Powerdroid

    @18: I like your style, Jason. Thanks for posting that.

  30. I Hope

    @ 20. Rory Kent

    Can you get a PhD in “Relativity?” I mean, not Physics or Quantum Mechanics or Astronomy but just “Relativity?” I mean, I don’t doubt I’m an idiot of a rare breed: I wanted to go to college for Astronomy, but can’t get past fractions, so I might be a moron. I chose art & literary theory instead, so I might be poorly equipped to offer an opinion on “Relativity” (I bought the copy of Einstein’s Theory at B&N that had the best cover art, so now you know :-) ) but isn’t Relativity just part of a much larger spectrum of science?

    If anyone can find which college he went to for me I would like to purchase a degree in “Loafing and Chocolate.”

  31. @Rory #19: I’m not concerned. I have a PhD in Feng Shui hung on my office wall. It took me all of three seconds and two mouse clicks to get it.

    Isnt’ the real question here what is at the center of the Earth itself? Wouldn’t *that* be the true center of the universe? I believe it’s a DVD box set of Star Trek: TOS (season 2). That sounds like a really good thing to have as the stationary anchor of everything.
    [whisper]
    …and yet it moves.
    [/whisper]

  32. Jason

    @Gumby –21
    I don’t think this is the place for a theological debate over the divinity of the Bible or the “Holy Spirit.” It is not my place to tell another Christian the state of his or her soul. I believe you are referring to the doctrine of the “Priesthood of the Believer.” Ultimately, it is a matter of Faith. If you do not believe, or have ceased to do so, that is your free choice and while I may believe it is the wrong choice, it is your choice to make. I do believe, and will continue to believe, and seek where science and faith complement each other. Afterall, if God is Truth, then the search for truth will lead to him, not away. Science is the search for truth, so why should there be a conflict?

  33. Jason

    @23 powerdroid
    Thank you

  34. zirky

    I’m not much of an astronomer, most of my knowledge stems from this blog. I have a bit of an unrelated question, you said really there is not one true center? If you, for lack of a better word, zoom out far enough where the entirety of the universe was in the frame of reference, wouldn’t there, for that moment be a definitive center point, assuming for a second that expansion was either uniform in all directions or a discreet snap shot was taken? Or is this more along the lines of “we don’t actually know what all of the universe looks like so its impossible to make any declarative statement” kind of thing?

  35. Jason @25: If you seek truth only where you feel science and faith complement each other, then your search is dishonest and incomplete. What if your personal search for truth leads away from the notion of a God? Then, I’m thinking you would discard it to keep your faith alive. That is not honestly seeking truth, it is looking for justifications for your religious beliefs and cherry-picking only those sub-truths which keep your beliefs alive.

    I am not trying to belittle your own personal faith and am not trying to be antagonistic (you’re right, this is not the appropriate forum for that), I’m just saying I no longer see things the way you do (but I did, for a long time, until my own search for truth led me away from the idea of a God.) So, you see, the search for truth does not automatically lead to God, as you somewhat naively assert. For me, it was the exact opposite. Cheers.

  36. This is one of those things that you briefly hope is actually an elaborate spoof to satirize anti-science, but I guess not.

    Aristotle was right, Newton was wrong: There is no gravity. Falling masses return to Earth because that’s where they belong, doggone it.

    Who’s with me?

  37. @gogblog #29

    I subscribe to the theory of Intelligent Falling. D’oh!

  38. Jen

    @Bouch i’m pretty sure it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory not Young Frankenstein.. still Gene Wiler though ;)

  39. Brian Schlosser

    Lets see… “Dr.” Sungenis has a PhD in Religious Studies from Calamus International University, an non-accredited school. The other guy has a PhD in Relativity from Stevens Institute of Technology, but as Dr. Plait notes, relativity doesn’t really settle this argument.

    So we have a guy who’s only real source of information is the bible and another guy who has scientific knowledge, but not in a field relevant to the topic at hand.

    Why does this all sound familiar?

  40. jason:

    God is not truth, so it appears you have a problem there.

    phil,
    with all the satellites and probes we have sent out im pretty surprised i have not seen a shot of the earth and perhaps another couple of planets in its orbit around the sun. I realize the earth would just look like a dot, but still.

  41. The Captian

    @ GumbyTheCat

    I think I recognize your writing (and name). You didn’t by chance used to post on a message board that is nothing but internet fights? Worked in a really shady bar, and have a cat that used to blogg about religion and cars (the last blogg)?

  42. BJN

    So which NASA mission first encountered the “firmament”: the solid canopy into which the celestial “lights” are set and where rain, snow and hail are warehoused between deluges and other deistic temper tantrums?

    Geocentrism just begs the bigger question of heavenly engineering and why we and the Babylonians have yet to “kiss the sky” (cue Hendrix)…

  43. How has Yahweh done with calendars? The Hebrew calendar has whole leap months, the Christian calendar lost Easter, the Muslim calendar is simply a rolling spew of days. The Maya calendar ran sweetly – to be modestly tested for containment on 21 December 2012. The God Who Created the Universe and All That Is Within It cannot handle a calendar. One would be loathe to trust Him with the value of pi or tomorrow’s Dow-Jones average.

    The doctrine, mechanism, and conclusions of geocentrism are no different in kind than than those of quantized gravitation and SUSY. Necessary founding postulates, through logical derivation, arrive at voluminous necessary conclusions re Tommy Aquinas. NASA hardware arriving at various planets, libration points, and orbiting the sun is the work of the Devil to fool you. That string theory and SUSY exhibit no empirical relevance is the work of the Devil to fool you. In both philosophical cases, the blackest heresy is to propose a falsifying bench top experiment. “…it is not right that matters, but victory!”

    To criticize is to volunteer,

    tp://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/erotor1.jpg
    Two parity Eotvos experiments to falsify string theory.
    http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm
    A polemic, with pictures and a music video.
    http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/boojum.pdf
    A scholarly treatment. Words, words, words.

    Somebody should look. The worst it can do is succeed. (That every point in the universe is at its exact center is visually obvious – equidistance of the Big Bang along all 4(pi) steradians. The Earth then rotates about its every point as center. Test of faith.)

  44. Jason

    @20 Zuccini — What story is that? I would love to read how someone works out a consistent universe based on the idea that the firmament is Real and its actual implications for a Technic or space aged society and culture.

  45. @ #42 The Captain

    LOL

    Yep. That would be me. My posting name on that site (abbreviated for privacy) was MfA. I left that site long ago, it is ATROCIOUS. It is impossible to have a civil discussion there. It’s all trolls, stalkers, flamers and sock puppets anymore. You post/posted there as well? Or did you just figure me out from my writing style here and on my blog? Either way, good eye.

    As far as my blog goes I gave it up a year ago, although sometimes I think I should start it up again. Blogging is fun but time-consuming if it’s to be done right.

  46. Nemesis

    I love it!

    If only the target audience could interpret data as it appears, instead of trying to cherry pick, they would probably be convinced of their knuckle-headedness. They would certainly quote all the words that support their beliefs and leave out the end of each paragraph they sampled from (where their belief is debunked).

    I prefer to use the egocentric model of the universe, for I am the only one who matters. Nemesis!

    @Jason

    If god is infinite and omniscient, why would he make Mosquitoes or viruses? Seriously, how did he create satan (who turned on him), “perfect” beings (who lie and kill for sport), and why doesn’t he talk to us like he did Moses, if he was perfect, that is? Why do we have a book, that has probably been responsible for more deforestation and suffering of animals than any land baron ever has, when he could have ingrained wisdom in our conscious mind? Too many contradictions. Any god I can imagine would be unable to err. And that’s all you guys did, imagiiiiine… Please don’t use scripture in your reply, because you might as well quote Mark Twain or Bret Easton Ellis.

  47. Jeff

    “For a Geocentrist, you have to assume that the Universe itself is revolving around us, and affecting the weather here. Again, the math works out, but it’s standing a pyramid on its tip: you have it precisely backwards. And with one poke the whole thing falls over.”

    Yes, this might be true, but obviously it is an ad hoc manuever on the part of the geocentrists to try to save their point of view.

    Clearly, THE frame of reference must be the gravitational field setup of the universe as a whole. All motion should be taken relative to that frame. If you follow this point of view, then clearly, for example, the sun moves around the center of the milky way, and the earth and planets revolve around sun, and the earth rotates.

    And, if you want to follow the ad hoc relativity of the geocentrists, then you’d need an infinitity of frames of reference and keep shifting to make any sense, and that is insanity. For one thing, it ignores the obvious heirarchy of celestial objects, the sun was formed in the center of the solar nebula, while Jupiter and earth, for example, were formed in the disk. So Jupiter and earth are “equals”, thus it would make no sense to calculate the orbit of the Galilean satellites around Jupiter from an earth frame of reference.

  48. Dustin

    I was surprised when i first heard of the conference, but after a few seconds it went away. The sad thing about it is, many other people do the same kind of thinking with other things, such as evolution. We really need to better our education system and i think it would start to go away.

  49. @Jen #39: Actually it’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” Yes, i’m picking nits, but I like Wilder’s Wonka much better.

  50. KC

    Screw Aristotle, Ptolemy, Tycho and Copernicus! I believe in Egocentrism – I AM THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE!! :-)

  51. Monu

    PHIL PLAIT I CHALLENGE YOUR BRAIN CELLS TO A DUEL TO DEATH, I CAST, A FLAT EARTH SOCIETY THAT AIN’T POE((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society)): http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php

  52. Floyd

    “A group of Geocentrists is holding a conference this November in Indiana. ”

    As a refugee from Indiana (I’ve been living in New Mexico for 20 years), I wouldn’t be too surprised that some tiny Indiana church is trying to rework the Solar System into their own image of reality. There are a lot of religious loonies in that state, and at least one of them is a relative of mine.

  53. Jason

    @47 Nemesis

    The Honest answer? I don’t know. If I had the answer to all those questions then I certainly wouldn’t be wasting them answering a blog! You would see me on every network and bookstand everywhere. Some of those are questions that theologians have wrestled with for centuries, and I do no profess to be smarter and more wise than they. If you are truly interested in answers to those questions then I invite you to read some of the great apologetics, such as C.S. Lewis and his works.

    It is doubtful, that in a forum such as this that you will either convince me that my faith is the refuge of the ignorant mind, or that I will convince you, or anyone here that what I believe is the truth. (Though I am sure we would both be delighted if we were to suddenly convert to the other’s view). I just wonder, are those questions you want to know the answer to, or are they asked in hopes of “Stump the believer and make him look like a fool.”?

  54. The Captian

    @46 CumbyTheCat

    Oh that is too funny! I remember MFA. I used to post over there with the same name (I’m “The Captain” on the internet, and I go by that in RL too). I also had to leave those forums a while ago too. I got tired of constantly having the desire to reach into my computer and strangle someone. The amount of arrogance, and ignorance combined there drove me madd! Finally I realized I wasn’t even contributing to any sort of civil discussion anymore either, and that was the end of that.

    Hey, I only made 1 blogg post in my attempt to do it, so you beat me by miles with your!

    Hope all is well.

  55. ASFalcon13

    @ #41 techskeptic

    “with all the satellites and probes we have sent out im pretty surprised i have not seen a shot of the earth and perhaps another couple of planets in its orbit around the sun. I realize the earth would just look like a dot, but still.”

    I’m also surprised you haven’t seen that. Allow me to remedy the situation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Portrait_(Voyager)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot

  56. Hey Phil…

    …you know the Earth is Flat, right?

    Yes. Really. Not kidding!

    You see, it’s all a matter of the curvature of space. And choosing the proper coordinate systems.

    Coz…. in the coordinate system

    X = East/West,
    Y = North/South
    Z = Up/Down

    …the earth is indeed (mostly) flat.
    :)

    /Z

  57. Brian

    I ask this sincerely: I’m not a capital-S Skeptic… I’m merely a not-crazy person who usually agrees with what skeptics think. But this is the bit where y’all seem odd to me. Why does it bother you so much that there are teensy minorities of whack jobs that have ridiculous beliefs? It too often just looks like Schadenfreude as you look down your nose at the ignorant, which doesn’t make you seem to be the cuddliest bunch.

    For the record: +1 Heliocentrism. It’s not just a good idea, etc.

  58. Jason

    @56 Given the ratio of the Z axis (if you measure from deepest point on the seafloor, to the highest mountain) to the X and Y axis then yes we are mostly flat. However, you still have to deal with the fact that if you travel far enough on anything but the Z axis you will wind up where you left. Which in the “classical” sense of a flat earth doesn’t work. Perhaps the better phraseology would be to say a “planar Earth” as opposed to a flat earth when referring to the concept of what is traditionally known as a flat earth.

  59. Michel

    Standing on the equator scientists say you go really really really fast. But I don´t feel wind.
    QED it´s not that fast.

  60. Which “church was right?” The Mel Gibson version that thinks it’s the real Catholic Church but rejects Vatican II and all popes from John XXIII on? The current Catholic Church that has admitted Galileo was right? The wacky church in Florida that wanted to burn Qurans on 9/11?

    The date for this conference should be either October 31 or April 1. And their poster, which interestingly does not include planet Pluto, should not include Uranus and Neptune either. Neither of these planets were recognized in the Bible or anywhere until heliocentrism became dominant.

  61. K T

    “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be”
    -Albert Einstein

  62. Davidlpf

    I thought geocentrism flatlined a long time ago.

  63. If I recall my history correctly, then the geocentrists couldn’t figure out retrograde motion (why planets would suddenly stop and move backwards from time to time). So they came up with the idea that planets orbited in circles within circles around the Earth. But that didn’t quite account for it so they added more circles… and then more circles. So you can make the math work for geocentrism but it’d be so horrendously complex that nobody would be able to figure anything out.

    Or you can accept heliocentrism (as far as our solar system goes) and suddenly the math gets much, much easier.

    Then again, I think that some of these geocentrism folks would like for the math to be horribly complex so they could say “See? Even the smartest human can’t figure it out so it must have been figured out by God!”

  64. Chris M

    I hope those geocentrists don’t try to ban pendulums.

  65. Jason

    @56 BUT jst thinking… if you put the (0,0,0) point at the Earth’s center then we are no longer flat and the ratio of the Axis approaches 1. (I know its not exact, the world flattens slightly at the poles thanks to our spin). Which should be another nail in coffin of Geocentrism, how can the earth flatten at the poles if it is stationary?

    The only way to account for that would be universal gravity pulling more from the equator than anywhere else. Which would mean the distribution of matter in the universe is unequal and concentrated toward earth’s equator. But simple observation shows that we aren’t aligned with the galactic or even solar plane so that is a bit of a problem I think.

  66. @GumbyTheCat

    I thought the universe revolved around me. So much for Gumbycentrism.

    Don’t all cats believe the world revolves around them?

  67. Peptron

    @Brian #57:
    The problem is that once you let go of reality, anything goes. It becomes nothing more than the promotion of psychosis.
    For example, since anything that is natural and pure is by their nature good; then what’s the harm with drinking mercury, since it’s pretty much as natural and pure as a substance can get? If you end up with memory problems from mercury poisoning, then it’s because of something else impure in your life, such as water with minerals in it.

  68. @Jason,

    All that would mean is that we need to replace the Theory of Gravity with Intelligent Falling. (Said in jest though I’m sure someone, somewhere would say that seriously.)

  69. Jason

    @62 that I believe is the Ptolemaic view… Circles within circles. Though I have not seen, nor attempted, the math on it and am just pulling from dusty memory. I think the term was epicycles….

  70. Chris Winter

    I think Phil’s reference to “Volvocentrism” is a subtle dig at General Motors — at least the GM of old (or of Olds).

    Think of it in opposition to Prizm-centrism. ;-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo_Prizm

  71. Katharine

    More REALLY BAD SH*T:

    Apparently there are now religiobot search engines which return results in line with people’s weird superstitions and present no opinions from, say, people who are actually right.

    It is sickening.

    This just adds to my impression that the right wing is in the throes of something akin to the Nazi movement in its fledgling days.

  72. Jason

    @70 techydad The last time I fell intelligently was when I tripped over my own feet and used my arms to stop myself from mashing my nose into the floor.
    (Repeal gravity! it sucks! write your senator before the election) *grin*

  73. Katharine

    “Why does it bother you so much that there are teensy minorities of whack jobs that have ridiculous beliefs? It too often just looks like Schadenfreude as you look down your nose at the ignorant, which doesn’t make you seem to be the cuddliest bunch.”

    Because they infect other people with their stupidity.

    Creobots have ridiculous beliefs. They’re not a teensy minority.

    Conservative religionists have ridiculous beliefs. They’re not a teensy minority.

    They are ignorant. And goodness knows we do our best to educate them. But they resist it, sometimes militantly, and for terrible reasons (there are no good reasons, either). You think we don’t look cuddly? Look at them.

    As long as there is a population of people – we who know science – speaking loudly and forcefully, rationality will not die, and civilization will not be a memory.

  74. Jason

    @72 Katharine Is it really necessary to Godwin the thread?

  75. Zirky (35):

    I have a bit of an unrelated question, you said really there is not one true center? If you, for lack of a better word, zoom out far enough where the entirety of the universe was in the frame of reference, wouldn’t there, for that moment be a definitive center point,

    It’s something I have a hard time grasping, as well. If the Universe isn’t infinite, what’s “outside” it? If the Universe is infinite, how can it be expanding? And so on…

    Here is my simplified layman’s view on the matter, based on my admittedly-limited knowledge of the subject…

    You assume that there is an “outer edge” of the Universe. That there is somewhere within the Universe where looking in one direction you would see “nothing”. If you think 3-dimensionally, it makes perfect sense — there was a single point from which the entire Universe expanded, and there is some center to this expanding sphere. Suppose that, instead of being the inside of a 3-dimensional sphere, the Universe is the 3-dimensional surface of a 4-dimensional sphere, and it is this 4D sphere which is expanding. The surface is unbounded (there is no “edge” to it from within the 3D viewpoint), yet still finite in size. Yes, there is still a “center” to this Universe, but it lays outside of the Universe itself. Within the 3D reference, there is no “center”.

    (I hope I got that right, or at least “mostly right”.)

  76. Chris Winter

    Gogblog wrote: “Aristotle was right, Newton was wrong: There is no gravity. Falling masses return to Earth because that’s where they belong, doggone it.

    Who’s with me?”

    As of right now, all but six of us apparently. (Those six are on orbit aboard ISS.) ;-)

    Outstanding blog, by the way.

  77. Jason

    @76 Ken B
    That is how i have seen the expansion portrayed, and I admit I have a hard time really visualizing it, but I can see how it works.

  78. Chief

    It is quite apparent that the thin cover of religion is the basis of control and power. Look at the Vatican. All of these sects use the misinformation to provide a controlling point to those who have less information at their disposal.

  79. Brian Schlosser (40):

    Lets see… “Dr.” Sungenis has a PhD in Religious Studies from Calamus International University, an non-accredited school. The other guy has a PhD in Relativity from Stevens Institute of Technology, but as Dr. Plait notes, relativity doesn’t really settle this argument.

    Darn. Does this mean I’m going to have to return my BS from Stevens?

  80. Chris

    How can people still believe this when we’ve been into outer space and seen that the earth rotates and everything in our solar system revolves around the sun?

  81. Ariel Lindosky

    Yes, Special Relativity allows geocentric coordinates, but try to make them work with General Relativity. (Special Relativity works for inertial frames of reference, but once you deal with gravity, GR takes over and good luck trying to explain the earth as the center of the universe!)

  82. bandsaw

    @zirky #35: IIRC, Phil explained in one of his videos that the center of the universe from which the big bang came is actually outside the universe. I think of it much like the universe is the surface of an inflating balloon. The center of the expansion is not on the surface of the balloon, therefore not part of the universe.

    @techskeptic #41: The picture you’re looking for is at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/photo_gallery/photogallery-solarsystem.html Taken by Voyager 1.

  83. Loren Petrich

    I think that we ought to clarify the distinction between geocentrism and Geocentrism.

    geocentrism = coordinate geocentrism, the selection of some geocentric coordinate system out of all the possible ones.

    Geocentrism = coordinate-independent physical geocentrism.

    The “Galileo Was Wrong” geocentrists fuzz the difference between coordinate and physical geocentrism, or perhaps they don’t know the difference.

  84. MattF

    Anybody here know how Geocentrists explain stellar aberration?

  85. Amy F.

    @MattF #86: Or parallax for that matter…

  86. Floyd

    I’m truly surprised the geocentrist looneys are trying to use Einstein and the Pope’s faces as if they approved of geocentrism. Neither Albert Einstein nor the Catholic Church have taken the position that geocentrism could be a valid explanation for the structure of the solar system.

    “Anybody here know how Geocentrists explain stellar aberration?” Probably as a handwave that everyone else is wrong, or maybe they ignore it.

  87. Charlie Young

    Looks like Phil is steering too much traffic to the Geocentrism Conference website. An error message pops up that the site’s bandwidth maximum has been reached.

  88. Daniel J. Andrews

    Why does it bother you so much that there are teensy minorities of whack jobs that have ridiculous beliefs?

    Katharine already gave an answer, but I thought I would toss in my two denarii worth. I am bothered because it is symptomatic of a larger problem: rejection of any science that doesn’t conform to a pre-existing set of beliefs. Once you reject one small subsection of science, that leaves you free to reject everything else you don’t like, and even distrust the stuff you do like. If there is a worldwide conspiracy of scientists in the medical fields trying to kill us for profit, then it is just as easy to see a worldwide conspiracy by every other science field (evolution, climate, geology, cosmology, moon landing, etc).

    And the scary part of this is that these people have voting voices, and some of these people are already in politics. How do you think those in power will act when it comes to funding science education, research, for something they think is a conspiracy or a hoax (remember Uncle Bobby-what’s-a-volcano-Jindal?–during the oil spill he managed to up his ignorance-quotient by ignoring every expert and spending millions on building a sand barrier that wouldn’t work).

    I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this rejection of science and wasting of money and time sooner rather than later (at least in the states)—this is a recipe for standing still/retreating while the rest of the world advances technologically. The new superpowers will be technological leaders, and it is starting to look like the U.S. (and Canada) will not be among those leaders. We’ll be proud producers of steam engines in the fusion age.

    One way to combat this is to ridicule (yes, this might be a time to be a dick) those who promote such beliefs in hopes that the politicians who also hold those beliefs will try to distance themselves from those being ridiculed. The one thing a politician doesn’t want is to be ridiculed by a majority.

    That is why this group, and other antiscience idiots, bother me.
    –dan

  89. George S

    @GumbyTheCat
    “I thought the universe revolved around me. So much for Gumbycentrism.”

    There is, of course, a perfectly valid reference frame in which G-Centrism is correct.

    G does not walk across the room; instead G stands up by pushing the world down and then pushes the room behind him until he gets to where he wants to be.

    G-Centrically yours,
    G S

  90. @ 55 The Captain

    I remember you now! I met you when I was still trying to fool myself into believing there was any semblance of sense in Christianity. I finally gave up trying, lol. I believe you used to have the kid from “Boondocks” as your avatar. Met you in the evolution forum as I recall. It’s good to hear from you again! I don’t comment here on Phil’s blog a great deal but I do keep up with his posts so I will keep an eye our for your comments. I always liked your posts on Topix, I am sure your posts here are just as reasonable ;)

    I’m doing fine. Scrambling for work, but that’s common these days, in this economy. Hope you’re doing great as well!

    Cheers,
    MfA

  91. THE STUPID, IT BURNS!!! I’m surprised you missed a chance to post that ‘toon. Good essay, nice shirt.

  92. @ #67 TechyDad

    Yer dern’ tootin. Now get me a saucer of milk! Chop chop, mere human!

    :p

  93. Chris

    I have to agree with Tim, “Don’t be a dick, Phil.”

  94. Rory Kent

    @31 I Hope

    Apparently their consultant has one. To quote GalileoWasWrong.com:
    “Robert J. Bennett, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in General Relativity from Stevens Institute of Technology.”
    Of course, I wouldn’t trust that website to have any correct information on it :P

    @32 The Gear Head Skeptic

    In that case the centre of the universe might be 2 feet away from me on my desk :P
    Maybe the world is hollow? Have you touched the sky? I know I have.

  95. Copernicus and Galileo believed in epicycles and deferents every bit as much as Aristotle and Ptolemy did; they just relocated them. It was Kepler who abolished them by changing circular orbits to elliptical.

    That does, however, raise an interesting question about neo-Geocentrism. Anyone feel like doing the math to translate the Three Laws into geocentric coördinates? Can it even be done without eccentric elements?

    Do they believe in a sphere of fixed stars? If so, how do they account for varying stellar parallax?

  96. Nemesis

    The description of our 3-D universe that is most commonly given, using “surface of a balloon”, portrays a 3-D surface, which isn’t hard to visualize (kind of like carpet or the surface of the earth). By the same notion, does it mean there are objects in our universe we will never see because they are on the opposite side of the balloon ( i.e.: the other side of the earth)? Or, can we see them by peering through the “empty space” in the middle of the balloon (where the air would be in a balloon)?

  97. Nemesis

    @Daniel

    Good point. Being outspoken against the dominator framework is the only way to enlighten others that they’re being duped!

    Hopefully more American kids will get into science and engineering instead of business and law (which I was interested in out of school, regrettably), and worry about the advancement of society instead of just financial gain.

  98. Jeff

    dustin

    “I was surprised when i first heard of the conference, but after a few seconds it went away. The sad thing about it is, many other people do the same kind of thinking with other things, such as evolution. We really need to better our education system and i think it would start to go away.”

    you are idealistic, but I don’t think the nickel will roll that way. Ignorance has a way of prevailing in history, and scientists are in a continuing battle with the ignorant.

  99. Captn Tommy

    My God Jim, I’m a doctor, not a Geocentrist!

    I feel this argument is like God, “If you believe in my God okay, if you don’t you will go to hell. But I will accept that your belief is yours and not condemn you.” (This is a paraphase of what Roger Williams the founder of Rhode Island said in his arguement for religious freedom)

    There is but one God and his name is ____________ <-Please fill in blank with the Name of your chosing) (There are Nine Billion, at last count)

    God designed a space ship for us, it works very well, especially when we stop f*****g with it. BUT She didn't say we couldn't learn how it works or where it was going.

    Truth is; Knowledge is power, and small fearful men deny others knowledge to keep their power.

    Think about it
    Captn Tommy

  100. The Other Ian

    For a Geocentrist, you have to assume that the Universe itself is revolving around us, and affecting the weather here. Again, the math works out, but it’s standing a pyramid on its tip: you have it precisely backwards. And with one poke the whole thing falls over.

    Hold on, I lost the thread here. The math works out under this assumption? Really? I don’t see how it could.

    One of my (possibly misinformed) recollections from high school physics is that relativity only applies to Cartesian motion, and that angular motion can be measured absolutely.

    Am I mistaken?

  101. Bouch

    @ 39 Jen Says:

    @Bouch i’m pretty sure it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory not Young Frankenstein.. still Gene Wiler though

    Damn, you’re right. For some reason I was thinking Wilder said the “Good Day!” line to the medical student who was questioning him at the beginning of YF (you know, when he stuck the scapel in his leg).

  102. Bouch

    @ 90 Daniel J. Andrews Says:
    We’ll be proud producers of steam engines in the fusion age.

    As someone who builds model steam engines as a hobby, I resemble that remark! I’m damn proud of the steam engines I’ve built!

  103. MattF

    The Other Ian: One of my (possibly misinformed) recollections from high school physics is that relativity only applies to Cartesian motion, and that angular motion can be measured absolutely.

    You can re-derive the laws of motion in a rotating coordinate system and still get consistent results. You’ll just have this extra term in your equations.

    You’re right that rotating coordinate systems are not interchangeable, but if you really want to, you can pick a given rotating coordinate system and figure everything out.

  104. Jason

    Fusion should be able to provide PLENTY of heat for steam engines…. Besides, isn’t that how we generate electricity anyway? Through steam?

  105. NAW

    wow this got a lot of people posting.

    Come on there are still a lot of odd things out there, there are still the Hollow Earth people as well. And they even made a move about that http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049516/

    “Down, Down, Down,….”

  106. Calli Arcale

    What’s weird about it is that they’re saying “the Church was right” except that very shortly after the Galileo incident, the Church was perfectly fine with Kepler’s heliocentric theory, and indeed, Galileo had supporters within the Church.

    So it could also be worded as “The Church was Wrong! The Church was Right!”

    The Catholic Church was following the prevailing scientific consensus of its time, just as it does now. This blind rejection of evidence is a relatively new phenomenon in Christianity, and largely a feature of Protestantism, not Catholocism. It’s shocking how little education these people have in their own history. I think European History, especially including religious history, needs to be mandatory instruction at public schools, because too many people don’t know a thing about it. (Oh, I know somebody’d say it’s wrong to teach European history, since that’s all patriarchal and stuff — all those dead white males — but it is in fact where our culture came from.)

  107. bandsaw

    @Nemesis #96: There are definitely parts of the balloon we can’t see, based on the age of the universe and the light speed limit. IIRC, the expansion rate is fast enough so that we’ll actually be able to see less over time rather than more (go read Death From the Skies if you haven’t yet). If you can really figure out a way to see through other dimensions to shortcut our universe, I imagine many people would be interested in talking to you, as you’ll have just invented subspace communications.

  108. Ray

    Zirky(@33)
    KenB(@77)
    Jason(@79)

    The baloon thing doesn’t necessarily work. It requires certain assumptions about the topology of spacetime well outside of the observable universe. Current cosmology says the universe is pretty much flat, so it doesn’t close in on itself anywhere nearby. That said, if there is an edge to business as usual (13.7 billion year old galaxies arranged pretty much the same as the ones nearby) it’s way beyond what we can see.

    There’s no particular limit on the size of the universe. Very far away things are receding faster than the speed of light, but this isn’t a problem for exactly the same reason that Neptune doing the same thing in the geocentric frame isn’t a problem. The reason we can’t see beyond a certain distance is that 13.7 billion years ago the universe was hot and dense enough to be opaque to all known forms of radiation, and the light (or neutrinos) can only have traveled so far in the interim. Thanks to dark energy, there is also a limit to what we will ever be able to see, since sufficiently distant objects are receding so fast that nothing they emitted post-big-bang can catch up to the ever accelerating expansion of space.

    Jason @ 54

    I’ve read some CS Lewis apologetics (Miracles) and I was unimpressed. He starts out by giving the following example of what sort of Miracles he wants to demonstrate the plausibility of: Jesus successfully predicts the results of 30 + years presumably free choices on the part of Peter and his future Roman persecutors. Then he has the gall to say that naturalists are the ones that deny free will. There’s also a particularly woolly-headed passage where Lewis seems to claim that dentures are supernatural. I will give him credit for not adopting the frankly obnoxious tone of later apologists, who in their sneering defensiveness remind me of high-pressure used-car salesmen. Still, I think he doomed any chance he may have had to become a great philosophical writer by choosing to write in defense of a dying intellectual movement.

  109. #96. Nemesis Says:

    The description of our 3-D universe that is most commonly given, using “surface of a balloon”, portrays a 3-D surface, which isn’t hard to visualize (kind of like carpet or the surface of the earth). By the same notion, does it mean there are objects in our universe we will never see because they are on the opposite side of the balloon ( i.e.: the other side of the earth)? Or, can we see them by peering through the “empty space” in the middle of the balloon (where the air would be in a balloon)?

    The latter. The balloon isn’t an accurate representation, but it’s “good enough.” Just imagine that the stuff of the universe is inside the balloon, and expanding with it. So, the other stuff we can see through the “empty” space in the balloon, assuming there’s n0 other object in the way.

  110. brm

    I couldn’t help but notice that the overwhelming majority of these idiotic clowns are prominent member of the Roman Catholic Church.

    There WAS a time in history when the Church held ALL political power, ALL military power, ALL scientific knowledge and learning, and all philosophical thought.

    we call that time in history THE DARK AGES.

    The Church has stood in the way of human advancement for the entire time it has enjoyed any power at all, and here they are, desperately trying to regain some of that superstitious, fear-based rule.

    I guess that beats talking about how their leaders helped child rapists keep on raping kids, and still walk free.

  111. @Bluegrass Geek #107: In the balloon analogy, the “stuff of the universe” is represented solely by the balloon’s surface. You can’t look inside or outside the balloon. The only way to see what’s on the other side is to wait for its light to make its way around the curve until it reaches you.

    The raisin-muffin analogy is closer to your description, but that’s an even worse analogy than the balloon (which, indeed, is not very good).

  112. Robert E

    A book based on Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian physics was mention earlier. It is “Celestial Matters” and is an interesting read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_Matters

  113. Happy Camper

    Really, this material is too good for a professional comedian not to pick up! Could anybody imagine if Lewis Black or Ron White take these guys on?

  114. Grizzly

    Well let me put this into perspective for those folks who see religion as one monolith.

    This is more about fringe Catholicism than it is about fringe science. It is hard to explain in the bounds of this comment section, so let me try to abbreviate at the risk of over-generalizing.

    There is within Catholicism a group of people who either have come from or been influenced by certain elements of Biblical fundamentalist teaching. Some of these people (but not all) are associated with the Pentecostal renewal movement.

    To not bore you overmuch with the varieties of flavours of “political” expression here, there are people who have converted or returned to the Catholic faith as overzealous evangelicals who at times make traditional Catholics (who don’t have that Protestant fundamentalist bent) wince. They replace their belief in “Sola Scriptura” or the inerrancy of the Bible with a belief in the infallability of the Pope, one that even most conservative Catholics would find a stretch.

    The organizer of this conference is one of these “converts”.

    This exercise is not so much about the science as it is proving that papal infallability “works”. It isn’t about the Bible at all. In fact this fellow is a bit of an apologist and has debated fundamentalist Christian “thought leaders” on numerous occasions. You can see this as an attempt to prop up his belief in Papal Infallability by attempting to prove Galileo wrong.

    Incidentally the organizer has made some rather anti-semitic comments in the past and has been called on the carpet for them by his bishop.

    - Grizzly (an RC – “Recovering Catholic”)

  115. The Captian

    @ GrumbyTheCat
    I can’t forget talking to you because in my head when I read you posts it always was in Skinners voice thanks to your avatar. I’m also not on these threads very often (read the main page everyday but usually not the post, but probably will more now), but I guess we are both drawn toward debunking creationist nonsense.

    I’m in the same boat with work too, but the next few weeks are getting real busy, so all is good.

    Cheers.

  116. Steve D

    You can’t hope to defend science while spouting crap like “geocentrism is a valid frame of reference.” and “heliocentrism is not any more or less correct.” Why not egocentrism? I am the center of the Universe and when I get up to go to the bathroom, I really push the universe with my feet. Pseudoscientists have found a bonanza in this mealy-mouthed attitude toward science. If you’re not willing to say science is true, don’t be one. It’s dishonest. Don’t deny some other person a position in science if you’re too gutless to stand up for it.

    Actually, as the universe rotates around the earth, distant objects WOULD move faster than the speed of light relative to someone on the earth, not just relative to some coordinate system. They WOULD move past you faster than the speed of light. So the faster than light argument is valid. By the way, did your friend deal with the fact that rotating frames of reference are non-inertial and require General Relativity?

    According to geocentrism, the earth differs from every other mass in the universe. Any linked pair of masses revolving around each other will revolve around their common center of mass. For the Earth-Moon system, that’s about 1000 miles below the surface of the earth. So to be truly fixed, either the Moon has to have no mass (a bit hard to believe unless, of course, all those landings were fake) or the Earth, in violation of all of mechanics, doesn’t move around the center of mass of the Earth-Moon system. And their evidence for this is…?

    Why is the Vatican dealing with trivia like women wanting to be priests when idiots like Sungenis are making the Catholic Church look like fools? If that’s not an excommunicable offense, what is?

  117. George Martin

    This note will no doubt be lost in the huge pile, but here’s a question: Phil says that the faster than light travel is OK for objects relative to a coordinate system but not relative to each other. But in the case of the galaxies or any object speeding around the earth in a huge circle, a galaxy on one side of the circle is certainly speeding past galaxies on the other side faster than the speed of light. One side is moving relative to the coordinate system faster than light in a plus direction, the other side is moving relative to the coordinate system in a minus direction. Relative to each other, they are thus moving much faster than light. Is it because they aren’t near each other that they can move relative to each other faster than light? Doesn’t make sense… It does make sense in an expanding universe, but that’s a different story: it’s not a matter of relative motion, but space itself expanding.

  118. Daniel J. Andrews

    My bad, Bouch. I should have picked another example than steam engines. :)

  119. Talith

    You killed their bandwidth with so many people going to have a look… now that’s funny!

  120. jasprr

    Rent the film Agora http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agora_(film) it deals with trying to change peoples minds about this very subject! And the conflict between science and religion in more general ways. It is one of the most beautiful depictions of the process of trying to gain a scientific understanding of the world I have ever seen in a movie.

  121. viggen

    Thanks Phil, nice post!

  122. All of science is wrong! The earth is flat and only extends to the limit of my vision. Everything beyond that is just destroyed as I glance away and recreated as I look somewhere else. When I call you on the phone, you are actually recreated inside the ear-piece, which since I can only feel it in my ear but not touch it, must be invisible when I’m not looking at it… I’m the only thing that’s real, and the rest of you are just so many Schrödinger’s cats, coming alive only when I open the box…

    On a more serious note, I agree 100% with you when you say “But the Universe doesn’t care how strongly you believe in something.” What is, simply is, and for us is the joy of discovering (understanding) it.

  123. Far out – I emailed the link to galileowaswrong.com to Phil yesterday, in the hopes he would write this. Too cool!

    (not sure I am the only one whole sent it too him, though!)

  124. ray

    @114 george

    Yes. Objects that aren’t near one another can move faster than light relative to one another.

    It’s not possible in an inertial reference frame, but in curved spacetime, there are no inertial reference frames, just as on a globe there are no rectilinear coordinates.

  125. Paleoprof

    “But the Universe doesn’t care how strongly you believe in something. If it ain’t right, it ain’t right.”
    Love that and I’m stealing it (while giving you credit)

  126. Please folks, read Galileo Was Wrong. The PDF version is pretty cheap. The author of this article was at least fairly honest in his criticism I must admit, but I disagree with his conclusions. If it is possible to make earth A center and physically work, then it could physically be THE center, definitions be damned. I cannot let definitions rule my life.

    Robert Sungenis started a debate with Stephen Barr a few years ago. After Dr. Barr gave up on the super-luminal argument (which this author did not stumble on), his only path was to discuss subtleties in the definition of inertial reference frames. Not pendulums, or retrograde motion, etc., etc.

    Particle accelerators are more the domain of quantam mechanics which is so much at odds with general relativity that top scientists are developing string theory to get around the chasm. Please!

    As to GPS, not all researchers agree that relativiy is needed. Relativity is invoked, but that is not the same as needed.

    If you have an open mind read the book. Volume 1 is science (and philosophy, which I hope our honest author will admit is what 95% of cosmology is composed of), and volume 2 is Church considerations. The scientific arguments stand on their own.

    Mark Wyatt

  127. Scottynuke

    @ Mark Wyatt:

    No thanks, I prefer my fiction to be at least entertaining. :-)

  128. Scottynuke:

    Believe it or not, it is an entertaining read, but it is not fiction. ;)

  129. The Other Ian

    Okay, I can sort of accept that maybe an object can have a measured speed greater than c as long as it’s not “passing” us (whatever that means).

    But thinking through the Neptune example, okay, let’s assume that from the frame of reference of an Earthbound observer, Neptune really is whipping around the earth faster than the speed of light. So we can look up at the sky at 6am and measure its speed as being just over c. Then, 12 hours later at 6pm, we look up again and measure its speed as being just over c in the opposite direction. According to relativity, the acceleration and energy required to effect that change in velocity is infinite, is it not? Doesn’t that make the two observations impossible as a whole? This is the whole basis of the proof that things can’t accelerate faster than the speed of light in the first place.

    Sorry, but I’m not buying it. The math doesn’t work. Neptune exceeding the speed of light is a valid objection to Geocentrism.

  130. Happy Camper

    “I cannot let definitions rule my life.” The devil is all in the details. Without a common reference any further dialog is useless.

    I will tell you though that you will never understand the universe by looking at a religious text.

    EOM

  131. Lukas

    What is their main motivation to peddle this nonsense?
    Selling books and tickets to their conference.
    I don’t think there is much more to it.

  132. ray

    @133 The Other Ian

    The acceleration thing is fixed by introducing a background gravitational field which grows with distance from the earth’s axis. This is entirely analogous to the “fictitious” forces (centrifugal and Coriolis) that are used for rotating frames in classical mechanics. The result will still satisfy Einstein’s Field equation.

    The law that says you can do this is called the equivalence principle (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle.)

    As for the math, it gets really messy really fast. If you’re serious about learning it, I recommend actually buying a book on the subject.

    OH. I see what you were trying to do with the energy calculation there. It doesn’t work. In General Relativity, conservation of energy turns into differential equation which mixes together not only on energy and momentum, but also, the gravitational field. You can only use the special relativity simplification if there’s no gravitational field, and even then, you aren’t particularly obligated to.

  133. TheBlackCat

    @ Mark: Why should we have to pay for the PDF version? Surely you could summarize the key points.

    You are asking us to accept that this work overturned all of modern cosmology and half of modern physics. There are countless free websites all over the internet claiming to do that but fail miserably. Why should we pay to see this version when we have no reason to believe it is any different? In fact we have plenty reason to believe it isn’t different, including the fact that you are obviously unaware of the effects of relativity on the decay of subatomic particles.

    If you were to give us some concrete reason to think this work actually did what it claims to do, then we might be interested in forking over our hard-earned money to see the details. But you are asking us to throw away our money on nothing more than your say-so, yet we don’t even know who you are and why we should trust your word on the matter.

    So in short, someone we don’t know, who has presented no qualification, who has an obvious lack of familiarity with the subject, is asking us to buy something based solely on his demonstrably uniformed opinion that it completely overturns two entire branches of science. Does that really sound like a reasonable request to you?

    Besides, I couldn’t buy the book even if I wanted to, the link is broken.

  134. Aussie Jedi

    I don’t really understand why the “Neptune would have to be moving faster than the speed of light in order for geocentricism to be valid” argument isn’t a good one to use? urrrgh… relativity messes with my head

  135. 24601

    82. Chris Says:
    How can people still believe this when we’ve been into outer space and seen that the earth rotates and everything in our solar system revolves around the sun?

    Because they themselves have not been into space, and can thus convince themselves that anyone who claims to have been in space and seen the earth rotating is either lying, part of a conspiracy, or has been tricked by others.

    Hence the Overview Institute:
    “Humanity must rise above the earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond. For only then will we understand the world in which we live.”
    -Socrates-
    http://www.overviewinstitute.org

  136. Matthew Ota

    Geocentrism is based on faith with no empirical evidence.
    Astronomy is not based on faith, it is based on empirical evidence.

    “Science is the best thing ever devised for understanding the world and we should love it” — Michael Shermer

    But most people do not understand the scientific method and their world view is based on “beliefs” and “faith”. It is human nature.

    Do I “believe” in science? It is not a belief. It is a world view based on solid evidence.

    BTW Biocentrism would likely to be attractive to people who believe in Geocentrism

  137. John Sandlin

    One of the early complaints about the Copernican model was that the math didn’t match observations as well as the geocentric math. Of course Kepler went a long way to fixing that by changing orbits from nice perfect circles to ellipses (although Kepler didn’t like ellipses). Only with Relativity do the maths all work for the heliocentric model.

  138. Messier Tidy Upper

    @86. MattF & 87. Amy F. :

    Anybody here know how Geocentrists explain stellar aberration?
    & Or parallax for that matter…

    Those stars are being aberrent aberrations because they are possessed by teh Debbil. Especially those degenerate white dwarfs! They’re just doing it to be deferent! ;-)

    Really, in this day and age I really hope the geocentrist Flat Earthers are just doing this for the LOLz and to stir folks up. Because *can* anybody seriously, really & truly, believe such utter tripe?

    I ‘spose the Creobots seem to but .. ugh.
    You might as well believe the value of Pi is 3 & 2 + 2 = 3.

    @71. Jason Says:

    @62 that I believe is the Ptolemaic view… Circles within circles. Though I have not seen, nor attempted, the math on it and am just pulling from dusty memory. I think the term was epicycles…

    Yep. Epicycles and deferents with more and more such (“perfect”) circles being added over time to try and make geocentric theory match observed reality – which would keep drifting out of synch however hard they tried.

    Then Galileo used his telescope and discovered the “Medicean stars*” orbiting Jupiter not Earth, phases of Venus and Mercury, “blemishes” on the supposedly perfect Moon and Sun, the odd “ears” on Saturn and so forth and geocentrism became intellectually untenable.

    —–

    * Now named the Galilean moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede & Callisto.

  139. TheBlackCat:

    If ou want a summary, go to my website. It is free.

  140. Magnus Lundgren

    Seems like your post (and possibly others) has killed the site. They are out of bandwidth so I failed to get their pdfs.

  141. I remember when I was a young lad, I used to run through theories about how the universe may be moving around me, rather than me moving round the universe. I didn’t believe it, but it was fun to think about. A similar idea is to claim that when you’re driving in your car, the car isn’t moving, the earth is moving around the car. Of course, it’s nonsense when you realise that all other cars and people are moving too and it would be slightly hard to move the earth for them too. When you think about this on astronomical scales, it’s no different since other planets orbit their own stars in the same way as is sensibly proposed for our planet. Plus the fact that there is no mechanism that could drive such a motion. Case closed as far as I’m concerned.

  142. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    There are other arguments used, and they seem like good ones but in fact they don’t work out in real life. For example, the most obvious one is that distant stars are light years away. If they circle us once per day, they must move faster than light, which is impossible! This is true even for Neptune; at its distance it would have to move at just faster than light to make one circle every 24 hours.

    I thought about this, and wound up asking my friend the cosmologist and fellow Hive Overmind blogger Sean Carroll. He confirmed my thinking: relativity says the math has to work out if you change a frame of reference, so if you do the detailed relativistic equations to look at the motion of distant objects, it still works. Things actually can move faster than light relative to the coordinate system, it’s just that things cannot move past each other with a relative speed greater than light. In the weird geocentric frame where the Universe revolves around the Earth, that is self-consistent.

    In other words, the Neptune-moving-too-quickly argument sounds good, but in reality it doesn’t work, and we shouldn’t use it.

    If an object is 10 billion light years away, it would require a centripetal acceleration of approximately 1016 ms-2 to revolve about Earth. There’s no way that such a huge acceleration can be applied to a distant object if our current theories are even a good approximation to reality. And we have good reason to believe that our current theories are indeed a good approximation to reality. IIUC, this is a sufficiently different form of that argument that it does work.

  143. Robert Carnegie

    Does the universe revolving around us bend the path of Foucault’s pendulum, as well? I suppose it’s just the same as it driving the weather. Foucault’s pendulum is my go-to for “Test whether the planet you are standing on is rotating.”

    I suppose G-centrism also re-opens a window for astrology to work, if mighty stars and galaxies are exerting so much physical force on the Earth already. If, as you say, it just depends on how you look at it.

    There was I think the post-Galileo Tychonian idea, where, hmm, imagine a rigid sheet of plastic film, admittedly only two-dimensional, upon which all the celestial bodies move around according to the rules of Copernicus or Kepler or Newton or maybe Einstein, -but- there also is the true fixed celestial firmament and planet Earth alone is fixed firmly onto it. So the plastic sheet itself, which contains all the stars and planets and is only a metaphor for the relationships between them, is spinning around, centred on the Earth, like you thumbtacked the sheet onto the firmament throogh that point.

    Or maybe you allow the Earth to spin on its axis, but not to depart from the centre of the universe. Whatever.

    Or, imagine an orrery, an animation of the solar system, running on an iPad personal computer, but while it runs you move the computer around so that Earth stays in the same place in the real world, not on the screen.

    Somebody told me that supposedly you could conveniently attend this latest “Galile-No” event if you were already in the neighbourhood of Notre Dame University, and apparently this is because the hotel where they are actually doing it is also near to there. That was a surprise – I had assumed it was on in a local bar.

  144. Dr.Sid

    You can define what is revolving around what. You do that by measuring centrifugal forces, and you will find to which point the objects accelerate. Earth does revolve around it’s center, and Earth does circle around actual Solar system center of gravity, which is inside Sun. It does not matter if you are in your Volvo. Those centrifugal forces will be same for any frame of reference.
    So you really can say: no, Sun does not revolve around the Earth, it’s the other way around.

  145. Marius

    You mean Hrab isn’t the center of the universe? Damn!

  146. Nigel Depledge

    OK, I have not yet read through the comments, so apologies if this has already been addressed.

    Interestingly, geocentrism failed pretty much as soon as it was formalised.

    Ptolemy himself couldn’t make it work. His best approximation (which still gave less accurate predictions than a heliocentric, Copernican model) had the Earth not at the centre of the circular motion of the heavenly bodies, but shifted off to one side. So, the planets had to revolve on their epicycles that travelled an orbit (called the deferent) around an arbitrary point in space called the Equant. Oddly, despite his embarassment about moving the Earth away from the centre of the Universe, his model was largely accepted until the early 11th century.

    Ibn al-Haytham (in the 11th century) soundly and rightly criticises the Ptolemaic model for its inconcsistencies, and made the first steps to a more accurate model (albeit still a geocentric one).

    See:
    http [colon slash slash] en.wikipedia.org [slash] wiki [slash] Ibn_al-Haytham

    In the 13th century, Al-Tusi made further progress in making more accurate models of planetary motion. He made strides towards a more accurate geocentric model by the invention of the Tusi couple (in which Ptolemy’s epicycles are replaced by two circles that cumulatively approximate linear morion). In so doing, he did away with the need for the Equant, but his model was not very accurate by today’s standards, and was later slightly refined by his successors. Their work did heavily influence Copernicus (in fact, there is some evidence that Copernicus stole the idea of the Tusi couple) in the formulation of the first heliocentric model known to Europeans.

    Lots more good info here:
    http [colon slash slash] en.wikipedia.org [slash] wiki [slash] Astronomy_in_medieval_Islam

    Even the best geocentric models had problems when compared against precise and accurate observations.

    They had an even bigger problem – they were complicated and arbitrary. There was no concept of what made stuff revolve around the Earth, they contained all sorts of fiddly little fixes to make the model more closely match observation and there was no intrinsic explanation of how the observed motions are generated. Ptolomy and almost all of his successors regarded their models as no more than mathematical constructs that enabled the prediction of the positions of the planets and stars (more or less).

  147. #140 Matthew:
    But most people do not understand the scientific method and their world view is based on “beliefs” and “faith”. It is human nature.

    Do I “believe” in science? It is not a belief. It is a world view based on solid evidence.

    Exactly. But the creatards can’t see that; they seem to imagine that science is another “belief” system. Some of them even say things to the effect of “You can’t trust science, because it keeps changing!” – how’s that for a complete lack of comprehension?
    Then there are those who deliberately exploit that lack of comprehension, such as Ray “Banana Man” Comfort. In one of his stupid videos, he went around asking people the meaningless question, “Do you believe in evolution?”

  148. whooke

    So many of these disagreements could have been circumvented if only the early editors of the bible had contracted Archimedes to contribute a book or two. That could have passed muster as divinely inspired.

  149. Nigel Depledge

    A good demonstration that onjects in the solar system revolve about the sun is in the orbits of Venus and Mercury.

    We never see these very far from the Sun in the sky. If Venus, Mercury and the Sun all revolved about the Earth, it should occasionally be possible to see Venus or Mercury overhead at midnight. But this never happens.

    If you observe Venus regularly through a telescope, you will see its phases, and you will see it move away from the sun, then back towards the sun (and its daily motion follows a sine function); then it will appear on the other side of the sun (as viewed from Earth) and do the mirror image. You will see its phases as it does so, and you will observe that it changes noticeably in angular size. You may occasionally see a transit (if you project an image of the sun through your telescope onto a wall or a screen). You will notice that, when Venus has its largest angular size, it is also either transiting the sun or in a narrow crescent phase. Conversely, we only ever see a “full” Venus when it is at its smallest angular size. The only parsimonious explanation for this behaviour is that Venus orbits the sun.

    The same applies to Mercury, but that’s harder to observe.

    If Mercury and Venus orbit the sun, what prevents anything else from doing so? Any geocentric model must answer this question or demand special pleading.

  150. Mike

    In response to a post asking about thier PhD’s Sungenis’ bio on Wiki states that he has a BA and MA in Theology but no mention of a Doctorate. Bennett (Robert J) has to may hits from dentists to a US Congressman I could not narrow him down.

  151. Steve Metzler

    Just in case some of you don’t get the earlier references to ‘intelligent falling’, then this Onion article is for you:

    Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory

  152. @Nemesis,

    The best way to visualize the balloon analogy is to picture us as 2D squares on the inner surface of the balloon. We can look up, down, left and right but not into the balloon or out of the balloon. In addition, you can travel up, down, left and right but not into or out of the balloon. So you could (theoretically) go all around the Universe and never see the edge. Meanwhile, the “edge” was right there all along, just in a direction that you weren’t capable of looking. I’d recommend reading Flatland for a good lesson on translating 4D objects as viewed by 3D beings into 3D objects as viewed by 2D beings.

  153. David

    Actually, it’s only true for special relativity that there is no absolute frame of reference. Or, more precisely, every inertial frame of reference is equivalent because they are all moving at constant speed with respect to one another. This only happens if acceleration is not occurring. In general relativity this is not the case, we consider the curvature of spacetime to be the absolute frame of reference, in a certain sense, because of the equivalence principle that acceleration from gravitation is indistinguishable from acceleration of frame of reference. But I’m sure that whatever these geocentrists are saying is falling far short of making any real sense of relativistic physics.

  154. RL

    @brm,

    Please learn about history, else you sound like a Geocentrist. The closest political entity to what you described is what we call the Byzantine Empire that preserved civilization, learning and culture for centuries. The Dark Ages that happened in Western Europe was not a result of Roman Catholics but the disintegration of the western half of the Roman Empire and it’s civilization which occured for many reasons over centuries. If not for the remnants of the church in that part of the world, even more knowledge would have been lost during that time. There was a pope (or at times popes) during this time in Rome but their power waxed and waned and surely did not have all the power.

  155. Nigel Depledge

    Joseph Smidt (3) said:

    So yes, it is fun to poke at creationists but a *really* concerning thing to me is even educated science loving people (even scientists) can so easily dismiss ideas with decades of mounting evidence like inflation or dark matter and in some cases even state that “such voodoo” science should perhaps not be funded.

    Or continental drift …

    I think the difference between science and other disciplines is that, once the amount of evidence (or the quality of it) reaches a certain tipping point, the naysayers rapidly turn around and accept the findings.

    In the case of continental drift, it was the parallel strips of differently magnetised seabed mirroring one another either side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that tipped the balance. In the case of dark matter, well, I don’t think I can point to a single piece of evidence that is quite as dramatically convincing. The case for dark matter is good, but it is still, in principle, possible that it is our understanding of gravity that is wrong instead.

  156. Happy Camper

    I’m calling a poe here.

    As of this morning the “Galileo is wrong” website is down. What I get is that the website can not be found on the server.

    @ Mark Wyatt

    I believe you are nothing but a fraud and a liar. You have provided nothing in the way of your credentials or anything that would indicate you know anything about cosmology. You have attempted to get the commentators here to “read the book” but don’t provide any reason other than it is a “good read”(sorry but that’s not good enough for us to fork out money). The entire line of reasoning (if you can call it that) is that modern cosmology is wrong because it conflicts with your interpretation that the bible is literal and the mistaken belief that you/we are somehow special and the whole universe was “created” for one species on an insignificant planet. IMO you are asserting a religious argument against well established facts and that too is not enough.

    If you have anything in the way of facts I’m sure we would all love to see it but until you do you are doing nothing but digging yourself into a deeper hole. Ether put up or shut up!

  157. Nigel Depledge

    RL (153) said:

    Please learn about history, else you sound like a Geocentrist. The closest political entity to what you described is what we call the Byzantine Empire that preserved civilization, learning and culture for centuries. The Dark Ages that happened in Western Europe was not a result of Roman Catholics but the disintegration of the western half of the Roman Empire and it’s civilization which occured for many reasons over centuries. If not for the remnants of the church in that part of the world, even more knowledge would have been lost during that time. There was a pope (or at times popes) during this time in Rome but their power waxed and waned and surely did not have all the power.

    Actually, between the 8th and 14th centuries, it was not really the Christian church that preserved and built on the learing of the ancient world – it was the Islamic empire. Much Persian and Arabic learning helped to kick-start the Renaissance in Europe.

  158. Nigel Depledge

    Jason (33) said:

    Afterall, if God is Truth, then the search for truth will lead to him, not away. Science is the search for truth, so why should there be a conflict?

    So please can you go and tell all the creationists and evolution-deniers so we won’t have to any more? Thanks!

  159. Nigel Depledge

    Zirky (35) said:

    I’m not much of an astronomer, most of my knowledge stems from this blog. I have a bit of an unrelated question, you said really there is not one true center? If you, for lack of a better word, zoom out far enough where the entirety of the universe was in the frame of reference, wouldn’t there, for that moment be a definitive center point, assuming for a second that expansion was either uniform in all directions or a discreet snap shot was taken? Or is this more along the lines of “we don’t actually know what all of the universe looks like so its impossible to make any declarative statement” kind of thing?

    I think there are two answers to this.

    The first concerns the speed of light and the age of the universe, so we are at the apparent centre of the entire sphere of space that we can possibly observe. But we have every reason to suppose that there is more universe out there than we can see.

    The second is more mathematical – that the universe exists in (at least) four dimensions and what we perceive is the three-dimensional surface of that entity. And it is curved. In the same way that the surface of a sphere has no centre, so the universe that we perceive has no centre.

    NB, I don’t really understand point 2 so I might have got it a bit wrong, but I hope the gist of it is adequately clear.

  160. Howard

    The earth is still a pretty big place, so the center of the universe should be a point on the earth – but where? The Sistine Chapel? The Pope’s commode?

  161. Lenin said that the revolution is one step forward and two steps back. I believe that and the evolution of human mind likes this rule – quote. now we are at two steps back of the humanity.

  162. John Sandlin

    I should note my earlier comment on the math for geocentrism working better than the Copernican model includes all the intricate epicycles. I believe the Antikythera machanism was a calculator that did so.

    Regarding the missing website, perhaps this link will shed light on the Geocentric philosophy, at least as espoused by Sungenis (accessable for free until we swamp them): http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/Answer_to_Alec_MacAndrew_on_Geocentrism.pdf

    Sungenis makes some wild and surprising assertions.

  163. MegaChirp2

    Bubble Burst… had to tell my kid he really isn’t the center of the Universe, no matter how much he’d like to think so!

  164. As I have already remarked, both Copernicus and Galileo believed in circular motion and epicycles. Please stop giving them credit for Kepler’s discovery of elliptical orbits. In this respect, Galileo /was/ wrong.

    As long as I’m here, let me also add that the RC Church had put no restriction on the teaching of Heliocentrism except that it not be taught as absolutely true, to the exclusion of all other possibilities, until after the Galileo affair. At that point, it put Copernicus on the Index of Forbidden Books for four years, and then released it again with a grand total of nine sentences altered or deleted to remove the single forbidden claim. In the next revision of the Index, which didn’t come until 1758, all mention of Copernicus was eliminated. I suspect that Sungenis does not understand any of this.

    All the headlines about the Galileo case being opened again that caused so much fuss a few years back had nothing to do with Copernicanism, which has been accepted for centuries. It was just a matter of looking into the question of whether Galileo was guilty of being a smartass, which is all he was actually condemned for.

  165. I’m seriously tempted to “visit” this conference. I live about 30 minutes away, and teach astronomy here at Indiana University in South Bend. 50$ is steep, but this could be as entertaining to report on so as to make it worthwhile. At least to me students. I just can’t validate derailing a useful lecture for one day to students who have paid to learn… well, you know, science.

  166. “Nigel Depledge Says:
    …If an object is 10 billion light years away, it would require a centripetal acceleration of approximately 1016 ms-2 to revolve about Earth. There’s no way that such a huge acceleration can be applied to a distant object if our current theories are even a good approximation to reality. ”

    Oh, an anti-relativist. You reject general relativity, so you are in the minority, like geocentrists.

    And BTW, the centripital force does not have to be “applied”. If the universe were rotating, it would end up being a natural reaction.

  167. “Does the universe revolving around us bend the path of Foucault’s pendulum, as well? I suppose it’s just the same as it driving the weather. Foucault’s pendulum is my go-to for “Test whether the planet you are standing on is rotating.” ”

    Einstein and Ernst Mach disagree with you. They both agreed that a stationary earth in a rotating universe would produce the same pendulum effect. Even the author of this report would probably agree with that.

  168. “Nigel Depledge Says:
    …OK, I have not yet read through the comments, so apologies if this has already been addressed.

    Interestingly, geocentrism failed pretty much as soon as it was formalised.

    Ptolemy himself couldn’t make it work…”

    Nigel: In terms of observations, the neo-Tychonian works. In it the unirverse rotates fixing earth at its center with the sun moving with the universe. The planets (earth not being one) orbit the sun in Keplerian approximate elliptical orbits.

    This is an exact inverse of the Keplerian heliocentiric model, and accounts for abberation, parallax, etc. It being basically a coordinate transformation has to work.

  169. Steve Metzler

    Mark Wyatt (#171) said:

    Einstein and Ernst Mach disagree with you. They both agreed that a stationary earth in a rotating universe would produce the same pendulum effect.

    And how exactly would the rotating universe influence the path of the pendulum on the stationary Earth?

    [crickets]

  170. Brian Davis @ 169: Make it a case study for your students. Have them refute the Geocentric nonsense, and they’ll learn that it might not be as easy as they think. They will learn a lot about the scientific process, personal biases, literature searches and gullibility in the process. And I think it could be fun. And you of course would have the role of “Sungeni’s advocate” trying to shoot down all their attempts… Just a thought :-)
    Good luck, Regner
    P.S. I spend more than a year debating these same characters and it took me almost 4 months (I believe) to convince (only some of) them that the combined orbital and diurnal motions of Earth does NOT make two sets of stationary poles in the sky – That really was one of their arguments against a moving Earth…

  171. PdlJmpr

    Wow, Phil. Really touched a nerve here! Thanks.

    My perverse humor enjoyed interchanging the terms “religion” and “science” in posts above. I was touched by the personal glimpses. Also reminded of the Moody Blues,
    “Cold-hearted orb that rules the night, takes the colors from our sight,
    Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right… And which is an illusion.”

  172. mike burkhart

    May I point out as a Catholic that the modern Church dose not condemn the Conpurcian theory . In fact science is taught in Catholic schools is the same science taught in public schools . And the vast majority of Catholics know for a fact the Earth reveloves around the sun and. and many like myself have an interest in Astronomy . Besides this is another abuse of the Bible , no where in the Bible dose it say that the Earth is in the center of the Universe . As I keep saying STOP READING THE BIBLE FOR SCIENCE IT WAS NOT WRITEN AS A SCIENCE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  173. “Mark Wyatt (#171) said:

    Einstein and Ernst Mach disagree with you. They both agreed that a stationary earth in a rotating universe would produce the same pendulum effect.

    And how exactly would the rotating universe influence the path of the pendulum on the stationary Earth?

    [crickets]”

    Mach’s principle.

    [violins]

  174. MosesZD

    This seems to be quite a dickish post as it’s full of ridicule and not being properly respectful to the feelings and point-of-view to the geocentrists. How about a little more sensitivity there, Phil.

  175. mike burkhart Says:

    “In fact science is taught in Catholic schools is the same science taught in public schools.”

    Which is the same science used in geocentric theory.

    “And the vast majority of Catholics know for a fact the Earth reveloves around the sun…”

    Wow! A majority of Catholics aer smarter than Stephen Hawkings, Einstein, Mach, etc. Noqw that is one smart religion!

    “…and many like myself have an interest in Astronomy.”

    And many, like me. The enjoyment of astronomy is not dependent on what travels around what. God’s handiwork is apparent.

    I’m not poking fun at you, Mike. I just want to point out that we are talking about the same erth, universe, etc.

  176. Steve D

    The more I read this column, the more appalled I am at the atrocious physics. I though “Bad Astronomy” was meant to discredit bad astronomy, not commit it!

    The argument about coordinate systems is preposterous. You can imagine a coordinate system moving through our space faster than light and thus, in that framework, objects in our space are moving faster than light. No problem as long as there are no material objects in the moving coordinate system. Although it’s hard to know if viewing something from that coordinate system has any physical meaning if there are no material objects in it.

    The probem is, there IS a material object in the coordinate system centered on the earth. Namely, the earth. So in the geocentric system, we have a stationary coordinate system centered on the earth and objects rotating through that coordinate system. Once you get beyond the outer solar system, objects are moving faster than the speed of light relative to the surface of the earth. In the geocentric system you DO have material objects moving faster than light relative to each other.

    Even if we stay in a non-relativistic framework (low velocities), the reference frames are not equivalent. Consider the Moon. The earth at the equator is rotating 1670 km/hr eastward. The Moon is moving about 3000 km an hour eastward in its orbit. Even though it’s moving faster than our rotation, it still moves across the sky because we have a much smaller circle to traverse. If we put something in lunar orbit on the opposite side of the Moon’s orbit, it will be moving 6000 km/hr relative to the Moon. In a Geocentric framework, the Moon is moving over 100,000 km/hour and our hypothetical lunar anti-satellite is moving 100,000 km/hour in the opposite direction, for a relative velocity of 200,000 km/hour. Pretty clearly not equivalent.

    Tell your buddy to show us the math. Don’t just give us an arm-waving claim about what the equations WOULD show – do the actual calculations.

    Go write on the blackboard 1000 times; Rotating reference frames are not inertial.

    As for being “properly respectful to the feelings and point-of-view to the geocentrists,” what’s to respect? There seem to be widespread misconceptions that science can’t say things are really true (in the article), and we can’t call garbage garbage (#178). Sensitivity? Take it to someone who cares.

    Also, #64, historical illiteracy doesn’t help a bit. It’s a complete myth that the Ptolemaic system added circles upon circles. The best edition of the Alphonsine Tables is, unfortunately, in French, but any decent library can get it for you on loan. They are no more complex than a set of planetary tables I have from pre-computer days, and a heck of a lot less complex than the most exact tables. They are also, of course, a lot less precise.

  177. Anon

    Mark@143 – I looked at your website. I am not convinced.

  178. Tribeca Mike

    As a graphic artist, what always irks me about the Woo Woos is that the least they can do is get a hold of a good publishing program. Their stuff always looks like it was done in Word or WordPerfect. If they truly are privy to the ultimate arcane inner secrets, why haven’t they heard of InDesign or Illustrator yet? The most creative people must be skeptics, or have much better things to do with their time and minds (which come to think of it might be a redundancy).

  179. Amy platinga

    I think Phil’s attitude casually dismissing the religious beliefs of geocentrists shows how aggressive the new atheists really are. They can’t stand other views of reality and feel frightened that other people don’t conform to their “scientific ” belief system.

  180. “Once you get beyond the outer solar system, objects are moving faster than the speed of light relative to the surface of the earth. In the geocentric system you DO have material objects moving faster than light relative to each other.”

    So you are saying that general relativity cannot work? I presume you do not support the big bang than (maybe you do not)?

  181. Steve Metzler

    Mark Wyatt (#177):

    I said:

    And how exactly would the rotating universe influence the path of the pendulum on the stationary Earth?

    [crickets]

    To which you replied:

    Mach’s principle.

    [violins]

    So, I read up on the thought experiment at the end of the Wikipedia entry on Mach’s principle, and also the related entry about frame dragging (a.k.a. the Lense–Thirring effect). Yes, hypothetically if you set up a Foucalt pendulum on a stationary Earth, the movement of the rest of the universe around it would influence the pendulum.

    But the effect would be so infinitesimally tiny as to be *unmeasurable*. It wouldn’t be anywhere close to the effect you get with a rotating Earth, like the set-up at the university of New South Wales, where the pendulum precesses 1 degree in about 7 minutes. So in no way would you be able to use that hypothetical setup to get an ‘Aha! moment’ where you could say: “Look, we know the Earth is stationary, so why is the pendulum precessing?” You could stand there for days and you would see no apparent precession of the pendulum!

  182. whooke

    Brian Davis # 169

    I long time ago I read an essay by George Bernard Shaw in which he described a meeting he attended where a gentleman challenged the audience to prove to him that the earth was spherical, and not flat. Most of the arguments put to him could be dismissed as optical illusions, or as hearsay. In Shaw’s opinion, no-one was able to refute the man’s arguments and prove him wrong.

    People put up arguments such as “you can sail around the world in this or that way” or “you can walk/fly across Antarctica” to which his answer was “Have YOU ever done those things? How do YOU know, without taking someone else’s word for it?” I think it is a valid point to make, that many (most?) people couldn’t say why they believe the Earth to be a sphere. They are just taking the word of “experts”. The level of scientific literacy in the community, even among educated people, is scarily poor.

    The main lesson (I think) was that the person best prepared for a debate is likely to win it, regardless of the facts. There are refutations to the nonsense some people spout, but you sometimes have to think hard to come up with them. That would be a very useful exercise for an astronomy class, I would think.

    The development of modern communications makes proving the earth to be (basically) spherical very easy. The stars appear to move in circular paths during the course of a night. But they rotate in opposite directions simultaneously as viewed from the northern and southern hemispheres. This can be seen either by traveling between the hemispheres, or by picking up the phone and asking someone you trust in the other hemisphere to look up and see which way the stars are rotating.

    Shaw G.B. (1944) Everybody’s Political What’s What.

  183. Tribeca Mike

    whooke — your comment about GB Shaw (and I read “Everybody’s Political What’s What” every few years for sheer enjoyment in the written word well used) reminds me of how after the sensational opening night of his brilliant and hilarious comedic play “Man & Superman,” he admonished not only his audience for laughing, but also his cast for acting as if they were performing in a comedy. Being of Irish heritage meself, I never really understood the man until I found out he was brought up as an ultra-serious Scots Episcopalian, which explained a whole lot about the rascal. Old GB was a heap of eccentric contradictions, especially in the political realm (see his early naivety viz the USSR and Messrs Mussolini and Hitler), abetted by a most prodigious and ingenious talent for writing, the latter of which is his saving grace.

  184. Renee Marie Jones

    “Again, the math works out, but it’s standing a pyramid on its tip: you have it precisely backwards.”

    This is kind-of off-topic, but it reminds me of one of the funniest comics I ever saw. Two ancient Egyptians are standing on a hill overlooking a worksite where dozens of workers are *lowering* large blocks into a huge pyramid-shaped hole in the ground. One of them says, “Building them is easy, it’s digging them out and flipping them over that’s hard.”

  185. Amy platinga (183): You’re (heh) calling me (ha!) a new atheist?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    [sniff]

    Sorry, but that struck me as just a wee bit funny.

    And I’m not dismissing Geocentrists due to their religious beliefs. I’m dismissing them because Geocentrism is wrong. I hope you can see the difference.

  186. mike burkhart

    Let me make ask IF the catholic church hates science then:how come the vatican has an observatory?how come science is taught in catholic schools?during the moon landing Pope Paul 6 had a tv instaled so he could watch it he also called for prayers during the Applo 13mission and how come people like me have not been excomunicated for studying science? I rest my case

  187. @182. Adobe Products are extremely expensive, those kind of people do not have much money, usually.

    @183. You are, in the kindest words possible, an idiot. Reality IS; it [reality] does not depend on what you think of it. To quote Shakespeare, “There are more things in heaven and Earth then are dreampt of in your philosophy, Horatio”.

    Phil isn’t an atheist, he’s secretly a Cthuthulist. :p

    @Phil, you want a big pile of fail? Check out the “Space Mirror Mystery” website. It is so deliciously bad it goes around the edge of “bad”, and comes back around to “good”. I think the website is spacemirrormystery.com (Try not to hurt yourself laughing too hard.)

  188. Kalko

    “Capital-G Geocentrism is the belief that geocentrism is the only frame, the real one.”

    Ah, but there’s the rub. That’s what Heliocentrism says too. So by your logic _both_ systems are wrong.

  189. Carl Segan

    I am actually very pleased to have the privilege of attending this conference.

  190. Cosmonut

    Look, you ignoramuses, geocentrism is right and its got nothing to do with the Bible which is full of false superstitions.

    The Valar made a flat Earth and the last fruits of the Trees of Light were set to orbit it. That’s what we call the Sun and Moon.
    The world was later made spherical by Eru, when the Numenoreans tried to invade Valinor and seize eternal life.
    So, now we have a round world, but its all geocentric. Get it ?

    For Elbereth’s sake, one would think you people here haven’t even read the
    Holy Silmarillion by Prophet Tolkien.

  191. Nigel Depledge

    John Sandlin (166) said:

    I should note my earlier comment on the math for geocentrism working better than the Copernican model includes all the intricate epicycles.

    I think you mean Tusi couples, not epicycles. The epicycles were Ptolemaic, and were not an adequate fix.

    The addition of Tusi couples to geocentric models allowed the Earth to be at the centre of the model (rather than having to centre the deferents about the Equant). But Copernicus knew all about Tusi couples and the best geocentric models. I think his model (heliocentric with circular orbits IIRC) would have had at least the same accuracy as the best geocentric models – otherwise (if the heliocentric model had been less accurate than the best geocentric one), why would anyone consider a heliocentric system at all?

    I believe the Antikythera machanism was a calculator that did so.

    You can believe what you like about it. AFAIK, no-one knows exactly how it worked, although there are several fairly reasonable ideas about it.

  192. Nigel Depledge

    John W Kennedy (168) said:

    As I have already remarked, both Copernicus and Galileo believed in circular motion and epicycles. Please stop giving them credit for Kepler’s discovery of elliptical orbits. In this respect, Galileo /was/ wrong.

    Well, here’s one instance where you are wrong: Copernicus knew that epicycles were a useless post-hoc patch-up. He used Tusi couples in his calculations, not epicycles.

    Epicycles were so 2nd-century. Tusi couples were where it was at.

    Until Kepler.

  193. Nigel Depledge

    Mark Wyatt (170) said:

    Oh, an anti-relativist. You reject general relativity, so you are in the minority, like geocentrists.

    Erm … no?

    And BTW, the centripital force does not have to be “applied”. If the universe were rotating, it would end up being a natural reaction.

    Eh?

    So, if there’s no acceleration towards the centre of rotation, what prevents everything from just, y’know, going off in a straight line?

  194. Nigel Depledge

    Mark Wyatt (172) said:

    Nigel: In terms of observations, the neo-Tychonian works. In it the unirverse rotates fixing earth at its center with the sun moving with the universe. The planets (earth not being one) orbit the sun in Keplerian approximate elliptical orbits.

    This is an exact inverse of the Keplerian heliocentiric model, and accounts for abberation, parallax, etc. It being basically a coordinate transformation has to work.

    Being simply a change of reference frame, though, surely this is just semantics.

    In principle, it is impossible to determine empirically whether it is the Earth or the rest of the universe that is moving. All we can really measure is that things move relative to one another.

    However, there is no logical basis for a stationary Earth (stationary relative to what, anyway?). It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the Earth, just like any other body in the universe, moves in response to gravitational effects. Otherwise, you need special pleading to explain why the Earth should be the one fixed reference point for everything else.

    Then again, given that various bits of the Earth move relative to one another, which part of the Earth is the stationary bit?

  195. Nigel Depledge

    Mark Wyatt (179) said:

    mike burkhart Says:

    “In fact science is taught in Catholic schools is the same science taught in public schools.”

    Which is the same science used in geocentric theory.

    (1) There’s no such thing as geocentric theory. It is a mere mathematical model.

    (2) If your version of geocentrism is a mere coordinate transformation from the real universe, then it hs no more value and far less use (since it causes confusion with Geocentrism).

    (3) If you genuinely believe that the Earth is the centre of everything, then you have a long, long way to go to prove it. That’s why the heliocentric view of the solar system took over.

    (4) The results of real science indicate that all geocentric models of the solar system fail to correspond to reality in any meaningful way.

  196. Nigel Depledge

    Amy platinga (183) said:

    They can’t stand other views of reality and feel frightened that other people don’t conform to their “scientific ” belief system.

    Actually, feel free to believe whatever you like. However, when it comes to systems of thought that accurately describe reality, guess who the ultimate arbiter is?

    No, not god. No, not Richard Dawkins (although that was a good guess ;-) ). It is the universe itself.

    Science is the process by which we learn how reality is.

    Ergo, other “views of reality” are a contradiction. Either a view of reality stands up to scientific scrutiny (in which case it is a part of science) or it does not. If it fails when scrutinised in this way, it is not a view of reality. It is something else – call it a way of life, call it a sense of community, call it anything else. But be aware, if your ideas do not match reality, they are not a view of reality.

    What frightens me about such things as this conference on Geocentrism is the utter absence of any substantive thought that takes place. Everything is accepted on the say-so of one or a few authority figures, independent thought is vilified, and the accumulated learning of centuries is dismissed as flawed, misguided or evil.

  197. Nigel Depledge

    Mark Wyatt (184) said:

    “Once you get beyond the outer solar system, objects are moving faster than the speed of light relative to the surface of the earth. In the geocentric system you DO have material objects moving faster than light relative to each other.”

    So you are saying that general relativity cannot work? I presume you do not support the big bang than (maybe you do not)?

    Ooh! I know this one!

    Because it is space that is expanding, the expansion of the universe is locally a tiny, tiny effect. The relative motion of objects due to expansion only becomes apparent at larger scales. So, nothing is moving rapidly through local space, but the space between objects is expanding (at about 40-odd km/s/GPc IIRC).

  198. TheBlackCat

    Does Amy platinga have a history of promoting fundamentalist views? If not I call Poe.

  199. Shadeburst

    #58 @Brian: Why do we take so much trouble putting down a tiny minority of whackheads? Answer. We’re keeping in practice for dealing with the huge majority of whackheads out there on topics from AIDS denial through holocaust denial and evolution denial to global warming denial. And because we know that we can (gasp) be R.O.N.G. spells wrong ourselves, we enjoy testing our ideas in robust debate. So any subject, be it as trivial as a Geocentrist conference, is a good excuse for us to let rip.

  200. PdlJmpr

    Re: 176. mike
    I agree that the Bible is NOT a history, science, archeology, math, etc. textbook. The Bible is the history and future of God’s salvation, nothing more. If you choose not to believe in God or that He is trying to save, not destroy, us, then the Bible is little more than mythology or quaint moral lessons. To a consciencious, rational and sincere Bible believer (like myself), geocentrism is quite wrong. I can poke as much fun at them as the rest of you, just without the well-developed science vocabulary, albeit maybe with a biblical vocabulary. What they have the most wrong from a Biblical point of view is that HUMANITY, not earth, is the center of God’s plan of salvation. To jump to the view that the planet earth is now literally the center of the universe cannot be supported from Scripture, to my knowledge. To take it further and claim that the Bible says that the universe rotates around earth is rediculous. Although, Bible prophecy does say that after Christ’s second return the earth will be purified by fire and re-created so that the throne and city of God will descend and be established upon it forever. God’s throne IS considered to be the center of the universe, but I am sure most Christians believe that moving it to earth will not alter the various motions of the cosmos. I would guess that somewhere on the internet theologians are having a similar geocentrist roast and jest party.

    Re: 201, nigel (re: 183, platinga)
    I disagree that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality. The individual is. I decide which is right, which is reality. No one can decide for me. I may be confused, irrational and contridictory, and even ignorant and totally unqualified to decide, but I still get to decide. Science is only a means, a vehicle, a modis operandi, a way to get there, and nothing more. When science is elevated, worshiped, deified, believed and taught to be an end in itself excluding all others, then Science becomes a god no more worthy of honor or disdain than any of these other “-isms” being referred to here. I am myself a valid frame of reference, too.

  201. However, this frame of reference, called heliocentrism, still is not the best frame for everything. Astronomers who study other galaxies use a galactic coordinate system based on our Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun is just another star inside it. Call it galactocentrism, if you want, and it’s just as useful as geo- or heliocentrism in its limited way.

    SWEET!!! Of course a fructocentric universe would be even sweeter. ;-)

  202. TheBlackCat

    If you choose not to believe in God or that He is trying to save, not destroy, us, then the Bible is little more than mythology or quaint moral lessons.

    If you believe the Bible then God IS trying to destroy most of us. Only a relatively small number will survive the end times, most of our souls will be destroyed.

    If you choose not to believe in God or that He is trying to save, not destroy, us, then the Bible is little more than mythology or quaint moral lessons.

    Putting humans at the center of the universe is little better.

    If you choose not to believe in God or that He is trying to save, not destroy, us, then the Bible is little more than mythology or quaint moral lessons.

    Then you need to the Bible more closely. Hint: find out what the word “firmament” means.

    I disagree that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality. The individual is. I decide which is right, which is reality. No one can decide for me.

    I believe you when I see you levitating. Until then I will conclude that your decision about what is reality and what isn’t has no impact whatsoever on what actually is reality. Deciding rocks fall upwards does not make it so.

  203. Tribeca Mike

    PdlJmpr — not to be a Dick, but your comment is pure balderdash. I would go into details, but I have much better things to do, like wash my mother-in-law’s car at 10:21 in the evening.

  204. Edward T. Babinski

    See the chapter, “THE COSMOLOGY OF THE BIBLE,” in the recently published work, THE CHRISTIAN DELUSION

  205. So geocentrism is valid, but so is every other frame. This is the very basis of relativity! One of the guiding principles used by Einstein in formulating it is that there is no One True Frame. If there were, the Universe would behave very, very differently.

    Argh! This is conflating two very different notions!

    Notion 1: If you can perform an operation (such as plotting the path of a planet) in one co-ordinate frame, you can perform it in another co-ordinate frame.

    This is a simple *mathematical* principle – the new operation is just what you’d get from transforming between systems, doing the old-style operation, and then transforming back. However, there is no guarantee that the new operation will look remotely sensible.

    For example, if you’re at a fairground and your kid throws a bit of candyfloss off a carousel, you can plot the candyfloss’s path from your perspective or from the kid’s perspective. From your POV the ‘floss goes in a straight line (and probably sticks to your shirt); from your kid’s POV it goes in a curve (Coriolis effect).

    Notion 2: The laws of physics (particularly the speed of light) look the same from all inertial, nonrotational frames of reference. This is the principle of relativity that everyone keeps going on about.

    (An inertial frame is just one where no forces are being applied to the object. A non-rotational frame… well, that should be fairly obvious.)

    Please note that this is *very different* from the first principle. In particular, it explains why Phil’s example of the stars apparently spinning round us is *not* a breach of relativity: because our telescopes are rotating round the Earth. (You can test the Earth’s rotation by firing a rocket upwards and watching for Coriolis effect.)

    It turns out that, from this principle and the assumption that the speed of light is constant relative to all observers, you can calculate a hell of a lot. Special relativity follows directly. General relativity is one of only a few remotely sane ways of handling gravity in this framework.

  206. Nigel Depledge

    PdlJmpr (206) said:

    The Bible is the history and future of God’s salvation, nothing more. If you choose not to believe in God or that He is trying to save, not destroy, us, then the Bible is little more than mythology or quaint moral lessons.

    Interesting take. Is there any way that you can prove that the bible is more than simply mythology and moral tales?

    To a consciencious, rational and sincere Bible believer (like myself), geocentrism is quite wrong.

    Does this mean you claim that a belief in god and the bible is rational?

  207. Nigel Depledge

    PdlJmpr (206) said:

    I disagree that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality.

    That’s not what I said.

    Go re-read my post.

    I said that the universe is the ultimate arbiter of reality. I.e. only reality itself can tell us what is real and what isn’t.

    The individual is. I decide which is right, which is reality.

    No, you don’t. You get to decide what you do with the information you receive from the universe, but you don’t get to decide what is real and what is not. By your reasoning, the invisible pink unicorn in my back garden is as real as the earth beneath my feet, and that is quite clearly utterly ludicrous.

    No one can decide for me.

    I wasn’t asking you to accept another human’s word for anything. The universe is what it is, and no amount of belief or wishful thinking can change that.

    I may be confused, irrational and contridictory, and even ignorant and totally unqualified to decide, but I still get to decide.

    Nope. Doesn’t matter how hard you wish otherwise, the universe is what it is.

    Science is only a means, a vehicle, a modis operandi, a way to get there, and nothing more.

    I assume you meant modus operandi.

    Anyhow, science is the process whereby we test our ideas to find out whether they genuinely reflect reality or not.

    Thus, any process of testing humanity’s ideas agianst reality is part of science, and any ideas that do not match reality can be dismissed.

    When science is elevated, worshiped, deified, believed and taught to be an end in itself excluding all others, then Science becomes a god no more worthy of honor or disdain than any of these other “-isms” being referred to here.

    I don’t know where you get those ideas, but I have never seen science worshipped or deified.

    Science is only elevated above other processes when you are dealing with reality. The scientific approach has proven itself to be a mechanism whereby we can discard our fantasies and find out what is real.

    Science is only believed when the results of an investigation demonstrate that a principle is indeed real. For example, the Aristotelean concept of gravity is quite clearly flawed. Galileo proved it to be wrong. Newton provided a universally applicable formulation of gravity that has proven to be correct (except in strong gravitational fields or for very large accelerations). And so on.

    Science is a process, not a body of knowledge.

    As for science being taught to the exclusion of other “ends” – science is the only means we have of understanding how the universe really is. Any other approach is doomed to failure, because it fails to test its conclusions. Any system that does rigorously test its conclusions about reality is perforce part of science.

    What other systems would you suggest for learning about reality? How can you know that the results of that process are correct?

    I am myself a valid frame of reference, too.

    Only insofar as your experience of reality is as valid as anyone else’s. However, as soon as you start trying to make statements about reality, they are only credible if they have been tested against reality.

  208. Raleigh Minkin

    “Geocentrism is WRONG!” so sayeth the priest of scientism, attacking the religion that he hates. What next Phil? Will you and your aggressive atheist mob be rounding up anyone that disagrees with your dogma, and throw them into a concentration camp? Will you be sanctioning the extermination of anyone who professes that it is YOU WHO ARE WRONG?

    It is about time that you militant atheists started to give our religious views some respect instead of blapheming and mocking our view of reality.

  209. Darth Robo

    >>>”I disagree that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality. The individual is. I decide which is right, which is reality. No one can decide for me.”

    I am married to Jessica Alba.

    (reality is just having a little trouble catching up with my decisions)

  210. Steve Metzler

    See the chapter, “THE COSMOLOGY OF THE BIBLE,” in the recently published work, THE CHRISTIAN DELUSION

    Hi Ed! Had a look at the book on Amazon, looks promising. Have sourced a copy :-)

  211. Nigel Depledge

    Raleigh Minkin (214) said:

    “Geocentrism is WRONG!” so sayeth the priest of scientism,

    Nope. So sayeth reality.

    attacking the religion that he hates.

    Go and re-read that post.

    Phil doesn’t attack the religion – he attacks the conclusion that the Earth is the One True Centre of the universe.

    What next Phil? Will you and your aggressive atheist mob be rounding up anyone that disagrees with your dogma, and throw them into a concentration camp?

    Actually, Geocentrism is the dogma – it has no evidentiary support. Reality tells us that it is wrong. Evidence tells us that – as far as can be determined with any rigour – the universe has no centre.

    . . .
    It is about time that you militant atheists started to give our religious views some respect instead of blapheming and mocking our view of reality.

    You want respect?

    Then damn’ well earn it.

    We all respect your right to believe whatever you wish. However, while you have a right to your own opinion, you don’t have a right to your own facts. You have to deal with the same universe in which the rest of us live, and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that.

  212. Nigel Depledge

    Darth Robo (215) said:

    >>>”I disagree that science is the ultimate arbiter of reality. The individual is. I decide which is right, which is reality. No one can decide for me.”

    I am married to Jessica Alba.

    (reality is just having a little trouble catching up with my decisions)

    LOL! :D

  213. Nigel Depledge

    Raleigh Minkin (214) said:

    Will you be sanctioning the extermination of anyone who professes that it is YOU WHO ARE WRONG?

    Guess what?

    If anyone can rigorously demonstrate – by reference to suitable empirical evidence – that the Earth really is the centre of the universe after all, we will all accept that conclusion.

    Though, to be frank, I very much doubt that any such evidence will ever be discovered. Geocentrism had its chance. It failed. A heliocentric solar system bound by gravity is a far more successful model.

  214. TheBlackCat

    Will you and your aggressive atheist mob be rounding up anyone that disagrees with your dogma, and throw them into a concentration camp? Will you be sanctioning the extermination of anyone who professes that it is YOU WHO ARE WRONG?

    Right, because arguing, based on logic and evidence, that someone is wrong is equivalent to genocide. Are your beliefs really so frail that someone just pointing out evidence against them feels like murder to you?

    It is about time that you militant atheists started to give our religious views some respect instead of blapheming and mocking our view of reality.

    Right, because accusing of us plotting systematic mass murder shows so much respect for us. I find it ironic that those who demand respect the loudest for themselves seem to always be the ones with the least respect for others.

  215. Happy Camper

    @Raleigh Minkin:

    Project much?

  216. Darth Robo

    A heliocentric solar system is an atheist view? Srsly? PLEASE, somebody tell me Raleigh Minkin is a poe!

    Anyway, we ALL know that the universe revolves around Jessica Alba. Silly geocentrists.

  217. Salazar Delgado

    Raliegh Minkin echoes the pope’s silly mutterings while he is doing a tour of the gullible in the UK. All this talk of aggressive atheists is just the desperate ranting of pious folk with massive insecurity.
    Atheists aren’t burning down churchs, and we aren’t killing priests, and we certainly aren’t abusing children in the vestry. So, Raliegh, before you go making us atheists seem like Nazis take a close look at your faith, and see the nastiness it has promoted and refused to tackle.

  218. Matt

    @214

    It was German Christians who rounded up people who didn’t believe exactly what they believed and put them in concentration camps. It wasn’t atheist who did that.

    We launch rockets as close to the equator as practical so we can to take advantage of the rotating Earth. If the Earth didn’t rotate then all our rockets would fail to get into orbit.

  219. Nigel Depledge

    Edward T Babinski (210) said:

    See the chapter, “THE COSMOLOGY OF THE BIBLE,” in the recently published work, THE CHRISTIAN DELUSION

    Erm … any chance of a quick précis, so I don’t have to buy the book?

  220. Nigel Depledge

    Kalko (192) said:

    “Capital-G Geocentrism is the belief that geocentrism is the only frame, the real one.”

    Ah, but there’s the rub. That’s what Heliocentrism says too. So by your logic _both_ systems are wrong.

    And who has been recently claiming that the Sun is the centre of our galaxy, or the universe?

    Sure, historically, heliocentrism replaced geocentrism. But only as a step on our journey to understanding the universe.

  221. Oh Phil, you’re being so close-minded, you’re suppressing scientific advancement!

    Okay, that was my BEST postmodernist impression. Maybe it’s not so good.

    Keep up the good work, Phil! Love you!

    Trying not to be a dick,

    Spoony Quine

  222. Layth Barzangi

    Signs That You’re on a Pseudo-scientific Site That’s Trying to Con You into Buying Something:

    http://j.mp/dprQ4w

  223. Frank

    More about Sungenis “credentials” here http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    Sungenis has no official capacity in the Catholic Church and was forced by his bishop to take the name “Catholic” off of his organization. Thank you.

  224. Dana

    Unfortunately, the phenomena of resurgent geocentrism is not limited to conservative Christians. As a person who must deal with the public at a major US science agency, I have recently been bombarded with emails from conservative Muslims espousing geocentricism and criticizing our scientific efforts. Maybe the conservative Christians and conservative Muslims can now find grounds for mutual support and admiration.

  225. And even with all this, I have to scratch my head over Geocentrists.

    R. Sungenis: I’ll give Mr. Plait the prerogative to scratch his head since I understand that if you have been deluged since early childhood with the notion that the earth goes around the sun, it would be very difficult to entertain, much less believe, the opposite notion upon the word of someone you don’t know, or believe an idea that is commonly understood to have been already discredited or is not held by very many people. Of course, this is the plight of all new ideas, at least until enough evidence accumulates that the damn begins to break. For example, when Dr. Semelwiess told his fellow doctors the reason women were dying soon after they delivered their babies was that they had not washed their hands after working on cadavers, he was so utterly disdained by the medical community that he ended up in an insane asylum. It took many years for Semelwiess’s theory to be found true and when it was accepted the society treated it as completely obvious. Hence the words of Arthur Schopenhauer are quite apropos: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Mr. Plait’s vision also might be obstructed by what Arthur C. Clarke described as: “It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them.” Leo Tolstoy said something even more penetrating: “I know that most men…can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

    Interestingly enough, the very magazine Mr. Plait promotes invited geocentrists and others like them to publicize their ideas, stating: “When an author puts himself on the line by embracing an unfashionable idea, even though he is guaranteed to generate scorn or indifference, this should somehow be recognized” (Discover Magazine, Dec. 2006). Let’s see how Mr. Plait does or does not fulfill these prophecies.

    Mr. Plait: These are people who believe that the Earth is fixed in space, unmoving and unmovable, and the Universe literally revolves around it. Without exception, in my experience, these followers of Geocentrism believe in it due to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Finding passages in the Bible to support this belief isn’t hard; Genesis is loaded with them.

    R. Sungenis: Actually, Genesis has very few. Most are in the Psalms. All in all, there are 12 different Old Testament books that teach the earth is motionless and that the sun revolves around the earth. Genesis 1 is distinguished for the fact that the first chapter says the earth was created three days before the sun, stars and moon. As such, since, as Genesis 1:5 says, there was already evening and morning before the sun was created, then the logical question for heliocentrists is when did the earth begin to move, and from whence comes the idea that it is the rotation of the earth that causes the day and night? Genesis 1:3 insists there was a separate and original light that caused the day and night. So how could God have made the Earth to revolve around nothing but later put the sun in that place? Nothing makes sense if read from a heliocentric perspective.

    But I think the real reason Mr. Plait’s made his assertion about Genesis being replete with verses on geocentrism was to tip off his Discover audience of agnostics that he is merely confronting religious devotees who, the implication goes, are a bit irrational when it comes to the Bible having to compete with modern science. Perhaps some religious people are irrational. But that is certainly not the case with me or my co-author, Dr. Robert Bennett, who wrote the book Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right. We approach this topic on scientific terms, for if the science does not support geocentrism I certainly would not waste my time, no matter how religiously devoted I was. What you will see in this short dialogue is that it is Mr. Plait who doesn’t understand his own science, and in my travels that is not as uncommon as you may think.

    Mr. Plait: However, like young-Earth creationism, the problem here is in that “literal” part*. If you take the Bible to be true word for word, then you have to deny a vast amount of reality, and almost everything we’ve learned about the Universe since the Bible was written.

    R. Sungenis: This is the usual canard that is foisted into the discussion, and probably with good reason. If what Mr. Plait says is true, the discussion is over. Science wins, the Bible loses. But the $64,000 question is: does modern science possess the “reality” that Mr. Plait believes it does? If Mr. Plait had merely said: “If you take the Bible literally you would have to deny almost everything we’ve learned about the Universe since the Bible was written,” that would be a more acceptable proposition, since he is not claiming that “everything we’ve learned about the Universe” is necessarily correct. Well, to that question, we have dedicated a whole chapter (Chapter 11 in Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right). It shows the foibles and fallacies of modern science, most of which have occurred just in the last few hundred years.

    You see, Mr. Plait is working off the common fallacy that modern science is a monolithic consensus of belief erected by impeccable men who would never think of advancing their own agendas or discrediting perfectly good ideas that compete with their own. The truth is, modern science is anything but honest. You have to dig very deep to find the truth, not only because truth itself is hard to find but because fallible and agenda-driven men often lead us in the wrong direction. And when it comes to the cosmos, we have even more fallacious, unstable and incredible concepts than in some of the other sciences. As J. J. Thomson once quipped: “We have Einstein’s space, de Sitter’s space, expanding universes, contracting universes, vibrating universes, mysterious universes. In fact the pure mathematician may create universes just by writing down an equation, and indeed if he is an individualist he can have a universe of his own.” Gerard de Vaucouleurs put it:
    “Less than 50 years after the birth of what we are pleased to call ‘modern cosmology,’ when so few empirical facts are passably well established, when so many different over-simplified models of the universe are still competing for attention, is it, may we ask, really credible to claim, or even reasonable to hope, that we are presently close to a definitive solution of the cosmological problem?…Unfortunately, a study of the history of cosmology reveals disturbing parallelisms between modern cosmology and medieval scholasticism; often the borderline between sophistication and sophistry, between numeration and numerology, seems very precarious indeed. Above all I am concerned by an apparent loss of contact with empirical evidence and observational facts, and, worse, by a deliberate refusal on the part of some theorists to accept such results when they appear to be in conflict with some of the present oversimplified and therefore intellectually appealing theories of the universe…doctrines that frequently seem to be more concerned with the fictitious properties of ideal (and therefore nonexistent) universes than with the actual world revealed by observations.”

    In essence, Mr. Plait is working on a myth – a myth that wants us to believe that “everything we’ve learned about the Universe since the Bible was written” is the absolute truth, and upon that truth Mr. Plait will judge whether we can take the Bible “literally” or not. The real truth is, the Bible always remains the same; it is science that changes every generation. As Max Planck once said: “Science proceeds funeral by funeral.” True theologians hold to the maxim that true science will never disagree with the Bible, but that only begs the question as to what is “true science.” As the Bible speaks of a God who gives truth and a Devil who tell lies, so science has scientists who give truth and scientists who tell lies, whether deliberately or ignorantly.

    Mr. Plait: That has not stopped some people, nor even slowed them down. A group of Geocentrists is holding a conference this November in Indiana. Called “Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right”, it features a veritable who’s who in geocentrism — not that there’s a lot of them. The meeting flyer is presented above; click it to see the conference details. The conference website is full of all sorts of claims saying Geocentrism is real, science is wrong (except where it supports them; cherry-picking is something else they have in common with creationists), the Bible is the only truth, and so on.

    R. Sungenis: Let me forewarn you. You will see the accusation “cherry-picking” a lot from our critics. They are claiming that we take the scientific evidence that supports our claims and we avoid the evidence that does not support it. Here is the real truth: modern scientists who don’t like to be disturbed within their heliocentric palaces and they don’t like it when we find established scientific facts stated by some of the top scientists in the world that support geocentrism as a viable option of cosmology. So the demagogic accusation of “cherry-picking” is a common ploy.

    The truth is, we don’t avoid any so-called counter evidence. In fact, not only do we state the counter evidence, we also cite modern scientists who counter the counter evidence. We have nothing to hide. All the evidence is available for people like Mr. Plait. My guess is that Mr. Plait did not read even 10% of the 1100 pages of our two volumes on geocentrism (and I can tell by the scientific claims he made in this piece). What usually happens is that a person will read a few pages and find some assertion we made about which he wants to nit-pick and subsequently use as an excuse not to read the rest of the material. But I have lost count of the times in which, having seen an objection from a qualified scientist, the objections are so lame I am forced to the conclusion that very few of them know the very physics they purport to use as a critical tool.

    Mr. Plait: Well, as you might expect, I have something to say about that.
    As much as I’d love to attend that meeting — in much the same way I’d love to extract my own tonsils with a spork and a pair of pliers — I don’t need to. Geocentrism is so wrong, so amazingly wrong, that it falls apart with just a little thought. What follows below is a little thought.

    Geocentrism is a valid frame, but not the only one

    I have two things to say that might surprise you: first, geocentrism is a valid frame of reference, and second, heliocentrism is not any more or less correct.

    Surprise! Of course, the details are important.

    Look, I’m human: I say “The Sun rose in the east today”, and not “the rotation of the Earth relative to the rest of the Universe carried me around to a geometric vantage point where the horizon as seen from my location dropped below the Sun’s apparent position in space.” To us, sitting here on the surface of a planet, geocentrism is a perfectly valid frame of reference. Heck, astronomers use it all the time to point our telescopes. We map the sky using a projected latitude and longitude, and we talk about things rising and setting. That’s not only natural, but a very easy way to do those sorts of things. In that case, thinking geocentrically makes sense.

    However, as soon as you want to send a space probe to another planet, geocentrism becomes cumbersome. In that case, it’s far easier to use the Sun as the center of the Universe and measure the rotating and revolving Earth as just another planet. The math works out better, and in fact it makes more common sense.

    R. Sungenis: No, it’s actually the other way around. Using the ECI frame (Earth Centered Inertial Frame) is much easier than the Solar Barycentric frame. If you don’t believe me I suggest you ask the engineers who put up the GPS. We have a whole section in our book on this issue. In fact, the ECI frame is so accurate, it is used to fix the solar barycentric frame.

    Mr. Plait: However, this frame of reference, called heliocentrism, still is not the best frame for everything. Astronomers who study other galaxies use a galactic coordinate system based on our Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun is just another star inside it. Call it galactocentrism, if you want, and it’s just as useful as geo- or heliocentrism in its limited way. And none of those systems work if I want to know turn-by-turn directions while driving; in that case I use a carcentric system (specifically a Volvocentric one).
    You use coordinate systems depending on what you need.
    So really, there is no one true center to anything. I suppose you could say the Universe is polycentric, or more realistically acentric. You picks your frame of reference and you takes your chances.
    Relatively speaking, you’re still wrong
    So geocentrism is valid, but so is every other frame. This is the very basis of relativity! One of the guiding principles used by Einstein in formulating it is that there is no One True Frame. If there were, the Universe would behave very, very differently.
    That’s where Geocentrism trips up. Note the upper case G there; I use that to distinguish it from little-g geocentrism, which is just another frame of reference among many. Capital-G Geocentrism is the belief that geocentrism is the only frame, the real one.
    Geocentrists, at this point, fall into two cases: those who use relativity to bolster their claim, and those who deny it.
    Those who use relativity say that geocentrism can be right and is just as valid as heliocentrism or any other centrism. That’s correct! But the problem is that using relativity by definition means that there is no One True Frame. So if you use relativity to say geocentrism can really be Geocentrism, you’re wrong. You’re using self-contradictory arguments.
    Fail.

    R. Sungenis: Not necessarily. A geocentrist appeals to Relativity not as proof or even evidence for geocentrism but merely to show modern scientists like Mr. Plait (who comes to this question with a built in prejudice) that, by using modern scientific concepts, geocentrism can have just as much scientific respectability as heliocentrism (as opposed to some medieval superstition promoted by astrologers). Prior to Relativity, geocentrism had to fight against Newtonian physics (e.g., the idea that geocentrism was impossible because the smaller always had to revolve around the larger). Although geocentrism can answer the objection by educating the reader to the real tenets of Newtonian physics, with the advent of Relativity, the objection is again obliterated, since “smaller” and “larger” are also relative terms when we take into account the rest of the universe. All in all, the advent of Relativity makes it impossible for a heliocentrist to prove his case against geocentrism, not that a geocentrist must depend on Relativity to prove geocentrism. Indeed, the geocentrist makes his case for geocentrism on solid scientific evidence that has little or nothing to do with Relativity. Mr. Plait needs to read about that evidence before he writes another article.

    Mr. Plait: The other flavor of Geocentrist, those who deny relativity wholesale, are wrong as well. Relativity is one of the most well-tested and thoroughly solid ideas in all of science for all time. It is literally tested millions of times a day in particle accelerators. We see it in every cosmological observation, every star that explodes in the sky, every time a nuclear power plant generates even an iota of energy. Heck, without relativity your GPS wouldn’t work.

    Relativity is so solid, in fact, that anyone who denies it outright at this point can be charitably called a kook†.
    So — you guessed it — either way, Geocentrism is wrong.

    R. Sungenis: First, let’s distinguish between “relativity” and “Relativity.” The former is a fact of science, since, for example, two cars going down the road at the same speed appear to be motionless with respect to each other. The latter is a scientific theory about time, space and gravity that is far from a proven reality. It is just a theory. As physicist Clifford Will admitted: “General Relativity has passed every solar-system test with flying colors. Yet so have alternative theories.”

    Second, Relativity may be “tested” by particle accelerators, but Relativity is not proven thereby. Mr. Plait is referring to the phenomenon that nuclear particles seem to gain in mass when they are accelerated, or they seem to defy the constraints of time. None of this proves Einstein’s Relativity theory, however. It only proves that nuclear particles seem to gain in mass and seem to have time distortion. There are several other explanations why this seems to occur that have nothing to do with Einstein’s theory, and they work very well. We explain them in our book. It just so happens that the science community (for reasons I will not get into here) has decided that it will only promote Einstein’s version of events. That being said, in the book Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right, we have one of the most detailed and comprehensive critiques of Einstein’s Relativity theories complied in print. In fact, one of the titles of our early books was “Galileo Was Wrong and So Was Einstein.”

    What the reader will find is that Special Relativity was invented by Einstein to escape the direct evidence from the experiments performed from the early to late 1800s that were showing the Earth was standing still in space. As physicist James Colemen puts it: “…The easiest explanation was that the earth was fixed in the ether and that everything else in the universe moved with respect to the earth and the ether….Such an idea was not considered seriously, since it would mean in effect that our earth occupied the omnipotent position in the universe, with all the other heavenly bodies paying homage by moving around it.” (James A. Coleman, Relativity for the Layman, p. 37). Scientific historian Lincoln Barnett says it best:

    “The Michelson-Morley experiment confronted scientists with an embarrassing alternative. On the one hand they could scrap the ether theory which had explained so many things about electricity, magnetism, and light. Or if they insisted on retaining the ether they had to abandon the still more venerable Copernican theory that the earth is in motion. To many physicists it seemed almost easier to believe that the earth stood still than that waves – light waves, electromagnetic waves – could exist without a medium to sustain them. It was a serious dilemma and one that split scientific thought for a quarter century. Many new hypotheses were advanced and rejected. The experiment was tried again by Morley and by others, with the same conclusion; the apparent velocity of the earth through the ether was zero” (Lincoln Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein, p. 44).

    When the last of these experiments were done, Einstein’s biographer admitted: “The problem which now faced science was considerable. For there seemed to be only three alternatives. The first was that the Earth was standing still, which meant scuttling the whole Copernican theory and was unthinkable” (Einstein: The Life and Times, pp. 109-110). In other words, concluding that the Earth wasn’t moving was a viable solution to the experimental evidence, but modern science’s devotion to Copernicus and Kepler was simply not going allow that option to be entertained, much less supported. Instead, Einstein turned physics on its head and reinvented a whole new physics just to escape a motionless earth. Ironically, when Special Relativity failed due to its internal contradictions, Einstein had to invent General Relativity to shore up the façade, and in the process he had to take back the very two foundations he had discarded in Special Relativity, namely, (a) that nothing can exceed the speed of light and (b) the existence of ether. In the end, Einstein’s theories were a mass of contradictions which are covered over by obtuse mathematical equations. You can read all about it in Galileo Was Wrong.

    Third, as regards Mr. Plait’s assertion “Heck, without relativity your GPS wouldn’t work,” exactly the opposite is true. The GPS system is pre-wired with a correction to accommodate Relativity theory. This pre-wiring must be built in to each GPS satellite to compensate for what is known as the “Sagnac effect.” In 1913, Georges Sagnac did an experiment that falsified the Relativity theory of Einstein (and perhaps this is why Einstein never refers to the Sagnac experiment in any of his papers). Sagnac showed that there was, indeed, absolute motion (whereas Einstein said all motion was relative). Turns out that Sagnac was right, since no GPS will work without the Sagnac correction programmed into the GPS computers. But all this is kept very quiet. Apparently, even Mr. Plait doesn’t know it. I would suggest he read the literature of the GPS engineers. We have it documented in Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right.

    Mr. Plait: A little light warning. Those are really the strongest arguments against Geocentrism. You either have to misuse relativity, or deny it entirely, and either way you lose, GOOD DAY SIR!

    R. Sungenis: Mr. Plait really needs to read our book to bring himself up to speed.

    Mr. Plait: There are other arguments used, and they seem like good ones but in fact they don’t work out in real life. For example, the most obvious one is that distant stars are light years away. If they circle us once per day, they must move faster than light, which is impossible! This is true even for Neptune; at its distance it would have to move at just faster than light to make one circle every 24 hours.

    R. Sungenis: First of all, the stars do not move. It is the universe which revolves and thus carries the stars with it. Second, Einstein’s postulate about nothing moving faster than light only applies to Special Relativity. General Relativity allows objects to travel any speed they want. Third, the Schwarzchild radius would only go to Saturn, and after that there are no additional centrifugal forces in a rotating universe. You can read all about this in GWW.

    Mr. Plait: I thought about this, and wound up asking my friend the cosmologist and fellow Hive Overmind blogger Sean Carroll. He confirmed my thinking: relativity says the math has to work out if you change a frame of reference, so if you do the detailed relativistic equations to look at the motion of distant objects, it still works. Things actually can move faster than light relative to the coordinate system, it’s just that things cannot move past each other with a relative speed greater than light. In the weird geocentric frame where the Universe revolves around the Earth, that is self-consistent.
    In other words, the Neptune-moving-too-quickly argument sounds good, but in reality it doesn’t work, and we shouldn’t use it.

    R. Sungenis: Ah, not so lost after all!

    Mr. Plait: Uncommon sense
    Sometimes, you can make things easier by simplifying. However, you can’t oversimplify, because in the end it makes things harder.
    Some geocentrists assert the Earth doesn’t move because it’s just plain obvious. The stars appear go around us, so maybe they really just do. And that makes things simple. But it doesn’t. I mean, it makes calculating the times of sunrise and sunset easier, but it makes it a lot harder to send a space probe to Saturn, since according to them it’s moving at 1/3 the speed of light around us. Far easier to use a heliocentric coordinate system there.

    R. Sungenis: Not really. The same kinematic and dynamic proportions will be in the geocentric and the heliocentric systems. Mr. Plait apparently doesn’t understand his own Relativity theory. Saturn will appear at the same speed in the geocentric system as it does in the heliocentric.

    Mr. Plait: And Geocentrists have to assume that all local phenomena are caused by cosmic motion. For example, the Coriolis effect, which makes hurricanes spin different ways in the northern and southern hemispheres, is relatively easy to explain if you assume a spheroidal rotating Earth. For a Geocentrist, you have to assume that the Universe itself is revolving around us, and affecting the weather here. Again, the math works out, but it’s standing a pyramid on its tip: you have it precisely backwards. And with one poke the whole thing falls over.

    R. Sungenis: If Mr. Plait is going to use metaphors (“standing a pyramid on its tip”), he’ll need to show how they prove his point. In reality, a rotating universe is much more stable than a rotating and revolving earth. As the axiom says, the more moving parts in a machine, the greater the chance of it breaking down. We have a whole section on this principle in Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right. Incidentally, here is an interesting quote from Arthur Eddington, contemporary and supporter of Einstein: “The bulge of the Earth’s equator may be attributed indifferently to the Earth’s rotation or to the outward pull of the centrifugal force introduced when the Earth is regarded as non-rotating” (Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory, 1923, pp. 24, 41).

    Mr. Plait: We also know earthquakes can affect the rotation of the Earth. That makes sense since they shift the mass around on the surface, and that changes how the Earth spins. To a Geocentrist, though, that earthquake affects the entire Universe.
    That’s simpler?
    I could give example after example of this, but you get the drift.

    R. Sungenis: Mr. Plait doesn’t know his Relativity physics. An earthquake on earth would not affect the entire universe, and one reason is due to the effect of the Schwarzchild radius at Saturn’s orbit, that I noted above. Second, geocentrism holds that disturbances within the universe are the cause of tremors on earth, not vice-versa. In fact, this principle is one reason that Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, in their landmark 1973 book, Gravitation, can say, “Mass there governs inertia here” (pp. 543, 546-47, 549). We can hold to such notions since in geocentrism we don’t have the same problem with “action-at-a-distance” that Newton had.

    Mr. Plait: Geocentrism fails fundamentally
    In the end, the actual evidence is totally against the Geocentrists. The only way — the only way — they can assert their idea being factual is to rely on the Bible itself, and ignore everything else. That’s a losing game, because every time a new discovery comes along, they have to ignore it. Of course, ignoring facts is clearly something they are very well-versed in.

    R. Sungenis: Mr. Plait really needs to read our book before he sticks his foot in his mouth again. Modern science is replete with evidence that supports geocentrism. The few quotes I gave above from Coleman and Barnett should be enough to whet one’s appetite to study more. Unfortunately, modern science is filled with agenda-driven people that continually hide and distort this evidence so that notions like geocentrism cannot gain a foothold. They have been very successful. After all, who wants to go back to the Middle Ages and have the Catholic Church rule your life?

    Mr. Plait: If they want to have a faith-based conference where they show everyone that the Bible says the Universe is Geocentric, then by all means they can do that. But when they say that science backs them up — or even that scientists are suppressing The Truth (which one conference speaker is apparently claiming, given his talk title of “Geocentrism: They Know It But They’re Hiding It”) — well, the scales have not yet fallen from their eyes.
    I understand that to them, these beliefs are deep-seated and as true to them as, say, gravity is to me. But the Universe doesn’t care how strongly you believe in something. If it ain’t right, it ain’t right.
    Geocentrism ain’t right. No matter how much spin you put on it.

    R. Sungenis: After reading Mr. Plait’s objections it is obvious to me that he doesn’t know the science that he purports to know. This is a common finding of mine. I’m just surprised to see it coming from one of the leading science magazines. The irony is that I quote very often from Discover magazine in my book, Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right, to support the concept of geocentrism and to reveal the incongruities in the science that Mr. Plait puts such faith in as his authority. In the end, Mr. Plait must put more faith into his notions of modern science than I do with the Bible, for the Bible never changes, but science changes almost every day. It changed drastically when Albert Michelson and Edward Morley did their 1887 experiment that showed the Earth was standing still in space, and it was changed again when Einstein invented his obtuse Relativity theory to deny the results of Michelson-Morley.

    At our conference we hope to change it once again. If Mr. Plait wants to raise any objections, he is cordially invited to our conference, free of charge.

  226. Rick DeLano

    Bam.

    If what we have is a scientific debate, then the geocentrists are winning.

    The scientific evidence advanced against geocentrism has not withstood the rebuttals published here, and it is the absolute obligation of the mainstreamers to do much much better than they have so far done here, since Plaith does not claim geocentrism to be merely one possible answer to the evidence- one with which he disagrees on this or that basis.

    No. Plaith claims: “Geocentrism ain’t right. No matter how much spin you put on it.”

    If it is that simple, sir, then why have every one of your objections been answered here, with scientific, not theological, evidence?

    That the debate here is turning the geocentrists’ way may be shocking, it may be irritating, it may be frightening, it may cause one to bury one’s face in one’s hands, and shed tears of rage and carpet-chewing frustration at the awful prospect of the return of the Middle Ages.

    But there it is.

    If what we have is a scientific debate, then the geocentrists are winning.

    If what we have, instead, is a clash between two religions (or, if you prefer, two different metaphysical systems) then obviously scientism is presently the beneficiary of the greater number of adherents- at least on this blog- but its priesthood seems to be fresh out of miracles………

    See you in South Bend.

  227. Seeker

    All this proves to me is that otherwise fairly intelligent people can be very well-informed in absolute nonsense. The average person doesn’t know enough science to be able to definitively detect the b.s. when someone uses technical jargon and complicated arguments. And so, it ultimately comes down to credibility for the average person.

    It seems to me that at least the math is “doable” for the Geocentrist. But from the standpoint of common sense, it just fails. All the other planets in other solar systems rotate around their stars. All the other planets in our own solar system rotate around the sun. But the earth stays completely still. Sorry, just not passing the reasonability test. What is driving this for these people is the mistaken panic that somehow the Bible is being undermined if the earth is not absolutely stationary – NOT an objective search for scientific fact.

    Regardless, were I to choose to reject the virtual unanimous testimony of science on this issue, I would certainly not do so based on the testimony of the people at this “Galileo Was Wrong” conference. The head of the conference (Sungenis) has a “PhD” in religion studies from an organization that has no credibility (Calamus). Even more strange, I’ve read that the “PhD” in religion was given for a supposedly “scientific” paper. Come again?

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    I also read where one of the other main presenters acknowledged that he’s a high school drop-out (Rick DeLano).

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/07/no-ones-perfect-scientific-errors-of.html?showComment=1284242018034#c8947269988907168904

    Not to ridicule the man, but again, not exactly the quality of witnesses that would move me to reject the virtually unanimous agreement of scientists on something so fundamental.

    The connection to the Catholic Church is very odd in this as I see no evidence that these men have any standing or approval from the Catholic Church for what they are doing. Actually, the head of the conference has been reprimanded for his extremism in other areas.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1875079/posts

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sungenis

  228. Seeker

    After doing some additional research on this group and its leader, here’s some more to the issue of credibility. Their leader is a full-blown conspiracy theorist who argues on his website that UFOs are an invention of NASA and that NASA is using satellite-based lasers to generate crop circles in order to angle for more federal funding and to bring the Bible into disrepute so they can control the citizenry. Seriously.

    http://bellarmineforum.xanga.com/702646935/question-139—what-do-you-think-of-ufos/

    He’s also into the lunar-landing hoax conspiracy theory and a host of other odd conspiracy theories:

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/08/sowing-confusion-distrust-and.html

    Two of the main presenters (Sungenis and Jones) are admired by racists for their Jewish conspiracy theories.

    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t524085/

    http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=80166

    Again, these are just not the sort of witnesses that would convince me to jettison a virtually unanimous agreement of scientists against something like Geocentrism.

    (Clarification on my first post: “revolve” would probably be better than “rotate” although “revolve” is given as a synonym for “rotate.” The usual phraseology is that the earth rotates on its axis while revolving around the sun.)

  229. Rick DeLano

    Dear Seeker:

    I warmly recommend to the readers your above posts, which boil down to a series of ad hominems and arguments from authority and academic credential.

    I invite you to transcend this and stop playing defense.

    Play some offense here and prove your point, if you can.

    Since you yourself admit that “the math is “doable” for the Geocentrist. But from the standpoint of common sense, it just fails”, let me first invite you to examine the common sense involved in Universes constructed in such a way that rods shrink just enough to account for the failure of measurements to detect a supposed motion of the Earth.

    Universes which speed up and slow down their expansion just enough to account for the observed periodicities in galaxy counts over redshift, centered upon “the observer”, who, let us recall in a burst of common sense, is situated on *Earth*.

    Universes which are isotropic and homogeneous, even when the CMB provides us with an example of a universe-spanning preferred axis, and an orientation in the quadrupole and octopole which is with respect to….you guessed it.

    Earth.

    You know, the “geo” in geocentric?

    Now get that helmet on and get back in the game Seeker, because you are getting your clock cleaned by a tenth grade dropout who is willing to be convinced by scientific evidence, but certainly not by pathetic ad hominems or appeals to “common sense” or academic consenus.

    After all, Seeker, even tenth grade dropouts can notice that science is, exactly, the process whereby successive examples of academic consensus based on “common sense” are shattered and overturned by inconveniently uncommon observations.

    Like I said, folks, the mainstreamers are going to have to pick up their game a whole lot here.

    Right now they are embarrassing themselves, and their expensive scientific educational credentials.

    Man up, guys.

    See you in South Bend.

  230. Seeker

    Well, no. But thank you just the same. As crazy as it it may sound to someone with your point of view, I prefer to get my medical information from actual doctors, my legal advice from actual lawyers, and my science from actual scientists. And I like them to have valid degrees from valid institutions of higher learning.

    I’m not really interested spending too much time wading through your (very interesting, technical and convincing, I’m sure) case “proving” that NASA faked the lunar landings, is behind UFOS, creates crop circles and all the rest of your group’s interesting conspiracy theories, either. I hope that doesn’t damn me to hell in your universe. LOL

    No offense, but you just don’t merit the time and effort. Like I said, otherwise bright people can totally immerse themselves and become fluent in absolute nonsense. We won’t be seeing each other in South Bend.

    But the Good Lord’s blessings to you, nonetheless.

  231. Rick DeLano

    My my my.

    Seeker, you have effectively demonstrated a foundational tendency toward dishonesty, in that nothing I have posted here even remotely touches upon crop circles, moon landings, or UFO’s.

    But it certainly goes to show that you have learned a thing or two about tap dancing your way out the door when you don’t have the ability to deal with the evidence.

    The Lord’s greatest blessing- a heart filled with the desire to seek the truth no matter where it leads- to you also.

  232. Seeker

    I doubt more than a couple of other people beyond the two of us will ever read this so I’ll leave you with this last note because you seem like you really believe in Geocentrism and you’re obviously very excited about it all and your chance to take center stage. I understand that and I really don’t mean to insult you. So I apologize if I was too flippant in my last post.

    But this really isn’t that hard. One need not delve deeply into the depths of a delusion in order to recognize that it is delusional. One need not debunk every conspiracy theory offered by a conspiracy theorist in order to come to the conclusion that such a person has a propensity toward being paranoid and hyper-suspicious.

    As I said, Mr. Sungenis, head of your Geocentric conference, is a full-blown conspiracy theorist who argues on his website that UFOs are an invention of NASA and that NASA is using satellite-based lasers to generate crop circles in order to angle for more federal funding and to bring the Bible into disrepute so they can control the citizenry. It’s not as he’s hiding these beliefs.

    http://bellarmineforum.xanga.com/702646935/question-139—what-do-you-think-of-ufos/

    He’s also into the lunar-landing hoax conspiracy theory and a host of other odd conspiracy theories:

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/08/sowing-confusion-distrust-and.html

    I just read in another place that he’s supportive of the 9-11 truthers.

    He presents himself as a PhD although the organization that gave it to him is accredited nowhere. He received his PhD in religious studies, although his doctoral thesis was on a “scientific” topic (Geocentrism). And if I’m reading this correctly, his academic advisor became his co-author.

    This is your front man, for heaven’s sake. Your standard bearer. That’s what I was writing about, so there was nothing “dishonest” in it, as you said. Do you see the problem now?

    Most people rightly walk away from that kind of thinking. A few are drawn to it like moths to a bug zapper.

    If you agree that these kind of conspiracy theories are pretty nutty and paranoid then it really doesn’t help the credibility of your Geocentric case (which has enough of it’s own obstacles to overcome) to have someone with those kind of views as your front man. If, on the other hand, you believe these nutty conspiracy theories yourself, then all the more damage to your own personal credibility.

    Let me try another example to help you understand. It’s not perfect, but it might suffice. I suspect that if an otherwise intelligent person really wanted to advance an old theory of electricity like the fluid theory of electricity against the modern science of electricity (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluid_theory_of_electricity) or perhaps even something like spontaneous generation (see: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio114/spontgen.htm), he could potentially become quite expert at it, to the point that the average layman couldn’t prove for certain whether he was completely wrong or not without really spending an inordinate amount of time studying the subject matter. Yet, I hope you’d agree that both are nonetheless absolute nonsense. They’re certainly not deserving of a a busy person’s time.

    Another example: I’ve seen “debates” between conspiracy theorists on the moon landing “hoax”, on 9-11 and various other topics and it’s not so easy to tell who is right and who is wrong. Oftentimes, the one who makes the last statement is the one who seems to have won. Again, unless a person wants to spend an inordinate amount of time become truly “expert” – which an extraordinarily small amount of people decide to do – then one is left to judge such matters on the level of credibility.

    With all due respect, the people involved in your conference don’t give much evidence of credibility in the area of science. And were I to consider rejecting the virtually unanimous agreement of scientists on something of this magnitude, it would not be based on the witness of the kind of people at your conference. I apologize if that seems too blunt.

    I’m sure you’re a bright, decent and sincere man and the others presenters at the conference may be as well, but I don’t see a great deal of common sense and balance among you. And no amount of taunting (however enthusiastic and creative it may be) will change that for me or for the vast majority of people.

    Now, I suspect you’ll want to have the last word.

    Regardless, I wish you,

    The Good Lord’s blessings

  233. I posted a reply to Seeker yesterday afternoon (10-11-10) and it has not yet appeared. Is my reply being censored or do you plan on putting it up today? Robert Sungenis

  234. Response to “Seeker” from Robert Sungenis:

    First of all, let me point out that “Seeker” obviously isn’t honest and courageous enough to put his real name on this blog. I’ve seen his name before. He roves Internet forums consistently slandering people with whom he disagrees. Apparently he uses a pseudonym to cover his tracks so we can’t look up his biography and point out any skeletons in his closet. As such, the only thing “Seeker” appears to be seeking is to put up enough slander and innuendo against his ideological opponents that the reader misses any of the factual information the opponents give you. It’s an old ploy and it is used very effectively by cowards.

    Seeker: 234. Seeker Says: October 10th, 2010 at 1:24 pm. All this proves to me is that otherwise fairly intelligent people can be very well-informed in absolute nonsense. The average person doesn’t know enough science to be able to definitively detect the b.s. when someone uses technical jargon and complicated arguments. And so, it ultimately comes down to credibility for the average person.

    R. Sungenis: Of course, nothing Seeker says here amounts to anything unless he can show that the scientific arguments we give are “absolute nonsense.” I can forewarn you. Seeker hardly has a clue to the scientific dimensions to this debate, and you can tell by what he says below.

    Seeker: It seems to me that at least the math is “doable” for the Geocentrist. But from the standpoint of common sense, it just fails. All the other planets in other solar systems rotate around their stars. All the other planets in our own solar system rotate around the sun. But the earth stays completely still. Sorry, just not passing the reasonability test. What is driving this for these people is the mistaken panic that somehow the Bible is being undermined if the earth is not absolutely stationary – NOT an objective search for scientific fact.

    R. Sungenis: So Seeker admits the “math is doable.” Wonderful. But is Seeker then telling us that math has no “common sense.” Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense. What also doesn’t make sense is Seeker’s rationale. Yes, “other planets in other solar systems rotate around their stars,” but that is to be expected, since there can only be one center of mass in the universe and thus only one place about which everything else revolves; and we are claiming, based on the scientific evidence we have shown above, that Earth resides in that central place. It is Seeker’s job to refute it, not slander us.

    Incidentally, that’s why the “math is doable,” since the math demonstrates the Newtonian principle of the center of mass. So, no, it’s not the Bible that is “driving” this, for if science had proven that the earth was in motion, we would simply interpret that Bible in a figurative sense, no problem. But science is the worst enemy for people like Seeker because it is science that has shown the earth is in the center and isn’t moving. If he really wants to be a “seeker” then I suggest he start seeking out the scientific evidence instead of vilifying his opponents behind a pseudonym.

    Seeker: Regardless, were I to choose to reject the virtual unanimous testimony of science on this issue, I would certainly not do so based on the testimony of the people at this “Galileo Was Wrong” conference. The head of the conference (Sungenis) has a “PhD” in religion studies from an organization that has no credibility (Calamus). Even more strange, I’ve read that the “PhD” in religion was given for a supposedly “scientific” paper. Come again?

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    R. Sungenis: More slander that needs to be rebutted. First of all, the above mentioned “blogspot” is run by former disgruntled employees of mine who, after they climbed the Catholic apologetics social ladder on my name for a few years, left and started their own websites, and then started to attack me. For the most part, they didn’t take kindly to me rubbing against their Zionist vision for the world. I have nothing to hide in that regard. I believe Zionism is a political blight on the world; a religious heresy of the worst kind, and an ideological poison that holds the rest of the world hostage to its trigger finger. In fact, the person who wrote the hit piece attacking my degree (Jacob Michael) admits in the first paragraph that his main motivation is that people not listen to my views on the Jewish Zionists! In the process, Mr. Michael made a big deal over the origin of my Ph.D. and tried to discredit me, yet he wrote books and articles for his patrons and all without even a BA or MA degree, much less a Ph.D. Mr. Michael couldn’t attack my BA and MA, since they come from some of the best US accredited academic institutions (namely, George Washington University and Westminster Theological Seminary). But he and his compatriots sensed a weak spot in my Ph.D., and there they set their crosshairs in an effort to bring me down.

    Despite the title of the above “blogspot,” my Ph.D. is not a “fake” degree. No one at Calamus was paid to write a fake diploma for me (as is the case with all “diploma mills” scattered throughout the world). Over the course of two years, I wrote a 700-page dissertation for Calamus under the supervision of two academic advisors, and did all the other requirements stipulated by Calamus for the degree. Mr. Michael even investigated this and wrote to Calamus with a list of questions, and Calamus was kind enough to answer him. (I know because the dean told me). Moreover, Mr. Michael found that I was given an “excellent” grade in nine out of nine academic and writing categories, the highest distinction that Calamus can give. It is like graduating magna cum laude.

    As for Calamus’ accreditation status, what Mr. Michael didn’t say in his hit piece is that Calamus is not a university of the United Kingdom and therefore cannot have UK accreditation or recognition by the UK government. Neither is Calamus a United States university and so it cannot come within the official US regional accreditation system.
    Calamus is also not a European Union university and can thus receive no accreditation from the EU. Calamus is an international private distance-learning university and there is no government-approved accreditation system for such universities. There is, however, private
    accreditation available for independent academic institutions such as Calamus. As such, Calamus is fully accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning, and its website is located at http://www.iadl.org.uk

    That being said, I should add that, the motivation for me to go to Calamus was precipitated by some issues that arose in my Ph.D. studies in 2003 at Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England, a fully-accredited Catholic institution, at that time under the academic umbrella of The Open University of Europe. I had asked the Institute if I could change my dissertation topic to Geocentrism, but the supervisor would not permit it. I then found out that Calamus would allow me to do so. So I had to make a decision. Should I stay at the EU accredited
    Maryvale or follow my heart’s desire and write a dissertation for Calamus that did not have EU accreditation? I chose the latter, but with the express intention of going back to Maryvale once I completed my Ph.D. with Calamus. That is where I stand presently. I am reenrolled in the EU accredited Ph.D. program at Maryvale Institute (which now comes under the accreditation of Liverpool Hope University) and the topic of my dissertation, interestingly enough, is a critique of Catholic Zionism.

    Seeker: I also read where one of the other main presenters acknowledged that he’s a high school drop-out (Rick DeLano).

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/07/no-ones-perfect-scientific-errors-of.html?showComment=1284242018034#c8947269988907168904

    Not to ridicule the man, but again, not exactly the quality of witnesses that would move me to reject the virtually unanimous agreement of scientists on something so fundamental.

    R. Sungenis: Ah, so if Seeker believes Mr. Delano is so uneducated, then it should be easy for Seeker to rebut Mr. Delano’s scientific facts. But do we see anything of the sort from Seeker? Not a word. He’s too busy trying to discredit Mr. Delano with innuendos and demagoguery rather than do an honest and thorough investigation of the scientific evidence. At least Mr. Delano knows that “doable math” and common sense are equivalent, for geocentrism is based on both.

  235. Part 2 of response to Seeker:

    As for high school dropouts, perhaps Seeker will hesitate in the future to use that kind of malediction once he looks at the list of these famous high school dropouts:

    -Albert Einstein… Mathematician.
    -Richard Branson… Billionaire British businessman.
    -George Carlin… Comedian.
    -Jim Carrey… Comedian and actor.
    -Tom Cruise… Actor
    -George Eastman… Founder of the Kodak company.
    -Michael J. Fox… Actor.
    -George Gershwin… Composer
    -Wright brothers… Inventors of the airplane.
    -Peter Jennings… News anchor and reporter.
    -Billy Joel… Singer.
    -Keanu Reeves… Actor.
    -Thomas Sowell… Economist, author and political commentator.
    -Quentin Tarantino… Movie director.
    -Dave Thomas… Founder of Wendy’s restaurant chain.
    -Uma Thurman… Actress.
    -Randy Travis… Country music singer.
    -John Travolta… Actor, airline pilot.
    -Ansel Adams… Photographer, author.
    -Bryan Adams… Songwriter, singer.
    -Jack Albertson… Oscar-winning actor.
    -Peter Allen… Australian songwriter, composer, singer.
    -Dhirubhai Ambani… Billionaire Indian businessman.
    -H.G. Wells
    -Jim Clark……..self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of “Netscape”
    -Jimmy Dean……….
    -Andrew Jackson……7th U.S. President;
    -Leon Uris……….best-selling American author
    Walter L. Smith…..former president of Florida A&M University
    -W. Clement Stone….self-made multimillionaire
    -Jack London…….best-selling American author
    -Arthur Ernest Morgan….American flood-control engineer; college president-author;
    -Ray Charles………singer-pianist; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
    -Cher……Oscar-winning actress-singer
    -Maurice Chevalier…. Oscar-winning actor-singer;
    -Pierce Brosnan……actor
    -Ellen Burnstyn……Oscar-winning actress
    -Raymond Burr…….actor
    -Sammy Cahn………. Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer
    -Michael Caine…….Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Michael Caine)
    -Glen Campbell…….country music star
    -Daniel Gilbert……Harvard University psychology professor (equivalency diploma)
    -Dizzy Gillespie…..musician-composer (received honorary diploma from high school he attended)
    -Patrick Henry…….American Revolutionary War era politician; -Peter Jennings……Canadian-born American television journalist; evening news anchorman
    -Ansel Adams………American wilderness photographer; photography book author; -Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
    -Julie Andrews…….Oscar-winning actress-singer
    -Louis Armstrong…..singer-musician
    -Brooke Astor……..wealthy American socialite-philanthropist-author;
    -Pearl Bailey……..singer-actress; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
    -Lucille Ball……..actress-comedienne-producer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
    -Bill Bartman……..self-made billionaire American businessman
    -Count Basie………bandleader-pianist
    -Jack Benny………. comedian-actor-violinist
    -Humphrey Bogart…..Oscar-winning actor
    -Peter Bogdanovich….Oscar-nominated American film director-screenwriter (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Mask, etc.)
    -Whoopie Goldberg….Oscar-winning actress-comedienne
    -Benny Goodman…..bandleader-clarinetist
    -Lew Grade………British film/TV producer
    -Philip Emeagwali….supercomputer scientist; one of the pioneers of the Internet
    -Danny Thomas……..actor-producer-humanitarian
    -Peter Ustinov…….Oscar-winning actor
    -Hiram Stevens…….American-born engineering inventor; knighted
    -Patrick Stewart….. actor-writer-producer-director;
    -Kemmons Wilson…….self-made multimillionaire businessman; “Holiday Inn” hotel chain
    -Kjell Inge Rokke…..self-made billionaire Norwegian businessman
    -David Puttnam…….Oscar-winning British film producer
    -Anthony Quinn…….Oscar-winning actor
    -Julie London……. singer-actress
    -Sophia Loren…….Oscar-winning actress; best-selling Italian-born author;
    -Joe Louis……….boxer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient
    -Roy Rogers……….actor-singer-guitarist
    -Walter Nash…….New Zealand Prime Minister 1957-1960; knighted
    -Olivia Newton-John…. singer-actress; British-born Australian author
    -Rosa Parks………U.S. civil rights activist-pioneer;
    -Mary Pickford……Oscar-winning actress; early Hollywood pioneer;
    -Sydney Poitier…..Oscar-winning actor (elementary school dropout)
    -Frederick “Freddy” Laker…. self-made multimillionaire British businessman;
    -Tommy Lasorda…… baseball team manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee
    -David Lean………Oscar-winning British film director (Lawrence of Arabia,
    -Anton van Leeuwenhoek….Dutch microscope maker; world’s first microbiologist;
    -Richard Branson…..self-made billionaire British businessman;
    -Isaac Merrit Singer….American sewing machine inventor; self-made multimillionaire
    -Alfred E. Smith…..New York Governor; 1928 Democratic
    -Charles Chaplin…..Oscar-winning actor-writer-director-producer;
    -Sean Connery……..Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Sean Connery)
    Jack Kent Cooke…..self-made billionaire Canadian-born American media businessman
    -Noel Coward………Oscar-winning actor-director-producer-playwright-composer;
    -Joan Crawford……. Oscar-winning actress; former dancer
    -Charles E. Culpeper….self-made multimillionaire American businessman;
    -Robert De Niro……Oscar-winning actor-producer; knighted
    -Gerard Depardieu….Oscar-nominated actor; knighted
    -Richard Desmond…..self-made billionaire British publisher
    -Thomas Dolby…….. musician-composer; music producer
    -Joe Lewis……..self-made billionaire British businessman
    -Carl Lindner…….self-made billionaire American businessman
    -John Llewellyn…..U.S. Labor leader pioneer; for 40 years until his retirement,
    -Marcus Loew……..self-made multimillionaire businessman; “Loews” movie-theater chain;
    -Mary Lyon………American women’s education pioneer; early American teacher
    -Sonny Bono………..singer-songwriter-actor; U.S. Congressman
    -Duke Ellington……Oscar-nominated American composer-bandleader;
    -Ella Fitzgerald…..singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
    -Aretha Franklin….singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
    -Horace Greeley…. American newspaper publisher-editor; U.S. Congressman; 1872 U.S. Presidential candidate; co-founder of the Republican party in the United States
    -Thomas Haffa……self-made double-digit billionaire German media businessman
    -J.R. Simplot…….self-made billionaire American agricultural businessman
    -Robert Maxwell…..self-made billionaire British publisher
    -Rod McKuen………best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout)

    List Source: Wikipedia

    There are at least 18 billionaires that dropped out of high school, as well as 10 Nobel prize winners, 8 U.S. presidents and dozens of best-selling authors. Even Mensa, the high-IQ group, has some high school dropouts among its ranks.

    In recent years, it has become less common for dropouts to succeed in many areas (except perhaps business), because diplomas, degrees, and official papers have become more important to society. While it is good to encourage education, this over-valuing of formal documents may lead us to pay less attention to what intelligence and success really are. Certainly, looking at the list above, you can imagine there are many well-papered people in this world that are a rung or two below some high school dropouts in terms of true success and the use of their intelligence. (http://www.increasebrainpower.com/high-school-dropouts.html)

    Seeker: The connection to the Catholic Church is very odd in this as I see no evidence that these men have any standing or approval from the Catholic Church for what they are doing. Actually, the head of the conference has been reprimanded for his extremism in other areas.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1875079/posts

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sungenis

    R. Sungenis: As a point in fact, no Catholic apologist today has an official capacity in the Catholic Church. The only ones with an official capacity are those who are ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop, and perhaps those who work immediately under the bishop at the chancery office (e.g., the chancellor). Each lay Catholic, however, has what we may call an “official” lay capacity to express his views to both the bishops and fellow Catholics. This prerogative is expressly stated in the 1983 Catholic Code of Canon Law, stating in Canon 212, paras. 2 & 3: “The Christian faithful…according to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful…” Hence, not only is it my option to hold this conference about what the Fathers and the medieval Church decreed concerning Galileo, Canon 212 says it is my “duty” to do so, and it tells me to reveal this information to both “pastors” and “the Christian faithful.”

    As for Seeker’s insinuation that I was “reprimanded,” there is no truth to the rumor. The real story is as follows: The bishop with whom I had a controversy is Kevin C. Rhoades who, at the time of the incident, was the bishop of Harrisburg, PA, of which diocese my organization, CAI, was domiciled. In 2007, the individuals who wrote the above blogspot” started a letter writing campaign against me and had flooded Bishop Rhoades’ office with accusations about my writings against the Jews and Zionism. Bishop Rhoades, who was already sympathetic to Zionism evidenced by his long history (following his mentor William Cardinal Keeler who installed him as bishop) of appeasement and ecumenical dialogue with the Jews, sided with the bloggers. Rhoades then invited me to come to his office to speak with his vicar general, Fr. William King, about the controversy. During the meeting with Fr. King, I discovered that both he and Bishop Rhoades held to the heresy of antisupersessionism – the view that the Jews still retained legal possession of the Mosaic covenant. This came as little surprise to me, since William Cardinal Keeler had held to the same heresy in his 2002 document Reflections on Covenant and Missions that he wrote with several Jewish rabbis. As of 2009, the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) repudiated the heresies contained in the Reflections document. But the heresy had also found its way into the 2006 United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, for on page 131 it stated: “Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them.” Whereas in 2002 I had written a detailed and comprehensive critique of Keeler’s Reflections document, I then wrote another critique of the US Catechism’s heresy (which was published in the January 2008 issue of Culture Wars) and I sent it to the Vatican and the USCCB. By June 2008 the bishops of the United States voted 231 to 14 to eliminate the heretical sentence about the Mosaic covenant from the US catechism that I, and only I, had pointed out to them and the rest of the world. After that, Rhoades’ campaign against me dwindled, but not before he forced me to take the name “Catholic” from my website because I dared disagree with his heretical doctrine. Later, I was given written proof that both Fr. King and Bishop Rhoades were peddling the heresy about the Mosaic covenant when a friend of mine had intercepted an email that Fr. King wrote to all the priests of the dioceses of Harrisburg, which stated that I was teaching “supercessionism” [sic] and that this was “not a teaching of the Catholic Church,” even though it was. [For documentation, I photocopied Fr. King’s letter and it is now part of my new book: Catholic/Jewish Dialogue: Controversies and Corrections, p. 705. But once the USCCB’s vote of 231 to 14 exposed Rhoades and King’s view, their campaign against me came to an abrupt halt, and I was vindicated. About a year later, the Vatican shipped Rhoades off to South Bend and put another bishop in Harrisburg this past year.

    Seeker: 235. Seeker Says: October 11th, 2010 at 9:23 am. After doing some additional research on this group and its leader, here’s some more to the issue of credibility. Their leader is a full-blown conspiracy theorist who argues on his website that UFOs are an invention of NASA and that NASA is using satellite-based lasers to generate crop circles in order to angle for more federal funding and to bring the Bible into disrepute so they can control the citizenry. Seriously.

    http://bellarmineforum.xanga.com/702646935/question-139—what-do-you-think-of-ufos/

    R. Sungenis: Notice that Seeker doesn’t give any other explanation for crop circles, but obviously wants to leave the impression that scientists are such impeccable people that they would never lie to you or do you harm. I suggest Seeker read Chapter 11 of our book to find out the other side of the story. Scientists themselves say scientists are dishonest. Be that as it may, is Seeker telling us that he believes alien beings control UFO’s?? Ask yourself, then, who should be wearing the tin foil hat.

    Seeker: He’s also into the lunar-landing hoax conspiracy theory and a host of other odd conspiracy theories:

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/08/sowing-confusion-distrust-and.html

    Two of the main presenters (Sungenis and Jones) are admired by racists for their Jewish conspiracy theories.

    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t524085/

    http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=80166

    R. Sungenis: Nothing to hide here. We don’t believe in “Jewish conspiracy theories”; rather, we only believe what Zionists themselves have said about their designs on the world and the Middle East in particular. You don’t need me or Dr. Jones to tell you so. You can watch it on the evening news or read about it in USA Today.

    Seeker: Again, these are just not the sort of witnesses that would convince me to jettison a virtually unanimous agreement of scientists against something like Geocentrism.

    R. Sungenis: Seeker, obviously you know neither the science nor what the scientists who have written on this issue say in opposition to your position. You’re too busy trying to dig up dirt to poison the well so you don’t have to deal with the science. Hit pieces will only take you so far. They will only gather to you pusillanimous people who think and act like you do. So be it. But if you really want to be a man (or lady, as the case may be) then: (a) give this blog your real name and your credentials, and (b) show us the scientific evidence that proves heliocentrism and disproves geocentrism. My guess is that you will do neither, since I deal with people like you on a daily basis.

  236. Y. Poulaki

    Delano said “Tap dancing out the door”- LOL! You have to be kidding me that the best rebuttal to the geocentric position is that the presenters aren’t qualified? Where’s the science that says the earth is spinning?

  237. Seeker

    Look, I’m sure you’re sincere, but I don’t think I could illustrate my points any better than you just did for me. You think there’s a vast conspiracy to hide the truth and “They” are out to get you. And who are “They”? The scientific community (the title of your first presentation is “Geocentrism: They Know it but They’re Hiding it!”). Mr. Plait, the author of this Discover article. The Catholic Church. Your bishop. The U.S. government. Jews. NASA (they’ve faked the lunar landings, they’re using satellite-based lasers to create crop circles). Blog readers like me. It’s just sad that you imagine such tiny universe that revolves around yourself like that.

    For the sake of Mr. DeLano, however, I want to reiterate that I didn’t insult and ridicule him with a “malediction” as you falsely stated. In my first post, I said very clearly that that was not my intention and I used the same words he used to describe himself. But, ironically, even the list you posted of high school drop-outs only further proves my point about a lack of credibility. The biographies of Albert Einstein indicate that after leaving his first high school (which had nothing to do with bad grades in math or science, contrary to common myth), he “went to a special high school run by Jost Winteler in Aarau, Switzerland and graduated in 1896.” He then went on to earn a doctorate in 1905.

    http://www.biography.com/articles/Albert-Einstein-9285408
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/06/23/1115185.htm
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html

    This is the exactly kind of error that agenda-driven people commonly make. But just so it’s clear that no one is being unfairly singled out, I have no intention of ever attending any scientific symposium put on by Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise or George Carlin, either.

    I pray the Good Lord’s blessings to you and Mr. DeLano.

  238. Frank

    Some of Sungenis’ ideas on science are pretty flaky. I’ve seen someone with a science education make him look pretty bad. He was making mistakes about basic science like Newton’s laws. So he just started puffing about Planck particles or something to cover up how badly he was losing and changes the rules as he goes along. I mean, he’s not a scietist, he’s a debater so that’s what you’d expect. And I can deal wiht that part but I can’t deal with his lying about his bishop. It’s like he thinks no one can read what happened. I see like over a half a dozen lies here adn there’s probably more I’m missing.

    Sungenis says: “As for Seeker’s insinuation that I was ‘reprimanded,’ [by my bishop] there is no truth to the rumor.” VS.
    Sungenis says: “[My bishop] forced me to take the name ‘Catholic’ from my website.”

    So he admits he was forced to take “Catholic” off his website by his bishop but then he says he wasn’t reprimanded? What? And before Sungenis admitted that he was called in by the bishop because he was attacking the Jews and he even said he AGREED with the bishop that he was out of line. You can read it here. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1875079/posts That’s another reprimand. I mean, either he was lying back then or he’s lying now.

    Sungenis says: “During the meeting with Fr. King, I discovered that both he and Bishop Rhoades held to the heresy of antisupersessionism – the view that the Jews still retained legal possession of the Mosaic covenant.”

    That’s a lie, too. The new story Sungenis has been peddling about what happened at his diocese isnt’t what happned and his bishop is not an antisupersessionist (whethever Sugenis thinks that is). He agrees that the old covenant was superseded and that Jews need Christ and the Catholic Church just like everyone else does. But he’s not an extremist on supersession like Sungenis. Its asinine how he’s even attacking bishops and priests with a word you won’t find in a single official Catholic Church teaching using the word supersessionism. News flash to Sungenis. You’re not the Pope. Read. http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html and http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/03/by-sungenis-alone_29.html#thirteen

    Sungenis says: “This came as little surprise to me, since William Cardinal Keeler had held to the same heresy [as Bishop Rhoades] in his 2002 document Reflections on Covenant and Missions that he wrote with several Jewish rabbis.”

    That’s another lie about Cardinal Keeler and Bishop Rhoades holding the same beliefs on the Reflections paper. Read. http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/03/by-sungenis-alone_29.html#fourteen

    Sungenis says: “Later, I was given written proof that both Fr. King and Bishop Rhoades were peddling the heresy about the Mosaic covenant when a friend of mine had intercepted an email that Fr. King wrote to all the priests of the dioceses of Harrisburg.”

    More lies. Bishop Rhoades didn’t “peddle” any heresy. And Sungenis is totally out of line for playing the judge, jury and executioner of Fr. King, making his whole case out of one single imprecisely defined word used in an email like it’s a dogmatic word or something. Did someone elect him pope and not tell the rest of us? I mean, as if even the pope would ever go on that kind of ridiculous power trip condemning priests and bishops like he did based on next to nothing. Read. http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html

    Sungenis says: “But once the USCCB’s vote of 231 to 14 exposed Rhoades and King’s view…”

    Then why was Bishop Rhoades one of the 231 who voted for the change to the catechism? And why did he come out and say he totally behind the Bishops’ criticism of Reflections on Covenant and Mission? It’s right here. http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html

    Sungenis says: “About a year later, the Vatican shipped Rhoades off to South Bend and put another bishop in Harrisburg this past year.”

    So we’re supposed to believe that Bishop Rhoades was being punished by the Vatican because he denounced Sungenis? Cut it out. I just snorted milk out my nose! Newsflash. There was something A LOT bigger than Sungenis going on there and anyone who can read a newspaper or watch a tv knows about it. Bishop Rhoades was among the first bishops to publicly criticized Notre Dames president for honoring President Obama. After that, when it was time for Bishop Darcy to retire, they picked Bishop Rhoades to replace him. Bishop Rhoades made remarks in South Bend and in Fort Wayne at his installation that seemed to be a gentle but clear shot across the bow of Notre Dame and Obama. The Papal Nuncio did, too. Read.

    http://www.replacejenkins.com/ : “Bishop Rhoades was among the first bishops who spoke out about the Obama scandal at Notre Dame in the spring of 2009.”

    Read this about the Papal Nuncio and the choice of Bishop Rhoades: http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2010/01/for-notre-dame-nuncios-new-deal.html

    Sungenis says: “Nothing to hide here. We don’t believe in ‘Jewish conspiracy theories’”

    Huh???? He just believes that Jews are out to take over the world and the Catholic Church, they murdered JFK, Jewish Mossad has all our phones tapped, they were behind 9-11, they used Monica Lewinsky like a secret agent to destroy Bill Clinton, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion look pretty good to him. But he doesn’t believe in Jewish conspiracy theories. Right. Read. http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/08/sowing-confusion-distrust-and.html andhttp://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/09/open-invitation-to-bob-sungenis.html

    I’m thankful that Bishop Rhoades forced Sungenis to take “Catholic” off his website. I don’t really care all that much if he wants to sell his flaky science, but I do care when he lies and slanders a good Catholic bishop and a whole nationality. Not that he cares, because he’s like Jake and Elwood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzOHq5WbQ8k

  239. B. Sanders

    Oh, good Lord. I hope no one thinks Catholics really believe this “scientific” bunk. That’s all we need right now.

    I’m also happy for Bishop Rhoades that he was promoted to a more prominent diocese and sad for whoever the new bishop is in Sungenis’ diocese. Something like a year ago, I read a letter at Catholics United for the Faith where the bishop was obviously against the Reflections on Covenant and Missions document. Here’s the link and the quote.

    http://www.cufblog.org/?p=561

    Quote, “I was also happy to support the Note on Ambiguities in ‘Reflections on Covenant and Mission’ recently issued by the Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.” ~ Bishop Rhoades

    I remember being surprised because I read about Sungenis making all these accusations about him agreeing with RCM and Cardinal Keeler. So I thought Bishop Rhoades was in the dual covenant camp. But after wading through the all the muck, that’s obviously not true.

    Bishop Rhoades is a solid bishop. The more read about him the more I respect him.

    It’s a shame to see a man who had a promising future like Sungenis reduced to slander, conspiracy theories and junk science like this.

  240. carol

    OK i stumbled across the “Galileo Was Wrong” website / conf and am so fascinated that people have built their lives around voluntary blindness. I’m not a physicist or scientist, so I’m looking around the web about Newton and Copernicus etc. If geocentrism was true wouldn’t things like air travel, even cars not work correctly? Basic problems with the force of gravity? these people have spurred me to learn more about physics.

  241. Y.poulaki

    No one here actually refuted the above supporting arguments for geocentrism, so, I had the time and . . . actually went to the above “conspiracy” conference. One problem, it turned out to be pretty darn enlightening. Almost 100 attendees, students, PhDs, priests, me – I stayed to the end, from 8AM to 11PM – yes, and most others did too. I have to say that all the above attacks were misguided. Their theories were were detailed using honest methodology, and the presenters were very impressive. Those familiar with Space Foam, etc. type hypothesis would walk away impressed. I think Discover should do a more detailed study on this issue- instead of a quick knee-jerk swipe. That just wasn’t fair. If they did, I think the answer might surprise everyone. Just my impression -

  242. Thanks, Y. Poulaki. They call this site “Bad” Astronomy for a reason.

  243. boccko

    Hm…

    What is their model of the solar system, and what are their empirical evidences to back that model up? Does their model provide account for all phenomena with higher accuracy than the currently accepted relativistic model? Of course, the motion of planetary bodies can be described from a frame of reference bound to the Earth – but that rises the question, what is the force causing these kind of motions? They seem to utilize relativity (if they interpret the MM experiment as ‘the Earth is standing still’, what is their basis of doing so? – also, without relativity, particle physics also hits the ground), but do they deny the law of gravity? Do they deny the Foucault experiment?

    And, in the end, they will also have to show that the Moon, in itself, is a light, as the Genesis states. Muhaha.

    (After more careful reading, I found the Sungenis does deny gravity and relativity, and does not really care about experimental proof. The name of Foucault is not mentioned.)

  244. Nate P.

    Ypoulaki -

    For a more objective look at the geo-conference from someone else who attended, read here:

    Hanging Out With Geocentrists:

    Part 1:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2010/11/hanging-out-with-geocentrists-part-3.htm

    Part 2:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2010/11/hanging-out-with-geocentrists-part-2.html

    Part 3:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2010/11/hanging-out-with-geocentrists-part-3.html

    Part 4:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2010/11/hanging-out-with-geocentrists-part-4.html

    Part 5:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2010/11/hanging-out-with-geocentrists-part-5.html

    Sungenis is a propagandist. He’s not a scientist, and some time ago, he basically ceased even be a theologian. Now he’s almost all about attacking Jews and promoting Weird Science.

  245. JAMES PHILLIPS

    DR. SUNGENIS’ REPLY TO THIS ARTICLE CAN BE SEEN AT http://galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/features/5.pdf. IF THIS LINK DOES NOT WORK TRY GOING TO http://www.galileowaswrong.com and once there scrolling down to “The Feature Articles” underneath which you will see a link titled “Response to Discover Magazine’s Phil Plait on Geocentrism” which will in turn take you to said article.

    Let it be noted that the vast majority of people who ridicule Dr. Sungenis’ immensely researched and documented work on geocentrism (Galileo Was Wrong — The Church Was Right) have never taken the time to actually read it. Instead, they go by what they have been spoon fed most all their life.

    Contrary to the way most people live their lives, the truth has never been a numbers game. The one person running away from the edge of a cliff invariably looks mad to the 100 people racing towards the precipice. Most people find their comfort zone in Socrates’ cave staring at the wall and aren’t about to separate from the herd and come out into the light of day.

    James Phillips

  246. Bob

    “Dr” Sungenis – please stop trying to make the Catholic Church look stupid. Your co-religionists don’t appreciate it, nor – I suspect – does the God who founded that same Church and endowed you with the intelligence you appear determined to abuse.

  247. JAMES PHILLIPS

    Bob, your comment #257 makes YOU look stupid. It is a gratuitous insult which you do not back up with any kind of facts. It is certainly not worthy of a devout Christian, but then again you may — for all I know — be anything but a devout Christian. If you are not a devout Christian it is much more easy to understand your remark. It may simply be anywhere on the spectrum from a knee jerk reaction to an intentional malicious slander. God knows and presumably so do you.

    Dr. Sungenis has sacrificed many long years of his life actively working to promote the truth and glory of the Catholic Church. What is your full real name and why do you wish to hide behind the anonymous “Bob?” What exactly have you done to build up Christ’s Church? What exactly are your credentials? What stature do you claim in so easily and simplistically denigrating Dr. Sungenis? Do you not realize that in slandering Dr. Sungenis in the manner you have that you have committed sin in at least the objective order? Does this not bother you? Have you no shame?

    By the way, many left Jesus Christ when He said that we must eat His Body and drink His Blood. No doubt, a fair number thought that He made himself look stupid, if not insane. Subjective opinions do not determine what is true or not true. Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Church Magisterium have all supported geocentrism and gone against heliocentrism. To deny this is to prevent your intellect from conforming to reality. It is to deny the truth!

    James B. Phillips

  248. JAMES PHILLIPS

    RESPONSE TO COMMENT # 255 BY NATE.

    Nate,

  249. JAMES PHILLIPS

    RESPONSE TO COMMENT # 255 BY NATE.

    Nate, as regards your offer of “a more objective look at the geo-conference from someone else who attended” you refer the reader to a set of links going to one Todd Charles Wood. This individual who is anything but objective casts all kinds of aspersions on the speakers and the whole idea of geocentrism. I can say this because I was present at the conference and listened attentively to all the speakers.

    One of the worst aspersions/defamations that Mr. Wood spews out is that of labeling Dr. Sungenis a propagandist. Although, a certain use of propaganda as such may be considered neutral or impartial in some contexts, the context in which Mr. Wood uses it is clearly of a severely derogatory nature. Its use as a cheap tar and feathering tag assigned to Dr. Sungenis is clearly employed to undermine the credibility of his work on geocentrism including the work of the recent geocentrism conference itself.

    It is only fair and equitable then for the reader to hear Dr. Sungenis contest Mr. Wood’s misguided critique — at the very least as it applies to himself and the conference he headed up. The following quotes are taken from Mr. Wood at the aforementioned links. They are immediately followed up by Dr. Sungenis reply to same. If anyone doubts the authenticity of Dr. Sungenis words as seen here they are certainly free to communicate with him directly via the email address provided at his website: cairomeo@aol.com.

    Mr. Wood: The other historical talk was the penultimate talk of the day by Robert Sungenis (also with a Wikipedia page), the mastermind behind the entire conference and author of the immense books Galileo was Wrong the Church was Right volumes 1 & 2 (totaling 1100 pages). He presented “Galileo & the Church: What Really Happened?” Knowing his bias, I didn’t expect much from his talk, but I was interested to see what his perspective would be. Naively, I was actually surprised by how blatantly anti-Galileo it was. Not just in the way he presented, but in the way Sungenis sort of brushed by the facts of the situation.

    R. Sungenis: I wonder who has the “bias” here? Mr. Wood admits that before he came into the room he “didn’t expect much from the talk.” So Wood enters this building with his arms folded yet he obviously hasn’t read our “1100 page” book to bring himself up to speed.

    As for me being “anti-Galileo,” what else was Mr. Wood expecting, since the very title of our book is “Galileo Was Wrong”? Obviously, what Mr. Wood means is that I didn’t give any credence to his preconceived ideas about what he thinks should be taught about Galileo. But “blatantly anti-Galileo”?? The only example Mr. Wood affords us below of why he insists on the slanderous adjective is my treatment of Galileo’s letter to Christina. But as you will see, his treatment falls very short of proving his point. In actuality it shows that Mr. Wood is ignorant of the finer points of Galileo’s history. Consequently, his mind is clouded by his bias for Galileo.

    Mr. Wood: For example, he described the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina as “Galileo goes on and on about why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.” That’s not exactly correct. Galileo was proposing a hermeneutic in the Letter, a way of interpreting scripture that made it possible to be a heliocentrist. His argument was far bigger than just “why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.”

    R. Sungenis: Besides the fact that Mr. Wood is attempting to make a grand conclusion of my views of Galileo from some cursory remark I made in a Power Point display, in actuality, Mr. Wood is making a distinction without a difference, and then using this phantom to make it appear as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. This psychological ploy is typical of my opponents, but I won’t get into that issue right now. Suffice it to say, there is no significant difference between: (a) “Galileo was proposing a hermeneutic… a way of interpreting scripture that made it possible to be a heliocentrist” and (b) the reasons “why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.” In order to accomplish (a) you must first accomplish (b).

    I suggest Mr. Wood go back and read Bellarmine’s critique of Galileo’s letter to Christina, as well as his critique of the letter to Castelli. It’s all about Galileo trying to tell Bellarmine that he was not contradicting Scripture, mainly because, as Galileo insisted, Scripture was to be taken figuratively when it spoke about cosmology (except, of course, when Galileo came to Joshua 10:10-14, which he tried to interpret literally by saying that the earth stopped rotating instead of the sun stopped moving, and got himself into quicksand from which he never recovered).

    Mr. Wood: After describing the Church’s 1616 formal condemnation of copernicanism, Sungenis said, “Galileo ignored the injunction against copernicanism” and began writing his Dialogue, giving the distinct impression that Galileo went out immediately and began writing his next book advocating heliocentrism.

    R. Sungenis: So Mr. Wood, without knowing my real intention, is making a grandiose conclusion based only on “impressions” he received? All he need to do was ask me, since I made myself available the entire 10 hours of the conference. But Mr. Wood failed to introduce himself, much less ask for any clarifications.

    Mr. Wood: The truth is that he had already written a draft of what became the Dialogue prior to the condemnation of copernicanism and that he didn’t start revising it for publication until September of 1624. Basically, he let the manuscript sit for nine years, and when he began to revise it, he made it a Dialogue discussing both copernicanism and the geocentric perspective.

    R. Sungenis: So, then, Mr. Wood admits that Galileo picked up his draft of the Dialogo and began working on it again when he was specifically told by Pope Paul V never to write, speak or teach on the subject again. Apparently Mr. Wood believes that disobeying the injunction nine years later is better than disobeying it only one year later.

    Additionally, Mr. Wood’s choice of 1624 is not precise. If he had bothered to read Galileo Was Wrong on this very subject he would have come across these two paragraphs on page 212 of the second volume.

    Sentence: Therefore by our order you were cited before this Holy Office, where, being examined upon your oath, you acknowledged the book to be written and published by you. You confessed that you began to write the said book about ten or twelve years ago [1621-1623], after the command had been imposed upon you as above; that you requested license to print it without, however, intimating to those who granted you this license that you had been commanded not to hold, defend, or teach the doctrine in question in any way whatever.

    Analysis: This means that Galileo, in his typical temerity, began writing the Dialogo just five to seven years after the injunction had been given to him in 1616. In fact, parts of the Dialogo were written as far back as 1610.

    Be that as it may, here is a description of the injunction from the official document:

    His Holiness ordered the Most Illustrious Cardinal Bellarmine to call Galileo before himself and warn him to abandon these opinions; and if he should refuse to obey, the Father Commissary, in the presence of notary and witnesses, is to issue him an injunction to abstain completely from teaching or defending that doctrine and opinion or from discussing it; and further, if he should not acquiesce, he is to be imprisoned. (Le Opere di Galileo Galilei, vol. 19, p. 321, translated by Fantoli).

    And despite this clear wording, Mr. Wood claims that it was permissible for Galileo to revise his Dialogo since Galileo was “discussing both Copernicanism and the geocentric perspective.” But that’s not what the injunction said. The injunction didn’t care what Galileo’s intentions were. It simply stated that he was to stay away from the subject altogether. Mr. Wood doesn’t like that particular fact of history and thus he bends the story to suit his tastes and then tries to give the impression that I was bending it.

    Mr. Wood: This was ostensibly permissible under the injunction against copernicanism,

    R. Sungenis: “Ostensibly permissible”? Is Mr. Wood now the judge and jury of what the injunction meant? Seems so. If so, his judgment contradicts what Pope Paul V actually required, which, as noted above, was for Galileo “to abstain completely from teaching or defending that doctrine and opinion or from discussing it; and further, if he should not acquiesce, he is to be imprisoned.”

    Mr. Wood: but the problem was that the text made it quite clear that Galileo’s sympathies were with the Copernican system.

    R. Sungenis: That was the second reason, not the first. The first was that Galileo entered into the topic of cosmology when he was told not to do so. Mr. Wood needs to read the injunction for what it actually says and not give us his biased opinion.

    Mr. Wood: Sungenis made it sound like Galileo just marched right out defiantly against the Church and began writing his next argument for heliocentrism, but that’s not what happened at all.

    R. Sungenis: This, unfortunately, is what Mr. Wood extracts from a quick Power Point presentation and an “impression.” Be that as it may, in actuality, it doesn’t matter how soon Galileo decided to defy the Church. The point is, he defied her and he knew what he was doing. In fact, he waited until 1621-1623 to do his revising since he thought that Cardinal Barberini who had befriended him by that time would support his Dialogo. Apparently, enough time had passed to tempt Galileo to think that no one would remember or make a big deal about the injunction that Paul V gave him in 1616. Barberini supported Galileo for a while, but when Barberini became Pope Urban VIII and found out that Galileo was not only presenting Copernicanism as a thesis but also obtained an imprimatur for the Dialogo through a bit of subterfuge by getting the best of Cardinal Riccardi through the help of Cosimo Medici, well, that’s when Galileo’s house of cards fell. And when confronted by Urban VIII’s inquisition, Galileo feigned a memory loss that he had received the injunction in 1616, at least until the Commissar helped him remember by showing Galileo’s signature on the injunction. Galileo was devious from start to finish. It only took him five to seven years to put together his wily plan to circumvent the Church. I suggest Mr. Wood read the history before he comments on it. It’s all in my book, all 1100 pages.

    Mr. Wood: The bulk of Sungenis’s talk was spent on what happened after Galileo, in which he emphasized that it was the infallible Magisterium of the church that condemned Galileo and therefore the condemnation could not be rescinded without admitting that the Magisterium had made a mistake.

    R. Sungenis: Apparently Mr. Wood wasn’t listening very well, or perhaps he is once again relying on “impressions” instead of facts. I said nothing about an “infallible Magisterium…condemned Galileo.” I specifically stated that since the condemnation wasn’t issued in a formally infallible venue, it then depended on the Ordinary Magisterium. I then said that because the condemnation of Galileo came under the auspices of a canonical trial from a tribunal of the Church, it then became a legal matter, and since legal matters can only be overturned by the pope or another tribunal, then the legal decision against Galileo and heliocentrism continues since no one has ever legally rescinded it. I then said that, if the Church were to rescind the canonical decision against Galileo and heliocentrism, it would only be putting itself in jeopardy, since in saying an Ordinary Magisterium of the past made a mistake then forces us to ask whether an Ordinary Magisterium from the present can also make a mistake, but, of course, that specific issue is hypothetical.

    Mr. Wood: I found this section very interesting, but given Sungenis’s mistreatment of Galileo, I have to say I’m dubious of some of his claims here.

    R. Sungenis: Well, since I have backed up my treatment of Galileo with the historical facts, I hope that Mr. Wood will retract his mistakes. It is Mr. Wood who does not know the history and yet makes judgments based on that ignorance. Better yet, Mr. Wood should read the historical section in Volume 2 of Galileo Was Wrong, for there he will find that all the facts I have used to rebut his analysis are documented.
    ***************************************************************************************
    James B. Phillips

  250. Will Louis

    James, your outrage is a little hard to swallow considering the information about Mr. Sungenis that Frank brought forward. Mr. Sungenis is slandering a bishop, right here in this combox. And not a peep from you.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/14/geocentrism-seriously/#comment-319554

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html

    And your appeal to “credentials” is also a little hard to swallow considering the controversy surrounding Mr. Sungenis’ “doctorate” as also brought forward here.

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    Even were a person to accept Calamus International as a legitimate university (which I don’t), he has no credentials in science. No degrees. My understanding is that his undergrad and masters are in Protestant theology.

  251. JAMES PHILLIPS

    RESPONSE TO COMMENT # 255 BY NATE.
    Nate, as regards your offer of “a more objective look at the geo-conference from someone else who attended” you refer the reader to a set of links going to one Todd Charles Wood. This individual who is anything but objective casts all kinds of aspersions on the speakers and the whole idea of geocentrism. I can say this because I was present at the conference and listened attentively to all the speakers.

    One of the worst aspersions/defamations that Mr. Wood spews out is that of labeling Dr. Sungenis a propagandist. Although, a certain use of propaganda as such may be considered neutral or impartial in some contexts, the context in which Mr. Wood uses it is clearly of a severely derogatory nature. Its use as a cheap tar and feathering tag assigned to Dr. Sungenis is clearly employed to undermine the credibility of his work on geocentrism including the work of the recent geocentrism conference itself.

    It is only fair and equitable then for the reader to hear Dr. Sungenis contest Mr. Wood’s misguided critique — at the very least as it applies to himself and the conference he headed up. The following quotes are taken from Mr. Wood at the aforementioned links. They are immediately followed up by Dr. Sungenis reply to same. If anyone doubts the authenticity of Dr. Sungenis words as seen here they are certainly free to communicate with him directly via the email address provided at his website: cairomeo@aol.com.

    Mr. Wood: The other historical talk was the penultimate talk of the day by Robert Sungenis (also with a Wikipedia page), the mastermind behind the entire conference and author of the immense books Galileo was Wrong the Church was Right volumes 1 & 2 (totaling 1100 pages). He presented “Galileo & the Church: What Really Happened?” Knowing his bias, I didn’t expect much from his talk, but I was interested to see what his perspective would be. Naively, I was actually surprised by how blatantly anti-Galileo it was. Not just in the way he presented, but in the way Sungenis sort of brushed by the facts of the situation.

    R. Sungenis: I wonder who has the “bias” here? Mr. Wood admits that before he came into the room he “didn’t expect much from the talk.” So Wood enters this building with his arms folded yet he obviously hasn’t read our “1100 page” book to bring himself up to speed.
    As for me being “anti-Galileo,” what else was Mr. Wood expecting, since the very title of our book is “Galileo Was Wrong”? Obviously, what Mr. Wood means is that I didn’t give any credence to his preconceived ideas about what he thinks should be taught about Galileo. But “blatantly anti-Galileo”?? The only example Mr. Wood affords us below of why he insists on the slanderous adjective is my treatment of Galileo’s letter to Christina. But as you will see, his treatment falls very short of proving his point. In actuality it shows that Mr. Wood is ignorant of the finer points of Galileo’s history. Consequently, his mind is clouded by his bias for Galileo.

    Mr. Wood: For example, he described the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina as “Galileo goes on and on about why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.” That’s not exactly correct. Galileo was proposing a hermeneutic in the Letter, a way of interpreting scripture that made it possible to be a heliocentrist. His argument was far bigger than just “why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.”

    R. Sungenis: Besides the fact that Mr. Wood is attempting to make a grand conclusion of my views of Galileo from some cursory remark I made in a Power Point display, in actuality, Mr. Wood is making a distinction without a difference, and then using this phantom to make it appear as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. This psychological ploy is typical of my opponents, but I won’t get into that issue right now. Suffice it to say, there is no significant difference between: (a) “Galileo was proposing a hermeneutic… a way of interpreting scripture that made it possible to be a heliocentrist” and (b) the reasons “why heliocentrism does not contradict the Scripture.” In order to accomplish (a) you must first accomplish (b).
    I suggest Mr. Wood go back and read Bellarmine’s critique of Galileo’s letter to Christina, as well as his critique of the letter to Castelli. It’s all about Galileo trying to tell Bellarmine that he was not contradicting Scripture, mainly because, as Galileo insisted, Scripture was to be taken figuratively when it spoke about cosmology (except, of course, when Galileo came to Joshua 10:10-14, which he tried to interpret literally by saying that the earth stopped rotating instead of the sun stopped moving, and got himself into quicksand from which he never recovered).

    Mr. Wood: After describing the Church’s 1616 formal condemnation of copernicanism, Sungenis said, “Galileo ignored the injunction against copernicanism” and began writing his Dialogue, giving the distinct impression that Galileo went out immediately and began writing his next book advocating heliocentrism.
    R. Sungenis: So Mr. Wood, without knowing my real intention, is making a grandiose conclusion based only on “impressions” he received? All he need to do was ask me, since I made myself available the entire 10 hours of the conference. But Mr. Wood failed to introduce himself, much less ask for any clarifications.
    Mr. Wood: The truth is that he had already written a draft of what became the Dialogue prior to the condemnation of copernicanism and that he didn’t start revising it for publication until September of 1624. Basically, he let the manuscript sit for nine years, and when he began to revise it, he made it a Dialogue discussing both copernicanism and the geocentric perspective.

    R. Sungenis: So, then, Mr. Wood admits that Galileo picked up his draft of the Dialogo and began working on it again when he was specifically told by Pope Paul V never to write, speak or teach on the subject again. Apparently Mr. Wood believes that disobeying the injunction nine years later is better than disobeying it only one year later.
    Additionally, Mr. Wood’s choice of 1624 is not precise. If he had bothered to read Galileo Was Wrong on this very subject he would have come across these two paragraphs on page 212 of the second volume.
    Sentence: Therefore by our order you were cited before this Holy Office, where, being examined upon your oath, you acknowledged the book to be written and published by you. You confessed that you began to write the said book about ten or twelve years ago [1621-1623], after the command had been imposed upon you as above; that you requested license to print it without, however, intimating to those who granted you this license that you had been commanded not to hold, defend, or teach the doctrine in question in any way whatever.
    Analysis: This means that Galileo, in his typical temerity, began writing the Dialogo just five to seven years after the injunction had been given to him in 1616. In fact, parts of the Dialogo were written as far back as 1610.
    Be that as it may, here is a description of the injunction from the official document:
    His Holiness ordered the Most Illustrious Cardinal Bellarmine to call Galileo before himself and warn him to abandon these opinions; and if he should refuse to obey, the Father Commissary, in the presence of notary and witnesses, is to issue him an injunction to abstain completely from teaching or defending that doctrine and opinion or from discussing it; and further, if he should not acquiesce, he is to be imprisoned. (Le Opere di Galileo Galilei, vol. 19, p. 321, translated by Fantoli).
    And despite this clear wording, Mr. Wood claims that it was permissible for Galileo to revise his Dialogo since Galileo was “discussing both Copernicanism and the geocentric perspective.” But that’s not what the injunction said. The injunction didn’t care what Galileo’s intentions were. It simply stated that he was to stay away from the subject altogether. Mr. Wood doesn’t like that particular fact of history and thus he bends the story to suit his tastes and then tries to give the impression that I was bending it.
    Mr. Wood: This was ostensibly permissible under the injunction against copernicanism,
    R. Sungenis: “Ostensibly permissible”? Is Mr. Wood now the judge and jury of what the injunction meant? Seems so. If so, his judgment contradicts what Pope Paul V actually required, which, as noted above, was for Galileo “to abstain completely from teaching or defending that doctrine and opinion or from discussing it; and further, if he should not acquiesce, he is to be imprisoned.”

    Mr. Wood: but the problem was that the text made it quite clear that Galileo’s sympathies were with the Copernican system.

    R. Sungenis: That was the second reason, not the first. The first was that Galileo entered into the topic of cosmology when he was told not to do so. Mr. Wood needs to read the injunction for what it actually says and not give us his biased opinion.

    Mr. Wood: Sungenis made it sound like Galileo just marched right out defiantly against the Church and began writing his next argument for heliocentrism, but that’s not what happened at all.

    R. Sungenis: This, unfortunately, is what Mr. Wood extracts from a quick Power Point presentation and an “impression.” Be that as it may, in actuality, it doesn’t matter how soon Galileo decided to defy the Church. The point is, he defied her and he knew what he was doing. In fact, he waited until 1621-1623 to do his revising since he thought that Cardinal Barberini who had befriended him by that time would support his Dialogo. Apparently, enough time had passed to tempt Galileo to think that no one would remember or make a big deal about the injunction that Paul V gave him in 1616. Barberini supported Galileo for a while, but when Barberini became Pope Urban VIII and found out that Galileo was not only presenting Copernicanism as a thesis but also obtained an imprimatur for the Dialogo through a bit of subterfuge by getting the best of Cardinal Riccardi through the help of Cosimo Medici, well, that’s when Galileo’s house of cards fell. And when confronted by Urban VIII’s inquisition, Galileo feigned a memory loss that he had received the injunction in 1616, at least until the Commissar helped him remember by showing Galileo’s signature on the injunction. Galileo was devious from start to finish. It only took him five to seven years to put together his wily plan to circumvent the Church. I suggest Mr. Wood read the history before he comments on it. It’s all in my book, all 1100 pages.
    Mr. Wood: The bulk of Sungenis’s talk was spent on what happened after Galileo, in which he emphasized that it was the infallible Magisterium of the church that condemned Galileo and therefore the condemnation could not be rescinded without admitting that the Magisterium had made a mistake.

    R. Sungenis: Apparently Mr. Wood wasn’t listening very well, or perhaps he is once again relying on “impressions” instead of facts. I said nothing about an “infallible Magisterium…condemned Galileo.” I specifically stated that since the condemnation wasn’t issued in a formally infallible venue, it then depended on the Ordinary Magisterium. I then said that because the condemnation of Galileo came under the auspices of a canonical trial from a tribunal of the Church, it then became a legal matter, and since legal matters can only be overturned by the pope or another tribunal, then the legal decision against Galileo and heliocentrism continues since no one has ever legally rescinded it. I then said that, if the Church were to rescind the canonical decision against Galileo and heliocentrism, it would only be putting itself in jeopardy, since in saying an Ordinary Magisterium of the past made a mistake then forces us to ask whether an Ordinary Magisterium from the present can also make a mistake, but, of course, that specific issue is hypothetical.

    Mr. Wood: I found this section very interesting, but given Sungenis’s mistreatment of Galileo, I have to say I’m dubious of some of his claims here.

    R. Sungenis: Well, since I have backed up my treatment of Galileo with the historical facts, I hope that Mr. Wood will retract his mistakes. It is Mr. Wood who does not know the history and yet makes judgments based on that ignorance. Better yet, Mr. Wood should read the historical section in Volume 2 of Galileo Was Wrong, for there he will find that all the facts I have used to rebut his analysis are documented.
    ***************************************************************************************
    James B. Phillips

  252. Will Louis

    James, your outrage is a little hard to swallow considering the information about Mr. Sungenis that Frank brought forward. Mr. Sungenis is slandering a bishop, right here in this combox. And not a peep from you.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/14/geocentrism-seriously/#comment-319554

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html

    And your insistence on “credentials” is also a little hard to swallow considering the controversy surrounding Mr. Sungenis’ “doctorate” as also brought forward here.

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    Even were a person to accept Calamus International as a legitimate university (which I don’t), he has no credentials in science. No degrees. My understanding is that his undergrad and masters are in Protestant theology.

  253. JAMES PHILLIPS

    To Will at #263 (and to anyone else who may be “listening”):

    I am not asking you to (in your word) “swallow” anything. You can lead a horse to water. You can’t force it to drink. It may mean nothing to a non-Catholic, but to a Catholic it should mean a great deal: Sacred Scripture, Church tradition, and the Church Magisterium all speak with one voice in supporting geocentrism and refuting heliocentrism. Dr. Sungenis has thoroughly documented this in his truly massive work on the subject (www.galileowaswrong.com); but again — you can lead a horse to water — or at least point him in the direction of the water as I am doing here — but you can’t force him to drink it.

    As for those individuals who are not Catholic (or who are Catholic — often in name only — but who at the same time quite erroneously believe they are within their so called rights to pick and choose what Catholic beliefs they will accept or reject) Dr. Sungenis offers real science to back up the validity (i.e., truth!) of geocentrism and the invalidity (i.e., falsehood!) of heliocentrism. Unfortunately, most people who go about willy nilly in denigrating Dr. Sungenis and his work on blog sites such as this ABSOLUTELY REFUSE (Let’s be honest about it!) to actually acquire and examine Dr. Sungenis’ book Galileo Was Wrong — The Church Was Right. They would much rather do anything but examine it. The proof is in the pudding, however. More and more seemingly die hard dogmatic believers of heliocentrism (but ones who — God bless them! — were nevertheless open to the truth) upon encountering and taking a serious look at Dr. Sungenis book walked away absolutely convinced of the truth of geocentrism and of the utter sham science and false philosophy/ideology supporting heliocentrism.

    All those of good will who really know Dr. Sungenis for who he really is and for what he really stands for should (by, and only by, the grace of God) recognize the incessant hell bent untruthful slandering that has been leveled against him over the years. Most of those who wish to continue slandering him will no doubt in all probability continue to do so. There may be nothing I can do to stop them with my puny little blog, other than to perhaps awaken in them a fear of the Lord God for their continuing violation of the Eighth Commandment. What we see in the case of Dr. Sungenis and his magnificent work in defending Holy Mother Church (“By their works you shall know them.” Matt 7:16) and her true Catholic doctrine is nothing less than the attempts of many to shoot down the messenger because they don’t like the message. Matthew 24:9 and John 16:2 are apropos passages when it comes to the non stop misguided/misinformed self-righteous persecution of Dr. Sungenis.

    Knowing full well that I place myself in the sights of scorners of God and His truth, I ask anyone reading this to join me in praying for Dr. Sungenis that he may continue to persevere in the Triune God’s grace and truth. May the Lord God Almighty be with him now and forever!

    James B. Phillips
    Servant of Christ the King and Mary our Queen

  254. Will Louis

    James,

    1) You still have nothing to say about the slander publicly leveled by your friend Sungenis against his bishop in this combox.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/14/geocentrism-seriously/#comment-319554

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2009/09/bishop-rhoades-and-dual-covenant-theory.html

    2) You demanded credentials from Bob, but Sungenis doesn’t have any real credentials in science. His undergraduate degree and masters are in Protestant theology. And his “doctorate” is in theology from a *highly questionable* institution – to be charitable.

    http://sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/search/label/fake%20doctorate

    These are the things that are “hard to swallow.”

    You can continuing writing about his supposed brilliance all you like and how unfair and mean you think everyone is to him, but nothing you wrote alters those facts.

  255. Will Louis

    Oh, good heavens. Now I find out that you’re a fan of Michael Hoffman, Mr. Phillips. That explains your affinity for Sungenis.

    http://revisionistreview.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-catholic-shoah-theology-newsletter.html?showComment=1240938120000#c3228893315301159821

    Enough said, I won’t waste my time any further on this kind of putrescent idiocy.

    Michael Hoffman:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_A._Hoffman_II

    http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/Michael%20A.%20Hoffman%20II

  256. From what I had read I can emphatically assume that very few of you if any have tried to use both coordinates(geocentric and heliocentric) to check the math if both work to send satellites or probes to outer space. In fact, the preferred reference frame to send satellites is the geocentric one. Of course, NASA will hide these facts from you. Finally, we are not saying that the stars moves around the earth at fantastic speeds but, that the firmament rotates (with all the stars in it) in24 hours or I should say in 23 hours 56 minutes, this the sidereal day not the solar day. Both coordinates systems work exactly the same.

  257. Sam

    “For example, the most obvious one is that distant stars are light years away. If they circle us once per day, they must move faster than light, which is impossible!”

    Why, the answer should be obvious! Right in the bible it says the stars are set in a firmament around the Earth! It’s also where the waters from Noah’s flood were (“opened up the windows of heaven”). The stars aren’t millions of miles away, they are actually very close, and all evidence to the contrary is faked or photoshopped! Besides, with GOD nothing is impossible!

  258. ANON666

    Geocentralism is wrong, but it is a gross misinterpretation of the actual texts, not the King James Version athiest have a field day with.

    The unmoving stars are Annunaki created worlds, bases so they could have point of origin in relation to everythin else constantly moving in Space.

    Science is being used now the way they used the bible, the way they used creationism. Its just as bad and flawed,. Old religion worked because the masses feared the higher power, while new age science (unprovable theories like evolution and big bang, great unprovable concepts) preys on the “educated” man’s response to refusing to believe their is a higher power, that we really werent a slave race left here to rot.

    Answers will be coming soon- Be safe my space brethren.

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