The Geocentric Universe: It’s Back!

It’s hard to believe these people are out there, but they are. In the Digital Journal we read Conservative Catholics say Galileo was wrong, geocentric is right

You’re thinking: “This is a joke, isn’t it?” No, dear reader, it doesn’t seem to be. In fact, we’ve written about these people before (see Competition for the Time Cube). So let’s see what the latest news is. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A growing Conservative Roman Catholic movement is continuing to insist that Galileo Galilei was incorrect by his assertion that Earth revolves around the Sun and is not the center of the universe. The battle rages on between geocentrism and heliocentrism.

Y’know, it wouldn’t be so bad if that kind of stuff were being shouted by an occasional crackpot running around in the nude, who was also claiming that the end is nigh, but this is described as a growing conservative movement. What else does the Digital Journal say? Get this:

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, a growing number of conservative Roman Catholics are utilizing the bible and church teachings as proof that the Earth is the centre of our universe.

Their link doesn’t work, but we did find this four-months old article in the Chicago Tribune: Some Catholics seek to counter Galileo. They quote the group’s leader:

“Heliocentrism becomes ‘dangerous’ if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system,” said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. “False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today. … Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world; and governments and academia were subservient to her.”

The man’s got a point. Unfortunately, it seems to be growing out of the top of his head. Hey, here’s a Wikipedia article about Robert Sungenis. The Tribune also says:

Sungenis is no lone Don Quixote, as illustrated by the hundreds of curiosity seekers, skeptics and supporters at a conference last fall titled “Galileo Was Wrong. The Church Was Right” just off the University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind.

That’s the same event we wrote about in our earlier post. Egad — he actually attracted a crowd! Let’s read on:

There is proof in Scripture that the Earth is the center of the universe, Sungenis said. Among many verses, he cites Joshua 10:12-14 as definitive proof: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe. … The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course.”

Yes, “proof.” Hey, that’s one of the passages that was used in Galileo’s heresy trial. It worked then, so why not now? Oh, wait — this is good:

But Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., said the Bible is silent on geocentrism.

“There’s a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated,” Ham said. “The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Hambo! You want scripture? Here ya go: The Earth Does Not Move!

Okay, turning back to the Digital Journal, is there anything that wasn’t discussed in the Chicago Tribune? Yes — it seems that the Sungenis group has some other unconventional ideas. For example, Sungenis is quoted as saying:

[T]he moon doesn’t have enough pull to pick up millions of tons of ocean water, but that is a fact that is rather hidden from public consumption. Current cosmology really has no explanation for earth’s tides. They are no further along than Galileo was when he said that the tides prove the earth rotates.

We’ve excerpted enough. Now you have two articles to read, and if you want more, you can use the links we gave you in our earlier post: A whole new world awaits you. Well, not exactly a new world, but you know what we mean.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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26 responses to “The Geocentric Universe: It’s Back!

  1. For over one thousand years these people figured the way to deal with people who did not believe the same imaginary things as did they (and even those who did not believe exactly what they were told to believe) was to kill them in the most hideous manner (burning at the stake, impaling, drowning, etc.). They couldn’t even wait for the eternity of torment they believed coming those “heretics” ways.

    These geniuses proscribed the theory of atoms, the theory of evolution, and the theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. They forbade people from believing that the Sun could move and that the Moon and Sun and stars were made of the same stuff as the earth. You were required to believe that the earth stood still for 24 hours with no ill effects and that a giant “fish” could swallow a man and that the earth was only about 4000 years old. If you persisted in believing what we now know is true, you most likely were killed in a most gruesome manner with rites performed to make sure you burned in Hell for all eternity.

    So, the question I have, is why do these people have any credibility at all?

  2. Two groups of biblical literalists disagreeing about their literal interpretations of the bible. Lovely.

  3. “Among many verses, he cites Joshua 10:12-14 as definitive proof: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe. … The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course.”
    Yes, “proof.” Hey, that’s one of the passages that was used in Galileo’s heresy trial. ”
    IIRC, Martin Luther used this same passage as “proof” against Copernicus. So it’s not just Catholics, at least prospectively- this is a ball that could be carried by any Christian who wanted to go the whole nine yards.

  4. James Phillips

    http://www.galileowaswrong.com and http://www.galileowaswrong.blogspot.com. No need to go there if you are a close minded anti-Catholic bigot.

  5. @stephenpruis:
    These geniuses proscribed the theory of atoms, the theory of evolution, and the theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
    I doubt whether anybody proscribed the theory of evolution over that stretch of time, because it would have been an anachronism. Nobody had a notion of “species”, for example.
    What seems to be the case is that just about everybody accepted geocentrism on the basis of the Bible, and just about everybody changed their minds on the basis of “naturalistic” evidence. This includes most of today’s evolution deniers, and raises the question of how a modern heliocentrist creationist can justify their heliocentrism.

  6. @TomS
    The Catholic Church never put The Origin of Species on the List of Prohibited Books (the fact that such a list exists is disturbing itself) but it danced around the Theory of Evolution for a century or so while its minions hammered the book locally. Obviously for many Protestant Fundamentalist Churches, evolution is just plain wrong if not evil.

    Obviously the first thousand years of the Catholic Church didn’t even include the Inquisition let alone Evolution, so I was using that span loosely and I apologize for any confusion.

  7. Ed – Two groups of biblical literalists disagreeing about their literal interpretations of the bible. Lovely.

    Isn’t it? They have not yet figured out that “we have a book that tells us the meaning of life, but we can’t figure out what it says” is functionally equivalent to “we don’t have a book that tells us the meaning of life.”

  8. ‘He has a point, unfortunately it’s growing out of the top of his head’. Wonderful!
    Of course we laugh at geocentrism, but it is really no less sensible than young earth creationism.
    I first became interested in the ‘debate’ between YEC and reality because, from a UK perspective, it was impossible to imagine anyone with an education and a sound mind defending the YEC position. I eventually learned that seemingly sane and sensible people could espouse the YEC position provided that enough money was involved.

  9. I found a Wikipedia article about Robert Sungenis. I’ll have to add it to the original post.

  10. “[T]he moon doesn’t have enough pull to pick up millions of tons of ocean water, but that is a fact that is rather hidden from public consumption.”

    The tide goes in. The tide goes out. You can’t explain that.

  11. Chicago Tribune: “A growing Conservative Roman Catholic movement is continuing to insist that Galileo Galilei was incorrect…”

    Hey, media — stop calling these wackos “conservative”! Their beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with conservatism. In fact, a more apt term would be “radical”. Like Young Earth Creationists, they must force themselves to be deliberately ignorant of the last one thousand years of human learning.

  12. Whenever you a journalist write “A growing number” you may mentally substitute “an insignificant number that has got slightly bigger” with no loss of meaning.

  13. Ceteris Paribus

    And given the propensity for procreation among any denomination of religious fundamentalists, a journalist could also use phrases that start with:

    “A record number of ….”
    or
    “The largest number yet of ….”
    or
    “We are witnessing an exponential increase of …”

  14. …and it all amounts to “a growing pile” of horse manure.

  15. “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe. … The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course.”

    If the sun halted in the middle of the sky, how did they know that it stayed there for “a whole day”? A day is measured by the movement of the sun; if the sun isn’t moving you can’t measure the period of time in which the sun stayed still. It’s not like they had mechanical or atomic clocks back then.

  16. meh – my fundamentalist xian right wing-nut cousin will have the answer to this, so I will get back with you on this after he explains it to me.

  17. RetiredSciGuy, perhaps ‘radical’ might be an appropriate description, but ‘bat-s**t crazy’ is closer.

  18. @Douglas E: I found out last week that one of my co-workers is a creationist. He’s now taken to try to bring me the “evidence” that evolution is wrong and creationism is right. Yesterday, it was (and I’m not making this up), “Yeah, I saw this show on Discovery last night. Did you see this? They found a fossil… what was it?… Pilfer… Pillow…” I finally proffered “Piltdown Man.”
    “Yeah, that’s it!”
    I hope your fundie cousin does better than some already well-refuted, tired, ole creationist claim. Please let it at least be something original.

  19. Gary – amazing isn’t it? These folks get their science from Ken Ham and other ‘true, uncompromised’ xians. Since their theology aligns with Ham, they align their science with him as well. My cousin’s initial response was that they probably used water clocks. I guess that explains that.

  20. @Douglas: Water clocks! Love it! I’m convinced.

  21. Gentlemen. No-one, but no-one, has proved heliocentricity. Fred Hoyle said that you could take your pick between HC and GC. So, if it’s all cut ‘n dried, prove your theory. There. A challenge for you. But ask yourself; if you are going to fly from Jo’burg to London, which direction do you point the plane’s nose on take-off ? Because if you head due north, by the time you arrive at where London was, it will have moved several thousand miles east. And you will be out of fuel and above the Atlantic, and looking slightly silly. Time to reveal that you too have a pointy head. The Mitchelson-Morley interferometry experiments showed on 200 separate occasions that no rotation of the Earth could be detected. “Retired science guy” could maybe take this one up. This was a major problem for 20 years or so until the quackademic known as Albert E. came along with his mythematical thought-experiments and saved the day. Or, rather, delayed the inevitable eventual realization that what God says is true, rather than what you say. One more thing; you will all be familiar with the idea of inertia. It’s fairly fundamental. So if the earth is spinning at 1000mph at the Equator, shouldn’t there be an absolute hurricane blowing above it, as the air tries desperately to catch up with its impatient earthly counterpart ? Instead of which, the atmosphere is frequently quite balmy there, and sometimes even blowing against the direction of rotation.
    You will not be aware of this, but science as we know and love it, is actually a religion which is disguising its true origins. In the 1st, 13th, and 16th centuries certain rabbis with Kabbalistic/ Talmudic leanings revealed that the universe arose out of an explosion from a cosmic egg. Sound familiar ? Here’s one more. Kabbalistic mysticism speaks of ten sephirot, or levels of God’s nature. Superstring theorists hypothesize ten dimensions…Einstein’s vision, which abhorred stationary objects ( such as a stationary Earth ); dressed this distaste up as something called Relativism, ie everything is moving. But what did Einstein say about himself ? “I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge”. Oh dear.! The “everything is moving” idea flies in the face of God’s clear statement that the Earth does not move, it is the fixed centre of the visible universe. This cannot be tolerated by a Satanic cult called Zionism, which is backed by Talmudism. If the Earth rotates, then the stars do not, so they can be the hypothesized as being 15 billion light years away. The “proof” for this sort of remoteness comes from our friend Hubble, with his discovery and subsequent rejection of the validity of the significance of red shift as a distance and velocity-measuring tool. As did also his main student, Halton C Arp. If however the stars rotate about the earth on a diurnal basis, then they cannot be so very far distant. Proximity removes the 15 billion year “age” requirement for the universe. A younger age, brace yourselves here, means less time, a lot less time, is available for Evolution to have occurred. Guess who is getting a bit scared at this point ? I’ll give you a clue. S***N. Or, if you prefer, L*****R. Same entity.
    There. That should be enough to either raise your BP to explosion level; or, if you are sober and sensible, to start you off on a quest which has only one possible ending; which is the realization that you have swallowed a Big Lie, purely on the back of the fact that it dates from 1543, and as such therefore , must be true,

  22. Tim,
    Please, please go back on your meds.

  23. Tim says: “No-one, but no-one, has proved heliocentricity.”

    In my benevolence, we’ll let this one play out for a while.

  24. @Tim

    We have sent a number of robots to Mars. They observe, and photograph, the sun rising and setting over Mars, and we’ve even had pictures from their vantage point of the earth, moving across the Martian heavens as would be expected if both Mars and Earth orbit the sun.

    If you accept that the speed of light is an absolute limit, then the heavens would have to be extremely close. If they are moving at the speed of light, they would be traveling in a circle of one light-day circumference around the earth. The radius of that circle (the distance from the earth to all the stars and galaxies and everything else in the universe) would be no more than 1 light day/(2Pi) or roughly 0.16 light day. That’s equivalent to 173 times the distance from the earth to the sun. Voyager 1 has already travelled 119 times the distance from the earth to the sun, so by this calculation it’s more than half-way to the rest of the universe. Voyager has not reported the universe looming large in it’s instruments. The Earth would be vapor if it were that close to billions of stars.

    The universe would not fit in a circle that small anyway, at least in it’s current form. Unless you are arguing that those aren’t stars, galaxies, etc. that we see, but instead holes punched in a crystalline sphere to light the light of heaven through. They’re just holes that just look like other things, with unique radiation in different frequencies and spectral signatures and discernible movement and all the rest.

    I don’t know who you read, but you should buy a telescope and go outside and take a look at the night sky for yourself now and then. I promise you will enjoy it.

  25. @Tim: In other words, you have no “evidence” for your geocentrism other than “God told me so”? I’m going to have to side with stephen on this one. And if you’re on shock therapy, up the voltage.