Prepare for the Fringe Geocentric People: Catholics Claiming the Earth is the Motionless Center of the Universe

by Steve Ray on July 18, 2014

UPDATE 7/20/14, 9:15 PM Eastern: There must be a network of Geocentrists who quickly call each other to defend their position. As soon as I posted this blog about the geocentric system I got a bunch of comments within that matter of a few hours which demonstrated to me that someone sent out the message to visit my site and respond. Interesting :-)

Well I just approved all of them so that people can see that this is really a real phenomenon. Dave Palm will be commenting a bit but I won’t’ let it to oto long.

ORIGINAL POST:
My good friend and fellow convert David Palm is an expert on Geocentrism, the idea that the earth is the stationary center of the universe. He has thoroughly exposed this ridiculous position below. Here is for the education of those who may be enticed by the fringe ideas presented by fringe people. 

“In the coming months, you may be hearing more about geocentrism, the view that the earth is the motionless center of the universe, especially in connection with an upcoming movie call The Principle (See “The Principle is About Geocentrism?  Don’t Be Silly!

Unfortunately, this fringe scientific view is also being touted by these proponents as the official teaching of the Catholic Church. The mainstream media and blogsphere have been having a field day with this, often seeking to make the Catholic Church look ridiculous. And some good folks, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, have been confused and troubled by these geocentrists both as to the actual teaching of the Catholic Church and the science involved.

 ”You can view new updates to Geocentrism Debunked (www.geocentrismdebunked.org), a web site that provides a great deal of information debunking this claim that the earth is the motionless center of the universe, particularly that this is the official teaching of the Catholic Church.  In the latest update, you’ll find a selection of newer articles covering the topic from various angles—science, theology, history, and more.

 Dave Palm says, “I hope you find this information helpful.  If you know anyone else who might benefit from it, please feel free to pass it along.”

The Magisterium Rules: The Debate is Over –  In 1820, Pope Pius VII decreed that there are “no obstacles” nor “any difficulties” for Catholics to hold that the earth moves.  Two years later, the Holy Office even decreed that there would be canonical punishments for any Roman censor who refused to allow publication of books supporting the motion of the earth. With good reason, then, Pope St. John Paul II stated in 1992 that the debate concerning whether Catholics may hold to modern cosmological views which include the motion of the earth “was closed in 1820?.

There He Goes Again –  In a follow-up to his scientific critique of the new geocentrism, Here Comes the Sun, physicist Alec MacAndrew spotlights still more of Robert Sungenis’s scientific misunderstandings and errors.  Sungenis continues to argue that geocentrism works under classical mechanics, but MacAndrew demonstrates that Sungenis’s claims of gravitational balance and his “center of mass” arguments fail.  MacAndrew also notes that Sungenis failed to address the glaring Great Inconsistency at the heart of the modern geocentrist polemic, namely, that they reject General Relativity while simultaneously using it to promote geocentrism. 

The Fathers Don’t Support an Immobile Earth –  Fr. Melchior Inchofer, S. J. was one of the theological assessors who examined the Galileo case prior to his trial. Regarding the motion of the earth, which geocentrist Robert Sungenis insists is the crucial point in the debate, Fr. Inchofer said of the Church Fathers that, “I have not found a single one of the Holy Fathers who has dealt with the motion of the earth clearly and positively, as the saying goes.”

The Four Elements and the Four Humours: Will You Go the Distance? –  The Catholic Church teaches that a consensus of the Church Fathers only binds on matters of “faith and morals”—the Magisterium has clearly shown in both word and practice that matters of natural philosophy (i.e. science) are not included.  But the new geocentrists insist that a consensus of the Fathers on any topic whatsoever automatically becomes a matter of faith.  This error puts them squarely on a collision course with the Magisterium.

It’s Elementary My Dear Geocentrist –  The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are in agreement on the view that the entire physical universe is made of four and only four elements—earth, water, fire, and air.  They held this as a matter of natural philosophy, as the best science of their day.  But according to their own standards, the new geocentrists should therefore insist that all Catholics hold that view too, as a matter of faith.  Similarly, as they do with geocentrism, they should also be insisting that the Magisterium of the Church has been completely derelict in its duty to uphold the “True Faith” on this issue.  Those who have been influenced by their appeal to the Fathers of the Church might want to look a bit more closely at exactly where this train is headed.

The Geocentrists Have No Sense of Humour –  The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are in agreement, as a matter of natural philosophy, that the physical and emotional health of the human body is determined by the balance of the four humours: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.  Why have the geocentrists not produced a documentary and books decrying all modern medical advances and insisting that Catholics must hold to humourism as a matter of faith?  Will the new geocentrists be consistent and denounce the Magisterium as derelict in its duty to teach the “True Faith”, the four elements and the four humours?

 That’s the Whole Ballgame Right There! –  Podcaster and Michael Voris associate Christine Niles follows in Voris’s footsteps by conducting an infomercial/interview with Rick DeLano about the upcoming movie, The Principle.  Depending upon whom he’s talking to at the moment, DeLano can be coy about the ultimate intent behind the movie.  But in this interview Niles and DeLano make it very plain that geocentrism is first and foremost a matter of faith, not a matter of science.  Listen as Niles herself inadvertently gets caught up in the theological confusion.

Piling On, or Holding Back? –  Robert Sungenis has recently complained that documentation of six examples of his conspiracy theories on the Geocentrism Debunked Backgrounds page proves that, “Making a fool out of Bob Sungenis is paramount,” and that “[David Palm] must leave no stone unturned.”  Read on to see the proof that Sungenis has it exactly wrong – a great deal of other goofy and paranoid material was originally withheld, precisely to avoid the appearance of piling on.

 Who Are You Going to Believe? A Matter of Credibility –  If you’re going to present yourself as both trustworthy and qualified to accuse and castigate virtually the entire scientific community and the Magisterium of the Church, as Robert Sungenis has, then credibility matters. Read on to see a few recent examples demonstrating that Sungenis can’t even be trusted to get the simplest and most easily verified information correct, let alone the kind of complex information necessary to turn both the Church and the entire scientific community on their heads. 

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex July 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM

I notice the diagram you provide is of the Ptolemaic model of the solar system. In fairness, you should illustrate the neo-Tychonic model, which is what modern geocentrists study. In general, I’ve noticed that this tactic of showing the Ptolemaic model is a typical strawman tactic used by people who are not really interested in an honest exploration of geocentrism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tychonic_system

Michael F Poulin July 20, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Interesting debate but, does it really matter? Does it have any effect on salvation? No.
Perhaps, Steve , you could think about how you could better use the power of the Internet that God has given you to bring attention to the Christians in Iraq whose houses are being marked for destruction/ confiscation by orthodox Islam, and who are being forced to either pay the dizya and become dhimmis, or renounce their faith and convert or else have their throats cut. It seems a more important issue than wasting space talking about outer space.

STEVE RAY HERE: First, I put on my blog what I choose to put on my blog and if someone doesn’t like this – they don’t have to read it.

Second, it is a significant topic because there are a bunch of loonies who actually believe in this geocentrism. Many of them are being led astray and it is seriously affecting their faith as well. It is also, for those who don’t know better, making the Catholic Church look silly so it needs to be refuted.

Third, anybody who’s read my blog over a period of time will know that I discuss a wide spectrum of issues and thought from a Catholic perspective. I am constantly defending Christians were being persecuted around the world. The above person’s comment only shows that he doesn’t read my blog but only visited here because he got a call from someone to comment about the current topic.

Grow up guys.

Alex July 20, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Unfortunately, this blog post displays a decided lack of fairness. I started by providing a link to the neo-Tychonic model to correct the strawman use of the Ptolemaic model, but in truth I do not know where to go next in this unfair and blatantly biased presentation. One point that is particularly glaring is the omission of the ongoing debate between Alec MacAndrew and Robert Sungenis, wherein Sungenis consistently responds to every one of MacAndrew’s arguments. I challenge you to allow your readers to see the following link to Sungenis’ site: http://galileowaswrong.com/there-goes-the-sun-a-rebuttal-to-alec-macandrew/

Steve July 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Can’t wait to see this film! So many people haven’t seen it and have been trashing it that it must be great. It makes sense that the works is in a special place since the creator came down here and so much abundance in resources (plus flies in Althea face of that dumb theory called Big Bang. Been trying to create a house from explosions but hasn’t worked yet).

For the website you shared there are website for everything as you know. I can find websites saying Lanciano is debunked or Guadalupe. Doesn’t mean they are right

Debra Dolan July 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Is being a convert and automatic qualification to speak on all matters in the Church?

STEVE RAY HERE: This is a stupid question and almost doesn’t dignify a response. You may want to ask Bob Sungenis the same question :-)

Robert July 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM

With all do respect Mr. Ray, regardless of Fr. Melchior’s pre-litigation assessment, St. Robert Bellarmine (Doctor of the Church, papal prosecutor at Galileo’s canonical trial, and my namesake) had this to say in regards to the question of the consensus of the Fathers and the proper understanding of a “matter of faith.”

“I say that, as you know, the Council [of Trent] prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers. And if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe. Now consider whether in all prudence the Church could encourage giving to Scripture a sense contrary to the holy Fathers and all the Latin and Greek commentators. Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if it is not a matter of faith from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny that Abraham had two sons and Jacob twelve, as it would be to deny the virgin birth of Christ, for both are declared by the Holy Ghost through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.”

Letter written to Paolo Foscarini, Carmelite provincial and Galileo supporter (April 12, 1615)

Salvelinus fontinalis July 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

It’s sad that you are joining the Shea/Keating attacks on anyone believing what the Church has taught for millennia. Not only ate you arguing the ideas, but like a true Mark Shea type, your actually attacking the people.
Sad…
You have lost multiple fans

STEVE RAY HERE: Lost a lot of fans. First I don’t have fans, and if I did I wouldn’t count them. I doubt that any people who read my blog will leave over this. It’s the comment of someone who’s desperate.

Steve Ray July 20, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Just landed in Phoenix. Noticed I have about eight or nine comments for my combox for my blog post on geocentricism. It seems like the geocentrics have a network of zombies that all jump in and make comments if someone criticizes the group of earth centrists. My blog is moderated and I will allow them all as soon as I get time to make a few comments and Dave Palm responds as well. But it seems the geocentrics still have a presence on the earth and a network where they rush to support each other. More soon.

Alex July 20, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Steve,
Thank you for publishing my responses to your blog post. It is heartening that you are at least willing to allow people with differing views to express present their ideas. However, I would advise that it does your credibility no good to engage in ad hominem attacks. They not only suggest an inability to engage in the ideas, but display a lack of Christian charity. One of the people that you would apply the labels “lunatic” and “zombie” is one Wolfgang Smith (among many other serious scientists). To quote from his book “The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology”: “Two crucial experiments, based upon different physical principles, had now reached the same conclusion: the Earth does not move….whereas contemporary astronomy is thus implacably opposed to the geocentrist hypothesis, it happens that pure physics is not. According to general relativity,it is in fact permissible to regard the Earth as a body at rest: as Fred Hoyle has put it, the resultant theory “is a good as any other, but not better.” Relativity implies that the hypothesis of a static Earth is not incompatible with the laws of physics and cannot be experimentally disproved…..If the Airy or Michelson-Morley experiments had yielded their intended result, the scientific case against geocentrism, though still not compelling, would have been at least impressive, however, as the matter stands, the ancient doctrine has not even been rendered improbable, let alone has it been disqualified…one knows today that on the basis of physics that Galileo’s arguments are inconclusive, and that in fact the stipulated motion cannot be proved at all..the most that physics as such can say is that geocentric astronomy cannot be ruled out.” Here is this lunatic’s Wikipedia bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Smith

Rick DeLano July 20, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Mr. Ray, this is a disgraceful comment:

“It seems like the geocentrics have a network of zombies that all jump in and make comments if someone criticizes the nutcase group of earth centrists. My blog is moderated and I will allow them all as soon as I get time to make a few comments and Dave Palm responds as well. I didn’t realize such lunatics still existed :-).”

You don’t realize a great many things, Mr. Ray, and chief amongst them is the history of the development of physics, the last two revolutions concerning which have both centered precisely on this question of the mobility of the earth.

But that is mere ignorance, and can be rectified.

Your characterization of those with whom you disagree as “zombies” and “lunatics”, is an indication that something is very, very wrong here, with you, with Karl Keating, with David Palm, and with all those who substitute vile ad hominem and insults for substantive debate on a crucially important question, a question which has been, and continues to be, at the heart of a foundation ally important question, one which involves an intersection of faith, of science, of philosophy, of metaphysics:

What is our place in the cosmos?

The question deserves much better than you and David Palm have given it here today.

STEVE RAY HERE: I used the word zombie in regard to all of you who seemingly don’t visit my website a regular basis all rushing over here to comment on this one blog. That’s why I used the word zombie it’s like someone gave the call and all rushed over.

David Palm July 20, 2014 at 9:49 PM

To Alex: Yes, the neo-Tychonic “saves the appearances” better than the Ptolemaic. But it’s one of many glaring instances of special pleading in the geocentric apologetic. In this “geocentric” view, only the sun and moon go around the earth, strictly speaking. The rest of the upmteen *sextillion* objects in the universe go around the……sun. Wouldn’t it be easier, and do away with the special pleading, to just agree with Galileo and say that the sun really is the immobile center of the universe? It almost seems like the new geocentists have “proved” that Galileo was right all along. ;o)

Regarding MacAndrew versus Sungenis, I hoped you noticed MacAndrew’s new piece linked above, There He Goes Again. He thoroughly dissects Sungenis’s rebuttal and shows up, yet again, the numerous scientific errors that lie behind Sungenis’s apologetic.

To Michael Poulin: I do think it matters, which is why I weighed in on the question. If someone is holding to geocentrism as a theological conviction, then clearly this has a detrimental effect on his Catholic worldview. Basically he has to hold that the entire Magisterium has been utterly derelict in its duty to uphold the “True Faith”, for centuries. Worse, he has to hold that Pope Pius VII publicly pronounced what they consider to be a “formal heresy” to be perfectly fine for Catholics and that all of his successors have gone along with that, thus allowing the entire Catholic world to be swept into heresy for two centuries (see The Magisterium Rules, linked above). Now look, we all know that things are tough right now. But one fact that we all can (or at least should!) rejoice in is that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church still teaches the 100% of the Faith, even the “hard teachings” on things like abortion, contraception, male-only ordination, etc. which bring the mocking scorn of the world. So the notion that the Magisterium has for centuries failed to uphold the supposed “True Faith” on geocentrism (not to mention the four elements and the four humours, see above) because the popes and bishops have been cowed into obeisance to the “scientific establishment” is absurd. I think the insistence that geocentrism is part of the deposit of faith (as you see people arguing here) is incompatible with a robust trust in the Christ-assured integrity of the Magisterium. That’s why it matters.

Todd July 20, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Mr. Ray,
I can’t believe the way that you’re personally attacking your brothers, who have done nothing other than put forward a different opinion from yourself . I’m truly scandalized by your behavior and words.

STEVE RAY HERE: Sorry you are offended but if you are going to browse websites and get into these kind of debates I suggest you get thicker skin my friend.

David Palm July 20, 2014 at 10:07 PM

To Robert: I’m sure you’d agree that Cardinal Bellarmine was writing as a private theologian and his private letter is not magisterial (unlike the decree of Pius VII cited in The Magisterium Rules, linked above). But let me say a bit more about the Fathers. In the 1616 consultants’ report which mentions the Fathers (but which was never promulgated and thus is not itself magisterial), the Fathers are ONLY mentioned in connection with an immobile sun at the center of the whole universe. But nobody actually holds that view, so even if this were a binding magisterial document this would be at best a pyrrhic victory for the new geocentrists. But much more importantly, TWICE the Magisterium had that consultants’ text before it and TWICE any and all mention of the Fathers was actively edited out before magisterial documents were promulgated (in 1616 and 1633). This is not just an argument from silence; twice all mention of the Fathers in connection to the controversy was actively edited out. So there is no magisterial support for any binding consensus of the Fathers on this matter. Note too that even the board of theological consultants treated the matter of the motion of the earth as a distinct topic and said nothing whatsoever about the Fathers on that topic.

And Sungenis considers the motion of the earth the key point in the whole controversy. But what Fr. Inchofer said in his pre-trial assessment is simply a fact. The Fathers have almost nothing to say about the motion of the earth. And no magisterial authority says otherwise. Quite the contrary, Pius VII decreed that there is “no obstacle” for Catholics to hold to the motion of the earth.

To continue to insist, as “Salvelinus fontinalis” does above, that geocentrism is the official teaching of the Catholic Church, is to dissent from the Magisterium. On the contary, Rome has spoken, the matter is settled. (Or, as St. John Paul II put it, the debate is over.)

David Palm July 20, 2014 at 10:17 PM

To Alex: “the most that physics as such can say is that geocentric astronomy cannot be ruled out.” “Physics as such,” would point out that geocentric astronomy can only be held through a massive exercise in special pleading, which is not how science works, as Dr. Smith should know. The only reason one would be willing to do so much special pleading is if one held a priori that it was a theological matter. And here is where Dr. Smith too has erred. Here’s what he has to say about how the Church herself has fallen into error (notice the SSPX-like rhetoric. One can’t trust the actual Magisterium, only some mythical Church that doesn’t really exist anymore. That’s where this is leading; that’s where the geocentrism train is headed):

“Nonetheless one must insist, in light of our preceding analysis, that the contemporary cosmology, in any of its forms, is not in fact compatible with Christian doctrine. To the extent, therefore, that Rome has embraced a scientistic outlook, it has compromised the true teaching of the Church: this is the crux of the matter. Call it human failing, call it “political correctness,” call it apostasy – the fact is that Rome has become “a house divided against itself.” (The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology, p. 181; cited in Galileo Was Wrong, vol. 3, 9th ed., p. 451.)

Alex July 20, 2014 at 11:05 PM

David, if you read Dr. Smith’s opus, you will discover that he is a brilliant thinker who is able to present a complex range of ideas, encompassing science, theology and philosophy. He cannot be reduced to a convenient label (eg. rad trad, zombie, lunatic etc…), unless you simply look at one quotation and apply it to his entire philosophy. Ultimately, what he presents to the reader is the idea that neither theory (heliocentrism or geocentrism) can be disproven, and that a metaphysical approach to the question can shed light on it.

David Palm July 20, 2014 at 11:31 PM

To Alex: Wolfgang Smith’s invocation of general relativity unfortunately highlights yet again what Dr. Alec MacAndrew has dubbed the Great Inconsistency in the new geocentric apologia. General relativity excludes any notion of a motionless center **by definition** — such a concept is literally meaningless in general relativity. Every single physicist cited by the new geocentrists supposedly supporting geocentrism on the basis of general relativity is being wrongfully quoted out of context. This seems academically dishonest to me.

But then on the flip side, right after the new geocentrists appeal to general relativity for supposed support of their view, they turn right around and vociferously reject general relativity as not just false but utterly pernicious. So they both appeal to (albeit rather dishonestly) and then reject the same view. Thus the Great Inconsistency at the heart of the modern geocentric view.

GordonB July 20, 2014 at 11:38 PM

The fact that science cannot definitively debunk the geocentric universe, and that more scientific evidence points to the fact the earth holds a special place in the universe is FANTASTIC for Catholicism, whether red or blue, trad or novus ordo. And it’s sad that a word like ZOMBIES would be used to describe people whose faith overrides the supposed straightforward modern analysis that supports Heliocentrism. Don’t all Catholics put stock into the sun dancing at Fatima, the miraculous image on Juan Diego’s tilma, and the Eucharist? Yet, there are Catholics engaging in Pavlovian attacks upon those who want to glorify our faith by saying that the Copernican system is wrong; but their message requires perhaps even less faith (i.e. the empirical studies can’t prove the earth moves) than to believe the Eucharist is GOD. Sadly I expect to see proponents of the multiverse (aka the realm of the flying spaghetti monster) finding support in this Catholic blogosphere before Geocentrism is at least given credit as cosmological possibility.

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 2:37 AM

It’s always telling when the objection of “don’t you have better things to do?” is raised, as one commenter did above. Well, don’t you have better things to do that to complain about it?

From what I’m reading, these kooks have gotten coverage in major media outlets. The Church has enough going on without being tied to this nuttiness. We have enough obstacles to evangelization without people looking at us Catholics like we’re complete loons and ignoramuses.

The quote from St. Augustine at the geocentrismdebunked website is remarkably apropos:

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, . . . and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are.” –St. Augustine

If St. Augustine were alive on earth today, he would be slapping these Catholics geocentrist dolts upside the head.

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 2:44 AM

Well done, David Palm. I’m halfway through your articles. I’m impressed at the patience and thoroughness you exhibit in debunking this geocentric lunacy.

Lunacy. Interesting choice of words considering how many of the geocentrists deny the lunar landings.

That’s quite a list of conspiracy theories you have compiled here for the geocentrists, in particular, Robert Sungenis.

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/piling-on-or-holding-back-record/

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 2:58 AM

I just read the response to Sungenis from physicist, Alec MacAndrew. I’m certainly not an expert in physics, but it is abundantly clear that neither is Sungenis. It takes incredible arrogance for a man of so little expertise and learning in such a complex area to presume to teach the world. He appears to have serious delusions of grandeur. I’ve known others with the disorder and it’s very sad. Even more sad when others are drawn to follow them.

My thanks to Dr. MacAndrew for having the patience to illustrate Sungenis’ extreme limitations and errors for those of us who are have neither the time, background nor inclination to examine the science in such fine detail.

Alex July 21, 2014 at 3:10 PM

David, Once again, I invite you to read Wolfgang Smith’s body of work. As you will learn, he is not an “apologist” (nor a “debunker ” for that matter). He is a scientist and a philosopher, and at no point does he “invoke” relativity for polemical purposes. As for MacAndrew’s critique of Luka Popov’s equations (cited by Dr. Sungenis): as you know, Popov’s paper was peer reviewed, which involves rigorous challenges before and after publication by the European Journal of Physics. MacAndrew has submitted his challenge to a neither to Popov nor the EJP, but to a blog. I am sure that Sungenis and/or his co-author Dr. Bennett, will reply in due course to MacAndrew’s challenge. If you were in any way open and fair minded, you would look forward to the ongoing exchange.

Alex July 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

M Sylvan, If you don’t mind hearing from one of those dreaded lunatic dolts and kooks (I assume I qualify, although I do not deny the lunar ladings, nor do I see any connection between this topic and various conspiracy theories), I’d like to provide you with some additional quotations from St Augustine. Perhaps you will find a way to use them to promote your violent fantasies about slapping dolts upside the head:

Augustine: Let not the philosophers, then, think to upset our faith with arguments from the weight of bodies; for I don’t care to inquire why they cannot believe an earthly body can be in heaven, while the whole earth is suspended on nothing. For perhaps the world keeps its central place by the same law that attracts to its center all heavy bodies. (City of God, Bk XIII, Ch 18)

Augustine: For an eclipse of the sun had also happened; and this was attributed to the divine power of Romulus by the ignorant multitude, who did not know that it was brought about by the fixed laws of the sun’s course (City of God, Bk III, Ch 15)

Augustine: This he said either of those things of which he had just been speaking–the succession of generations, the orbit of the sun, the course of rivers,–or else of all kinds of creatures. that are born and die. (City of God, Bk XII, Ch 13).

Augustine: What is there so arranged by the Author of the nature of heaven and earth as the exactly ordered course of the stars? What is there established by laws so sure and inflexible? And yet, when it pleased Him who with sovereignty and supreme power regulates all He has created, a star conspicuous among the rest by its size and splendor changed its color, size, form, and, most wonderful of all, the order and law of its course! Certainly that phenomenon disturbed the canons of the astronomers, if there were any then, by which they tabulate, as by unerring computation, the past and future movements of the stars, so as to take upon them to affirm that this which happened to the morning star (Venus) never happened before nor since. But we read in the divine books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man, Joshua the son of Nun, had begged this from God until victory should finish the battle he had begun; and that it even went back, that the promise of fifteen years added to the life of king Hezekiah might be sealed by this additional prodigy. But these miracles, which were vouchsafed to the merits of holy men, even when our adversaries believe them, they attribute to magical arts; so Virgil, in the lines I quoted above, ascribes to magic the power to “Turn rivers backward to their source, And make the stars forget their course.” (City of God, Book XXI, Ch 8).

Augustine: Who else save Joshua the son of Nun divided the stream of the Jordan for the people to pass over, and by the utterance of a prayer to God bridled and stopped the revolving sun? Who save Samson ever quenched his thirst with water flowing forth from the jawbone of a dead ass? Who save Elias was carried aloft in a chariot of fire? (Tractates, XCI, Ch XV, 24-25, 2).

Augustine: I desire to know the power and nature of time, by which we measure the motions of bodies, and say (for example) that this motion is twice as long as that. For, I ask, since “day” declares not the stay only of the sun upon the earth, according to which day is one thing, night another, but also its entire circuit from east even to east, according to which we say, “So many days have passed” (the nights being included when we say “so many days,” and their spaces not counted apart), since, then, the day is finished by the motion of the sun, and by his circuit from east to east, I ask, whether the motion itself is the day, or the period in which that motion is completed, or both? For if the first be the day, then would there be a day although the sun should finish that course in so small a space of time as an hour. If the second, then that would not be a day if from one sunrise to another there were but so short a period as an hour, but the sun must go round four-and-twenty times to complete a day. If both, neither could that be called a day if the sun should run his entire round in the space of an hour; nor that, if, while the sun stood still, so much time should pass as the sun is accustomed to accomplish his whole course in from morning to morning. I shall not therefore now ask, what that is which is called day, but what time is, by which we, measuring the circuit of the sun, should say that it was accomplished in half the space of time it was wont, if it had been completed in so small a space as twelve hours; and comparing both times, we should call that single, this double time, although the sun should run his course from east to east sometimes in that single, sometimes in that double time. Let no man then tell me that the motions of the heavenly bodies are times, because, when at the prayer of one the sun stood still in order that he might achieve his victorious battle, the sun stood still, but time went on. For in such space of time as was sufficient was that battle fought and ended. I see that time, then, is a certain extension. But do I see it, or do I seem to see it? Thou, O Light and Truth, wilt show me. (Confessions, Bk XI, Ch XXIII, 30)

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Alex, thanks for cutting an pasting so much, but you could have saved yourself some time if you had just read these:

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/natural-philosophy-rather-than-theology/

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/geocentrism-and-the-unanimous-consent-of-the-fathers/

For example (but please do read the rest of the articles, I found them very informative):

St. Augustine:

Galileo himself had appealed to the thought of the great St. Augustine, who laid out principles of biblical interpretation with respect to physical phenomena. Augustine insists on the truthfulness of Scripture, but equally insists that Scripture’s intent is to teach us truths pertaining to salvation and not the details of the physical universe:

“It is frequently asked what our belief must be about the form and shape of heaven according to Sacred Scripture. Many scholars engaged in lengthy discussions on these matters, but the sacred writers with their deeper wisdom have omitted them. Such subjects are of no profit for those who seek beatitude, and, what is worse, they take up precious time that ought to be given to what is spiritually beneficial. What concern is it of mine whether heaven is a sphere and the earth is enclosed by it and suspended in the middle of the universe, or whether heaven like a disk above the earth covers it on one side? But the credibility of Scripture is at stake, and as I have indicated more than once, there is danger that a man uninstructed in divine revelation, discovering something in Scripture or hearing from it something that seems to be at variance with the knowledge that he has acquired, may resolutely withhold his assent in other matters where Scripture presents useful admonitions, narratives, or declarations. Hence, I must say briefly that in the matter of the shape of heaven the sacred writers knew the truth, but that the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men these facts that would be of no avail to their salvation” (see http://chem.tufts.edu/science/Stear-NoAiG/no-AiG/saintaugustine.htm).

St. Augustine is adamant that Christians should not pit the findings of the physical sciences against the words of sacred Scripture. And this is not only because the focus of sacred Scripture is “how to go to heaven and not how the heavens go”, but also because many passages of Scripture admit of more than one meaning and if there seems to be a clash between an observation in the physical universe and a proposed meaning of Scripture, it may be that the interpreter has misunderstood Scripture:

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation (‘De genesi ad litteram’ (The literal meaning of Genesis), book 2, chapter 9, tr. J.H.Taylor, 1982).”

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 6:04 PM

As you seem to like cutting and pasting:

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/geocentrism-and-the-unanimous-consent-of-the-fathers/

No one questions that the Fathers were in fact geocentrists. This shouldn’t surprise anyone because geocentrism was the best science of their day and accorded best with the observations that men were able to make at that time. But it’s unjustifiable to insist that because the Fathers held to a geocentric cosmology—again, the best science of their day within the limits of their observational abilities—that they therefore held it as a matter of divine faith. That would have to be proven, not merely asserted.

In fact, none of the Fathers, when speaking of cosmological matters, say they are passing on a matter revealed by God. None of the Fathers indicate in any way that they are passing on a Tradition from the Apostles. As we have already seen above, the evidence indicates that this is for them a matter of natural philosophy and not a matter of faith.

Numerous Catholic theologians affirm that for the combined witness of the Fathers to be normative and binding, they must be addressing a matter of revealed truth, that is, a matter of faith and morals. In doing so, they are being faithful to the teaching of the Council of Trent, Vatican I, and Pope Leo XIII on the binding nature of a consensus of the Fathers…

Bill912 July 21, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Well, Steve, I see your blogpost has brought out several members of the

Keepers
Of
Odd
Knowledge
Society.

M. Sylvan July 21, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Alex, by the way, if you really want to stick to your standard with St. Augustine and the Fathers are you ready to follow them here on the four elements and the four humors, too? Or might it be time to admit you’ve got it wrong? Here are just a couple of them. But the rest you can find here: http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/its-elementary-my-dear-geocentrist/ and here: http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/the-geocentrists-have-no-sense-of-humour/

The Four Elements:

St. Augustine:

“In the first place, I ask whether there may not be some kind of body (formed, perchance, of one of the four elements, either air or ether) which does not depart from the incorporeal principle, that is, the substance properly called the soul, when it forsakes this earthly body” (Letter 158).

“The soul is neither earth, nor water, nor air, nor fire, of which four bodies, called the four elements, we see that this world is composed” (City of God; Book VIII, Chapter 5).

“For the Stoics thought that fire, that is, one of the four material elements of which this visible world is composed, was both living and intelligent, the maker of the world and of all things contained in it,-that it was in fact God. These and others like them have only been able to suppose that which their hearts enslaved to sense have vainly suggested to them” (City of God, Book 8, Chapter 5).

St. John Chrysostom:

“Besides these things we said that this whole universe consists of four elements, these being adverse to and at strife with one another; yet one does not consume the other, although they are mutually destructive. Whence it is evident that some invisible power bridles them, and the will of God becomes their bond.” (Homily 10 on Statues)

The Four Humors:

St. Augustine: “Your conscience had gathered up evil humours, with boil it had swollen, it was torturing you, it suffered you not to rest: the Physician applies the fomentations of words, and sometimes He lances it, He applies the surgeon’s knife by the chastisement of tribulation: do thou acknowledge the Physician’s hand, confess thou, let every evil humour go forth and flow away in confession: now exult, now rejoice, that which remains will be easy to be made whole…” (Exposition on Psalm 67)

“here is a something for us to see; what prevents us so that we see it not? Is it not iniquity? From beholding this light your eye is prevented perhaps by some humour penetrating into it; perhaps by smoke, or dust, or by something else that has been thrown into it: and you have not been able to raise your wounded eye to contemplate this light of day” (Exposition on Psalm 40).

“We have a somewhat parallel instance in the fact that we do not perceive how it is that superfluity of bile impels us to more frequent outbursts of passionate feeling; and yet it does produce this effect, while this superfluity of bile is itself an effect of our yielding to such passionate feelings” (Letter 9:3).

St. John Chrysostom:

“Today, I wish to dwell a little more on this subject. Arouse yourselves, however, and give earnest heed unto us! And that the wonder may appear more clearly, I will draw the lesson concerning these things from our own bodies. This body of ours, so short, and small, consists of four elements; viz. of what is warm, that is, of blood; of what is dry, that is, of yellow bile; of what is moist, that is, of phlegm; of what is cold, that is, of black bile” (Homily 10, On Statues, 4).

“But the marvellous thing is not this only, that He hath made a great and admirable world; and that He hath compacted it in a way above the usual course of nature; but that He hath also constituted it out of opposite things; such as hot and cold, dry and moist, fire and water, earth and air, and that these contrary elements, of which this whole universe consists, though continually at strife one with another, are not consumed of one another. The fire hath not overrun and burnt up all things; the water hath not overflowed and drowned the whole earth. With respect to our bodies, however, these effects really take place; and upon the increase of the bile, fever is generated; and the whole animal frame sustains an injury; and when there is a superabundance of phlegm, many diseases are produced which destroy the animal.” (9th Homily Against Statues)

“For it is a habit with physicians to destroy the originating cause of the malady before they remove the malady itself. Often for example when the eyes are distressed by some evil humour and corrupt discharge, the physician, abandoning any treatment of the disordered vision, turns his attention to the head, where the root and origin of the infirmity is” (Homily on the Paralytic Let Down Through the Roof).

Jeremy July 22, 2014 at 12:14 AM

M. Sylvan, I would like to know if your above quote of the (The Four Elements) is somehow meant to be interpenetrated in the context of what I have (copied and pasted) below. Also Does scripture have anything to say concerning the four elements?
“I say that, as you know, the Council [of Trent] prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers. And if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe.”

M. Sylvan July 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

In light of the discussion above from the geocentrists, it seemed fitting to end with this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw1It3AlXmQ

M. Sylvan July 22, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Jeremy,

Have you read the articles that are up at the geocentrism debunked website? The information is all there, including the scripture references. But here’s the first one I found:

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/the-geocentrists-have-no-sense-of-humour/

QUOTE:

What’s more, others, including even some of the Fathers (see e.g. below, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Jerome, Cassiodorus) and more modern commentators (link and link), do see evidence of the humours in sacred Scripture. Certainly the same is true of the four elements (see e.g. Sts. Methodius, Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, and Cyril of Jerusalem; also here, here, and here). And there is at least as much Scriptural evidence for the four elements and the four humours as there is for another view that Sungenis has confidently asserted, namely that, “the future Antichrist, who, according to the Fathers, is supposed to have his ancestry in the tribe of Dan” (link). This is the scant (and highly oblique) Scriptural evidence that Sungenis found sufficiently compelling ot invoke the Fathers in regard to this particular belief:

The Scriptural evidence for the Antichrist emerging from the tribe of Dan is apparently based upon three verses, primarily: 1) Jeremiah 8:16, which certainly seems a bit creative . . . 2) Revelation 7:57, which merely omits the tribe of Dan from the list the 144,000 Israelites marked with the seal of the servants of God and 3) Genesis 49:16-17 which says that Dan will be like a snake in the way that bites the horse’s heels that his rider may fall (link). END QUOTE

Sorry, the links didn’t carry through, but if you read the article, you’ll be able to follow them.

And now, back to our regular programming with the geoentrists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw1It3AlXmQ#sthash.ob4BCl91.dpuf

That’ll do it for me.

Pax Christi.

M. Sylvan July 22, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Oh, one last note. Pay particular attention to what Sugenis says at the beginning of the article I gave you above about a consensus of the Fathers vis a vis whether anything else was necessary, such as Scripture references, etc.:

QUOTE:
“But when the Council of Trent stated that we are to follow the consensus of the Fathers, it didn’t say we had to do so only if the Fathers based their arguments on Scripture. If the Fathers had a consensus, it became a matter of faith, regardless what mixture there was between natural philosophy and Scripture in the consensus” (Robert Sungenis, Debunking David Palm, Phase 5; my emphasis).

“The popes and councils were resolute in teaching that regardless of how the Fathers arrived at their consensus, they HAD a consensus, and thus the information they held in consensus was part of the deposit of faith” (Robert Sungenis, How Do We Regard the Fathers’ Consensus on Geocentrism?; emphasis mine.) END QUOTE

Ciao.

Alec MacAndrew July 22, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Alex said: “As for MacAndrew’s critique of Luka Popov’s equations (cited by Dr. Sungenis): as you know, Popov’s paper was peer reviewed, which involves rigorous challenges before and after publication by the European Journal of Physics. MacAndrew has submitted his challenge to a neither to Popov nor the EJP, but to a blog. I am sure that Sungenis and/or his co-author Dr. Bennett, will reply in due course to MacAndrew’s challenge”.

I don’t know why Alex raised this at this point in the discussion as it seems apropos of nothing that preceded it (other than David’s reference to my response to Sungenis – http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/There-He-Goes-Again.pdf – which covers a lot more than the Popov paper). I said clearly that the error in Dr Luka Popov’s first paper (the only paper which is peer reviewed of the four that I critiqued) is mentioned “merely in passing anyway and it does not affect the assessment that these papers are a trivial rehashing of well-understood physics”. The fact that the papers are as I described them is not disputed by Popov who wrote: “The only reason why the paper was rejected by the American Journal of Physics is because one of the peers didn’t find it very interesting. Subjective, not objective reason. The same goes for my next two works on geocentrism which are never published not because they contain error, but because the community doesn’t find them interesting or important…I didn’t invent any new theory, I’ve just applied the existing well-tried theories to construct the geocentric system.” The fact that the paper was peer reviewed does not guarantee that it is free of error, and I did set out very clearly the reason why that particular expression in the first Popov paper is wrong. He has chosen to hide behind the peer eview rather than to address my point and that’s fine because the existence of the error is not essential to my critique of the triviality of Popov’s work. It suits Alex and DeLano to pretend that that was the sole or main mathematical error in the Sungenis article. It wasn’t.

The much more serious mathematical and conceptual errors are not in the Popov papers but in the papers written by Sungenis and Bouw and by Dr Bernadic. In the case of the Sungenis/Bouw paper the errors are multiple and egregious to the point that the entire import of their argument is invalidated by the shambles they have created in what is fairly simple vector algebra. It’s totally incompetent. In the case of the Bernadic paper, the mathematical error is there, but the result of carelessness rather than incompetence, and the much more serious problem is the conceptual misunderstanding of the physics underlying the derivation of the locations of the sun-earth Lagrange points.

There is a campaign underway to try to hide all these mathematical blunders behind the smokescreen of the peer review of Popov’s first paper. The much more serious errors are in work that has never been (and never will be) peer reviewed.

Christopher Bowen July 23, 2014 at 3:29 AM

Stephen,
I’ll preface my comment by stating that I’m not a Geocentrist, but I am studying the issue in what spare time I have, with an open mind. I would though caution you to not take such a hardline position against Geocentrism, or ridicule those who prefer the Geocentric over Heliocentric Model. Contrary to what David Palm and Alex MacAndrew have claimed, Geocentrism has not been scientifically disproven. Actually, neither model has been proven or disproven scientifically, and as much as Mr. Palm may mock it, the neo-Tychonic system illustrates the motion of the solar system as accurately as the Heliocentric model. As the well-respected cosmologist George F. R. Ellis, who’s authored books with Stephen Hawking, has been attempting to bring to light, the choice between cosmological systems will ultimately be based on philosophical, not scientific grounds. He stated in a 1995 profile in Scientific American:

“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations….For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations….You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”

Just as Protestants and Catholics view Scripture, (and in our case sacred Tradition), through our particular interpretive paradigms, scientific discoveries are also interpreted through a particular philosophical lens. In the case of cosmology, the mainstream interpretive paradigm has been formed (whether consciously or unconsciously) by the Copernican Principle, the idea that the earth is not in a special place in the universe.

It’s become apparent to me that modern Catholics, out of embarrassment because of the supposed mistaken position of the Church in the Galileo affair, have an almost knee-jerk reaction when addressing Geocentrism. The irony is that the Church was not wrong when they chastised Galileo for teaching a theory as if it were a proven scientific fact. As I said previously, neither Geocentrism nor Heliocentrism have been proven or disproven scientifically, both cosmological models remain equally valid. I’m sure David Palm is well-meaning in his attempt to debunk Geocentrism, but when one of the most well-respected cosmologists in the world states that trying to disprove Geocentrism can’t be done using scientific observations, I think it best to trust his credibility and authority and find a new hobby.

I would like to invite you to read an article that I think speaks directly to this matter, and it was not written by a Geocentrist. Aside from a dislike of dogma, (which, necessarily stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what dogma is and why, when it comes to defending objective truth, dogma becomes necessary) I think the author pretty perfectly shows that the interpretive paradigm, through which one views the scientific evidence leading one to a preference for either the Geocentric or Heliocentric systems, is primarily formed by philosophical assumptions. Again, that assumption being, for the mainstream scientific establishment, that the Copernican Principle is correct.
http://harmoniaphilosophica.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/earth-at-the-center-of-the-universe-2jszrulazj6wq-39/

Peace in Christ!

David Palm July 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Christopher, I was originally going to thank you for your note because it seemed to emanate from genuinely good will and forthrightness. But I decided to see if I could find more of your comments elsewhere and, unfortunately (or fortunately), I discovered this at the Geocentrism FB page: “I left this article, with a few comments that will surely ruffle David Palm’s feathers, over on Steven Ray’s blog. I hoped that maybe coming from someone who isn’t ‘yet’ a loony Geocentrist, it would be a softer blow.”

So much for good will and forthrightness.

Regardless, I’ll answer your questions this once because I think the answers might be worthwhile for others. I’ll make a few main points and provide some clarifications that will help clarify the core issues of this controversy. To be clear, I have never said that all of the geocentrists are idiots. Quite the opposite, on the About page of my site I said, “The new geocentrists are not unintelligent. The science involved in debunking geocentrism is more complex than one would probably think and many of these new geocentrists have spent a great deal of time and energy becoming quite expert in their errors” and elsewhere I was quoted as saying, “it would be a mistake to assume geocentrists are stupid or acting in bad faith. Certainly, it’s clear that at least some of them are not acting in good faith and/or have little or no understanding of science. But certainly not all”. But it is important to make some core distinctions that I think are being missed.

Point #1: Let’s establish at the outset that Geocentrism is not a matter of Church teaching. Period. The Catholic Church does not now and never has presented the immobility of the earth to the faithful as a matter of divine revelation. The Magisterium has ruled: “His Holiness has decreed that no obstacles exist for those who sustain Copernicus’ affirmation regarding the earth’s movement in the manner in which it is affirmed today, even by Catholic authors” (see The Magisterium Rules, linked above). The geocentrists have to dissent from the magisterium of Pius VII in order to cling to their private interpretation of the decrees of 1616 and 1633. They have yet to respond to this article, but let me predict that the “answer” will be yet another conspiracy theory to explain the magisterial ruling by Pius VII and how all the popes and bishops in the centuries since have been complicit in allowing the spread of heresy and have pulled the whole Church down with them.

I, on the other hand, have presented a reasonable, logical harmonization of the 1616, 1633, and 1820 decrees that is based on the Church’s own perennial norms of canonical interpretation (see http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/the-new-geocentrism-and-strict-canonical-interpretation/). Most importantly, the arguments I presented did not originate with me; they were presented to the Pope and the Holy Office in 1820. This is by far a more authentically Catholic approach than the one taken by the geocentrists. The view of the incompetency of the Church’s Magisterium that these fellows hold is at least pernicious and detrimental to the faith, if not outright heretical. So we need to set aside completely that this is a matter of faith that binds us as Catholics to one and only one conclusion on the physical evidence.

Now, as an aside, I think it’s worth noting that Rick DeLano has gone to great lengths to try to draw a stark distinction between his movie, The Principle, and Geocentrism. He has also tried to divorce his movie from the rest of his movement that presents Geocentrism as an article of Catholic faith. But this is nonsense. As many others have noted, the movie is a part of their plan to promote Geocentrism. It does not stand in isolation. Even “The Principle” has a philosophical and theological undertone. In the trailer, to their movie, they focus from the outset on one question, namely, “are you significant”? This is obviously not a scientific question. It’s part and parcel of their mistaken theology that sees the earth’s place in the universe as necessarily and intimately tied to our existential and/or theological significance.

At best, this is a dubious and dangerous game of “all or nothing” that they are playing with souls, attempting to link their dubious science to a theological fact (i.e. that we are very significant to and specially loved by God). According to this dangerous and misguided equation they have set up, if they are wrong, then we are not existentially significant and loved by God. I hope you can see how seriously wrong-headed that is. Please see the following piece I wrote about this issue: http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/the-heavens-show-forth-the-significance-of-man/. In fact, this notion of tying our location in the universe to our existential and theological significance came not from the Fathers or the Magisterium, but from those who were antagonistic to religion. The Geocentrists mistakenly buy into this equation, rather like Catholics who fall into the error of treating the Pope as impeccable rather than infallible out of a mistaken, excessive zeal to defend him at all costs.

Point #2: We also need to make an important distinction between what I’ll denote as Geocentrism and “geocentrism”. The geocentrists alternate back and forth between these as it suits their purposes at any given moment and it can confuse the reader. Here is what Dr. MacAndrew had to say about this:

“The difference between geocentrism and denying the Copernican principle is not subtle,” said physicist Alec MacAndrew. “In the former case, the claim is that the Earth is stationary at the center of the universe. In the latter case the claim is much more vague – that the Earth is somehow in a privileged or unusual position.” While he called the geocentric view “utter bunkum,” MacAndrew said the Copernican principle offered “a nice cosmological and philosophical question.”

There are interesting and legitimate questions concerning the Copernican principle and certainly neither Alec MacAndrew nor I have said differently. But I believe that it is seriously problematic that the new geocentrists quote scientists, who make certain statements within the framework of general relativity and who may question the Copernican principle, as if they actually supported Geocentrism (capital G) when, in fact, they are, at most, supporting a soft “geocentrism” (small g). There is a huge gulf between the two and it is intellectually dishonest to conflate them.

Point #3: So now, when we turn to hard, full-blown Geocentrism and examine it on its merits, we find what can rightly be called a massive exercise in scientific special pleading. This is true because once you can no longer appeal to general relativity, you can no longer say (as the article you linked says) that any coordinate system is just as good as any other. Now you now have to make your system “work” from one and only one coordinate system–an absolutely motionless earth with everything else spinning around it. And as Dr. MacAndrew and many others have shown, that just completely falls apart according to the known laws of physics. No one would ever come to such a conclusion based just on the physical evidence as we know it now, which is precisely why there are no working physicists (including many theists) of any import who hold to it—and it appears to me that there haven’t been for centuries. The only way one would be willing to do all of that special pleading is if he already held to hard Geocentrism as a matter of faith – which is precisely why the new geocentrists hold to it. It is very harmful to the faith of ordinary Catholics to convince them that they must believe something, as a matter of faith, a) that the Church does not teach as a matter of faith and b) that requires such an exercise in special pleading to uphold “scientifically”. It creates an unnecessary divide between faith and reason. It is even more dangerous when one presents dubious scientific theories in such a way as to logically imply that if they are wrong, then we are not existentially significant and specially loved by God. There you have the core motivation for my own efforts in this area.

Furthermore, in light of the fact that we’re dealing with very advanced science, of course, it’s legitimate to ask whether those who reject virtually all the scientific world AND hold that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church has been completely derelict for hundreds of years in its duty to teach the faith as a result of being completely deceived by a massive conspiracy, are credible witnesses. Take a look at the panoply of other strange and sundry views held by the leaders of the new geocentrism and decide for yourself (see links above). Are these the sort of people that the average person should seriously listen to? Because the average person is precisely who they are targeting with their materials. As others have pointed out, they are not making their case to the true experts in the scientific community. I agree with those who see this as seriously undermining their credibility and respectability as well.

The Catholic Church does not teach Geocentrism as a matter of faith, Geocentrism remains a massive exercise in special pleading scientifically, and the endeavor to persuade people otherwise is seriously wrongheaded and harmful. That’s my bottom line and I hope I’ve clarified some things.

Torquemada Tequila July 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

While we are on the topics of traditional Catholicism and one’s understanding of cosmology, how come so-called contemporary proponents of geocentrism refuse to discuss with me the possibility of Flat Earth Theory?

Spherical geocentrists claim to want to promote sincere scientific inquiry, and call for open mindedness in discussing and debating this topic, however, they become extremely closed-minded and censorious whenever Scriptural and scientific evidence is presented in support of the earth being flat.

Since non-geocentrist folks here seem a tad more open-minded, I will again lay out my challenge to geocentrists: Is there a text within Sacred Scripture that, when interpreted literally to support geocentrism, does not also support a flat earth?

Steve Ray July 25, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Been in edit bay producing our Abraham movie from morning to night. Sorry no time to get involved in this long debate on Facebook and my blog. I posted Dave Palm’s comments and website because I know him well and support him completely. I did not post it to get myself embroiled in an endless debate. I have my hands more than full already.

Steve Ray July 26, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Comments are now closed. Enough said.

Steve Ray July 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM

As I thought. The Geocentric’s goes from one site to another following their leaders like Internet flash mobs. That is why I used the word zombie – defined as “One who looks or behaves like an automaton”. Maybe I should have referred to them as party-ers instead (taken from DeLano’s Facebook page).

Took a few minutes today for the first time to scan some of the comments. Now I know why there was such an uptick in people on my Facebook page. Seems DeLano needs to get out more – get a life. Maybe take his flash mob to Kmart or a mall somewhere.

Used to be friends with Sungenis, did conferences with him, wrote blurbs for his first books, consulted on his debates. I even gave him his first real computer. That all ended when he left the realm of sensibility. I told him ten years ago that he had turned into a nut.

He was great at biblical apologetics and should have stuck to what he was good at. He’s now lost credibility as have those who have join his party – like those who follow DeLano to the party on my Facebook page.

I shut down my Combox here because it’d gone far enough and I don’t have time to waste moderating the flash mob. Facebook is still open because I don’t have to moderate it. We’ll see how long I keep it that way.

This is my last word here; I have more important things to do.

Hans Georg Lundahl September 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

“In 1820, Pope Pius VII decreed that there are ‘no obstacles’ nor ‘any difficulties’ for Catholics to hold that the earth moves.”

In what context?

How solemn? What bull, what encyclical, what allocution? Generally speaking, what document?

Directed to all the Church or only to a particular Church?

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