Early Church Astronomy

Did the Church Fathers defend geocentrism?

If so, what does that mean insofar as the infallibility of the ordinary universal magisterium?

As far as I can tell it isn’t a matter of faith or morals, so it wouldn’t fall under infallibility, nor is it necessary for salvation. As for early writings on the subject maybe others can answer that.

[quote=Ahimsa]Did the Church Fathers defend geocentrism?

If so, what does that mean insofar as the infallibility of the ordinary universal magisterium?
[/quote]

Yes, the Church fathers interpreted Scripture geocentrically (actually geostationarily). Three Popes made official proclamations supporting the notion that the earth did not move (and the sun and stars did), including a Papal Bull.
Since that time, amny people are embarrassed by what they think is a mistake, and many Catholic apologists have tried backpedalling out of this issue. The Church has not reversed its proclamations.Vatican I states that Scriptural interpretations supported by the Fathers has docrinal weight.

Scientifically, no one has disproven geocentrism, nor proven that the earth rotates or translates.

Scriptural interptretation is a matter of faith and morals.

Robert Sungenis and Dr. Robert Bennett are writing the book “Galileo was Wrong”, due out this year.

Some related threads:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=57095

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50080

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_geocentrism

Worth thinking about, lol.

Today we say that the sun rises and sets, because that is its apparent motion. Maybe the earth moves, maybe the sun moves, maybe both move. Who cares. Honestly. It has no bearing on bearing on faith and morals. The passages that seem to support geocentricism, in the Bible, use the same expressions we use today even though almost no one belives in geocentricism. The quote from Joshua can easily be used to argue heliocentricism anyways. If God could stop the motion of two bodies dead in their tracks, he could just as easily stop the earth from rotating. Both explanations work and both use the same colloquial expressions.

Show me where Copernicus was condemned by the Church. Look closely at what transpired around Galileo, it is hardly a rousing condemnation. He is condemned more for his attack on his friend and benefactor the pope than he is for his theory.

Better yet. Why don’t we just give it a rest, and really worry about things that matter in the faith and moral life of Catholics.

catholic.com/library/galileo_controversy.asp

Read this book. It’ll clear all that up:

Explore Chris Jolma

Then, go get one of these: :smiley:
Explore Chris Jolma

[quote=adventistnomore]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_geocentrism

Worth thinking about, lol.
[/quote]

(bold mine)

“The term Modern Geocentrism refers to a belief that the Earth is the center of the universe and does not move, motivated by a literal interpretation of certain Bible passages, or in the case of Catholic geocentrists, Scripture authoritatively interpreted by statements of Church Fathers and various Popes. The geocentrist views are held in the awareness that essentially all modern scientists see no evidence that the universe has any center. Philosophically, since the concepts of center and absolute motion are not clearly defined and **no evidence distinguishing any motion of the earth from motion of the universe is available, geocentrism in and of itself cannot be **proven false and should be considered a religious or philosophic idea, not a scientific theory.”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_geocentrism

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

Please note the sarcasm.

And wikipedia is the supreme source of what? Why don’t you look at any scientific journal that has dealt with the issue and find someone who thinks the earth is stationary. Just try. Come on. Geometrically, mathmatically, and physically geostionarism is so complex that it would never explain all that HAS been observed and documented about the universe. One only has to look to ptolemy to begin to see how complex it gets, and he is only dealing with a system with 8 moving bodies,now factor in the stars, the galaxy, galaxies, galactic clusters, comets, the rest of the planets, moons, red shift, blue shift, newtonian physics, general relativity, to name a few.

or in the case of Catholic geocentrists, Scripture authoritatively interpreted by statements of Church Fathers and various Popes.

that is a broad statement to which I have never seen proof of, only contradictions of this statement.

The telescope changed nothing. If you could take it outside the universe to a known stable spot, and look in, you could prove something.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

[quote=trth_skr]The telescope changed nothing. If you could take it outside the universe to a known stable spot, and look in, you could prove something.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com
[/quote]

Huh?

[quote=montanaman]Huh?
[/quote]

The telescope has not disproven geocentrism. No observation of relative motions can disprove it.

Cosmologist George Ellis in Scientific American:

“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations,” Ellis argues. “For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations.” Ellis has published a paper on this. “You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. 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.”

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

Ah. Interesting. A 21st century geocentrist Catholic…

While I see you’ve got a point, I think you’ll be considered a lunatic if you go around spreading the idea that the Catholic Church still embraces geocentrism. I’m not an astronomer, but I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a strong case to the contrary. Why? Big, big universe. Is that a scientific analysis? Nope, but whether we inhabit the center of the universe or just one rock among billions of them floating through the void is immaterial to my faith.

“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations,” Ellis argues. “For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations.”

Yes anyone could construct a model for this, but that’s just it. They have to construct a model for it because what has been observed does not fit into the model that he created.

[quote=flamingsword]Yes anyone could construct a model for this, but that’s just it. They have to construct a model for it because what has been observed does not fit into the model that he created.
[/quote]

No. The current model we have is nothing more than a model built for the purpose of explaining the observations we have. It can neither be proven nore disproven based on the observations we have.

To construct a model as explained in the quote would be to do exactly the same thing we have now. The only reason that we have a model in which the earth is not the center of the universe is because those who developed it chose it that way, probably because they assumed it would be unlikely that we are at the center of the universe. They were operating from a purely secular and nonreligious standpoint, so to them it would seem to be egotistical to assume that we were the center of the universe (think what we say to egotistical people: you think the whole world revolved around you, don’t you).

Scientifically, it is not possible to prove either model. They are both models, models designed to fir the data we know.

In fact, creation scientists have recently developed some very interesting models. The current view of the universe holds that it is infinite with no bounds. Because of this, there are many scientific discrepencies between relativity and quantum physics that are impossible to reconcile with our current understanding. String theory is an effort to reconcile these things. However, the theories that we have always developed have been based on the limitless universe idea, an idea which is only an assumption. Creation scientists have realized this, and discovered that if we start with the idea of a limited universe with the earth at the center, these discrepencies go away. Additionally, because of how this would effect the red/blue shifts which are used to determine the universes age, measurements taken given this model would produce a universe with an age of a few thousand years.

Part 1

No. The current model we have is nothing more than a model built for the purpose of explaining the observations we have. It can neither be proven nore disproven based on the observations we have.

You are correct. Now show me this guy’s model. I was unable to find it in a search for him. Is he the professor from Cape Town?

To construct a model as explained in the quote would be to do exactly the same thing we have now. The only reason that we have a model in which the earth is not the center of the universe is because those who developed it chose it that way, probably because they assumed it would be unlikely that we are at the center of the universe. They were operating from a purely secular and nonreligious standpoint, so to them it would seem to be egotistical to assume that we were the center of the universe (think what we say to egotistical people: you think the whole world revolved around you, don’t you).

Wrong, actually. The current model that we have refined since Copernicus was actually created by many God fearing men who were forced, through their observations, to find a model that incorporated what they had observed. Just look at Ptolemy’s geocentric model of the universe incorporating the movement of planets in the sky. Just look at it and try to understand it. Then look at the solar system, it is completely easy to understand and it answers every question.

Scientifically, it is not possible to prove either model. They are both models, models designed to fir the data we know.

If you look at the two models, only one of which I can find mention of the non-geocentric, you will find that one is much more simple than the other.

In fact, creation scientists have recently developed some very interesting models.

interesting doesn’t make them fecund, accurate, or simple.

The current view of the universe holds that it is infinite with no bounds. Because of this, there are many scientific discrepencies between relativity and quantum physics that are impossible to reconcile with our current understanding.

That is incorrect again. The prevailing theory is still the big bang theory. The matter in the universe is finite, and it is expanding at an increasing velocity. This will happen till the eventual heat death of the universe when everything stops moving. If you read between the lines this has important ramifications for Catholics because it means creation was a one-time-deal.

Because of this, there are many scientific discrepencies between relativity and quantum physics that are impossible to reconcile with our current understanding.

We are not arguing on this point, but these two branches of physics deal with different materials and the goal is to unify them, though they don’t ever contradict each other yet.

Part 2

String theory is an effort to reconcile these things. However, the theories that we have always developed have been based on the limitless universe idea, an idea which is only an assumption.

Yes, but so are the Grand Unification theory, and the Theory of everything. These theories are trying to tie the Strong Nuclear force, the Weak Nuclear force, the Electromagnetic Force, and the Gravitational Force into a theory that explains them all. I suggest you continue reading the backs of cereal boxes to get more information. Or you could actually look into these theories. The String Theory is just that, a theory. It attempts to solve the unification of these four known forces in the universe. God created the universe with order to it and these theories are only attempts to discover the law that God created to govern the universe. Back to the string theory. It does not rely on an infinite universe. Rather it says that each sub-atomic particle protons, neutrons, electrons, up quarks, down quarks, strange quarks, charm quarks, top quarks, bottom quarks, boson’s and all the other sub-atomic particles are nothing more than tiny strings of energy (remember E=Mc^2) that vibrate at different frequencies. They interact on these different levels. And the more energy they have the more mass they have, thanks to Einstein’s great equation.

I hope I didn’t lose you too much there, I don’t think you could handle me going much deeper into string theory, not that I can explain it all that well because it is still being developed.

BTW I have had a professor that I am still friends with who worked at the Fermi Lad doing real research and building real models based on real science in an attempt to work on the Theory of Everything. I have studied this in depth and have found absolutely nothing that contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church or its dogmas. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 159

Faith and science: “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

Creation scientists have realized this, and discovered that if we start with the idea of a limited universe with the earth at the center, these discrepencies go away. Additionally, because of how this would effect the red/blue shifts which are used to determine the universes age, measurements taken given this model would produce a universe with an age of a few thousand years.

I am still waiting to read this article myself. It causes me to wonder why no one else, Catholics included, have picked this up.

Out of curiosity: are you baptist?

You seem to assume that because I disagree with you, and perhaps because I have mentioned creation science, that I am not well learned. This is the farthest from the truth. No, you did not lose me. Your references were quite below my level actually.

I would like to suggest to you at this point that throwing a bunch of scientific words together for the purpose of putting me in my place is somewhat against the Christian spirit, as is throwing around sarcastic insults such as your request that I continue to read cereal boxes. I would offer that it would be more appropriate to approach disagreements with more charity in the future.

In fact the creation science model which I presented to you is also a theory, and is no more or less valid than string theory. Each has strong evidences.

The simple fact that nobody has suggested the idea which the creation scientists have in no way serves as a valid critique of its merits. Indeed, every scientific truth we cling to once shared the trait which you refer to in that it had previously not been suggested as a possibility. Einstein’s great equation, as you call it, by no means is any less true simply because it was not developed until the 20th century, neither is string theory less valid because it had not yet been conceptualized years ago. The fact is that some of the greatest truths ever discovered came to be known by the merits of some individual whom sought to think outside the realm of what was assumed to be true. So too is the creationist idea an example of re-examining the axioms we hold that they may not hinder us should they be limited.

Indeed, if it were not that some thinker of centuries past realized that we baselessly clung to the notion that the earth was fixed, we would not have come to the understandings that we have today. Though we are in the midst of a discussion of the truth of this model, we nevertheless are in some way indebted to those who realized that the axioms of their time were without merit. We surely should not turn a blind eye on those men who do this today as did the contemporaries of scientists past.

[quote=flamingsword]Part 1


Wrong, actually. The current model that we have refined since Copernicus was actually created by many God fearing men who were forced, through their observations, to find a model that incorporated what they had observed. Just look at Ptolemy’s geocentric model of the universe incorporating the movement of planets in the sky. Just look at it and try to understand it. Then look at the solar system, it is completely easy to understand and it answers every question. .
[/quote]

That is why modern geocentrists tend to use the modern Tychoinian model (or the neo-Tychonian). In the Tychonian model, the planets (earth excluded) orbit the sun, and the sun and stars revolve with the universe around the stationary earth. In the modern Tychonian, elliptical (Keplerian) orbits are added to the planets. In the neo-Tychonian, the stars are centered on the sun (making a simple explanation for parallax).

The Corpenican system required 90 additional epicycles beyond tyhe Ptolemaic to have the same predictive accuracy. Keplers elliptical orbits simplified things, but was not more accurate until modern scientists applied Fourier transforms (read- many, many epicycles) to fit observational data. Theoretically, the Tychonian models with Fourier Transforms should be just as accurate.

[quote=flamingsword]If you look at the two models, only one of which I can find mention of the non-geocentric, you will find that one is much more simple than the other. .
[/quote]

Explained above, not true.

[quote=flamingsword]That is incorrect again. The prevailing theory is still the big bang theory. The matter in the universe is finite, and it is expanding at an increasing velocity. This will happen till the eventual heat death of the universe when everything stops moving. If you read between the lines this has important ramifications for Catholics because it means creation was a one-time-deal. .
[/quote]

Actually, 96% of the matter required to support the current view of the big bang theory cannot be found .

I do share your view regarding creation via the big bang, i.e., you can imagine a spark eminating from God’s finger tip (the bang). Then again, if the universe is really a cyclical bang / crunch, then your ramifications do not stand.

I feel we have some revelation as to the nature of the universe, and the big bang is at best an interesting theory.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

[quote=flamingsword]Please note the sarcasm.

And wikipedia is the supreme source of what? Why don’t you look at any scientific journal that has dealt with the issue and find someone who thinks the earth is stationary. Just try. Come on. Geometrically, mathmatically, and physically geostionarism is so complex that it would never explain all that HAS been observed and documented about the universe. One only has to look to ptolemy to begin to see how complex it gets, and he is only dealing with a system with 8 moving bodies,now factor in the stars, the galaxy, galaxies, galactic clusters, comets, the rest of the planets, moons, red shift, blue shift, newtonian physics, general relativity, to name a few.
[/quote]

Flaming Sword,

You are right that geocentricism leads to very deep water mathematically, and unnecessarily deep water to boot. The equations of motion are a whole lot simpler if you will just allow for the motion of the earth. But there is a saying in my profession: “The world really does revolve around engineers, because they get to pick the coordinate system.” The only difference that I have found between geocentricism (as much as I can get it defined) and standard consmology is a rather arbitrary and exceedingly complicated coordinate transformation. So I don’t think you will ever be able to prove the geocentricism (again, as much as I have seen it defined) wrong; you will only be able to prove that it is unwieldy and incomplete.

  • Liberian

who is still waiting for a reply from Robert Sungenis’ organization over their Geocentricism Challenge

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