Response to Keating Critique of Geocentrism


#1

On another string, Mr. Keating offered some opinions on the difficulties with geocentrism and the work of Robert Sungenis. I forwarded them on to Mr. Robert Sungenis of Catholic Apologetics International (Mr. Sungenis is a promoter of geocentrism). Below is Mr. Sungenis’ response to me.

I offer this to open dialogue, to foster honest discussion. While I don’t know nearly enough, I think the topic of faith and science is fascinating, worth a second look…(I don’t pretend to know all, or even most, of the answers…but it seems to me at least that the answers are not so obviously against geocentrism as we have been led to believe…). One would at least have to admit, the Galileo affair has been used and continues to be used to show how the Catholic Church can be dead wrong, even when she says things very publicly, strongly and explicitly…including Her popes. Wouldn’t it be something if our Popes and saints were quite right, after all? Just a thought…

Michael

Keating: …Sungenis says the Earth does not rotate on its axis. Instead, every 24 hours all of the stars circle the Earth. Consider the numerical consequences:

R. Sungenis: And I’m in good company, since all the Fathers and the Medievals said the same, and St. Robert Bellarmine, in disputing with Galileo, said that interpretations of Scripture cannot contradict the consensus of the Fathers, and thereby Bellarmine, with the approval of the reigning pope, condemned Galileo and Copernicanism as “opposed to Scripture,” and which decision was confirmed by two other popes, one of which sent his decision to all the papal nuncios and universities of Europe (Urban VIII in 1633) and another of which wrote his decision in a papal bull, Speculatores Domus Israel, (Alexander VII in 1664).

Considering the fact that no subsequent pope has rescinded the condemnation of Copernicanism (but have only allowed it a place of “hypothesis,” which was the original allowance in the decree of 1616 given by Paul V), then I would say I’m in good company.

In fact, the 1616 declaration specified the condemnation of the diurnal motion of the Earth, that is, both the revolution of the Earth and its rotation as being “opposed to Scripture.”

CONTINUED ON NEXT POST…


#2

Last Post Continued:

Keating: The nearest star to the Earth (other than the Sun) is Proxima Centauri, which has been measured as being 4.22 light years away from us. If the stars orbit the Earth every 24 hours, in that time Proxima Centauri travels pi times twice its distance from the Earth, or 26.5 light years. (The length of a circle is pi times twice the radius.)

So this star travels in 24 hours the distance that light travels in 26.5 years. This means the star is moving almost 10,000 times faster than light. Stars further away from the Earth will be moving even faster.

If Sungenis wants to claim that the stars orbit the Earth at a speed no faster than light, then they will have to be less than one ten thousandth of the distance from the Earth that astronomers think they are.

If the stars travel at only one percent of the speed of light (still a fantastically fast speed for material bodies), they would have to be one millionth as far away as astronomers think they are. In the case of Proxima Centauri, this would mean the star is about 25 million miles away us, putting it closer than Mars.

R. Sungenis: I think Mr. Keating needs to study the issue a bit more. Modern science has already agreed (via Mach, Einstein, Misner, Thorne, Wheeler, Barbour, Bertotti, Thirring, Lense, Hoyle, et al) that a universe rotating around a fixed-Earth is kinematically and mathematically the same as a rotating Earth in a fixed-universe. Just one quote from Fred Hoyle should suffice:

“Let it be understood at the outset that it makes no difference, from the point of view of describing planetary motion, whether we take the Earth or the Sun as the center of the solar system. Since the issue is one of relative motion only, there are infinitely many exactly equivalent descriptions referred to different centers – in principle any point will do, the Moon, Jupiter….So the passions loosed on the world by the publication of Copernicus’ book, De revolutionibus orbium caelestium libri VI, were logically irrelevant…we can take either the Earth or the Sun, or any other point for that matter, as the center of the solar system. This is certainly so for the purely kinematical problem of describing the planetary motions. It is also possible to take any point as the center even in dynamics, although recognition of this freedom of choice had to await the present century.”

(Fred Hoyle, Nicolaus Copernicus: An Essay on his Life and Work (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1973), pp. 1, 82).

In fact, they have all admitted that a rotating universe would create the necessary centrifugal and Coriolis forces to which Newtonian science did not have a physical, only mathematical, explanation.

Moreover, they have also found that a rotating universe creates a gyroscopic effect on the center of mass thus keeping it in its central position, without movement. Lo and behold, geocentrism understands the Earth to be the center of mass of the universe. This reminds one of the Scripture in Job 26:7: “He stretched out the north over the empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

Science also knows now that space is not empty, but is filled with particles, some on scales multi-trillions of times smaller than the atom. In order to keep this dense mass stable, it must rotate. According to the mathematical calculations, its greatest stability occurs when it rotates on a 24 hour period, otherwise it would collapse in on itself. This dense mass is what we understand as the Firmament, which God created on the Second Day (Genesis 1:6-9) and which He used as that which housed the sun and stars on the Fourth Day (Genesis 1:14-19).

As such, it is the universe, or firmament, which is revolving around the Earth, not the stars themselves. At night we see all the stars move together in revolution around the Earth, without hitting each other, because they have been placed in their specific locations in the firmament and revolve with the firmament.

This, and much more will be explained in our upcoming book “Galileo Was Wrong” authored by me and my colleague Dr. Robert Bennett.

Robert Sungenis
Catholic Apologetics International
www.catholicintl.com
12-30-2004


#3

Give it up man. I haven’t studied the whole geocentrism issue, but I have studied the age of the earth and evolution issue, and the Sungenis material on that is based on the same old creationist quote mining and bogus science dealt with by TalkOrigins in detail. Most of his objections to evolution go back to the ICR Henry Morris / Duane Gish nonsense of the 1970s that was demolished by Dalrymple and the rest in court at the 1981-82 Arkansas Creationist trial. You can read transcripts of the depositions and trial online.

A Visit to the ICR

McLean vs. Arkansas, Judge Overton’s decision

Here is something I am writing in response to Sungenis on the age of the earth and evolution, not done yet, still working on it. You don’t need a degree to respond to Sungenis, not that difficult. A couple of good books and a visit to your local university library will do.

bringyou.to/apologetics/p64.htm
bringyou.to/apologetics/p65.htm

Why Bob has such a passion for defending 15th, 16th, 17th century science is beyond me. But thanks anyway. :rolleyes:

Michael Forrest << I offer this to open dialogue, to foster honest discussion. >>

Open dialogue and honest discussion about what? About throwing all modern science into the garbage can and going back 500 years? Oh that makes sense.

Phil P


#4

If the Earth were stationary, then it would be impossible to launch geosynchronous (geostationary) satellites, yet we do lauch them. We receive hundreds of TV signals from geosynchronous satellites every day. It is insane to argue that the Earth does not rotate on its axis.


#5

All4<< It is insane to argue that the Earth does not rotate on its axis. >>

Too late, Galileo Was Wrong is in the works…followed by

Lyell Was Wrong
Darwin Was Wrong
Einstein Was Wrong
Dalrymple Is Still Wrong

If Queenship does the publishing I’ll have to remember to remove my link to their site. :stuck_out_tongue: But I’ll probably buy all his Was Wrong books since I still enjoy the Not By series. :eek:

Phil P


#6

The one thing you have to remember about geocentrism is that all motion is measured relative to the point of measurement. I have seen mathematically worked out the translation of a sun centered solar system and the accompanying formulas for predicting the paths of the planets and I have seen it translated into an earth centered as well as mars centered formulas. All of these models work equally well. In fact you could pick any point in space and make it the center, the only thing that would change are the formulas. However, if you use the principle of Ockhams razor the easiest formula to understand (and the most beautiful design from the outside is the sun centered model).

If you don’t believe that the earth centered model works then go to a planeterium sometime. They use a earth centered model to project where the stars and the planets are going to be. They can also show the sky view from any point. They just have to adjust the center point of the model.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew

PS the reason Galileo was seen as dead wrong by the Church but Copernicus who played with it years before wasn’t is that Galileo said something to the effect that the Bible couldn’t be right because of what he found. We have to remember what the writers of Genesis had in mind and had for tools in their science when they wrote the description of all that is. That is their eyes, hands and the rest of the senses. Those who will die for a sun centered solar system don’t realize that they are contradicting what they see everyday. Look up some day and see the sun revolve around us on earth.


#7

This reminds me of the slam that “those of you who think you know what you’re talking about are very irritating to those of us who really do”.

Bob’s erroneously extending the fact that equations of motion dynamics can be transformed to any reference point to mean that any reference point can be validly said to be an absolute reference. By his logic, I could just as validly claim that the universe revolves, at all times, around my navel.

He needs to stick to what he is good at - his foray into physics is charitably described as amateurish at best.


#8

[quote=PhilVaz]Why Bob has such a passion for defending 15th, 16th, 17th century science is beyond me.
[/quote]

Apparently he believes that God really intended the book of Genesis to be a science textbook.


#9

hijack thread

[quote=neophyte] By his logic, I could just as validly claim that the universe revolves, at all times, around my navel.
[/quote]

Wow, that would be some wild navel lint.

thread returned


#10

[quote=JimG]Apparently he believes that God really intended the book of Genesis to be a science textbook.
[/quote]

I expect there are quite a few on this forum that believe in geocentrism. The arguments for geocentrism are not that different than those for a six day creation 6,000-10,000 years ago.

Peace

Tim


#11

I can’t believe this! Is this really being debated in 2004? :confused: :eek: :confused:


#12

To Phil, All4Lifetoo, JimG and neophyte:

Thank you for reminding me of a post I made on another thread. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I’ll just quote it here. Do y’all try to win converts to Catholicism this way? :confused: I think most people like at least a little meat with their hot sauce…

Originally posted on thread "Karl Keating’s E-Letter of December 21, 2004" :

I have a solid, general science background (through college), but I readily admit that I am not qualified to make concrete judgments about the many mathematical and astronomical details and assessments necessary to seriously delve into such issues (on either “side”).

I will say this, however: Over time, I have found a remarkable similarity between my work fighting abortion and Mr. Sungenis’ work arguing against current scientific dogma (and I use the word “dogma” purposely here).

Continued On Next Post…


#13

Continued…
[font=Times New Roman][/font]
[font=Times New Roman]In my years debating with, writing to and otherwise confronting pro-abortionists, I have found that the vast majority of pro-aborts THINK they really understand the issue. They THINK they have independently come to their own objective conclusions. In fact, they simply have not. They are sheep, regurgitating current, politically correct dogma that has been spoon-fed to them through the liberal propaganda machine. And they are very quick to insult and belittle those who do not agree with “the obvious truth” and wisdom of their position quickly enough.

[/font]However, once you scratch the surface, you expose the superficiality, the shallowness of their “knowledge”, and they usually react, again, with personal insult and demogoguery.

Unfortunately, with few exceptions, I have found this to be the case with geocentrism, creationism and Mr. Sungenis’ defense of both (as well as a whole host of other Catholics, from groups like the KolbeCenter, Michael Behe, Dembski and others). The vast majority of those who have scoffed or ridiculed Mr. Sungenis and the host of others who dissent from modern scientific dogma clearly don’t know enough to make such judgments. Yet, they proceed to do so anyway.

To be clear, I am not making specific personal judgments of anyone by the previous comments, I’m just offering my general observations.
I believe if one is not capable of personally explaining and defending a position in real depth, one ought to be careful about the extent and tone of the criticism offered against others who can. I think this is true in regard to any issue, really.

But by all means, if Mr. Keating or any of you believe you have mastered physics, astronomy, etc. sufficiently well, then write a series of articles debunking geo-centrism and creationism (or perhaps intelligent design theory). Take Mr. Sungenis’ arguments apart. Do likewise to men like Dembski and Behe, the Kolbe Center and others. Maybe even write to them and see what the response is. I find that, unlike many others, they almost always respond personally.

Certainly, in Mr. Sungenis’ case, I know him to be very generous in that in regard. I have also found, over the past decade, that he is genuinely striving for truth, and he doesn’t care where it leads. He will change his positions if he finds clear, convincing evidence presented. However, he certainly does not roll over, and will vigorously test others, and defend his positions.

Still, and I admire him for this, he believes that the only non-negotiable truths, truths that cannot be questioned, are the dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic faith. No other knowledge on earth approaches this kind of certainty, a certainty that demands humble acceptance, obedience and wonder.

Mr. Sungenis is currently working with a well-respected astrophysicist on a comprehensive book dealing with the nature of modern science, and how it has been hijacked by people with an anti-God bias…leading to great errors. He is approaching these issues scientifically, historically, from the perspective of the Early Church Fathers, and in reference to magisterial documents, the Scriptures, etc.

You can reach Mr. Sungenis at [/font]www.catholicintl.com[font=Times New Roman]. I don’t think it is possible in this venue to do the issue justice…but it might at least start a more thorough discussion/debate in other venues.

In Christ,

Michael Forrest

Personnel Director

Catholic Apologetics International

[/font][font=Times New Roman]www.catholicintl.com


#14

Phil,
I took a quick moment to look at links to your articles. At first blush, they appear to be an honest effort to present an old-earth case, trying to rebut Mr. Sungenis. I didn’t see anything about geocentrism, though (did I miss it?)

By all means, continue the dialogue/debate as thoroughly as you are able. I suspect, though, that Mr. Sungenis may have a few responses of his own. :wink:

Just a personal opinion, but I think you are more effective when you keep the personal insult out, especially the kind present in your posts above. I didn’t see any of that, at least initially, in your more extensive writings (the links you provided).

I think it’s great if people decide to really delve into it. All truth is God’s, and we shouldn’t be afraid. Honest debate is how ideas are tested and refined…I’m sure you would agree. It’s not always fun (any challenge to our personal assumptions tends to be at least little unsettling), but, most anything worthwhile has at least some pain associated with it.

Personally, I think it’s good to have modern science tested, put through the wringer. In my experience, politics and agendas play a much bigger part in “science” than people are generally willing to admit. Too many people conceive of science as simply objective, and honest. The truth is, much of it is driven by anti-God (or at least anti-Catholic understanding of God) motives. This is certainly true in relation to studies on abortion, contraception, breast cancer, sex education, population control etc. So the thought that other areas may be similarly corrupted does not strike me as particularly shocking.

God bless,
Michael Forrest


#15

At the end of “Looping and Zig-Zagging Satellites,” Hoge writes that “[a]t this point, Mr. Sugenis [sic] broke off the discussion, citing the need to answer other people who had ‘more pertinent material’ to offer.’” Do you know if they began another discussion on it?


#16

Mike Forrest << Phil, I took a quick moment to look at links to your articles. At first blush, they appear to be an honest effort to present an old-earth case, trying to rebut Mr. Sungenis. I didn’t see anything about geocentrism, though (did I miss it?) >>

Nope, nothing in there on geocentrism. I don’t know the physics involved to answer that. Kind of hard to find good books on that topic as well since it was dealt with, oh say 300-400 years ago, and there are very few around today. The young-earth stuff was dealt with by geology about 200 years ago, but it was revived in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s with the ICR and now AnswersInGenesis and young-earth creationism. That stuff is dealt with in many books these days, along with TalkOrigins so its easy to find good material to respond to all of it, even if you don’t have a degree in geology and biology, which I do not have.

A good reading of Dalrymple’s book The Age of the Earth, though somewhat technical, deals with all the positive evidence for a very old earth. In my opinion its unanswerable unless you ignore all the data as Sungenis has done so far.

Mike Forrest << By all means, continue the dialogue/debate as thoroughly as you are able. I suspect, though, that Mr. Sungenis may have a few responses of his own. Just a personal opinion, but I think you are more effective when you keep the personal insult out, especially the kind present in your posts above. I didn’t see any of that, at least initially, in your more extensive writings (the links you provided). >>

Yeah, on the boards I tend to get a little too excited. I tone it down a bit in the online articles for my site.

I don’t believe there is any correlation between the abortion promoters (pro-life vs. aborts) and the science promoters (pro-evolution, pro-old rotating earth vs. young-earth or the few geocentrists).

Medical science would side with the pro-life folks it seems to me, and modern geological, biological, astronomical, and physical sciences sides with an old, evolving earth that is rotating around the sun. So modern science in both cases sides with the “good guys.”

As a side note, happy 2005, and I hope to stay away from the boards this year. There is a guy who works with American Life League who is a 3D artist and hopes to work with me full time doing Catholic or religious-themed 3D games, my current passion. This should take up all my time. Pray for us.

VazGames.com

Aurasian Entertainment

Phil P


#17

Michael Forrest,

I am not a scientist, but I am not a dunce either. For the first 10 of my 21 years in the Air Force I was a member of a Titan II ICBM Combat Crew. You may recall that the Titan II was the space launch vehicle for the Gemini Program. If the Earth did not rotate on its axis then it would be necessary for satellites to have no forward motion once they were in “orbit.” Satellites are given forward motion during launch and this acceleration is measurable. For a satellite to be stationary over a stationary Earth this acceleration would have to be reversed or negated. The satellite would have to be decelerated to zero velocity. Deceleration is also measurable. If it were necessary to decelerate the forward velocity to zero, we would know it because we could measure it. No such deceleration is measured on the satellite.

The above would not be true if space-time is being draged westward and the satellite is like a boat heading upstream whose speed is matched to the downstream current and thus has a zero ground speed. The satellite would appear to be stationary over a stationary Earth because it would have a forward speed exactly matched by the westward speed of space, but this is disproved by the fact that satellites launched to the East have the advantage of the Earth’s Eastward velocity and require less fuel and less thrust to to achieve design velocity. Were the space-time being dragged westward, an easterly launch would be like flying into a headwind and it would require more fuel and thrust, not less to achieve design velocity. The observable/measurable data does not support the theory that the Earth is stationary and the stars revolve around the Earth.

The success of the calculations used to launch satellites, based on the knowledge of the Earth’s rotation demonstrate the correctness of this knowledge. The consistency and agreement of the physical measurments of the forces on the lauch vehicle and of the satellite itself, with the known speed of Earth rotation demonstrate the correctness of this knowledge.

I am one who does not believe that modern scientific knowledge is opposed to Biblical writings. Any apparent contradiction is just that, apparent, not real. It is not necessary to invent theories that disprove current understanding of the Earth’s motion in order to justify Biblical writings. The efforts to prove geo-centrism simply fail when empricial evidence is examined.


#18

Michael Forrest,

Do y’all try to win converts to Catholicism this way? :confused: I think most people like at least a little meat with their hot sauce…

You’re right, I should have left out the slam, it was uncharitable. But I did provide meat with the habaneros, in the form of my comment about reference frame transformation.

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]The vast majority of those who have scoffed or ridiculed Mr. Sungenis and the host of others who dissent from modern scientific dogma clearly don’t know enough to make such judgments. Yet, they proceed to do so anyway.

[/size][/font]I hold a degree in Mechanical Engineering (with honors), and believe that I am qualified to comment on Sungenis’ argumants. They are indeed poorly formulated.

I find it a bit convenient that he offers a reward for proving him wrong, but makes himself the judge rather than someone who’s qualified by training and experience. It would be more accurate to say that the reward is for convincing Bob rather than for proving him wrong.

I don’t expect that Bob will win many converts by speaking so long and eloquently about something that he obviously knows nothing about.


#19

Phil P:

A good reading of Dalrymple’s book The Age of the Earth, though somewhat technical, deals with all the positive evidence for a very old earth. In my opinion its unanswerable unless you ignore all the data as Sungenis has done so far.>>

Thank you for saying “in my opinion”. Sounds like you are pretty impressed by/trusting of Dalrymple, especially as you candidly admit you don’t really know much about these topics independently. I do my best to follow the arguments, too. I think they’re fascinating…sometimes wish I’d gone on to study more of it in school.

Phil P.: Yeah, on the boards I tend to get a little too excited. I tone it down a bit in the online articles for my site.>>

I understand. I try to reread everything I write a couple of times before sending it, and still I miss some things and think, “I really wish I hadn’t written that.”

Phil: I don’t believe there is any correlation between the abortion promoters (pro-life vs. aborts) and the science promoters (pro-evolution, pro-old rotating earth vs. young-earth or the few geocentrists). Medical science would side with the pro-life folks it seems to me, and modern geological, biological, astronomical, and physical sciences sides with an old, evolving earth that is rotating around the sun. So modern science in both cases sides with the “good guys.”>>

I don’t think I can agree with that, Phil. I know there is “good” science out there, and I often use it in fighting against abortion, contraception, homosexuality, sex-ed, etc. . But the problem is that “science” does not operate in a pristine, honest environment as so many seem to think. The history of science is absolutely littered with cases of politics, intrigue, dishonesty. The “good” and “true” is often attacked and ignored by the “gate-keepers” of orthodoxy and public opinion. (This, btw, is also true of history…look at the Crusades, the Inquisition, even the Civil War, imo…) And as such, the true and good work done by scientists, does not always win out…sometimes only after a very, very long time, and perhaps sometimes not at all. I am talking about commonly accepted science (and history) here.

All you have to do is reference the AMA, APA and a whole host of other manstream, highly respected medical associations on abortion, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, homosexuality, etc. to verify this. They all parrot the modern scientific line in ways that are clearly wrong and evil. Even the deviant Kinsey is still commonly used and referenced as a source of “scientific fact”. The frequency of the truth on these issues from the most-accepted scientic authorities is very much in the minority, Phil. And though I wish I could, I cannot share your apparent optimism that the “truth” always eventually wins out in regard to man’s knowledge, at least not until the return of our Lord and Savior.

Phil P: As a side note, happy 2005, and I hope to stay away from the boards this year. There is a guy who works with American Life League who is a 3D artist and hopes to work with me full time doing Catholic or religious-themed 3D games, my current passion. This should take up all my time. Pray for us.>>

Will do, Phil! God bless you and your endeavors.

Michael Forrest
Personnel Director
Catholic Apologetics International


#20

Dear All4Lifetoo:

 First....I assume that name has something to do with your defense of human life.   We share that in common....God bless you for it.

  You write:  I am not a scientist, but I am not a dunce either.>>

   I don't recall writing or implying that you were a dunce.  If you took it anything I wrote in that way, I regret that, but you are mistaken as to my intention.  

For the first 10 of my 21 years in the Air Force I was a member of a Titan II ICBM Combat Crew. You may recall that the Titan II was the space launch vehicle for the Gemini Program. If the Earth did not rotate on its axis then it would be necessary for satellites to have no forward motion once they were in “orbit.” Satellites are given forward motion during launch and this acceleration is measurable. For a satellite to be stationary over a stationary Earth this acceleration would have to be reversed or negated. The satellite would have to be decelerated to zero velocity. Deceleration is also measurable. If it were necessary to decelerate the forward velocity to zero, we would know it because we could measure it. No such deceleration is measured on the satellite.>>

I believe Mr. Sungenis has already dealt with this issue, All4. Have you taken the time to look his writings over first? You can find them at www.catholicintl.com (along with a whole host of other issues aside from science, of course). But if you don’t believe he has, by all means, bring it to his attention, as I wrote previously. He almost always takes the time to respond, in my experience. I don’t think you’re going to be able do your opinions justice in this forum, really.

All4 writes: I am one who does not believe that modern scientific knowledge is opposed to Biblical writings. Any apparent contradiction is just that, apparent, not real. It is not necessary to invent theories that disprove current understanding of the Earth’s motion in order to justify Biblical writings. The efforts to prove geo-centrism simply fail when empricial evidence is examined.>>

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. You could be right. But simply asserting something is not the same as proving it.

God bless,
Michael Forrest


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