I guess I should have expected this: Bible-based geocentrism proponents

I guess I should have expected that if attacks on Darwin and evolution are getting stronger, then attacks on that ol’ heretic Copernicus and his solar system wouldn’t be far behind: Another theology vs. science dust-up: In this view, linked to intelligent design, the sun revolves around the Earth.

Still, I’m depressed by the apparent growth in the rejection of science. Is this geo-centrism a growing movement, or just a goofy fringe on the intelligent design movement?

On the plus side, I did get a nice quotation from a Catholic Cardinal to toss into discussions:

Was there anything, in particular, that you wished to debate, here?

I’m trying to figure out whether this would be better suited to MPSIMS or to IMHO, but I really doubt that you are going to find anyone to seriously defend the loon’s thesis and there are no churches to bash for supporting him.

tom, seemed to me that the debate was intended to be about the status and future of geocentrism in popular opinion:

Wiki sez that there’s been a boomlet in geocentric beliefs since the late 1960’s:

Bouw is the guy who inspired Sungenis, according to your linked article. The ties between geocentrism and creationism/ID seem to be present, but strained:

tom, since the OP is linked to religion and intelligent design, both of which have triggered debates in the past, I thought I’d stick it here. But if you think it’s better suited elsewhere, feel free to use those god-like mod powers to send it to a happier place.

And, if intelligent design can pull out supporters even here on the SDMB, who’s to say that religion-based geocentrism can’t do the same? :eek:

I think we should “teach the controversy”. If the solar-centric hypothesis is so strong then its proponents should have nothing to worry about.

I’ve been saying for years that heliocentricism is far harder to prove than an old earth or common descent. Anyone can go to the Grand Canyon, but it’s not like anyone can get up in a space shuttle, or buy a super-powered telescope and plot out the stars’ course over the period of an year through precision astronomy. In other words, we believe in heliocentricism because we’ve been brainwashed to do so by the godless scientists and media.

If you’re going to condemn people to hell for not believing in a 6000 year old earth, have some balls, literalists, and defend geocentricism, and condemn us for doing so. Even better, have some balls and condemn us all to hell for not believing in a flat earth.

s/centricism/centrism :smack:

How do geocentrists explain the changing seasons? I can’t figure out how they would be possible without the earth revolving around the sun. Geocentrism also imples that the earth doesn’t spin around a north-south axis, correct? So how could geosynchronous satellites exist? They’d essentially be “hovering” wouldn’t they? The retrograde motion of venus? I’m not sure offhand if the tides can be explained in a geocentric system or not, but there must a few other basic experiments or thought experiments that could be done.

People sometimes try to argue reference frames in support of geocentrism, or at least o allow the ide ‘equal time’.

But the biggest single objection to the idea of a stationary, nonrotating earth about which the universe orbits is that, in a single day, the most distant stars and galaxies will have to complete a circuit of all observable space; this means they’d have to be travelleing at speeds far in excess of c.
Of course it you’re in for a penny with geocentrism, you’re probably in for a pound when it comes to denial of Einstein’s relativity.

I take back what I said about tides. And, in fact, probably everything else I said. From fixedearth.com, linked from the article in the OP,


I still hold that it is possible, and perhaps relatively easy, to prove heliocentrism, but not that it could be proven to the satisfaction of people who refuse to listen to even the most basic scientific reasoning, and claim such vast knowledge without understanding even science’s most basic concepts such as the inverse-square law of gravity and vector addition.

Luckily, I doubt this will ever gain nearly the following that intelligent design has. I hope I’m right…

So, how did heliocentric scientists successfully we send astronauts to the moon and probes to Mars? Wouldn’t their calculations have been way off? Did we just get lucky?

You don’t really believe that nonsense about a moon landing, do you? :wink:

O ye of little faith. Consider the following exchange from 1984:

If the godless believers in Ingsoc can get around this “problem,” how much easier is it for believers in the One True Religion?

In the Ptolemic model, the Earth isn’t in the precise center of all orbits. I don’t see why the Sun has to be in a fixed orbit either. Some creativity and you could come up with something explaining everything.

And how do you know these geosynchrous satellites exist? Because some godless scientist said so? If you think that there’s a giant conspiracy going on in the science world propping up the “fake” fossils such as Lucy and covering up the “inconvenient” fossils such as the Palaxy footsteps, a satellite’s an easy thing to do. Besides, an astronomer told me that working from a geocentric model made for easier planning and mathematics in some areas (true, not being facetious).

Epicycles … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicycle . Believe it or not, it is a myth that Copernicus’s model made for a better one than Ptolemy. Ptolemy’s model fit the observed movements, including the retrograde ones, better than Copernicus. I don’t think it was till Kepler that an unified model was created that bettered Ptolemy, but I could be wrong here.

Besides, modern geocentrism doesn’t really exist in the sense that creation science does… AFAIK, there’s no one who believes in a Ptolemic model or any other model significantly different than what astronomers believe, they simply say, “Well, just make the earth the frame of reference, and there ya go!”.

I’m just calling out the YECs who don’t believe in geocentrism, because the literal reading of Bible obviously supports a geocentric model and a flat earth. And they condemn those who “pick and choose” from the Bible…

The “neutral gravity zone” is more correctly known as a Lagrangian Point, and certainly is a well established phenomenon. But the source you cited is a little misled- that point is not the limit of our moon’s gravity, it’s merely a point at which a satellite can be placed and said satellite will remain in a fixed position relative to the earth and moon (or any two bodies in space). In other words, it’s the point at which the Earth’s gravity and our moon’s gravity exert an equal pull on an object. Our moon still exerts force on our oceans (and us); Earth’s gravity is just much stronger. Our moon’s gravity is just enough to shift our oceans, and that’s all that tides are. Wikipedia’s got a nice article on tides if you’d like a clearer explanation than I just gave.

All that notwithstanding, you’re probably right that most of these geocentrists wouldn’t hold still long enough to hear that.

Sure they would (as I guess you later realized when you took back this statement). Namely, by hypothesizing that the sun revolves around the earth in an orbit that’s tilted with respect to the earth’s axis. In the same way that we now explain the seasons by saying that the earth revolves around the sun in an orbit that’s tilted with respect to the earth’s axis.

It’s the tilt itself that’s the important feature for causing the seasons, not which body is actually doing the revolving. Works either way. (And in fact, that’s how seasons were explained by geocentric astronomers for millennia before the heliocentric hypothesis gained currency. What, you think Ptolemy and his ilk just didn’t notice that seasons changed annually, or didn’t bother trying to account for it? ;))

AFAIK, you can’t demonstrate heliocentrism just by appeals to observational astronomy (changing seasons, etc.) in the same way that you can demonstrate the earth’s sphericity by appealing to observation of things like ships on the horizon, the shape of the earth’s shadow during lunar eclipses, etc.

The earth and the sun are revolving about a common center of gravity, and the appearance of that motion changes depending on where you are in the system. You can’t tell just from celestial kinematic phenomena (i.e., the geometrical appearance of the relative motion of earth and sun) that the common center of gravity is inside the sun instead of inside the earth.

To make that case, you need celestial dynamics, i.e., Newtonian theory of force and gravity based on the concept of mass. Small masses orbit large masses, not vice versa. If you can get a geocentrist to accept Newtonian dynamics, and to agree that the sun is much more massive than the earth, and to agree that the other planets do orbit the sun instead of the earth (which is something that you can use kinematic arguments for), then you’ve got a strong case for heliocentrism.

As a historian of astronomy and mathematics (although not a specialist in the early modern European period), I’ve seen a lot of the historical arguments for and against heliocentrism, and ISTM that the modern geocentrist movement has nothing new. What clinched the argument for heliocentrism back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was Newtonian dynamics. You simply can’t make sense of basic physics if you’re going to argue that the sun can be far more massive than the earth but at the same time orbit the earth. (And if you try to argue that the sun is smaller than the earth, that’ll get you into other problems.)

I guess the next big “revelation” will be that the earth is flat. All the old maps that had “here be dragons”? - well, that will be literal… there really are dragons at the edge of the world. Stupidity knows no bounds.

“Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the univierse” - Albert Einstein

Correct me if I’m wrong, but since everything is relative anyway, isn’t saying that the universe revolves around the Earth no less valid than saying the universe revolves around Any Other Point You Care To Choose?

Just to play devil’s advocate, the retrograde motion of Venus won’t help sway the believers. That can be handily explained by saying that while the sun revolves around the earth, all the other planets revolve around the sun. And I suppose, in a properly relativistic fashion, it really makes no difference what we choose as a fixed point given that there is no absolute space. Still seems absolutely looney and dogmatic to me, mind you, but I could see where a person could stubborn it out.

I’m afraid I’m not following this and would ask you to explain it.

If the Sun goes around the Earth once a day, what tilt in the orbit can account for seasonal changes over the course of a year?

Helocentrism explains the apparent motion of the Sun and the seasons by postulating two different motions of the Earth - rotation on its axis, which accounts for the daily apparent motion of the Sun, and the tilt in the Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, which accounts for the changing seasons as the relative position of the poles to the Sun change. Those two different motions account for two different things.

But how can a tilt in the Sun’s orbit, as it orbits the Earth once a day, cause the seasons? I’m not following your argument. :confused: