1) Creation vs. Evolution : In Today's Article on Maxwell, CMI Linked Back to an Oldie · 2) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : What Cusa Really Said · 3) New blog on the kid : Everything a Giant Miracle? Why, Yes!
It's called Refuting Absolute Geocentrism*:
Here’s the main logical problem with absolute geocentrism: it’s not that we could not construct a geocentric cosmology, as one of many allowable reference frames. It’s that there is no scientific or biblical reason why we would—there is no dynamic model to explain it, i.e. in terms of forces as efficient causes of motions. Therefore it has essentially no predictive value. Yes, it could describe planetary positions accurately enough for pre-telescope astronomy, admittedly a great achievement, but it fails to explain the orbital motions of satellites of other planets. It is useful in some respects, however, for launching things into orbit, for pointing earth-based antennae at geostationary satellites, for plotting the position of stars, etc. Yet, because it lacks predictive power, a fully-comprehensive geocentric model would be very, very complicated. They would need to add terms almost at random to account for the thousands of variations easily explained by geokineticism. There is another, perhaps stronger, point to make: geokinetics is the best way to understand the physics. The equations of motion are the simplest for the particles that orbit in a center-of-mass system and when the center is used as the origin in the co-ordinate frame.
My main scientific reason for absolute geocentrism is, it concords directly and not just parallactically (see below) with senses.
The point of geocentrism having no physical explanation to account for it is wrong, the explanation was there through the Middle Ages or at least its scholastic period, angels move supratellurial also known as celestial objects.
And the point about equation of motions becomes VERY moot if you look at a parallel where electromagnetism was used to simulate the action of gravitation:
Science off the Sphere: Dancing Droplets
Equilibrium between attraction and centrifugality breaks down far too fast. In this experiment, and so it would presumably do the same if some bungler had tried to build a heliocentric solar system on such an equilibrium. God is not that bungler. Yes, Newton thought God's thoughts after him, but thoughts God had rejected, not chosen to build the universe on.
Here’s the main scientific problem with geocentrism: if absolute geocentrism is true, then the laws of physics are not universal. That is, experiments we do on earth cannot apply to things outside the atmosphere because Newton’s laws of motion and gravity cannot explain what we are seeing.
On the contrary, if Heliocentrism worked on an equilibrium of the attractive and centrifugal forces, it would be working in a way not paralleled by the experiment of Don Petit.
The few Church Fathers who discussed the issue were geocentrists. However, it is not quite fair for modern geocentrists to quote the early Church Fathers in support. First, all the pagans of their day also supported geocentrism, so the Church Fathers just reflected common sense, common contemporary scientific ideas, or common use of language. They were hardly making a principled theological opposition to geokineticism.
That is like saying Jesus was just reflecting the common sense of his time in being Young Earth Creationist. Since he was not dealing with Modern Darwinism among Sadducees back then, he was hardly making a principled opposition to it.
But isn't this a bit unproportional? Church Fathers were, after all, human persons and Jesus a Person of God who took humanity.
Well, CMI admitted (nearly in so many words) that ALL Church Fathers WHO discussed the issue (and that means all who wrote commentaries about day IV, both St Augustine and St Basil) were geocentric.
And ALL Church Fathers WHO discuss an issue stand for ALL Church Fathers sSIMPLY since the rest so to speak left it to them. And ALL Church Fathers stand for the Church. And the Church stands for Christ, who told His Apostles: as the Father sent me, I send you.
Second, they were influenced by the faulty translation of the raqia’ in the available Greek and Latin translations.
Hardly the case for such as have been considered as adhering to Semitic Flat Earth and Box Shaped Universe cosmologies.
Some Church Fathers did know Hebrew or Syriac.
Third, their geocentrism was Ptolemaic Geocentrism, while modern geocentrists actually hold the Tychonian hybrid geo-heliocentrist view (see below).
They usually do not go into such technical detail as to make it possible to distinguish the two points.
What St Augustine as presumed Ptolemaic geocentric said about movement of Sun from its creation on Day IV holds equally true when applied to how Tychonians see it.
Since no Church Father held this modern view, how can one quote them in support?
Because they did not contradict it, as they contradict geokinetism.
Fourth, the first genuinely intellectual challenge to absolute geocentrism came from devout adherents to a broadly biblical world view.
Sure, and Galileo in his letter to the the Grand Duchess Christina** gave this prototype of the anti-Creationist argument about Holy Bible:
They go about invoking the Bible, which they would have minister to their deceitful purposes. Contrary to the sense of the Bible and the intention of the holy Fathers, if I am not mistaken, they would extend such authorities until even in purely physical matters—where faith is not involved—they would have us altogether abandon reason and the evidence of our senses in favor of some biblical passage, though under the surface meaning of its words this passage may contain a different sense I hope to show that I proceed with much greater piety than they do, when I argue not against condemning this book, but against condemning it in the way they suggest—that is, without understanding it, weighing it, or so much as reading it.
He is also not a Church Father.
Some recent historians have tried to make the claim that Copernican theory was driven by some sort of Hermetic sun worship, but this is grossly anachronistic. By taking the ‘perfect’ sun and putting it at the center, instead of worshiping the sun, Copernicans were demoting it to the worst place.25And even though the Hermitica was widely read among the scholars of Copernicus’ time (the Renaissance), we do not believe Copernicus was among the adherents. Copernicus had one passing mention of Hermes among other ancient writings:
So, whether or not putting Sun in centre was putting it in the worst place - to Coipernicus personally, not his contemporaries, he did know about Hermes Trismegistus.
At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun. For in this most beautiful temple, who would place this lamp in another or better position than that from which it can light up the whole thing at the same time? For, the sun is not inappropriately called by some people the lantern of the universe, its mind by others, and its ruler by still others. (Hermes) the Thrice Greatest labels it a visible god, and Sophocles’ Electra, the all-seeing. Thus indeed, as though seated on a royal throne, the sun governs the family of planets revolving around it. Moreover, the earth is not deprived of the moon’s attendance. On the contrary, as Aristotle says in a work on animal, the moon has the closest kinship with the earth. Meanwhile the earth has intercourse with the sun, and is impregnated for its yearly parturition.
And if this mention is just passing, where is Copernicus taking his distance from it?
If this is a problem, then what about the Apostle Paul quoting pagan poets with approval: Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Corinthians 15:33), and Epimenides (Titus 1:12)?
Perhaps because a poem is not a book of illicit arts?
When Pagans burnt their books of magic, they presumably burnt precisely Hermes Trismegistus, not Homer (though Iliad and Odyssey*** contain descriptions of mmagic being performed), and not Aratus, Menander and Epimenides either.
Also, Copernicus had also cited Scripture with approval:
For would not the godly Psalmist (92:4) in vain declare that he was made glad through the work of the Lord and rejoiced in the works of His hands, were we not drawn to the contemplation of the highest good by this means, as though by a chariot?
For one thing, Copernicus living in a Bible believing age would have been very stupid if not citing Scripture with at least apparent approval. Also, he was a Christian, and even if objectively departing from Scripture would not have wanted to subjectively feel as opposing it. If he had felt so, he might not have gone through with his writing.
And for another thing, the quote here argues for a Platonic reading of Scripture, where rejoicing in the merely visible creation (as St Albert and St Thomas Aquinas and St Francis of Assisi had done, presumably with the psalmist) was no longer good enough.
Then see the alleged Hermetic heliocentrism:
Since it is the visual ray itself, the sun shines all around the cosmos with the utmost brilliance, on the part above and on the part below. For the sun is situated in the center of the cosmos, wearing it like a crown. Like a good driver, it steadies the chariot of the cosmos and fastens the reins to itself to prevent the cosmos going out of control. And the reins are these: life and soul and spirit and immortality and becoming. The driver slackens the reins to let the cosmos go, not far away (to tell the truth) but along with him. …
Around the sun are the eight spheres that depend from it: the sphere of the fixed stars, the six of the planets, and the one that surrounds the earth.
The above is hardly science at all, but mystical nonsense. So if any heliocentrist was influenced by Hermeticism, it was surely Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), a New-Agey non-scientist beloved of atheist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
It would seem Giordano Bruno and Copernicus and Kepler were all New Agey by modern standards. And Newton, a Rosicrucian, was definitely in that boat too, and part of his cosmology went beyond Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler as reviving a point from Bruno : the as yet back then and to this day unproven assumption that stars are parallel suns and Sun just another star.
Because, it would seem this quote continued the previous quote from Copernicus and these words are those of Copernicus.
Furthermore, this passage talks about a sphere surrounding the earth, and only the other planets surrounding the sun.
No, read again:
Around the sun are the eight spheres that depend from it: the sphere of the fixed stars, the six of the planets, and the one that surrounds the earth.
We are still in the Copernicus quote and all spheres are around the sun.
That of Earth is mentioned separately from those of planets for terminological reasons, in Geocentrism and thus in the general culture back then, Earth is not a planet.
Thus Hermeticism is also probably even more compatible with the Tychonian geo-heliocentrism hybrid beloved of modern geocentrists (see below).
Thanks for "probably".
They would undoubtedly take umbrage if they were accused of being Hermeticists, so they should practise “do unto others” when it comes to accusing geokineticists.
Taking umbrage is not the point. The point is who deserves the accusation.
Jesus might have "taken umbrage" at being told he was binding burdens on others but not lifting a finger to carry them himself, at least the Pharisees would have taken any denial of the charge as a "taking umbrage" - how could he then level such an accusation against Pharisees?
Well, because it was true. "Do unto others" does not mean "accuse others only of what you allow them to accuse you of", but "accuse others only of what you would want to have accused in you, if the charge were true". A false accusation is not the moral equivalent of a true one.
However, most modern Geokinetists (a k a Heliocentrics, though the strict Heliocentrism of Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo is by now dead, mostly) are NOT Hermeticists, they are only taking a theory without knowing its roots in Hermeticism.
A final point: geokineticism does not fall even if Copernicus was a rabid hermeticist (this would be the genetic fallacy), and in any case, this objection can’t touch Copernicus’ medieval predecessors or most other geokineticists.
What Medieval "predecessors"? Oresme was NOT one. He argued that Geokinetism would be theoretically possible, but he did not finally argue for its being true.
How he saw Geokinetism is a bit like how we see the theory of "everything in the universe is only half as big in every of the three dimensions as yesterday and physics adapt to this" - it cannot be proven false by any observation, since it accounts for the same observations we do make, but it does not make much sense either and cannot be proven true.
The result of this work was the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which we still use today. The calendar change occurred 50 years before the trial of Galileo and was “based on computations that made use of Copernicus’ work”, as Kuhn pointed out.27 So already the new astronomy of Copernicus had shown its practical superiority, also showing that the Church permitted this view as a working mathematical hypothesis.
Copernicus was superior to Ptolemy, but Tycho Brahe to Copernicus in exactitude of orbit calculations and predictions. And then Kepler than Tycho, by making orbits elliptic.
So, while four erudites show a progress in exactitude, they show a zig zag in the geocentric/heliocentric query and at the time of Galileo, Riccioli had incorporated the works of Kepler as to exactitude (by making use of ellipses) while restating the main point of the theory of Tycho : Sun moves around Earth, but planets except Moon around Sun. Fix stars, Sun, Moon are the three orbits that go directly around Earth.
Interestingly, by 1655 (13 years after Galileo’s death) observations made in the Cathedral of Bologna by Giovanni Cassini (1625–1712) answered a great debate of the time, and gave concrete evidence that Kepler’s theory was correct and that Ptolemy’s was not. He also showed that the distance to the sun changed over time, meaning circular orbits were out of the question, so Kepler was right about elliptical orbits.
Nevertheless, Cassini, like Riccioli, was a Tychonian Geocentric, not a Geokinetist.
~1250 AD Thomas Aquinas nearly fixes Ptolemaic astronomy in the minds of his contemporaries. He also reaffirmed that the earth is a globe.
He very expressly said he was NOT sure Ptolemy's solutions in mathematics were the final answer to how to account for appearances.
What he DOES fix in the minds of his contemporaries is that:
- God is moving the universe around Earth each day, and this is how we know there is a God, purely philosophically, which Aratus and others would have known even before St Paul came to Athens;
- and angels are moving Sun, Moon, planets in relation to the daily movement of the universe.
~1350 Jean Buridan discovered the law of inertia centuries before Galileo, and proposed a geokinetic idea as a mathematically elegant hypothesis.
~1380 Nicole Oresme invented graphs of motion centuries before Galileo, and addressed most scientific and theological objections to geokineticism.
~1450 Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa proposed that the earth would be moving relative to reference frames of heavenly bodies.
All of these propositions end with the note that of course we understand this is an uneconomic explanation and therefore not true.
Which is true.
Look again at the experiment of Don Petit if you still think otherwise:
Science off the Sphere: Dancing Droplets
Now to the final quote from CMI:
According to Newton’s first law, an object in motion will tend to go in a straight line. Thus, in order to orbit something, an object must turn. In other words, it must accelerate— to a physicist, this means any change of speed or direction. Newton’s second law states that the force required is proportional to the mass and the acceleration (F=ma). If the entire universe is rotating (accelerating) around the earth, how much force would be required to keep things from flying apart? And, the farther away the object, the greater the orbital radius, the more acceleration is required. Remember, there is overwhelming evidence against solid spheres holding the stars and planets in place, and since we can measure distance to many stars using parallax, there is no single “sphere” upon which they are stuck. Based on Newton’s laws, we can estimate the mass of many stellar objects and guess at the mass of many more. The force required to hold them in circular orbits around the earth at faster-than-light speeds (see below) would be astronomically huge.
Buridan and Oresme did indeed come up with an inertia where an object in motion will not tend to stop immediately, but it might be a stretch - I have not read them in detail, only looked them up in reference works - to say they agreed that inertia is not just non-accelerating, but also non-decelerating (common, not "physical" usage of terms).
Now, when St Thomas did belive in solid spheres, he also quoted Aristotle (in his proof for God as the one turning the universe around) as saying a motion for simultaneous transmission needs either contiguity (as one sphere touching another or as two cog wheels interacting to modern readers) or continuity (as two parts of same wheel moving in same movement or as daily movement of universe being transmitted from where God moves it through an aether - the same which also is in waves when light goes through it). So, instead of solid spheres, which Tycho duly exploded, take aether.
Posit aether has the quality of transmitting light and its speed is the speed through the aether.
Posit other objects, heavier than light, also have their speed as the speed through aether.
This might mean that the daily motion of celestial objects is not giving these any centrifugal force, since such a force is involved only in movements in relation to the aether, not in movements WITH it through "absolute space".
Also, if there were such a centrifugal force, the angels would keep the celestial objects in their due height, as opposed to flying out.
As to "no sphere of fix stars", that depends entirely on how you interpret the phenomenon known as parallax. It takes its name from an interpretation which parallels the phenomenon of seeing trees move, when observing them from a train. That view of the trees is indeed parallactic. But the stellar phenomenon known (through that interpretation) as parallax, need not really be parallactic. If so, "parallax" as misnamed is not telling us anything about stellar distances. And therefore not refuting a sphere of the fix stars. However, if "parallax" is a proper movement, if "aberration" ("annual aberration of starlight") is another analysed part of same proper movement, then stars do move, are moved by angels, within that sphere. And then it is not a perfectly solid sphere.
This does not preclude it may have some coherence as per aether.
And one final point.
Saying "an angel does it" or "an angel moves the sun" is not Sun worship. Even Copernicus' quote is not absolutely so, this far:
For the sun is situated in the center of the cosmos, wearing it like a crown. Like a good driver, it steadies the chariot of the cosmos and fastens the reins to itself to prevent the cosmos going out of control.
However, according to St Thomas, God is the one holding the cosmos under control. But here is where Copernicus becomes much closer to sun worship than St Thomas:
And the reins are these: life and soul and spirit and immortality and becoming.
According to St Thomas, angels only can control the local placement, by moving, of an object, they cannot control such things as "soul", "spirit" (except each their own), or "immortality", that being for God alone.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Peter Canisius, S. J.
*CMI : Why the Universe does not revolve around the Earth
Refuting absolute geocentrism
by Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati
Published: 12 February 2015
** Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
in Mn Eng translation on:
Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science
*** I need to make this point, since some think a Christian is obliged to burn Lord of the Rings and the Narnia Chronicles. No, these are neither instruction books in magic, nor even as Harry Potter portraying "goodies" as receiving instruction (with excerpts from the instruction they receive). But Hermes Trismegistus very certainly was being burned.