Thursday, March 30, 2006


The Return of Geocentrism

RSR reader P. Edward Murray, a Catholic graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati and an amateur astronomer, was so moved by our post about Robert Sungenis, the man who has written a book proving scientifically that Galileo was wrong (about the earth rotating on its axis and orbiting the sun) that he sent him an e-mail to see if he was really serious.

Murray, perhaps knowing RSR's weakness for this sort of thing, has shared Sungenis' response in the form of a passage from his book, Galileo Was Wrong:
Thus, the message of modern man, enshrined as it is in the gospel of Nicolaus Copernicus, has literally, and figuratively, turned the world upside down. Copernicanism is the foundation stone for modern man’s independence from God, a connection that was recognized by none other than the editor of the world’s most prestigious scientific journal. When confronted in the late 1970s with the new model of cosmology invented by the well-known physicist George F. R. Ellis (a cosmology that proposed the Earth was in the center of the universe), Paul C. W. Davies, the editor of Nature, was forced to reply: “His new theory seems quite consistent with our astronomical observations, even though it clashes with the thought that we are godless and making it on our own."

In browsing through the comments on our original post, RSR noticed that many of our readers were dumbfounded that anyone, in this day and age, could seriously believe in geocentrism. Many assumed that Sungenis' website must be a satire.

But, what real difference is there between geocentrism, creationism, and intelligent design? All have their source in biblical literalism -- the unconvincing denials of the ID cult aside. All use the method of forcing round peg observations of the natural world into the square hole of religious belief. All would be acceptable under the re-definition of science proposed by ID proponents such as Michael Behe. Ravings about a supposed conspiracy by scientists to hide THE TRUTH from the public is a staple of the published writing of all three groups.

The Discovery Institute's Wedge Strategy wants to "reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions." During the Dover intelligent design trial the parents' attorneys displayed papers in which ID proponents said that "science since the Enlightenment is wrong and should be remade or intelligent design will have no chance."

Readers who still doubt the connection between geocentrism, creationism, and intelligent design should ponder the striking similarity of language between the Sungenis passage above and the Wedge Strategy cited in the previous paragraph.

The discoveries of Galileo, Coppernicus and others are among the greatest achievements of the Enlightenment. In their day, the idea that the earth was whirling through space was every bit as shocking to believers as Darwin's theory of evolution was to the faithful in the 19th century.


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