Debate on Geocentrism, Part 1
Emmanuel: Robert, I have read the discussion you had with Phil and I am not at all impressed by the arguments that you made.
R. Sungenis: Emmanuel, you certainly have the right to be unimpressed, but unless you show where the error is in my arguments, then I would be inclined to say that your being “unimpressed” stems from an irrational rejection of geocentrism from the get-go, not from any scientific study you have made of the arguments. Incidentally, his name is Alec, not Phil.
Emmanuel: Like I told John Salza, the Catholic Church’s authority is strictly moral and faith. The Church does not have authority on scientific facts.
R. Sungenis: I suggest that before you misrepresent the Catholic Church (as you have done above), you might want to find out exactly what the Catholic Church’s position is. Yes, the Church doesn’t have any “authority on scientific facts,” but neither does anyone else, including scientists. Facts are facts because they stand by themselves as factual. Men, whoever they are, must bend their wills to the facts, whether it’s Albert Einstein or St. Robert Bellarmine. The question is, however: who knows what the facts are and who is bending their wills to them? I already showed how poorly Einstein did in this regard. Be that as it may, is it a “fact” that the earth revolves around the sun? Not according to modern science. As I noted in my paper, many of them have written books and articles showing the viability of geocentrism on a scientific basis, they just prefer not to believe it for philosophical reasons. So you’ll have to pardon me for taking advantage of the “fact” that scientists don’t say that heliocentrism is a “fact.” Again, unless you can prove me wrong from the scientific facts that I gave in my paper (facts for which you hounded John Salza over the course of three separate emails) then you really don’t have a leg to stand on.
As for the Church’s authority in faith and morals, yes, you are certainly correct, but when scientific theories impinge on known biblical facts then the scientific claims must be scrutinized on the basis of faith and morals. We know this already from major doctrines of our faith. The Catholic Church says that a wafer of bread is consecrated into the body of Christ each Sunday, such that the bread no longer exists and is replaced by the body of Christ which is invisible to our eyes, but the appearance of bread is still visible. Science says no, things like that can’t happen. So does the Church drop her belief because science claims it can’t happen? No, she says science is wrong and we must accept transubstantiation by faith. It is a similar case with geocentrism. The Bible says that the sun goes around the earth, and it never says the earth moves. This was backed by a consensus of Fathers, the medieval theologians, several popes and numerous cardinals, and it was never rescinded as a doctrine of the faith. Why? Because if science claims that the earth moves around the sun and the inspired word of God says no, then to insist on a revolving earth then becomes a matter of faith and morals, since it makes God into a liar. This was precisely the argument that Bellarmine and Pope Urban VIII gave to Galileo, and it was precisely why the Church said that geocentrism was a matter of faith. This argument is only proven, as I have shown in the paper I sent you, by the fact that modern science cannot prove that the earth moves, which is also what Bellarmine told Galileo. Hence, geocentrism, as the Church has taught by her popes, IS a matter of faith and morals, and that’s why Pope Urban VIII declared that heliocentrism is a “formal heresy” in 1633. I didn’t say it, Emmanuel, the pope did, so you’ll have to live with it.
Emmanuel: You may have a PHD but that doesn’t go well against the overwhelming view of Astronomers. Geocentrism is false theory that has been disproven.
R. Sungenis: Again, Emmanuel, you can stamp your feet all you want, but unless you can come up with some convincing scientific arguments to show that geocentrism is false and heliocentrism is correct, then you really have nothing but your own thoughts as support.
Emmanuel: I strongly disagree with the Young Earth. I do adhere to the belief that the universe is at least 13.75 billion yrs old and the earth rotate around the sun. The sun orbits the Milky Way Galaxy every 225 to 250 million years. The observation of the entire universe disprove young-earth. The Hubble Deep Feed shows galaxies 12 billion light years away.
R. Sungenis: No, the Hubble Deep Field does not show galaxies 12 billion light years away. That is just one interpretation but it is not proven. Big Bang cosmologists prefer this particular interpretation because it supports their view of multi-billion year evolution. In reality, it all depends on how one plugs in the numbers. If you use different assumptions you can plug in different numbers. Here is a section of my book, Galileo Was Wrong, that discusses how this is done.
Using the Redshift Formula for a Small and Young Universe
In regard to the redshift, it is interesting to see what happens when we use Big Bang cosmology’s very own formula for measuring the age of distant objects. The age is calculated by the formula t = t0 (1 + z)–3/2, where t0 is the current age of the universe and z is the redshift factor of the object. Most of modern science believes the universe began during a Big Bang, and using their own assumptions and scale factors, it believes that this seminal event occurred 13.7 billion years ago, at least according to the latest data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. Let’s say NASA finds a distant object in the sky and assigns it a z-factor of 1. NASA will then plug in the value for t0 as 13.7 billion years and will compute a value for t, which is understood as the age of the universe when the radiation emission of the distant celestial object took place. In the case where z = 1 then t = 4,844,413,013 years. Since using the number 13.7 billion years is completely arbitrary (for it is based on the unproven Big Bang assumptions of the universe), let’s say we assume t0 is 10,000 years instead of 13.7 billion. In this case, where z = 1 then t = 3,536 years. In other words, when an astronomer sees a star with a z-factor of 1, he might just as well assume the universe was 3,536 years old rather than 4.8 billion years old, since the z-factor is only a function of one’s assumption regarding the beginning of the universe. If an astronomer finds an even more distant object that correlates to a z factor of 2, then the age of the universe when the object began radiating was 1,924 on the biblical scale but 2.6 billion years on the Big Bang scale.
Of course, the biblicist does not interpret either the 3,536 years or 1,924 years as the different times that two stars were created, for he holds, on a dogmatic basis, that all the stars were created on the same day. It only means that, as the firmament expanded and carried the variously placed stars within it, their wavelength would be stretched by their medium, the firmament, in proportion to the distance they were originally placed from Earth. (See 1Co 15:41, which teaches that “star differs from star in glory,” presumably because of their specific composition and purpose, which required them to be placed at different distances from the Earth). Thus, if we were to understand redshift as a distance indicator, what we see as differences in redshift values today is merely the result of the differences of the original placement of the stars on the Fourth day of creation. The stars that were placed closer to Earth will now exhibit lower redshift values today, and vice-versa for the stars placed farther away.
Interestingly enough, if we use modern science’s formula for measuring the age of the universe when the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) was released, we get very close to the time we have predicted that the firmament would create the 2.73º Kelvin temperature. The formula is T = T0 (1 + z). Plugging in a z-factor of 1089 for the CMB, the Big Bang theory arrives at a universe age of 380,711 years after the primordial explosion for the arrival of the CMB, whereas using the same z-factor the biblicist obtains 0.278 years, which puts the CMB well within the first three months of the first year of creation and after the fall of man when, as we will see in Chapter 16, according to Hildegard, the universe began rotating and the firmament needed to be cooled at 2.73º Kelvin.
As for whether the evidence shows if the universe could be smaller than it is, we also cover that in another section of Galileo Was Wrong:
Are the Stars Close or Far Away?
Finally, in remarking about the equivalence between the geocentric and heliocentric models for parallax, we must reiterate that the parallax in either system is based on the assumption that a vast distance separates the two stars being viewed in the telescope. But this is only an assumption, not a proven fact. Although we presently work from the assumption given to us by modern astronomy that the stars are very large and very far away, there is no indisputable proof for that conclusion. The stars could be very close and very small. Even with the finest optical instruments, the stars and galaxies remain as mere points of light through our telescope lenses. No one has ever obtained a finer focal point. In fact, modern astronomy has found that the stars have a much smaller angular size than previously estimated. Logically, then, it is impossible to be absolutely certain whether the star is large and distant as opposed to small and near based only on its size and luminosity. As a recent article in Sky and Telescope admitted:
A bedrock problem in astronomy is simply figuring out how far away things are. Practically everything else about an object – its true size, its energy output – all the stuff you have to know to understand it – depends on simply knowing how far away it is. And even now, the poor quality of many astronomical distances remains a nagging problem. (Alan MacRobert, “‘The Antennae’ Fall Into Line,” Sky and Telescope, May 9, 2008).
Recently the research team of astronomer Roberto Ragazzoni of the Astrophysical Observatory in Arcetri, Italy studied two images from the Hubble space telescope: one of a galaxy calculated to be 5 billion light years from Earth and another of an exploding star 42 million light years away. Although similar pictures have been produced by the Hubble space telescope for quite a while, Ragazzoni is apparently the first one to notice that no matter how far away the objects are purported to be, the Hubble pictures are always crisp and clear, never out of focus. With regard to the Big Bang theory, this creates a problem. Ragazzoni explains:
You don’t see a universe that is blurred. If you take any Hubble Space Telescope Deep Field image you see sharp images, which is enough to tell us that the light has not been distorted or perturbed by fluctuations in space-time from the source to the observer. (Robert Roy Britt, Space.com, April 2, 2003 interviewing Roberto Ragazzoni concerning the article “The Lack of Observational Evidence for the Quantum Structure of Spacetime at Planck Scales,” The Astrophysical Journal, April 10, 2003, co-authored by Massimo Turatto and Wolfgang Gaessler).
Ragazzoni, et al., ascribe the lack of distortion to apparent discrepancies in Quantum mechanics that theorizes a Planck-scale ether between the star and the observer. They write:
It has been noted (Lieu & Hillmann) that the cumulative effect of Planck-scale phenomenology, or the structure of spacetime at extremely small scales, can lead to the loss of the phase radiation emitted at large distances from the observer. We elaborate on such an approach and demonstrate that such an effect would lead to an apparent blurring of distant point sources. Evidence of the diffraction pattern from the Hubble Space Telescope observations of SN 1994D and the unresolved appearance of a Hubble Deep Field galaxy at z = 5.34 lead us to put stringent limits on the effects of Planck-scale phenomenology. (“The Lack of Observational Evidence for the Quantum Structure of Spacetime at Planck Scales,” The Astrophysical Journal, April 10, 2003, p. L1).
Yet one might just as well ascribe the lack of distortion to the fact that the exploding star and the galaxy are not separated by 4.958 billion light years of space but are relatively close to one another; that neither the star nor the galaxy are very far away from Earth; and/or that the redshift of 5.34 assigned to the galaxy is not measuring its distance but its own peculiar radiation.
Various modern astronomers freely admit that the starry cosmos might be very close to us and not as vast as present cosmology dictates. In fact, one theory holds that much of what we see in the heavens beyond a certain point is a mere reflection. For example, the well-known astrophysicist of Princeton University, David Spergel, has recently found such evidence. Working alongside mathematician Jeffrey Weeks, New Scientist reports:
…scientists have announced tantalizing hints that the universe is actually relatively small, with a hall-of-mirrors illusion tricking us into thinking that space stretches on forever….Weeks and his colleagues, a team of astrophysicists in France, say the WMAP results suggest that the universe is not only small, but that space wraps back on itself in a bizarre way (Nature, vol. 425, p. 593)…. Effectively, the universe would be like a hall of mirrors, with the wraparound effect producing multiple images of everything inside.” [Spergel adds]: “If we could prove that the universe was finite and small, that would be Earth-shattering. It would really change our view of the universe” (Hazel Muir, “Does the Universe Go On Forever,” New Scientist, October 11, 2003, p. 6).
In any case, applying parallax to the measure of stellar distances has its limitations. Its advocates admit that it cannot do so accurately beyond 300 light-years. Empirically speaking, then, no one is required to commit himself to a universe greater in size than 600 light-years in diameter. Any claims to something larger are simply not conclusive, since it has become obvious that, with all the anomalies associated with measuring distance by a star’s redshift, we have no indisputable yardstick to measure the universe.
Martin Selbrede poses an interesting possibility for using redshift as a distance indicator, but one totally diverse from the modern Big Bang theory. After citing numerous sources showing that centrifugal force is caused by the rotation of the cosmic mass, Selbrede adds that the upward pull caused from the rotation will affect the travel of light from the stars to the earth. Citing Richard Feynman’s Lectures in Physics, vol. 2, pp. 42-10 and 42-11, and Misner, Thorne and Wheeler’s discussion 38.5 “Tests of Geodesic Motion: Gravitational Redshift Experiments” in their book Gravitation, pp. 1055-1060, Selbrede theorizes that redshift is not a Doppler phenomenon initiated by a receding star, but a gravitational/centrifugal phenomenon of a rotating star field. If so, he concludes: “This in turn would provide a new basis for measuring the distance of celestial objects, one wholly different than the system erected upon the Doppler view of the red shift, which could involve a significant remapping of the heavens” (The Chalcedon Report, 1994, p. 12). Of course, the distances measured would be much less than the distance claimed by Big Bang cosmology.
One other possible indication for a smaller universe is that stellar ellipses are all about the same size, although some have more eccentricity than others. As the reasoning goes: ellipses of the same size suggest that the stars are not very far apart. Moreover, if parallax is understood as stellar aberration, this would allow the stellar ellipses to be contained within a small universe of no more than 50 light-days in diameter. In this situation the stars would be encased in a stellatum, a circular band of definite but narrow thickness around the Earth. As Van der Kamp notes:
Looking at the star Alpha Centauri from an Earth circling the sun, parallax measurements and trigonometry would assure us that the two are 1.3 parsecs, or more than 4.2 light years apart. But looking from an Earth circled by the sun, the distance turns out to be less than one twenty-fifth of that amount (Walter van der Kamp, De Labore Solis, p. 145).
The first one to propose such an arrangement was Thomas Wright (1750), who held the “grindstone” model wherein the stars were located between two concentric shells around the Earth. Accordingly, one could argue that the various biblical passages referring to the known and unchanging constellations (e.g., God’s challenge to Job: “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth [Zodiac] in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?”) imply that constellations can be formed because of the close proximity of its stars. It is also possible, however, to explain the appearance of these constellations simply because a few stars near the Earth can form the configuration, while other stars are too far away from Earth to form any visible constellations for the observer.
Emmanuel: I do admire your zeal for believing in a “dead theory” and your adherence to the Catholic faith. I will always remain teaching of the Church on faith and morals.
R. Sungenis: If so, then you need to get up to speed with what exactly the Catholic Church teaches, and stop basing your position on uninformed opinions.
Emmanuel: I don’t bow down to Geocentrism because physical evidence disproves it.
R. Sungenis: Then back it up with scientific evidence, Emmanuel. I’d love to see it. Alec wasn’t able to show any proof. If you have some proof I haven’t seen yet, by all means, produce it. The world is waiting to see it, because no one before you has been able to provide it.
Emmanuel: The Catholic Church’s bull by Alexander VII, “the Pythagorean doctrine concerning the mobility of the earth and the immobility of the sun is false and all together incompatible with divine Scripture” is erroneous. You have to take into the consideration that back in 1599 to 1667, Europeans did not have access to sensitive telescope that can peer deep into space.
R. Sungenis: It wasn’t Alexander VII, it was Urban VIII, the same pope who called heliocentrism a “formal heresy.” Moreover, as I have shown above, “sensitive telescopes that can peer deep into space” don’t show either a big universe or an earth moving through it. Hence, Emmanuel, you need to admit that you are out of your league and that your rejection of geocentrism is based on something other than scientific facts. If you want to understand what “sensitive telescopes that can peer deep into space” show us, go back and read the section I gave you on Edmund Hubble when he peered into his telescope and found that the Earth was in the center of the universe, and then said that this was a “horror” that he could not accept and that he must find some way of explaining it away. THAT’s what telescopes show us, Emmanuel, but you have been systematically barred from seeing it until someone like me comes along and exposes the lie.
Emmanuel: In our age, we do have the technology to observe far distance galaxies, quasars, black holes, etc. I must confess that I cannot convince you that you are wrong, nor can you convince me that my views against Geocentrism can change.
R. Sungenis: I have the scientific evidence, evidence that you asked for from John Salza. We provided it. You have given no scientific rebuttal. So, as it stands, you are the one who will have to submit to us unless you can disprove us, scientifically.
Emmanuel: Here is a question for you. Suppose, the Catholic Church admits its error on Geocentrism? What will you do then? Become a schismatic?
R. Sungenis: Is this all you have, Emmanuel, hypothetical arguments that don’t amount to anything, except to show that you don’t have any scientific evidence to back up your claims? I expected better of you. Nevertheless, here’s the truth: the Catholic Church condemned heliocentrism as a “formal heresy” under the reign of Pope Urban VIII, and come what may, it has never abrogated that declaration, and for the Church to renounce geocentrism, it would take an official reversal of what Pope Urban approved, since he approved it in the canonical trial against Galileo. Declarations from trials can only be abrogated by an official statement from the magisterium. No such statement has ever been issued, for 2010 years since the birth of Christ. So time and history are on my side, Emmanuel. What do you have?by