Another Article Against Geocentrism

Discussion in 'Natural Revelation and God's Creation' started by Afterthought, Sep 19, 2016.

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  1. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Seems to me that that would be exactly backwards. The centrifugal force should be pushing folks away from the planet, and stopping the spinning would cause folks to be pushed more firmly to the ground, not loosen them from it. (Get a ferric metal ball. Put weak magnets on it. If you spin it fast enough, the magnets will fly off. If you are spinning it and the magnets are affixed, stopping the spin won't cause the magnets to fly off in all directions, although inertia may cause them to slip).
  2. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    A couple of things.

    1) If the earth were to suddenly stop, we would continue to move at Earth's rotational velocity (~1041 mph). However, we would not be shot out into space, escape velocity is much much faster. (~25,000 mph) After the dust settled (literally, because anything not bolted to the Earth would also be launch at 1041 mph) gravity would win out and everything too heavy to get stuck in the atmosphere would come crashing back down to Earth.
    2) All planets rotate. The slowest a planet could rotate would be the velocity at which they are tidally locked to their host star. An example of a tidal lock is the Moon to the Earth.

    Hope this helps.
  3. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Motion of what? Can you step into the same river twice? We come back to Heraclitus and Parmenides every time.

    If one believed everything is caused by a spirit he could throw anything up to the gravity-spirit and he would always throw it back down. That means his experiment would be proven true 100 percent of the time. Must we believe in the gravity-spirit because physics is used to bolster his metaphysics?

    Phenomena will require principia to interpret them.

    It is all much of a muchness. Systematic interpretation requires a system to process, sift, classify, synthesise, etc.

    I don't believe there is any such thing as an objective materialist science. If thought is material it is as necessary as the thing that is thought about. If thought is immaterial then it is obvious that the exclusive consideration of matter is unscientific.
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't think that's a problem. That was simply an argument to show why we do not need heliocentric theories to interpret the Bible, and the kind of problems which might emerge if we started imposing heliocentric theories.

    For myself I am content to observe that as God started relative motions He can as easily stop them without having to fit into any scientific model. But as a matter of systematic interpretation of the Bible, and allowing the Bible to speak for itself, we see miracles taking place within a worldview of geocentricity. As noted earlier, even if one regards the Bible as speaking poetically in this regard, he is still bound to a geocentric view for theological and moral reasons. The problem which emerges then, is, where is the physical sphere of time and space in which his theological and moral centrism finds expression?
  5. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    That's what I was going to say. All this talk of flying off into space was confusing me. Now it has me thinking about how much I would weigh if the earth wasn't spinning...

    Edit: come to think of it, that might be an interesting test to see if the earth is spinning: weigh a known mass at the equator and the poles accounting for the obloid shape of earth. It ought to weigh less at the equator if it is. Of course not all geocentrists believe the earth isn't spinning...
  6. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    "Proof" is obviously in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps you could let us know whether you agree with the literal statement that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.
  7. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    You'd weigh about .5% more at the poles than on the equator once you account for the surface centrifugal force and equatorial bulge.
  8. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    Douglas, Edward, and Logan are correct about the earth suddenly stopping its rotation. I confused a couple of different scenarios when I was posting.
  9. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    C. MM-

    Second group of questions, are the other planets in our solar system, based on geocentrism, necessarily not spinning around, and not spinning around the sun? Or are they all spinning, and spinning around the sun and geocentrism says that only earth is not spinning and not rotating around the sun? Can we see other planets in other solar systems spinning? If they are spinning, and we can see that, and all the other planets in our solar system have a path around the sun, how would that whole model of our solar system impact a stationary earth? Would they in fact impact us at any time? Would the path the sun takes around the earth create a path for another planet to come close or hit out planet based on their spin? It would seem to me that the other 8 planets in our solar system with their wobbling paths around the sun, may come into exceedingly close view to our planet, or strike it, based on the manner the sun revolves around the earth, but the planets still revolving around the sun except for ours.

    In the geocentric model which works perfectly, (as does the current heliocentric model- both predict eclipses, retrograde motion of mercury, enable a pre-computer pilot to fly as if the earth is fixed, etc) the other planets all orbit the sun, which orbits the earth daily. To some extent it is a pointless arguement in that neither side can prove anything as both models work perfectly.

    Like I said before, the true argument is with Einstein and the theory of relativity, and belief in the firmament/ether. Without relativity, using a classic physics model, the earth does not move towards a star at one speed and six months move away from it at a different speed. One would add and subtract the speed of
    the earth to the velocity of light.

    There is also the secondary subject of our region of space being smack in the center of the universe, whichever model you choose. Meg's list of quotes shows that many scientists admit this fits the evidence, but must be rejected on philosophical grounds.....obviously the earth could not possibly be so special they say.

    A few other thoughts. Some people hold to a view of a firmament/ether that is extremely dense and bodies move in like a swimmer in water. Modern cosmology rejects the ether/firmament in rejecting geocentricity. If you do accept scripture on this it explains a lot but I don't have time to carefully to elaborate things that are better detailed by scientists out there. And the word firmament does not mean the sky and there is tons of exegesis on this and how the word is used elsewhere in the OT but I don't feel like looking for links on that either.

    I read today about how with Hezekiah the sun's shadow moved backwards 10 steps. I know that some geocentrists do say that the earth has a very minimal rotation now they think came from an asteroid hit, or from the violent events of Noah when the fountains of the deep erupted. I wonder if Hezekiah experienced a whack from an asteroid that knocked the earth backwards a bit. Maybe that would have thrown up too much dust or water into the air to be a viable theory? Just speculating.
  10. Megs

    Megs Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know about Hezekiah, but I do know there is a theory that relates Joshua's long day to comet activity:

    It seems like whenever this topic comes up on this board, the issue gets very complicated by all sorts of scientific questions, etc. It would be best, in my opinion, to parse the scriptures first and see if they definitively support only one view. Then we can ask how modern scientific theory relates that view. (Like how we start with the scriptures on creation and then look at evolutionary science's claims). If people browse the list of quotes I posted above, they will see that many scientists admit that geocentricity works as well as heliocentricity to explain things, that there might actually be an ether, that heliocentricity has been promoted for religious/philosophical reasons, etc. But the main question should be, what do the scriptures say?

    Lynnie - thanks for looking at that quotes page I found. I found it very interesting.

    Rev. Winzer - one of your statements might start making the rounds on Facebook. I noticed 6 people recently Facebooked it from one of my blogs FYI. (
  11. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I understood your response, I merely thought it was silly. I used the word "seem" because I don't know the science and in such instances it's better to be cautious in one's pronouncements. From a limited, layman's understanding of these things the idea that the Earth is still and the sun revolves around the Earth doesn't seem to add up. Those who have been in space and observed the Earth think it rotates. I'm sure they would have taken into account the fact that they, too, are moving.

    I don't see how any of these things are threatened by heliocentrism.
    -The Bible nowhere says the Earth is the centre of the Universe; that it is still; that the Sun orbits the Earth. These things may be true, but the Bible does not claim them therefore its authority is not at stake.
    -Therefore, if the Bible doesn't claim these things, Science has not breached its proper limits in claiming the contrary. Nor is it beyond the proper limits of Science to investigate the nature and working of the Universe. Of course there will be limits to this understanding, but the investigation itself is not unwarranted.
    -I don't understand what you're saying with the third point. But clearly God's revelation takes precedence over scientific enquiry where they contradict. No-one has shown the contradiction here.

    Considering the Earth was created first, it's likely that the Universe was created out from that point (starting at the centre and working one's way out being a logical thing to do). However, I don't think this necessitates that the Earth remain stationary and the Sun orbit the Earth. The Universe follows laws.
  12. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    Matthew, I'm going to dodge the loaded question ;) and pose another question, which is; Are we the church, required to read statements such as "in six days the Lord made heaven and earth" literally. That is, are we required to read them as factual statements with regards to a modern scientific understanding of the world around us? The answer I would give is no, we are not.

    I would argue that scripture never teaches, or corrects scientific understanding, instead, biblical writers simply assume the "scientific" worldview of the day. So, I would agree with you, lynnie, Megs, and other that the bible does have a geocentric worldview. But I would not say it strictly teaches a geocentric worldview, but instead accommodates one.

    In fact, I think its very clear from both scripture and archaeological findings that the entirety of the ANE held to a flat earth geocentric model. (Here's a good primer on Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography for anyone interested).

    Passages like Dan. 4:10-11 make it very clear that the bible accommodated a flat earth. But I am unwilling to to go so far as to say that Scripture teaches these things.

    Another example of accommodation would be a heart/kidney/entrails-centered view of thought and cognition. Versus like Neh. 7:5 and Ps. 16:7 were not taken by the original audience as merely figures of speech but instead would have been read quite literally.

    I'd be curious to know if you (or others) are also a flat Earthers? Or if you also question/reject modern neuroscience and cognitive findings that the brain, not the heart/kidney/entrails function as the seat of thought?
  13. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    This beautifully captures what I was trying to communicate a while back in this thread.

    Thanks you so much.
  14. Reformed Thug Life

    Reformed Thug Life Puritan Board Freshman

    Not only is geocentrism a moot point biblically, it is also a moot point scientifically. One of the weird effects of an expanding universe is that an observer will always be the center of the universe from their reference frame. Imagine a balloon covered with dots and inflating that balloon. If you focus on one of those dots it will become the "center" with all other dots going away from that one central dot. Equally, you can choose any other dot, and it would still be the "center". It's weird for us, because we don't really understand space beyond three dimensions, but it checks out mathematically.
  15. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    You deny in the first statement what you affirm in the second. By affirming that the earth is privileged you have basically demolished the mediocrity principle by which heliocentrism is established.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  16. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I would like to know what biases are moving you to accept bare pictures as proof of phenomena which are beyond human perception. Do you believe in six day creation? Do you believe Genesis One literally describes the creation acts day by day? Do you believe the earth was created before the sun? What predisposes you to your view?

    The apostle Paul did not assume the scientific worldview of the day when he taught the bodily resurrection of the dead. He was mocked. He gloried in the cross of Christ. And so must we. If one does not believe Scripture corrects the scientific understanding of the day one basically does not believe holy Scripture.

    The Bible does not teach a flat earth. It maintains there is a circle of the earth and that the earth is suspended upon nothing. By your own evidence, then, you have no reason to conclude that the Bible simply accommodates the science of the day.

    Do you think everyone then believed that trees grow to heaven and to the end of the earth. Of course not. This is a dream of an heathen ruler. It should be interpreted accordingly.

    Your interpretations of Scripture are ridiculous. Perhaps you could spend more time in the Scriptures before undertaking to correct them.

    No, I don't accept your ridiculous interpretations of Scripture. I hold the holy Scripture in too high regard.
  17. gordo

    gordo Puritan Board Freshman

    Good post. Thank you for sharing. Very well thought out!

    Let us hope and pray no flat earthers wander these forums!
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    And do you believe in an 11 dimension multiverse?
  19. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Prov. 8:27, "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:"

    Job 38:4, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding."
  20. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    I understand the Heraclitus vs Parmenides point. However, I am not seeing how it connects to determining the motion of the earth. Is your point that we cannot know what the earth is, according to an empirical method? If so, how does that make the earth's motion a matter of metaphysics? We do not need to know what something is (in its essence) to describe how it works?

    That's a good point about a "gravity-spirit" (all the more so seeing how "modern science" has its own "gravity-spirit" of sorts), and I think I am almost tracking with what you are saying but not quite there yet. It is true that we need not believe all the metaphysics that physics is being used to bolster. However, are there not some parts of metaphysics that are inherently attached to the physics (e.g., one need not interpret space-time literally, but one needs to accept something of its metaphysics for it to work, e.g., that there are universal laws, that coordinate systems are artificial human constructions, that these laws do not depend on coordinate systems)? To use your example, a gravity-spirit is empirically undetectable, and we can come up with other explanations that do not require it. These other explanations have evidence to support them. There is no independent evidence of a gravity-spirit: neither can there be, since it is empirically undetectable. There is thus no reason from revelation, observation, or pure reason to believe in a gravity-spirit, so why would one believe this?

    Regardless of this though (and this likely stems from my not seeing how earth's motion is metaphysical), I am not seeing the connection between the gravity-spirit example and determining whether the earth moves. Phenomena do require principia, but when one sees with one's own eyes (howbeit mediated by a satellite) that the earth rotates, it is kind of hard to see what other principia could make that an illusion of rotation, especially when the rotation agrees with other evidence already presented.

    So you see no distinction between dynamics and kinematics? Or rather, you view dynamics as a systemized form of kinematics, and that none of the theoretical entities of the dynamics are real?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  21. Pmoon

    Pmoon Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know about 11 dimensions. But I do imagine God is perceived in ways that we can not fathom. We have 5 senses, and it's difficult for us to believe anything in existence being perceived by anything other than them. And how much greater is God (or perhaps even his creation) than our senses? Maybe I'm getting a bit off topic here, but I guess my point here is that I don't believe anything is wrong with simply saying "I don't know". That's not to say one can't know, and it's not meant as some cop out. But at the same time, there are things the Bible doesn't have to tell us. It doesn't have to tell us grass is green, or that you shouldn't look at the sun because we can simply observe these things and see for ourselves - which is where science can come in.
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It is one thing to say "I don't know" and not put forward any theory, and quite another to say "I don't know" whilst supporting a theory which contradicts what the Bible teaches us to know. The former is true modesty; the latter is false modesty.
  23. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    From Hume forward secular science can find no epistemic basis for induction. The idea of describing things by their attributes comes from common sense realism's acceptance that revelation itself provides a realist foundation for nominal attributions. In other words, we could never understand things by their attributes unless we accepted the existence of One who has created all things, knows all things, and reveals to us what is necessary for us to know. If one denies creation and revelation one is left with the Heraclitus/Parmenides problem. And so far as induction is concerned, no merely human individual compasses past, present, and future, nor has the power to universally ascertain all observed instances.

    By calling them "laws" do you not require a law-giver and administrator? And if there is a Lawgiver, would not His model demand acceptance? It would be a strange thing for a person to advocate a prince's law for the purpose of robbing the prince of his right to design his palace as he sees fit.

    As previously noted, I am not a scientist so I cannot comment on different theories. I am only looking at the metaphysical and religious commitments of naturalistic science. I read the philosophers of science in order to understand their priestcraft. So far as the theories themselves are concerned, there is so much unexplained matter that it is obvious to me there must be prior psychological commitments in order for one theory to "matter" more to a particular person.
  24. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    This sort of arguing is beneath you. The two statements you quote address completely different things. On the one hand I said that the Bible nowhere says the Earth is the centre of the Universe: it never makes this claim. On the other hand, one could reasonably infer from the account of Creation that the Earth is at the centre. I.e., we make that claim, speculating on the data we have; the Bible does not make that claim. It is silent on the issue. This is not going so far as to say that it is a good and necessary consequence from the Scriptural account that the Earth is at the centre; rather, the Scriptural account allows for that speculation whilst itself remaining silent on it.
  25. gordo

    gordo Puritan Board Freshman

    I see no value in this argument at all. It has little to do with salvation or scriptural authority.
  26. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior


    I am not a flat earther. I am not aware of any influential published geocentrists who are.

    I have met one layman flat earther who got me to read some of their sites. Their model is fascinating, and to some extent well workable, but one must entirely discount NASA as a lying government conspiracy. They are worthy debaters though, not dopes, so I have some respect for them.

    My late father in law was a navigator in WW11. He ended up by chance ( ie sovereign God) in a bombing run with a high officer. On the way back England was so fogged in that you could not see anything. He sat in the plane with his slide rule and whatever you used for trigonometry, to measure the speed of the plane and distance on a curved surface. When they got to the airport he said "drop", the pilot dropped all the way down, and there right before him was the runway.

    The officer was so impressed that he made Grandpop his personal navigator the rest of the war. It may have saved his life- some in his squadron were shot down over Germany. So I say to flat earthers that if the surface was not curved, maybe my hub would not be here.

    Going back to science, it seems to me that people here are still missing the point. Science proves geocentricity. In physics, the speed of a wave is added or subtracted to a moving object. This is why sound waves from ambulances sound higher and lower. This is how radar works.

    Science demonstrated that waves of light do not add and subtract the velocity of the earth as it spins around the sun supposedly. Science proved geocentricity.

    Until Einstein and relativity. Now visible light does not behave like other waves, and suddenly heliocentricity is a workable model.

    Believe what you want, but stop trying to claim science proves your point. Unless you adopt relativity, it does not. All the other phenomena ( coriolis, equator bulge, pendulum, satellites) work perfectly with a rotating universe as well as a rotating earth. I am not going to even start to detail the flaws with relativity; I have mentioned worthy writers if you have a desire to read. Gerhardus Bouw was a major writer, not sure I mentioned him.

    It is not about models and phenomena. The science works for both of them. It is about relativity versus classical physics. In my opinion relativity requires more blind faith than a biblical model.

    Thug- we are not a dot on an expanding balloon. That is just one more crazy way to try and deny the evidence of earth/solar system at the center of the universe. The cosmic background radiation, the shells of pulsars and quasars and so many other things show us at the center. Read Sungenis for more.
  27. gordo

    gordo Puritan Board Freshman

    I doubt you will find a 'flat earther' pilot or sea captain.
  28. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    I'm a radar engineer and understand Doppler shifts. Yet each time you've made this statement I just don't get it. I mean, that's why we have "red" shifts and "blue" shifts. It refers to the Doppler effect (among other things) on light. So why do you say there is no shift? I already mentioned barycentric corrections.

    I'd like to see your source for this too. I'm acquainted with the research of a few professors in Terahertz radiation (frequency above that of light) and I'm familiar with radiation below the frequency of light (my own work) and I'm wondering why you say it doesn't behave like other waves. All EM waves have "photons". So why would you say light has been proclaimed to have different behavior?

    By the way, radar is affected by relativity too.
  29. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    In the case of these photos ( logic and simple geometry tell me that the Earth is rotating. The DSCOVR Satellite sits in L1 between the Earth and Sun, also outside the orbit of the moon. Now, notice in the series of pictures the shadow from the moon is moving west to east(therefor the moon is orbiting the Earth counter-clockwise) however the light is moving from east to west. If the sun and moon both orbit the earth in a counter-clockwise motion as all geocentric models have it, then we would not have the light moving from east to west in the pictures. This series of photos can only be accounted for if you understand that the Earth is rotating counter-clockwise along with the moon and the Sun is standing still. These photos are not CGI, they are actual images taken from a satellite, the phenomena of the Earth rotating and orbiting the Sun is not outside of human perception.

    I accept the current Big Bang model, which states that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago. I also accept findings of radiometric data that the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago. Finally I accept the geochemical evidence that life on earth began approx. 3.8 billion years ago. So no, I would reject a literal-scientific understanding of six-day creation.

    I am not "predisposed" to this view. In fact, I was brought to Christ through the work of YECs, and was once a YEC myself. However, multiple events led to my change, but ultimate when it finally came to the point where I had to teach my children science I was force to re-evaluate my positions. After a hard look at both scripture and science, I could not longer, in good conscience, teach my kids that the Earth is young or any other of the many claims made by YECs.

    What ultimately led me to the positions I hold is reason, logic, and the scientific method. Or what I would call the "hermeneutic of natural revelation"

    Couple of things on this point:

    First, Paul, at least from my understanding, never argued that the bodily resurrection was anything but a supernatural event. So there would be no conflict between the modern and ancient "scientific" understanding of life and death.

    Second, the mockery (again I could be wrong here) was more on a theological level than a scientific level. I don't think the ancients had a hard time believing that someone could miraculous come back to life. The stumbling stone wasn't, "Once the brain ceases to function, biological processes cannot start again".

    Finally, I will concede that one who holds to a view like mine, that is a view of biblical accommodation, while still holding to inerrancy, must walk a tight line. But, it is, in my opinion, far more challenging to deny what is clearly perceived and reasoned from the cosmos around us, and that is that we live on a planet that is billions of years old, traveling around a sun in a galaxy that is billions of years older, and in a universe that began as nothing more than a singularity some 13.8 billion years ago.

    I want to be clear, I never said the Bible teaches a flat earth, it accommodates one. The predominant if not exclusive world view of the day was a flat earth. From Babylonia to Egypt, all archaeological and historical evidence we have shows everyone thought the earth was flat, and there is no reason to believe that the Israelites would have thought differently.

    Although there are many examples of Scripture accomidating a flat earth, none seem more striking to me than Ps. 19:1-6

    Although poetic, and beautiful, there is no way to understand the idea of a tent for the sun, rising from one end to the other with its heat not hidden from anything unless you have a flat earth with a firmament dome above.

    Furthermore, the circle must be understood as a disk of sort not a sphere. If it was a sphere, you could not say, as Ps. 136:6 says:

    How do you spread out a sphere? And what waters are this sphere above? The original author and any of its original readers would have instantly understood what is being talked about, and that's because they had a flat earth cosmology.

    First, this dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar by God, interpreted by Daniel, and recorded in Scripture. Second, the tree itself was the figurative aspect in the passage. The fact that everyone could see it was the literal import into the image. The idea that everyone could see something on earth only makes sense if you already have a flat earth cosmology. The original audience would have understood this.

    Matthew, if you're going to claim they are ridiculous, could you at least provide some evidence to the contrary? The author and original readers would have had no clue that the brain functions as the seat of thought and cognition. They would have took every reference to heart/kidney/entrails quite literally. How else would you interpret Neh. 7:5?

    I too hold high regard for Scripture, but I hold an equally high regard for creation, and they are both revelation from God.
  30. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The "data" says God created the heaven and the earth. The "data" says the earth functioned for three days without the sun. The "data" says that God causes the sun to move and to stop. The "data" says earth is a privileged place. The "data" says man was given dominion at the creation and Christ as the Son of man is Lord over all things in heaven and earth. The "data" says that man is redeemed by the Son of God assuming human nature. The "data" denies the fundamental principle of heliocentrism, which is the mediocrity principle. Is this beneath me? I am quite content to become a fool in men's eyes in order to be made wise by the Scriptures.
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