Geocentrism? Seriously? Yup

No worries, the ‘machine gun’ is about out of bullets –

In my long, long experience as both a scientist and an active skeptic, I have seen people believe in a lot of seriously, um, odd stuff. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how overwhelmingly the evidence is against them, or how even simple logic will unravel their tangled theories. They cling to these beliefs like a drowning man clings to a life preserver.

And even with all this, I have to scratch my head over Geocentrists.

These are people who believe that the Earth is fixed in space, unmoving and unmovable, and the Universe literally revolves around it. Without exception, in my experience, these followers of Geocentrism believe in it due to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Finding passages in the Bible to support this belief isn’t hard; Genesis is loaded with them.

However, like young-Earth creationism, the problem here is in that “literal” part*. If you take the Bible to be true word for word, then you have to deny a vast amount of reality, and almost everything we’ve learned about the Universe since the Bible was written.

Geocentrism? Seriously? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

13 thoughts on “Geocentrism? Seriously? Yup

  1. I’ve known a lot of “people” who thought the world and universe revolved around themselves, but haven’t every known people like in your article.

  2. Are you sure my friend?

    Modern scientific study of redshifts of galaxies seems to say that the distant stars are arranged in a generally concentric fasion around our position.

    Kinda blows the copernican principle out of the water!

    1. No real studies actually say that. What was one study has been disputed with actual qualified science. The guy who first proposed it has come out and said, like a real scientist, that the results, much like geocentrism, is results driven.

      So no, and, just to be sure, science has moved past Copernicus.

      1. Do you have any documentation for your claims?

        Also the Cosmic Microwave Background studies have revealed polar alignments with the “ecliptic”.

        From the paper – “Why is the Solar System Cosmically Aligned?”


        “Developing the multi- pole vectors allowed us to examine how the CMB’s large-scale features align with each other and the ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun.”

        Obviously, in the geocentric model, simply reverse the position of the words “Earth” and “Sun” in the above sentence.

        I’m sorry but this ALSO blows the copernican principle away, completely. Our position is very special. We are central.

        1. Do you know how to read papers? You are defining terms, reposition items and you think that is actually what is meant? Can you have less intellectual integrity?

          In other words, like Young Earth Creations and Birthers, all you are doing is creating your own facts. The paper actually stands against your pet theory in a very laughable way.

          Let me help you out here… The universe is no doubt aligned, but not around our galaxy or our sun or our planet. Our planet goes around the Sun which sits in a galaxy which is part of a larger universe which is not concentric.

          Oh my…

          1. You say:

            “The universe is no doubt aligned, but not around our galaxy or our sun or our planet. ”

            The experts say:

            “…the CMB’s large-scale features align with each other *and the ecliptic* — the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun.”

            *and the ecliptic*
            *and the ecliptic*

        2. Hi Strangelove!

          You recently submitted some pro-geocentrist comments on my blogs as well. What drew you to defend geocentrism? Intellectual exercise? Passages in the Bible?

          If you’ve studied the Bible you must know about the passages that assume a flat earth, a multi-tier flat cosmos, in line with ancient Near Eastern ideas.

          Also, if our earth-sun system is so special why do other stars have matter and planets circling them?

          When we look at other galaxies (there’s over 200 billion per latest estimates) we see them rotating around black holes in their center, not rotating around a planet inside them. And our earth-sun system is nowhere near the black hole in the center of our galaxy, we’re nearer the edges of one spiral arm. Logically speaking, based on the vast amount of data from galaxies that we can see, galaxies do not rotate around a single star or planet inside them, especially not around planets in their spiral arms.

          Geocentrism also implies that every object lying further from the earth than Saturn’s or Jupiter’s moon is travelling faster than the speed of light, countless times faster in the case of the most distant galaxies, because the entire cosmos must circle the earth each 24 hour period. What kind of special properties and equations must one devise to accommodate those kinds of speeds with the actual fine line data of the speed of light from distant objects? Also, it makes mincemeat of the idea of the speed of light since everything, every particle, every wave, is already travelling faster than light simply by virtue of the fact that it lies a little further out in space than Saturn or Jupiter.

          Also, A critique of Bouw’s book, Geocentricity by Francis Graham

          And as I pointed out in my previous email:

          One Evangelical Christian and man of science, George Cooper, who contributes to the Evangelical Christian listserv run by “The American Scientific Affiliation” recently had this to say about Geocentrism:

          “There is a better argument against Geocentrism. Astronomers can measure the angular movement of the Earth relative to distant quasars to an accuracy of about 20 milliarcseconds, IIRC. There is a continuous program that monitors the Earth’s minute changes to its rotation rate: IRES:
          So the so-called ‘immovable’ Earth is constantly moving by twisting back and forth due to primarily air mass current changes. The 2004 tsunami produced a change that was measurable by IRES, too.

          “Though lengthy, there is a thread debunking the Galileo Was Wrong supporters at”:

          Young-Earth Creationists Admit Difficulties Trying to Explain Away the Evidence in Favor of Stellar Evolution

          ALSO SEE

          Concerning the cosmology of the Bible, Evangelical Christian professor of OT, John Walton, who teaches at Wheaton College (Billy Graham’s alma mater) has studied ANE thought, the context of Genesis 1, and his newest most comprehensive work on the topic is this one:

          Not only Walton, but even the inerrantist, Beale, admits in the latter’s book, The Erosion of Inerrancy, that “The Israelites shared with their neighbors the eastward orientation of their tabernacle and temple, the placement of important cultic objects within them, the designation of areas of increasing holiness, rules for access to the Holy Place and Holy of Holies, as well as practices like circumcision and sacrificial offerings.” So it wasn’t just cosmological ideas that they shared.

          If you want to read more about ANE cosmology and Genesis 1, as well as cosmic combat motifs in the Bible that involve Yahweh versus “monsters,” and also read more about what scholars are saying concerning the origins of monotheism, check out:

          Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible
          [research paper at the BIOLOGOS website]

          Biblical Creation and Storytelling: Cosmogony, Combat and Covenant
          [research paper at the BIOLOGOS website]

          Theological/Cosmological World View of the Ancient Israelites
          [hyperlinks I collected that lead to research papers on the web]

    2. (I can’t believe I’m responding to this. Call it exercise.)

      Strangelove: Blow up a balloon part way. Use a Sharpie marker to put dots on it, with one dot distinct from the others (larger or whatever). Have a friend continue to blow up the balloon, while you watch that dot. See how all the other dots seem to move away from that dot? See how, if you lived on that dot, every other dot would seem to be moving away from you, with you at the center of the universe?

      So, don’t ever bring up red-shifting again in defense of geocentricism. Thanks.

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