Editor’s note: this is part of a series of content intended to create honest debate surrounding the dominance of the so-called “scientific community,” which has in reality declined from true science into ideology. To this end, please contact us if you would like to offer any contribution to the debate, whether for or against.
By Robert J. Bennett, Ph.D.
The problem isn’t what we don’t know
That causes trouble so.
But usually what we think we know
That really just ain’t so.
The sounds of rebellion were already in the air. Twenty six years prior, Luther’s hammer had nailed his theses against the Wittenberg door, nails that signaled the split of a extant Catholic religion and culture into tens of thousands of fragments that continue to splinter today.
A generation later there was a similar revolution, splitting the Catholic faith even further along scientific lines: the post-mortem publishing of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, a new geometric and heliocentric model of the universe by the monastic Copernicus. He had feared public disclosure of his research would incur the wrath of the Catholic hierarchy, who held geocentrism as true to Scripture. Galileo pointed his home-made telescope at the heavens and claimed to find support for the heliocentric model; Copernicus now had a prominent Catholic scientist, to promote the heliocentric cause.
There was conflict between geocentrism and heliocentrism at both religious and scientific levels. The Holy Bible was the source of all truth, yet the Protestant Revolt now made Biblical exegesis a matter of the individual, not the Magisterium. Scholasticism was the philosophical basis for theological epistemology; science used an informal application of the future scientific method of Bacon – testing hypotheses by experiments.
Geocentrism vs. Heliocentrism: The Dogmatic Argument
About thirty Biblical verses supported the geocentric theory, some explicit, like I Paraliponenon XVI. 30: He has fixed the Earth firm, immovable. And similarly, Psalm XCIII. 1, Psalm XCVI. 10, Psalm CIV. 5 and Isaias XLV. 18. Most are implicit, saying the Sun rises and sets, but never that the Earth moves (the Josue and Hezekias events being exceptions that prove the rule). To challenge these verses as not being literal would mean that the Holy Bible contained error and that the challenger Galileo was in error, as was maintained by St. Robert Bellarmine, advisor to the Pope and Grand Defender of the Faith.
In the famous letter to Fr Foscarini, St Robert said:
First …. Galileo did prudently …to speak..hypothetically, and not absolutely, as I believe Copernicus spoke. …by assuming the earth moves and the sun stands still, all the appearances are saved better than with eccentrics and epicycles, is to speak well; there is no danger in this, and it is sufficient for mathematicians. But to want to affirm that the sun really is fixed in the center of the heavens ….. and that the earth …. revolves with great speed around the sun, is a very dangerous thing, not only by irritating all the philosophers and scholastic theologians, but also by injuring our holy faith and rendering the Holy Scriptures false.
Second. …the Council prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers. … all agree in explaining geocentrism literally (ad litteram)
…Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if ….not ……..from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny …..the virgin birth of Christ….
Third. [If heliocentrism were true] … then … we would rather have to say that we did not understand Scripture than to say that something was false which has been demonstrated. But …..any such demonstration… has not been shown to me. It is not the same thing to show that the appearances are saved by assuming that the sun really is in the center and the earth in the heavens. I believe that the first demonstration might exist, but I have grave doubts about the second, and in a case of doubt, one may not depart from the Scriptures as explained by the holy Fathers. … the words the sun also riseth and the sun goeth down, ….were those of Solomon, …. his wisdom was from God. Thus it is not too likely that he would affirm something which was contrary to a truth either already demonstrated, or likely to be demonstrated. And if you tell me that Solomon spoke only according to the appearances, and that it seems to us that the sun goes around when actually it is the earth which moves, as it seems to one on a ship that the beach moves away from the ship, I shall answer that one who departs from the beach, though it looks to him as though the beach moves away, he knows that he is in error and corrects it, seeing clearly that the ship moves and not the beach. But with regard to the sun and the earth, no wise man is needed to correct the error, since he clearly experiences that the earth stands still and that his eye is not deceived when it judges that the moon and stars move..
In summary –
- Heliocentrism has value as a computational model, simplifying science, not as spiritual truth. Danger lies in challenging scholastic beliefs, damaging the faith and making Scripture prone to error.
- The Magisterium and the Fathers forbid Biblical interpretation other than literally. It’s not just a matter of secular science, once the Fathers have addressed the issue. Any denial of Scripture would deny all of it. In a matter of doubt it is always the correct path to follow the Traditional interpretation.
- If it can be demonstrated that a certain interpretation does not in fact adhere to reality, then it must be admitted that we have not understood the Scripture, not the the Scripture is in error. If heliocentrism were true, then we just didn’t comprehend the Biblical meaning. But no one has shown St. Robert heliocentrism to be true. Observations of relative motion show that either geocentrism or heliocentrism could be true, but Holy Writ affirms only geocentrism is so. The wisdom of Solomon’s words would be proven false. The apparent motion of the shore as seen from a ship is easily resolved by looking at the ship from shore. But the Holy Bible already says what we see is true …the Earth at rest and the cosmos in motion.
Bellarmine’s point is this – if we doubt the validity of the words of the patriarchs, prophets and saints regarding something absolutely fundamental like geocentrism, how can it be unreasonable to then doubt it all? And the senses corroborate the geocentric evidence.
At his trial by the Holy Office Galileo was vehemently suspected of heresy, holding several propositions contrary to the true sense and authority of the Holy Scriptures:
- That the Sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical.
- That the Earth is not the center of the world, nor immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least erroneous in faith.
Galileo was shown the instruments of torture, but never were they applied, contrary to popular lore. He ‘abjured’ of all the accusations and was sequestered at his summer villa for the rest of his life.
Geocentrism vs. Heliocentrism: The scientific side
Galileo held that tides proved the Earth’s daily rotation, but this predicted tides every 12 hrs, not the 12 hrs, 53 mins as observed. The Moon’s dominance was known then.
The accepted world model at this time was a particular type of geocentrism, embodied in the Ptolemaic flat geometry, where all celestial objects – Sun, Moon, planets, stars – surrounded the Earth in circular orbits.
The model required epicycles – wheels within wheels – to predict the actual elliptic planetary motion. Galileo’s observations contradicted the Ptolemaic model; he saw motion of Jupiter’s satellites, phases of Venus and retrograde motion of the outer planets.
This was but a temporary obstacle; Tycho Brahe’s geocentric model was hierarchical, placing Sun and Moon in level 1 Earth orbits, the Planets in Level 2 solar orbits and the moons in planetary level 3 orbits. (a Level 4 asteroid Ida has a satellite – Dactyl. The Tychonian model resolved all of Galileo’s issues; it is kinematically equivalent to the heliocentric model, but with Earth at center. Modern texts gloss over this geocentric model.
The heliocentric model requires more epicycles than this one and is not centered exactly at the Sun’s center. There are no scientific arguments or experiments, now or at this time, refuting the geocentric model of Tycho.
Heliocentric books on the Index were banned, at first, then slowly removed as the controversy faded from importance. But the Church never formally retracted the Galilean edicts above, though both clergy and laity now chose to ignore them. To this day geocentrism remains (an invisible) part of the Magisterial teaching.
In October 1992, post-Vatican II, a papal commission decided to rewrite history by concluding that Galileo was, in fact, not guilty of any form of heresy, noting that the Inquisitors doubtless “acted in good faith.” The secular press trumpeted, “After 350 Years, Vatican Finally Says Galileo Was Right: Earth Moves.”
Geocentrism vs Heliocentrism: The modern era
Religious belief in geocentrism has now been relegated to the fantasy world of the Flat-Earthers, where guilt by association links geocentrists with the Flat-Earth foolishness. The superior arguments of Bellarmine are now ignored or ridiculed by the squishy bishops of the Church, intimidated by secular science.
In science, however, new [God-given?] discoveries have fueled a renewal of geocentric support. In an 1886 test by Michelson & Morley, scientists sought to existentially confirm the carrier of light waves, in effect, to find out what was waving – Aristotle’s quintessential aether solid. Light beams at 90 degrees should be affected differently as the Earth plows through the immovable aether in its solar orbit.
A shocker came in the result: no difference in speed between the two beams! Four reasons were proposed for the lack of speed, but none dared speak the obvious: the Earth was at rest.
Einstein’s illogical remedy to the unthinkable dilemma, a geocentric universe, was to claim that light always travels at constant speed c, no matter how the tester is moving. This led to conceptual darkness, where rulers and clocks depended on the viewer’s relative motion. The lid was now opened to a Pandora’s box of inane contradictions never to be reconciled.
His theory of relativity implied only relative motion prevails in physics. There’s no absolute reference frame, so Earth, Sun or any other body can be used for theoretical predictions. Acentrism replaces heliocentrism. But if relativity allows Earth to be the measuring frame, then why does mainstream science insist that the Earth orbits the Sun?
Response: Ideology trumps the truth.
Confusion reigns unless we now distinguish two branches of Mechanics:
Kinematics is applied math, the study of geometric measurement; relativity is valid for measurements.
So this is the law of relative motion:
If you are 5 meters north of me, I must be 5 meters south of you.
If you head 5 m/s north of me, I must be heading 5 m/s south of you
If you accelerate 5 m/s*s north of me, I must accelerate 5 m/s*s south of you…etc.
Dynamics is the study of predicted future motion, used the energy concept to determine the equations that predict future movement – the laws of physics/motion.
Relativity also claimed that all the laws of motion in dynamics were valid for all observers in constant relative motion (aka inertial frames of reference). These were the laws of mass (Newton) and charge (Maxwell) motion.
That all reference frames are valid for applying the laws of physics was assumed valid by Newton, Maxwell and all their contemporaries. Then Newton published a famous exception to prediction validity in his 1687 Principia, called Newton’s bucket. The law of centripetal force (a law of physics) was valid in predicting the curved water surface on a rotating bucket of water in the lab frame, but invalid when the centripetal force formula was applied by a person on the bucket, co-moving with it.
The water was still in the bucket frame, so its speed was zero. Then
Fc = mv2/r = 0 when v = 0
The predicted water surface was flat, contrary to what was seen and predicted by Newton in the lab frame!
There were philosophical debates concerning the interpretation of the result. Newton said this demonstrated the abstract existence of absolute space but didn’t define where that was in physical space. Ernst Mach said the distant stars created the inertial force to cancel the centripetal force. This hasn’t been resolved by our science overlords in over 325 years.
Their attempt to explain the result is risible. The bucket frame is not inertial, so we need to create a ‘fictitious force’ (yes, that’s what it’s called) to give the correct prediction. When I first heard this, I thought it was a joke. Who would pay tuition to learn fictitious forces in a fake physics class? Do history classes teach fake events or math classes false arithmetic: 2+2 = 5?
Consider if you were to compute 2+2 on Earth and got 4, but if moving relative to Earth, got 5. Would you say that the moving calculation of 5 was fictitious math? Or rather say that the immovable Earth – for whatever reason – was preferred nay, required for valid mathematics.
The mathematicians in this parable channel the defiant denial of establishment physics for geocentric reality, casting aside reason to preserve their Godless agenda of materialism.
Geocentric Evidence: The Inertial Frame is the Earth
What the lovers of darkness don’t realize, blinded by their ideological blinkers, is that the inertial frame – where the laws of dynamical prediction are true – is the Earth’s reference frame, and only that frame!
This is experimental proof (remember the scientific method) that the Earth has a privileged perspective in physics, the only view from which true predictions of future motion can be made. Motion can only be predicted by a tester absolutely fixed on a stationary Earth. This is the sense in which geocentrism is consistent with physical laws.
Many – in fact all – predictions from the Earth’s frame will be valid; all non-earth frame predictions will be ‘fictitious’. The obvious choice is geocentrist; only predict motion from the Earth’s perspective!
More examples could be given, but reader interaction via self-discovery of the methodology (or of one’s own errors) is very effective in retention of the truth.
Example: The hitch-hiker and Newton’s 2nd law: F= MA
Given: A driver heading north accelerates past a hitch-hiker of mass Mh with acceleration Ad. The driver’s mass is Md.
The hiker predicts the inertial force on the accelerating driver is Fd = Md x Ad and this force is what’s measured with a spring scale.
1) What is the acceleration of the hiker as measured by the driver…Ah?
2) What is the inertial force Fh on the hiker as predicted by the driver?
3) What is the measured force on the hiker?
It’s to your benefit to solve this simple problem first, then continue below.
- This is a measurement, so kinematics applies and relativity.
Ah is equal and opposite to Ad … Ad = -Ah or Ad = Ah south
- Fh = MhAh = – MhAd <> 0
- But we know that the hiker feels no inertial force from the accelerating car!
Fh = 0 when measured!
Conclusion: As with Newton’s bucket, the laws of physics – in this case, F=ma – are only true predictions in the Earth or lab reference frame.
The hiker is in the Earth frame, so his prediction of force is true. The driver is in a non-inertial (non-Earth) frame, so physical laws make invalid predictions.
- Use only the lab frame for all applications of physical motion.
- Admit that the universe is so constituted, that only the lab frame of reference predicts future motion. Abandon the illogical mantra of fake physics and fictitious forces and concede that only from God’s good green Earth can future motion, on Earth or in the cosmos, be truly predicted.
What has been read, can’t be unread. Now that the truth is revealed, the reader is faced with a decision the geocentric knowledge imparted cannot be retracted.
The guy in the pew is in blissful ignorance of both the scientific and dogmatic support for geocentrism, but you, dear reader, must decide hereafter if you will believe and support the geocentric truth.
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever ‘twixt that darkness and that light. -J R Lowell
Robert J. Bennett, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in General Relativity from Stevens Institute of Technology. He served as a physics instructor at Manhattan College and Bergen Community College from 1967-1983, and is presently doing private tutoring in physics and mathematics. He has served as a consultant for the entire Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right project.