September 2, 2011
Wednesday’s article was part of a flood of internet talk about the movement by a Catholic group to bring back geocentrism. I berated them for basically ignoring science, for tossing aside the last four hundred years of observations in place of fringe beliefs supported by questionable data. I called them out for rejecting basic logic. Well, I did as did pretty much anyone else who read the article that discussed them.
This, apparently, struck a chord.
A chord that forced Robert Sungenis to publish a 13-page response, followed by his original interview, then a scientific paper for all us scientific illiterates to read and marvel at the evidence for Earth being at the center of the universe.
Well, I read all 39 pages. Every one. Before deciding to study writing, I was seriously considering studying physics too. I still love science in all aspects, and astronomy was my favorite, so let me start by saying that whoever taught Mister Sungenis science needs to be taken out back and beat with a spoon.
Let me explain.
I Know Words
One of the first criticism Sungenis has against those who view him as a man who bases scientific beliefs on a two-thousand year old document that also claims bats are birds is that people say he believes the Bible proves geocentrism. He claims this is not true. The Bible, Sungenis says, only says the moon and stars revolve around the Earth.
That’s GEOCENTRISM, buddy.
Just because you change the words, doesn’t mean it’s any less dumb. Okay, so this is a softball defense. Too easy. But let’s move on to the meat of article.
We Can Rebuild Jesus. We Have the Technology
There are two conflicting ideas in this rebuttal. One is that Sungenis’ group is not going against the Church and is therefore not some “splinter group.” They are scientists and concerned Catholics. Okay, fair enough. The Church has never officially made a statement about geocentrism, even though it did apologize for Galileo. I’ll go with that. Since they are not going against the Church, they can’t properly be called some “fringe” group.
But then it gets weird.
Sungenis is not shy of claiming that science has killed religion’s influence on the world. Galileo’s observations were some of the first to contradict long-held Church doctrine, the common belief that Earth was made for us and is therefore the center o the universe. The church controlled everything, and by casting doubt on fundamental principles, Galileo started what Sungenis views as the decay or divine influence in our lives.
But I thought geocentrism wasn’t central to Church doctrine.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim in one breath that the Earth being at the center of the universe is not some basic tenet of Catholicism, then claim that promoting heliocentrism is a conspiracy to undermine the Church. It’s like saying you don’t care if Spiderman is black or white, then bitching when the new Spiderman is half black, half Latino.
What Happened to the Mouse?
One of the big arguments Sungenis, and in fact all conspiracy nuts make, is that their ideas are so radical and world-altering that people won’t take them seriously. It’s a curse, really, to be the Cassandra to Earth. He and his confederates have evidence that shows the Earth does not move.
Wonderful. How, exactly, does it jive with the centuries of observation that 99.99999% of scientists have seen to show a dynamic universe?
In science, you can’t just ignore previous observations. You have to account for them. For example, Young Earth Creationists claim they found evidence for a six-thousand-year-old Earth. Their evidence uses proper documentation to show a phenomenon that indicates the planet is only a few millennia old.
Wonderful. Now how do you explain carbon-dated fossils that are millions of years old? What about light from distant stars and galaxies that are sometimes BILLIONS of light-years away? Any chance your new data jives with geologic samples that show features on the Earth’s surface would take ages to create? Lo and behold, these measurable, repeatable sets of data are often hand-waved by Young Earth Creationists as “Well, God planned it that way.”
If you have data that shows the earth is the center of the universe, or even that the sun revolves around the Earth, you have to show how said data is not a blip or a currently unexplained phenomenon and why the ENTIRETY of science in multiple fields is wrong.
If the universe revolves around the Earth, what force or forces are moving the mass of billions of stars around us? Either gravity is wrong or there is an unseen force we’ve never encountered before moving the cosmos.
Jesus Did It
Don’t fool yourselves. These idiots can use all the “science” and vague, poetic quotes they want. The theory of geocentrism is ridiculous, not because scientists will not look at the evidence, but because the premise goes counter to or ignores virtually the entirety of the history of modern science. It would be like claiming humans don’t really have to breathe; it’s a vestigial action.
It’s not that science isn’t willing to debate. It’s that science isn’t willing to debate morons who see blips on a screen as evidence of magic space Jesus.