Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When faith and science collide: denying Galileo

We are used to people using Bible verses to deny the equality of gay people.   Indeed, many claim that being gay is a choice, not a variant of human biology.

But I was quite surprised to realize that there is a faction of Roman Catholics who believe that the sun revolves around the Earth. 
A few conservative Roman Catholics are pointing to a dozen Bible verses and the church's original teachings as proof that Earth is the center of the universe, the view that was at the heart of the church's clash with Galileo Galilei four centuries ago. The relatively obscure movement has gained a following among those who find comfort in knowing there are still staunch defenders of early church doctrine.
And of course, it's all a plot by the Godless.
Those promoting geocentrism argue that heliocentrism, or the centuries-old consensus among scientists that Earth revolves around the sun, is a conspiracy to squelch the church's influence.

"Heliocentrism becomes dangerous if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system," said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. "False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today.… Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her."
What I find particularly amusing is that rampant creationists are not on board. Seems using the Bible to literally interpret one bit of science is okay, but not others.
Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., said the Bible is silent on geocentrism.

"There's a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated," Ham said.
Of course, what is sad is that any of this happens at all.


dr.primrose said...

OT. Today, the 9th Circuit affirmed the trial court's injunction barring Arizona from terminating healthcare benefits of state employees’ same-sex partners. It's not particularly exciting reading and doesn't contain particuarly quotable language. But a very good result nonetheless and a victory for the good guys. The case is Diaz v. Brewer and you can read it here.

Counterlight said...

Mind boggling.

I love the squeamishness of the Creationists about embracing these loonies. The new Anti-Copernicans have a point. The Bible works a lot better as a science textbook with Ptolemy's old cosmic model with the earth in the middle of the crystal spheres. I'm surprised that the flat earthers haven't climbed on board with these folks. The Bible works even better if you embrace an ancient Mesopotamian cosmic model with a flat earth and the dome of heaven floating in the waters of primordial chaos.

All that is very old and long discredited becomes new again. What a marvelous age we live in!

How do these folks even get on a plane?

Erika Baker said...

you mean there is no dome of heaven floating in the waters of primordial chaos? Then what, please, was the mabbul that was emptied over Noah's world?
I'm shocked that you can even think it!

Brother David said...

Then what, please, was the mabbul that was emptied over Noah's world?

Perhaps the remnants of stories of the creation of the English Channel.