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Earth Near the Center vs. Extreme Geocentrism: It's one thing to notice that the most extensive scientific observations ever made seem to place the Earth in a privileged location, apparently even in a galaxy that's virtually in the center of a terrestrially-aligned universe. It's quite another thing to claim, as extreme geocentrists do, that once a day the entire universe, including the planets and our Sun, orbits the Earth. This kind of geocentrism claims that the Earth does not rotate and does not move. If these ideas were true, as geocentrists then admit matter-of-factly, then Neptune speeds around us faster than the speed of light. And if the universe is the size that it is generally believed to be, even by some geocentrists, then the furthest galaxies would be orbiting us at 30 trillion times the speed of light. (See superluminal speed below.) While remaining humble before a God who could, if He wanted to, build such a universe, RSR here rebuts the claim that the Bible and science show that the Earth is stationary.
* Kate Mulgrew Narrated Geocentrism Film: In September 2013, when RSR asked Rick Delano, producer of The Principle, if his movie was about geocentrism, he lead Bob Enyart to believe that it was not but that it was insetead evidence against the big bang. That misrepresentation lead RSR to invite scientists and engineers to a special Denver screening of the film for Real Science Radio. We later apologized to the attendees. Today, on the day of the film's Chicago premiere, October 24t, 2014, Real Science Radio hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams discuss the scientific and biblical arguments below to rebut the documentary. RSR screened a full-length pre-release version of the film that claimed the Sun (and the universe) orbits around the Earth every 24 hours. The film attempted to mislead the audience into thinking that its geocentrism was supported by:
1) the latest Plank satellite confirmations of the so-called Axis of Evil
2) the narrator, Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek fame, and
3) the scientists interviewed (Lawrence Krauss, George Ellis, Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, and John Hartnett).
None of these in anyway affirm the film's claim of geocentrism. For the enthusiast though, there's plenty of fun science to learn while refuting extreme geocentrism as we shall see!
Hurricanes, Geostationary Satellites, Rotating Core, Equatorial Bulge, Wobble, Quakes & Rotational Speed: Hurricanes, which churn only the lowest portion of the atmosphere, spin in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres, apparently exhibiting the scientifically demonstrable effect of how gas would flow on a rotating sphere (see below). Also, melted rock within the Earth produces instability, and yet it is the lubrication of the melted rock of the outer core which enables Earth's entire core to rotate at a different rate relative to the mantle and crust. By the laws of physics, a faster rotating core is a predictable result of global tectonic catastrophe (such as we have undergone) in a planet that possessed angular momentum; but starting the core rotating in a body that had no angular momentum is an impossibility beyond the reach of physics (see below). Also, the highest point on Earth, as measured from the center, is not Mt. Everest, but a mountain in Ecuador, because of the 26.5 mile equatorial bulge as more recently measured and as predicted long-ago by Newtonian physics on a rotating sphere. Regarding earthquakes, there is the apparent speeding up of the Earth's rotation, with rotation variability regularly observed and measured using various sophisticated technologies (see below), as well as other understood and measurable factors that speed up and slow down our rotation. Earth's equatorial 1,000 mph rotation and 67,000 mph orbit around the sun are calculable by geostationary satellites and the aberration of starlight (below). Consider too the wobble to the Earth's axis (see below), cyclically affected by annual and other factors, and by earthquakes. The Earth's wobble represents imperfection that initially resulted from earthquakes and global catastrophe, but if extreme geocentrism were true, then God made the entire universe wobble around the earth.
The Church, Science, and the Globe: Do the Bible and science present an extreme geocentric cosmos? Separately, how severe may the consequences be when Christians make false cosmological claims? A history professor who taught at Berkley and Harvard wrote the Myth of the Flat Earth showing that 19th-century revisionists invented and spread the falsehood that the church (or indeed, any schools or educated people in the Middle Ages) believed that the earth was flat. Today's actual "Flat Earth Society" is run by an evolutionist and on the whole peculiar flat-earth matter, secularists and atheists bear the guilt; the church is innocent. Geocentrism however continues to be taught on the fringes of Christianity using traditional "proof" texts ("the sun stood still", "the earth stands firm", etc.) with increasingly abstruse reasoning. So Discover magazine's atheist astronomer Phil Plait (whom RSR has had a spat with) misrepresents the Scriptures writing, "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." Genesis does present the most extensive creation account in Scripture but it has absolutely nothing to say about geocentrism. The first book of the Bible does use the exact same metaphors, however, for the sun rising and setting as Plait himself uses.
The Bible, Earthquakes, and the Earth Shall Move and Tremble: When a figure skater pulls in her arms, by the law of the conservation of angular momentum, she spins more rapidly. Like that skater pulling in her arms, in earthquakes, the Earth squeezes itself more tightly by falling in on itself, so to speak, making itself more dense. (Lava eruptions can have the opposite effect.) Thus, scientists using the same law of physics suggest that after a major earthquake, careful measurements should show, as they seem to do, an increase in the speed with which we see the stars appearing to spin around the Earth. But let's leave the question of physics for a moment to consider some of what the Bible says about the Earth's movement, much of which is metaphor referring to deeper, spiritual matters. "Let the peoples tremble... let the Earth be moved..." (Ps. 99:1). More than a dozen verses describe the Earth itself trembling, such as "the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken" (Ps. 18:7). Yet, "we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Ps. 46:2). And of course the Bible presents prophetic and historical accounts of actual earthquakes. So, even those who claim that the Bible teaches that the Earth does not move acknowledge that this is not an absolute, as is attested by many Bible verses and also by thousands of major and millions of minor earthquakes. Further, the effects of powerful quakes are felt through the entire Earth, which particular point proves nothing about what orbits what. Conceptually though it seems to undermine the claim of the Earth being essentially the unmoving foundation of the entire universe. Thus, between actual tremors, and various Scriptures, all parties admit that the Earth moves. The question here is: How much?
The Earth Shall Not Move, and Neither Shall I: An extreme geocentrist would point out that all those verses above use verbs for movement that are from a different Hebrew root than the verb used in passages claimed by extreme geocentrists. For, using the root word (mowt) the Bible says that God has firmly established the world so that, "the earth... shall not be moved" (1 Chr. 16:30 Hb. timmot; as also in Ps. 93:1 & 96:10) and further, that God, "laid the foundations of the earth so that it should not be moved forever" (Ps. 104:5 ). However evidence that those passages are metaphorical includes the many other Hebrew verbs from the exact same root (mowt), that teach that God's people "shall not be moved" (Ps. 16:8 emmot), and neither shall the godly king (Ps. 21:7 yimmot), and that, "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved (yimmot), but abides forever" (Ps. 125:1). One should take the meaning of the figure of speech literally; but not the figure. Otherwise, then similes of unmoving mountains, as also in Ps. 125:2, end up being flatly contradicted, like when the meaning requires those same mountains to move, as in Isa. 54:10. The same figure of speech is evident where we read that for the wicked, "All the foundations of the earth are unstable" (i.e., moved, Ps. 82:5 yimmotu). Even one of the favorite passages of the extreme geocentrists (as referenced just above) implies this metaphor equating by Hebrew parralelism the firmly established world with the righteously judged peoples. "Say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved (timmot), He shall judge the peoples righteously" (Ps. 96:10). These passages describe God's purposes for Mount Zion, for the world, for the king, and for His people. Further though, the prophet Isaiah compares a future judgment to the destructiveness of the flood: "the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly (mot hitmottah). The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut" (Isa. 24:18-20). Yet, ultimately God's purposes will prevail, for, "though the earth be removed (a different Hebrew root), and though the mountains be carried into the sea... the city of God... shall not be moved" (Ps. 46:2-5, same root, timmot). (See also Ps. 55:22; 66:9; 121:3 mot; Ps. 30:6; 62:2, 6 emmot; Ps. 15:5; 112:6; 125:1; Job 41:23; Prov. 10:30; 12:3 yimmot; and of footsteps Ps. 17:5 namottu; and even of the wicked, Ps. 10:6 emmot.) Now consider the relative apparent motion of the Earth and the stars, the "wobble", and the speeding up of the Earth after earthquakes.
Earthquakes Move the Earth and Vary its Rotation and Axis: After some major earthquakes, scientists estimate a tiny decrease in the time it takes for a star to reappear each evening (because as the Earth falls in upon itself, it becomes slightly more dense and so would spin more quickly). This implies a variable rotation rate, and it turns out that there are various sophisticated observations which enable careful measurement of the Earth's varying rotation rate. Further, some of the variation is cyclical, some of it even seasonal, and very large variations of one thousandth of a second and even one five-hundredth of a second are commonly measured. (See an overview of these technologies at the U.S. Naval Observatory site on Earth's variable orientation and rotation, and even on leap seconds.) Scientists also both observe and calculate from the redistribution of the mass of the earth changes in the Earth's well-documented "wobble", which appear to be imperfections in its spin around its own axis. After Japan's horrific 2011 earthquake (left), our planet's "wobble" in space increased by nearly seven inches and our day decreased by about two millionths of a second. If extreme geocentrism (E.G.) were true, then there is no "wobble" in the Earth's rotation but God must have created the entire universe not to orbit the Earth perfectly, but to wobble (as described in Scripture, "like a drunkard", Isa. 24:18-20), teetering like wobbly top. Millions of scientific observations have documented many sometimes counteracting transient wobbles. While everyone of course admits to the opposite direction that hurricanes rotate (below), geocentrists deny the validity of earthquake and other calculations that show increases to the Earth's spin rate. In commenting on this paragraph from an unpublished draft of this article, leading extreme geocentrist Robert Sungenis agreed, in theory (after what would probably be a billion-dollar extension to the world's very long baseline telescope arrays), that if NASA were to focus telescope arrays on "radiation from at least three sources" then the results couple provide "evidence that the Earth is rotating", and especially so if they looked at shorter gamma ray emissions. (Meanwhile, of course, again, there is no dispute as to the opposite directions that hurricanes rotate.) It is good to see Sungenis agreeing that such data would provide good evidence for a rotating Earth. However VLBI arrays are just one of various advancements, all of which are documenting similar variation in the Earth's movements. The links above provide a brief overview of a number of technologies being used separately and together to track the Earth's slightly variable orientation and rotation. It seems that all such technological advancements are outpacing the extreme geocentrist's ability to devise secondary assumptions and defense mechanisms to explain each one away, let alone all of them together.
Earthquakes Move the Earth but Not Distant Galaxies: An E.G. rescue device would be to claim that earthquakes, etc., cause the most distant galaxies to orbit the Earth with tremendously greater speed, and the entire universe to change its alleged wobble. Another alternative was described to me by Delano, the producer of that E.G. film. If it were irrefragably proven (which I believe it is) that after earthquakes, etc., that the entire universe appears to orbit faster around the Earth, then earthquakes are not the result of instability in the Earth but of galactic disturbances at the edges of the universe. (What then would we make of those tiny fracking-related earthquakes in Oklahoma?) That desperate rescue device is reminiscent of Obi-Wan's disturbance in the force. Aside from the obvious scientific and theological difficulties with that last claim, it also seems to undermine their belief that the Earth doesn’t move. Scientifically and to my knowledge, Earth's mapped, quake-prone geologic faults have never been tied to any pattern in the heavens. Theologically, regarding the foundations of the Earth, quaking is movement. Overthrusts, the Great Unconformity at the Grand Canyon, etc., and quaking in general, along with the consequences of meteor impacts, are all evidence of very destructive movement. Even by the wildest of speculations, that perhaps events in distant galaxies cause Earth movement, even if that were true, then the Earth moves.
Earth's Core Rotates Faster than Does the Crust: If the created Earth had no angular momentum (no spin), today's inner core would have no spin. Of course, God could have created the Earth with a stationary crust and a spinning core. However, the biblical narrative helps us understand the scientific evidence that explains why the core spins at a slightly different rate from the rest of the Earth, which is a result of global tectonic catastrophe. Unlike one would expect from an utterly unmovable Earth, the core of the Earth rotates relative to the mantle and the crust (at a different rate). Lubrication for the differential rotation exists because today the outer core of the Earth is melted rock. Extraordinary tectonic catastrophe has marred our planet including:
- crushed granite throughout the continents
- the 46,000-mile long scar of the mid-oceanic ridge
- the ring of fire with it's 40,000 large submerged volcanoes
- the uplifted mountain ranges
- the missing crust in the Atlantic opposite the globe from the crust buried deep below the ocean floor
- the subsided Pacific and the uplifted Atlantic.
The friction from this tectonic cataclysm melted eight moons worth of rock that became the liquid outer core. Even the mantle and the crust, to mankind's harm, contain magma. (Differences in temperature at the same depths in the Earth vary by a factor of six, even far from volcanoes, which would be unexpected if our planet really had been cooling for billions of years, whereby the heat should have dissipated by the laws of thermodynamics far more evenly, and that heat cannot be radioactively generated, because almost all of the Earth's radioactivity is concentrated in the continental crust, preferentially near granite.) When rock melts deep in the Earth, below what is called the "crossover depth", it becomes more dense and so its volume decreases and it produces instability above. This deep magma will sink, other things being equal, until it reaches the inner core which is comprised of denser minerals that have a higher melting point. The discovery of super deep earthquakes surprised geologists, and melting is undoubtedly the source of such instability in the Earth. (Note: An unmoving Earth should not be unstable, yet our planet is severely, and lethally, unstable.) With instability below, as gravity pulls the crust downward toward the mantle, and the mantle toward the core, earthquakes occur, and whether shallow or deep, if large enough they can measurably increase the density of the Earth and redistribute our mass about the planet's axis, changing not only the Earth's rotation rate and wobble, but theoretically, also the relative rotation of the core and the mantle. This is a powerful argument against E.G. because, with the given that God created the Earth as a safe (non-lethal) paradise, if He had made it without angular momentum, the laws of physics know no possibility of getting the core to begin rotating.
Superluminal Speed, Extreme Geocentrism, and the Vast Universe: Like all scientifically informed persons, the E.G. authors will agree to the vast distances even to the nearest stars, which are determined by parallax. And like many, they'll argue that the full story on redshift distances may not yet be known, such that the furthest objects may not be as far as commonly presumed. Regardless though, realizing that their claim would require galaxies to travel as fast as 30 trillion times the speed of light (See If the universe were orbiting earth.xlsx, a spreadsheet available from Bob@KGOV.com), such geocentrists correctly point out that many of today's cosmologists accept faster-than-light speeds for entire galaxies due to the alleged expansion of space. By general relativity, cosmologists assume that "all objects with a redshift greater than ~ 3 are, and always have been, receding faster than the speed of light" (Davis and Lineweaver, 2001, arXiv.org). However, while mainstream cosmologists accept widespread (z > 3) superluminal (faster than light) movement, they attribute this to the expansion of space. These geocentrists commit two logical fallacies when they make this argument. First, they commit a bait-and-switch (improper transposition) fallacy because their hypothesis has nothing to do with the expansion of space. Thus, if there were any reasonableness to the typical big-bang cosmologist's belief in superluminal movement, such reasonableness would not automatically transfer to extreme geocentrism, which claims that entire galaxies move, not by the expansion of space itself, but via angular momentum, spinning around the Earth by as much as trillions of times faster than the speed of light. Secondly, these geocentrists utterly reject mainstream cosmology's superluminal interpretations of redshift. So, their use of this argument as a defense of their own superluminal claim is a non sequitur, that is, it does not follow, because they are taking a claim that they reject (superluminal speed due to the expansion of space) and using it as a justification for their own view. Flatly, their claim of superluminal rotation cannot appeal to expansion as a defense.
Superluminal Neptune: At 186,000 miles per second, light travels just over 16 billion miles in one day. Neptune is about 2.8 billion miles from the Earth, and because the circumference of a circle is 2*pi*r, by geocentrism it would travel daily about 17.5 billion miles (2 x 3.14 x 2.8B), with an orbital speed greater than the speed of light. Because light travels at a finite speed, and if the eighth planet were traveling at a velocity of even near the speed of light (even regardless of relativistic effects, and let alone faster than light), Neptune should, but does not, appear distorted when viewed from Earth.
New Discoveries Require Increasingly Bizarre Adjustments to Extreme Geocentrism: Many adjustments to the theory, both secondary and tertiary, leave little similarity with the original simple model. Here is the story of today's extreme geocentrism.
- The classical geocentrism of Plato (427-347 BC) claimed that the Sun, planets, and stars orbited the Earth. Plato's model retarded the advancement of science, including throughout Christendom, for two millennia. (As an aside, remember that in Plato's Republic he called for the killing of infants born without state permission, and that his pagan Greek philosophy also greatly damaged Christian theology.)
- Ptolemy (92-168 AD) adjusted Plato's model because it was in such great tension with actual observations. Ptolemy added "epicycles" which were little rescue devices designed to explain the apparent movement of the planets that did not match expectations. (Scientists often ignore historians, and that whole failed era may be repeating itself with the relatively simple plate tectonics theory growing increasingly complicated as observations lead to claims of increasing numbers of plates.)
- Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601) dramatically modified Plato's and Ptolemy's geocentrism. More than two millennium had passed until the first major adjustment to the theory, and this modification is still adhered to today. Brahe admitted that the other planets are not orbiting the Earth. Instead, he acknowledged that the planets of our solar system are orbiting the Sun. He then made the modified claim that the Sun thereby pulls the planets around it, and in that way, around us, as it orbits the Earth. That was terribly unexpected by the model. For, if there were some conceptually or physically compelling reason for God to create the Sun, moon, and stars to orbit the Earth, it seems ad hoc to omit the planets from such direct influence. Regardless though, geocentrism had its major secondary adjustment to the model. And the epicycles, which were an attempt to avoid such a major change, were dropped. Adding to the unexpectedness of this development, extreme geocentrists will even deny the existence of gravity, yet they have given in to the influence of the Sun over the planets. So this is how E.G. describes the motions within the solar system.
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) is featured on the dedication page of today's leading book on geocentrism, Galileo Was Wrong. Robert Sungenis dedicated the volume to Einstein, "who invented Special Relativity to counter experiments that revealed the Earth was motionless in space, which then led him to General Relativity that forced him to accept a motionless Earth as a viable and worthy cosmological system" [emphasis added]. Extreme geocentrists contradictorily both reject relativity and use it to defend their model. Regardless though, by this relativistic argument, E.G. would be no more valid than any other view, heliocentrism, Jupiter-centrism, etc. And likewise, if geocentrists are misunderstanding their claimed biblical "proof" texts (see above, and the Abstractions, below), then even if the extreme geocentrists were conceptually correct, their arguments and animations could all just as easily support Jupiter-centrism. Let's now move out from the solar system to consider the other stars of the galaxy.
- Ancient astronomers argued that the Earth could not be moving around the Sun because if it were, then as we moved we would see a shift in the position of the stars in much the same way that nearby things shift back and forth when we alternately open and close our eyes. Such apparent movement is called parallax. The distance to the nearest stars was so great though, and measurements so poor, that for many centuries no parallax could be detected. Consider our recent amazing technological developments though, including to where we now put telescopes in space, even beyond the orbit of the moon. And consider also that, instead of the couple inches that separate our eyes, what if we could have two vantage points 186 million miles apart? Because the Sun is about 93 million miles from the Earth, a distance of twice that could be achieved by marking the locations in space of an orbiting Earth six months apart. So with modern telescopes and a base of a triangle 186 million miles wide, astronomers can now measure the predicted stellar parallax. If the nearest stars were close enough, and if biblical creationists Copernicus, Newton, and Kepler were correct, that the Earth did orbit the Sun, then with precise measurements, we should be able to see those stars shifting back and forth. And we do. At this point, the extreme geocentrists deny stellar parallax (the apparent motion of the stars) by introducing a tertiary assumption. The parallax, they claim, is not apparent but actual stellar motion, created by the sun and stars almost imperceptibly swaying back and forth, yet (coincidentally) by an extent predicted by actual stellar parallax and other distance measurements, and in synchronization, no less, with the Earth's seasons!
- But there's more. Compared to the size of the Milky Way, geocentrists claim that the Sun has a relatively tiny range of motion, that is, just around the Earth, which they say does not move. However, there are also observations showing that the Sun is not only orbiting the Milky Way, it is also moving through the Milky Way. To account for this effect, while the Sun pulls the planets with it about the Earth, they claim even more complex movements for the Sun and the galaxy, again, in a previously unexpected way. This is a fourth level adjustment to account for observations. Consider a NASCAR racing analogy. The green flag starts the race as each driver heads for a point that is constantly moving and lies always just ahead of them. Likewise, as the Sun orbits the Galaxy (centrists say, appears to orbit), it also heads toward a point just ahead of it, called the solar apex. This is a separate movement that gradually changes the relative position of thousands of stars in our sky. This systematic drift seen in the night sky is called star streaming. It is affected by the movement of the Sun and also by the proper motion of many stars, which, generally speaking, from our perspective move from the apex to a point which is in the opposite direction when compared to the Sun's local trajectory, called the antapex. So in addition to the solar system's apparent 220 km/s orbit around the Galaxy, the Sun has its own 16 km/s movement within its immediate stellar neighborhood (i.e., within its LSR, local standard of rest), as it moves in the direction of Vega (near the constellation Hercules). To account for this, leading geocentrist Gerardus Bouw makes this quaternary (fourth level) assumption, since it would be surrender to admit the Sun is moving toward any direction, by claiming that the stars are moving past the Sun (Bouw, Geocentricity, 1992; Faulkner, 2001). Extreme geocentrism is harder to falsify than one might initially assume because advocates use the concept of a reference frame, by which many kinds of relative motion can be presented as though any particular point were stationary. However, with earthquakes changing the speed of the Earth's rotation, and with the weight of the many rescue devices, that is, of assumption added upon assumption upon assumption, the system is broken.
The Calendar vs. The Clock: To account for the universe being anywhere near the size that it appears to be, extreme geocentrists claim that there is an “ether” which is orbiting the Earth and carrying with it all the billions of galaxies. Extreme geocentrism, as shown above, makes complex claims unforeseen and contradicted by the simplicity of its original concept. Regarding geology, that the Bible overtly teaches that earth moves, a lot, at least in earthquakes and relative to itself, should suffice to correct the woodenly literal misinterpretation. That is why Sungenis tries to downplay the significance of such movements, as in his critique of the first draft of this article, when he wrote that, "it would be incorrect to claim the Earth itself moves based on merely internal shifting of the Earth’s mass." That sounds like straining at a gnat. Movement is movement, and in earthquakes not only does the interior of the Earth move, but so does its surface. And of earthquake effects, Sungenis also wrote, "There is no fragile Earth," but if so, one would also assume there would be "no wobbling universe," but the geocentrist must accept either one or the other, and it seems either would contradict his sense of what is appropriate. Regarding meteorology, the oppositely rotating hurricanes should also suffice to falsify E.G. by way of physics. Real Science Radio hosts the website, 360dayyear.com, which documents that the Scriptures and much historical evidence suggest that the Earth initially had a 360-day year. If so, that is another reason to accept that after earthquakes, by the experimentally-verified law of the conservation of angular momentum, the Earth's speed of rotation increases. Thus, this is how the length of our calendar year changed. During the global flood, catastrophic tectonic activity melted eight moons worth of rock which is now the magma of the outer core. That melt below the crossover depth was sufficient to shrink the Earth sufficiently to increase its rotation on its axis enough to add 5.24 days per solar orbit. If true, this also falsifies E.G. cosmology. When Delano, the geocentrist mentioned above, suggested that any apparent changes in the Earth's speed of rotation are the result of earthquakes triggered by catastrophic events in the most distant galaxies, he suggested that such measurements would be impossible anyway. He claimed that the best timekeeper is the spin of the universe around the Earth (which claim seems intended to be unfalsifiable). I then proposed that atomic clocks could perhaps time the duration of the sidereal day, or that we could use telescope arrays, or perhaps the GPS network, to accurately measure a change in rotation rates. My friend then was dismissive of the use of atomic clocks as timekeepers, correctly pointing out that there are limits even to their astounding precision. (I have since interviewed physicist John Hartnett who makes the world's most precise clocks which are used to calibrate our atomic clocks.) In forty years, 25 leap seconds have been added to what is called Coordinated Universal time, which itself is another argument for a changing rate of Earth's rotation, and the intention there is to keep in sync the cesium-atom calibrated atomic clocks with the variable time of the Sun's rising. (One of our immediate family members worked at a leading atomic clock facility. We would call her on Friday afternoons and ask if she could set the clock ahead 15 minutes so everyone could get an early start on the weekend.) In claiming that the only perfect timekeeper is the Earth itself, geocentrists overlook the enormous difficulty we have had in using the Earth as a timekeeper. For thousands of years, entire leap months were added to the calendar. Today, leap days are added, just to try to keep us in sync with the stars and seasons, to stabilize our time and date keeping. Forget leap seconds. Using the Earth as the calendar requires leap months or leap days. Today the creation has lost its original perfection. Everything is askew due to the judgment for, and the natural consequences of, sin. As with a unifying language, after the original creation, the whole world would have had a single uniting, obvious calendar. In the peer-reviewed Creation Research Society journal, CRSQ Fall 2013, I pointed out many of the terms that need defining for someone today to understand something that should have been so simple: the history of the calendar. We need to understand:
...the sidereal year, tropical year... ecliptic, celestial equator... anomalistic year... sidereal month, synodic month, nodal month, the beginning of a month on the Hebrew calendar, lunar calendar, Islamic calendar, the beginning of the year on ancient calendars, intercalary month, Metonic cycle, Babylonian calendar, Jewish calendar, Roman calendar, leap days, 1582 Gregorian calendar reform, century years... Jewish New Year, religious calendar, day, solar day, and sidereal day.
While Genesis does not imply geocentrism, it does explicitly indicate that God created "very good" (Gen. 1:31) heavenly timekeepers. Verse 14 says, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens... and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years...." They are very good timekeepers no more. Today, there are approximately 365.24218 days in a year. So what changed? The Earth, or the whole universe? Something has gone terribly wrong with the very good created calendar. Either there never was a very good worldwide calendar made up of the heavenly bodies, or either the Earth or the universe has sped up its rotation. The Bible says that there was a good calendar; so to deny that there was such is not a valid option. And tremendous biblical and scientific evidence shows that catastrophic physical movement has occurred right here on Earth, beneath our feet.
Earth's Spin Rotates Hurricanes in Opposite Directions: Great masses of moving air that become hurricanes, which would otherwise flow directly toward low pressure areas, end up rotating in directions predictable based on which hemisphere they form in. The Coriolis effect (from the rotation of the Earth) causes the air moving toward a low pressure zone to turn perpendicular to its velocity in such a way that hurricanes in the northern hemisphere rotate counterclockwise and those in the south rotate clockwise. (See Hurricane Katrina, left.) Question: If the Earth had an initial 360-day calendar, would such a slower rotation speed sufficiently reduce the force of the Coriolis effect such that these natural disasters would not have occurred in God's originally created paradise? These geocentrists are nothing if not bold, and so they will argue that it is the mechanics of the spinning universe (and not the rotating earth) that cause hurricanes to spin in opposite directions in the two hemispheres. The claim is that the spinning ether of the universe is rotating the hurricanes. However, hurricanes do not rotate in the upper hundreds of miles of atmosphere but only in the lowest five miles, just above the Earth's surface. Yes, hurricanes are pushed by the general flow of upper atmosphere winds, but that effect does not cause hurricanes to rotate in their predictable directions but to move, as they do, in whichever direction those upper winds are moving in. Thus the opposite spins of hurricanes (called typhoons in the southern hemisphere) provides even more evidence of the Earth's rotation.
Aberration of Starlight and Geostationary Satellites: For years the Bob Enyart Live broadcast was distributed to 80 affiliates (from Honolulu to Orlando, Florida) via geostationary satellites in orbit approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth's surface. These satellites remain in place over specific locations on Earth so that they can provide consistent data, Internet, telephony, and broadcasting to continuously service the same portions of the Earth's surface, such as, for example, most of the continental United States. Such satellites remain in their required locations by moving at hundreds of miles per hour, typically, so that gravity does not pull them crashing down to Earth, and at very precise trajectories, and speeds, calculated directly from the speed of the Earth's rotation, to keep them in their geostationary place to accomplish their service requirements. Consider then the aberration of starlight. Just as rain drops appear to approach a moving car at an exaggerated angle, so too careful measurement of starlight shows an aberration based on the Earth's orbit around the sun, of about 67,000 mph, of 20 arcseconds, a measurement which predictably varies with the Earth's speed even in our especially low eccentricity orbit. Thus many actual measurements confirm in varied and predictable ways the Earth's rotation and orbit.
The Biblical Abstractions of Geocentrism: In our Hierarchy of Hermeneutics seminar (rsr.org/hermeneutics), we discuss the tremendous advantage that God gave to His Word by presenting it primarily as narrative rather than merely as a series of abstractions. An abstraction deals with ideas rather than events. (One advantage of narratives is that they typically translate more effectively into other languages than do abstractions, and so narratives make the Bible a great text for translation into a thousand languages.) This highlights a difference in the way that young earth creationists interpret the creation account as compared to the way extreme geocentrists interpret their claimed proof texts. Consider the difference between the narrative of the Fall as compared to the perfectly valid but mere abstraction that, "Adam sinned." Likewise consider the difference between the mere statement that God hates sin as compared to the narrative of the global flood. The Ten Commandments are primarily abstractions, whereas the many accounts of sinners violating God's law and the resulting consequences are narratives that occupy far more pages of Scripture. Many hundreds of chapters in the Bible, including almost all of the Gospels, Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection, are presented not as abstraction but as narrative. These biblical narratives provide the best way to interpret, that is, to understand, what God is actually communicating. (We explore this powerful observation in our best-selling book, The Plot: The Overview of the Bible is the Key to its Details.) Much of the claimed scriptures for geocentrism are essentially single-verse abstractions including the verses listed above and Eccl. 1:5; Job 9:7; Ps. 19:6; 104:19; 119:90 which last reference says that the earth "stands fast" and in various translations, that it endures, is established, perseveres, abides, stays, continues, and remains. Some of the verses claimed in support of E.G. are abstractions that also are seemingly irrelevant, as when Sungenis in Galileo Was Wrong lists "Scriptural Passages Teaching a Stationary Earth" and includes these among a couple dozen: Job 22:14; 26:7, 10; Ps. 75:3; Prov. 8:29. Similarly, Sungenis lists a few apocryphal references from books that the Jews never considered as Scripture, which we'll not address here because as the Apostle Paul wrote, "What advantage then has the Jew...? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:1-2). Even though those passages fall into the categories of abstractions and irrelevancies, we'll not list them since the New Testament does not recognize those books as inspired, and the Jewish people never included them among the Hebrew Scriptures. Contrast, though, the biblical abstractions with the creation account, which is an extended narrative giving in historical prose at least some level of detail on God's act of creation. The closest the geocentrists come to that is the three verses in the account of Joshua battling the Amorites (Josh. 10:12-14) and in the account of Hezekiah's healing (2 Kings 20:9-12). But even in these, the narratives are not about how God made the Sun and Moon (appear to) stand still, nor how He made the shadow of the sundial go backwards ten degrees. Rather, those narratives describe how Joshua won the battle by divine intervention, and how God convinced Hezekiah that his lifespan was lengthened. The world experienced an actual long day, and the sundial actually went backward, but those passages do not explain, nor weigh in favor of, geocentrism. The sun stopping was from the perspective of the combatants in Gibeon. John Woodmorrape makes the point by asking: Have you ever claimed to "stop" at a stop sign? Extreme geocentrists themselves undoubtedly use the same relativistic speech that they deny to the Bible writers. So for abstractions and narratives, the biblical creationist warns the theistic evolutionist not to interpret away the creation and flood narratives. And likewise, he warns the extreme geocentrist not to read his entire model into the figures of speech that appear within abstractions, such as the Sun rising and setting or standing still and the Earth not moving.
Conclusion: The extreme geocentrists try to make the Earth into the ultimate reference frame. However, and as they would agree, Jesus said that heaven and Earth will pass away but His words will by no means pass away (Mark 13:31). Thus John saw the great white throne "and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them" (Rev. 20:11; cf. Isa. 13:13) for he also "saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Rev. 21:1)." Thus, the ultimate reference frame, both now and later, is not the Earth. Rather, the ultimate frame of reference is God's perspective on the works of His hands.
by Bob Enyart
Enyart co-hosts Real Science Radio and pastors Denver Bible Church, and debates leading atheists, Darwinists, and theistic evolutionists and interviews the creation scientists who dare challenge today's secular dogma that nothing created everything.
p.s. The Bible compares a future judgment to the destructiveness of the flood: "the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut" (Isa. 24:18-20). These statement also describe the actual loss of the perfect solar/lunar/sidereal calendar that God had originally given to mankind and the confusing "wobble" of the Earth. To see how the Earth lost its perfect calendar system, begin at rsr.org/hydroplate-theory. As a preview, the primary physical mechanism that altered the perfect calender function of the Earth's rotation is the conservation of angular momentum and the torque applied after the melting of rock that became the magma of the Earth's outer core.
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