I became involved in a discussion recently with the owner of http://www.genesis-creation-proof.com . This guy is a hard-line fundamentalist Christian who believes in the complete authority of scripture (whatever that means given internal contradictions and mistranslations).
I find it hard to understand how seemingly intelligent people can still cling to this stuff in 2014.
Before I go any further I want to state clearly that I am not setting out here to offend anyone. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, I myself was raised in a Christian family and still hold to many of those principals. I am not an atheist and am an open minded thinker. I am also a theology graduate and I am somewhat intelligent, intelligent enough to find the facts and make a judgement based on them.
Lets just outline the geocentric belief. Prior to Copernicus the world held true to an original Greek idea that the earth was at the centre of the universe and everything else revolved around it. The planets, the stars, the sun, all made a single orbit around the earth every 24 hours. Even some Greeks knew there were problems with this and observable data that didn’t fit this model. Various fixes were invoked involving epicycles and models where everything but the earth revolved around the sun with the sun and planets still revolving around the earth. All that was needed was time, evidence, human thought, and the telescope to knock this over.
Overwhelming evidence. The above belief simply cannot be true, for numerous reasons. Here are a few of the observable, provable bits of evidence that completely destroy geo-centricity.
Distant stars – these stars would have to be traveling at multitude x the speed of light in order to traverse one earth orbit in 24 hours. In fact if you do the calculations, anything further than Jupiter would be traveling at the speed of light, and we would witness relativistic effects such as length contraction and time dilation (and before the geo-centrists start arguing about relativity, it is the most studied well understood, and tested scientific theory of all time, keeping satellites in orbit, bending light visibly around stars, and creating gravity lenses through which we view first had deep regions of space from the distant past).
The Coriolis effect – The proven motion of matter on a spinning object. This really is GCSE science, and explains why weather systems in the southern hemisphere rotate in the opposite direction to those in the northern.
Parallax – The absence of this effect (on distant stellar objects) was (pre telescope) the biggest argument for geo-centrism. We now have space based telescopes to observe the subtle changes in angle of distant starlight.
And finally – A simple one. Space exploration, we have sent numerous space probes to all our neighbouring planets. These have not jut flown in straight lines but used gravitational slingshots that simply would not be possible from a stationary earth. The voyager space probes are currently leaving our solar system and entering interstellar space on the very trajectories calculated by heliocentricity.
There are many other convincing arguments out there….
You see its all about blind faith in the eyes of overwhelming evidence otherwise, and it is another form of extremism. That’s the really scary bit, because we readily criticise and go to war against religious extremists who want to see western democracy wiped from the face of history. Yet on our side we have the growth of the Christian right in America, who now hold considerable political power. These people believe the world is 4000 years old (contrary to all evidence) the believe in geo-centricity, they want creationism taught as science in schools, and some believe we are living in the end times and may actually be seeking to hasten the rapture.
What happens when blind faith meets blind faith, I don’t particularly want to be around to find out.