I felt bad about my impulsiveness in mentioning Bob Sungenis’ science kookiness about a non-rotational earth, aether, attacks on relativity, young earth creationism, etc. I once contributed to a book of his and had visions of people writing me saying, “Aren’t you one of those guys that thinks the earth doesn’t rotate?” So I rather impulsively posted my note making clear that I’m not one of those guys and, yes, it was ungently worded, which I regret since Bob was gracious enough to publish my essay and has done some nice work for the Church. I also mistakenly assumed that Bob demanded all Real Catholics[TM] believe this. I discovered I was wrong and quickly retracted this, though again in words that made it clear I still think these ideas are kooky.
But Bob is not satisfied with my apology for my factual error. In terms rather more ungentle than mine, he says, among other things, that I should have written him privately about his public and loud positions on these matters. Problem is, I’ve already corresponded with him, if not specifically about his kooky science ideas, certainly on his hyperliteralist views of Scripture upon which those ideas are based. Several others have done the same at other times and he continues to hold them, which is how he got to the point where he is now denying the rotation of the earth.
Even more than that, he has also has taken the extraordinary step of offering to make somebody a thousand dollars richer. All some eager beaver has to do is prove to Bob’s satisfaction that the earth does indeed move and he will pony up a thousand bucks. I am not making this up.
Now you may be asking yourself, “Would somebody who stands to lose a thousand bucks if he admits he’s wrong be an impartial judge of any case for heliocentrism presented to him?” That’s where you are different from me. My question to anyone who replies to this goofy challenge is, “What the heck are you doing? You’re arguing about whether the earth rotates! That’s kooky!”
So, to cap off an extraordinary week, I’ve been mentioned in US News and World Report. I was interviewed by Vatican Radio. And I’ve been challenged to defend the dangerous view that the earth rotates–a challenge I hereby politely decline. What a fascinating life it is.