Geocentrism is Better than Young-Earth Creationism

I recently had a comment left on my blog by what appears to be a bona fide geocentrist. I had been planning on blogging about the topic, since it had come up on a couple of other blogs I read.

Brandon Withrow blogged about a movie called “The Principle” which promotes geocentrism. It appears to use some famous people in ways that it is hard to believe they approve of. Here is the trailer (see Brandon’s post for more details):

YouTube Preview Image

Ken Schenck reached the point in Wayne Grudem’s book in which he tries to offer “scientific” objections to evolution, while distancing himself from geocentrists who he says misinterpreted the Bible. Ken is not impressed, for obvious reasons.

The truth is that it is far too easy to look back at figures from the past and say that they were wrong, without realizing that you are approaching Scripture in exactly the same way they were. We’ve seen it in relation to slavery, geocentrism, and many other issues which many of us consider settled but a minority small or sizeable dissents about.

The takeaway lessons from a consideration of this subject (which I have discussed on this blog before) are important ones.

1) You cannot appeal to the idea of being part of the minority that is daring to go against the flow if all you deny is evolution or the age of the Earth. The geocentrists are an even smaller minority, one that dares to take literally Biblical language that young-earth creationists and ID proponents do not.

2) You cannot call yourself a literalist if you are not a geocentrist. Even some geocentrists may deny that there is a literal dome over the Earth, or that God literally fought with a sea monster when creating. But they take literally language that young-earth creationists inconsistently treat as figurative.

3) You cannot condemn others for being compromizers without being a hypocrite if you reject geocentrism but hold to a young earth. The latter view has enough supporters that you can find strength in numbers. Geocentrism, however, requires that you really stand apart from the crowd.

Given that geocentrism is superior to young-earth creationism in so many ways, why does it have so few supporters compared to the young earth stance? Why not really dare to be radically faithful to the literal meaning of the Bible, or dare to embrace the knowledge that comes from studying the natural world? Why be one of those sinful young-earth creationist pseudo-literalist compromising hypocrites, when a more faithful option is there for you to embrace?

Stay in touch! Like Religion Prof on Facebook:
  • Gary

    I suspect it is about the Anthropic Principle. Only mention of geocentrism is “NASA taking things off their web site that hints of geocentrism”. Which is obviously over reaction to probably nothing. Most discussion is about dark energy and dark matter. We all know Lawrence Krauss is a biggie on dark energy, and not the anthropogenic principle. Kaku, I think, is rather non committal on anything metaphysical. So selective editing. I’d like to know who’s footing the bill for the movie. If you follow the money, you’ll find the purpose.

    • Yǒuhǎo Huǒ Māo

      The director is Robert Sungenis – noted for his advocacy of geocentrism.

      • Gary

        Yes. I was slightly interested if the subject was the Anthopic Principle. But Geocentism is just plan crazy. I can only relate to a model some nature program presented. I forget the details. But you are like a point on the surface of a balloon (surface represents the universe expanding). Of course from your point of view, everything looks like it is expanding away from you. But that is ridiculous saying you are at the center of the balloon universe. (And yes, I know, it is much more complicated, but a universe with perhaps no boundary conditions, and maybe 11 or 12 dimensions in a saddle shaped universe, who knows? Cosmology is hard to visualize. But nice visualization in 2 dimensional balloon surface). Thanks for the update.

        • John_QPublic

          This model is based on at least three assumptions. Two of those assumptions are directly challenged by recent observations.

        • John Warren

          You have to take this 4-D view of reality by faith. What makes geocentricity more crazy than an undetected 4th dimension into which everything is expanding?

    • John_QPublic

      Thank you for actually listening to what the speakers in the trailer actually said!

    • Geremia16

      Selective editing is making others seem to insinuate something they didn’t intend. Narrating “NASA taking things off their web site that hints of geocentrism” was intentional.

  • David Evans

    YEC can partly be defended by appealing to miracles and changed laws of nature in the past. Geocentrism goes against a whole lot of evidence in the present, for instance that the Sun and Jupiter are much more massive than the Earth, that we have measured the parallax of thousands of stars due to the Earth’s motion…

    • James F. McGrath

      In other words, those YEC compromisers don’t have enough faith to deny the whole scientific enterprise and even, when necessary, their own senses.

      • PorlockJunior

        Not enough faith, and not enough skill in twisted reasoning.

        As I think I mentioned very recently in another thread, it all works out without any worry about the Anthropic Principle if you just hold to the Omphalic Principle.

        That’s from the Greek for navel, and refers to the fact that Adam, being a fully human being, had a navel, which implies a whole prenatal existence, which of course never happened. (Perhaps it’s not obvious that I’m using “fact” in a special sense, so I’ll state here that I am.) Similarly with fossils on Earth. And the theory is robust: It perfectly well accommodates things that weren’t known when it was proposed, such as radioactive decay. Impressive! (Though robust, it is, alas, not a scientific hypothesis; see Karl Popper on that.)

        Evolution geeks know that this idea was seriously put forth in a book call _Omphalos_, by Philip Gosse, who sincerely hoped to resolve the differences over evolution.

        But the same argument applies to all those things that people cite as “proofs” that the Earth moves and isn’t the center of everything. God made the whole universe, not just Earth; and he could make it any way he wanted; and he could make it *appear* any way he wanted. And the Bible makes it clear that it’s really geocentric. It just looks otherwise, for God’s own ineffable reasons.

        The author of this actual, sincere way of reconciling the two viewpoints was a man even more eminent than the Victorian naturalist Gosse: Pope Urban VIII. If you doubt that this could have been seriously proposed, you can read it for yourself: Galileo’s _Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems_ has it stated in full. By order of the Pope, who required it as a condition of allowing the book to be published.

        Up the belly button!

        • John_QPublic

          All our observations LOOK geocentric. Period.

          We see redshifts expanding radially in every direction. We see all types of objects arranged about us on shells (gamma ray bursts, galaxies, etc.). The CMB has an imprint in it that points right back to us on the largest scales. This produces an axis the cosmologists named “The Axis of Evil”. This axis is observed in other phenomenon independently of the CMB.

          So, sorry, the universe LOOKS geocenrtic in every aspect.

          It is the ASSUMPTIONS of cosmologists that produce a picture that is not geocentric. Stephen Hawking claims these assumptions are made out of MODESTY. He agrees with my point (it looks geocentric), but says it would be most amazing if it actually turned out the way it looks.

          • David Evans

            Would those observations be detectably different if the Sun were at the centre of the universe, rather than the Earth? I think not. So it’s odd to say they support geocentrism.

          • John_QPublic

            Some would look the same within the precision of our measurements. Some may fit the galaxy. Are you a classical heliocentrist (sun is the center of the universe)?
            The CMB observations only fit the earth.

          • David Evans

            I am not a heliocentrist in that sense (I don’t think anyone is). My point is that most of your observations don’t single out the Earth rather than the Sun as the centre. In particular the redshifts are corrected for the Earth’s motion – the raw data before correction are not symmetrical with respect to the Earth’s reference frame. So their evidence is against you. I’ll leave discussion of the CMB to Ian who clearly knows more about it.
            You haven’t addressed my comments on how the neo-Tychonian model explains parallax. Would you care to?

          • John_QPublic

            The sun does not have equinoxes and an an ecliptic, so it does not fit. There is no meaningful correlation to the sun.

          • Ian

            The CMB quad and octopole is *roughly* ecliptic, but is not close enough to be at all accurate enough to deduce the universe is somehow aligned to the earth!

            See Tegmark’s own images. Sure the ecliptic, almost is aligned with the axis of the 3rd harmonic, but almost is still a long way off, ten degrees or so. And the 2nd harmonic doesn’t exactly match the 3rd, and is further divergent and the 1st harmonic is almost but not quite 90 degrees off. Presumably all the planets with approx 90 degree offset ecliptics think the CMB is pointing at them too, only perhaps they’re more right, since you have to go down to the 3rd harmonic to get a decent fit on us.


            The CMB has an imprint in it that points right back to us on the largest scales.

            Loose-worded nonsense, I’d say. It has, at best, a loose angular correspondence with the angle we happen to orbit the sun at. The CMB does not point to us. A hypothetical alien race would not look at the CMB pattern and say ‘we need to head over to that point in that galaxy, because the CMB is pointing there’.

            Incidentally your link is being pulled down as viral or malware infected by Chrome.

          • John_QPublic

            Well. that is not what a lot of the scientists who were interviewed had to say. They are not playing it down like you are. Here is what Lawrence Krauss said in 2005:

            “But when you look at CMB map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That’s crazy. We’re looking out at the whole universe. There’s no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun — the plane of the earth around the sun — the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe.”

            Some scientists are taking this seriously enough that they are predicting the end of inflation, which basically means the end of the big bang theory. You are hand waving the observation, but most major cosmologists are not (they did several years ago, but not now that Planck has verified it, and additional independent observations support it, they are trying to figure out how to deal with it- and multiverses is one of the ways they cooked up).

          • Ian

            Supporters of all kinds of fringe pseudo-physics love to do that: it is always possible to find quotes of scientists expressing their amazement in hyperbolic ways that make it sound like they’re just a tiny step from agreeing with you. A good friend of mine thinks that relativity is a fiction, and can quote all manner of modern physicists agreeing with him. And, if you point out other quotes where the same people don’t seem to agree with the pet fring theory, then there’s some cover-up, or they’re just towing the conventional wisdom, or some such. Its a very silly game. You do yourself no favours by playing it.

            If you can show one of these physicists publishing a paper with actual quantitative assessment of the probability of the correspondence – not the probability of anisotropy, which is another thing, as I’ll discuss below) — then I’ll take them seriously. There have been many papers for and against the statistical significance of the anisotropy and the features that may cause it. Some of them describe the approximate correlation with the ecliptic. One or two (by my count) take the correlation seriously to the extent they try to explain it. But in none of them do they describe this alignment as having any suggestion that the earth would be unique (or even particularly remarkable) in the universe in relation to this axis.

            As for inflation, you *must* distinguish between the implication of the existence anisotropy on inflationary models and whether the low-order harmonics of the anisotropy are aligned with the ecliptic. They are separate issues and I was responding to the latter. Even if anisotropy were found to be inconsistent with inflation (an unlikely event, imho), then it would not suddenly make the match between the ‘axis of evil’ and the ecliptic more statistically significant. Don’t mistake analyses of the statistical significance of anisotropy, with the correlation of the axis of its second and third harmonics with the ecliptic.

            On the topic of inflation, don’t confuse inflation in cosmology with the every-day use of the word to describe something getting bigger, and leap to the conclusion that inflation is somehow the same as the big bang or the expansion of the universe. Again, mushing together those things will lead you to read things and think they say things they aren’t saying. Inflation is Guth’s hypothesis that seeks to explain a bunch of physical observations and theoretical problems in the early universe. Guth’s inflation, if it occurred, lasted less than 10^-32 of a second. Theoretically, it post-dates the idea of the big bang, and does not underpin it. In the technical cosmological sense, it might be better to call it ‘The Guth Hypothesis’ rather than ‘inflation’, so you don’t get confused with the regular english word meaning ‘to get bigger’.

            Though most physicists seem to tentatively accept the Guth hypothesis, it has some problems. And certain features of the CMB anisotropy are unexpected under it. So yes, the data we’re getting on the CMB poses a real problem to Guth’s inflationary hypothesis. And it will very likely need to be augmented (there are many possible strategies), or perhaps superseded, or it may stay, if the problems are properly accounted for by other physics (again many active lines of enquiry here). But the idea that this means the end of the big bang theory is to fundamentally misunderstand the scale and location of the debate.

            Confusion on the basic physics, and a tendency to quote-mine don’t help anyone. Please be specific and quantitative. Don’t jump to conclusions based on popular science interviews or press releases for new data. That’s not how science works.

          • John_QPublic

            Some scientists have already concluded (in their opinion) that inflation cannot be saved, such as Hutterer. I suspect he waited for the Planck results before expressing that opinion, as Planck was hoped to make all those nasty anisotropies go away (by having a near perfectly circular optical field, absolute radiometers, much better scanning pattern, etc.). But it did not happen. All the independent (of CMB) observations confirming the axis of “evil” do not help either.

            I suggest that you just watch the film and let George Ellis, Max Tegmark, Julian Barbour, Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss, and others let you know what they think about the topic.

            A key reason I am responding here is not so subtle comments such as “It appears to use some famous people in ways that it is hard to believe they approve of”.
            Well they did approve of it by interviewing, and they talked. And some people are not going to like what some of them think. This makes for a great documentary. That is how truth slips past the Praetorian guard sometimes. You may or may not like Julian Assange or Ed Snowden, but what they exposed raised some eyebrows. All sides get their say.The film is going to be released with great fanfare. So I suggest you go see it and respond to WHAT IS SAID. Not what some blogger imagines is going to said! I don’t blame you as you did not write the blog and are reacting in a pretty normal way. Even our blogger host is. It is hard to believe that something we have been told since knee high may not be right, and in fact may be radically different then we ever imagined!
            As Laurence Krauss said in his interview clip, “this is an exciting time in cosmology”. He knows it, and so do all the other informed interviewees. Their views differ quite wildly. But there are some common threads, and the Copernican (and Cosmological) Principle is in great doubt.
            And relative to what Ed Snowden or Julain Assange exposed, this is infinitely more interesting and universal. It is relevant on so much higher a level than the terrestrial doings of corrupt organizations. It will have much more impact on our world. So, fasten your seatbelts. 😉

          • Ian

            But you’ve ignored all my points and merely doubled down on the assertions.

            I can’t watch the movie, it isn’t out yet. The trailer, however, is the normal quote-miney stuff I’d expect from fringe physics, as I said previously.

            Presumably you don’t understand any of this science, you’re just relying on these clips of scientists talking for a popular audience.

            If not, then as I’ve said, please be specific and quantitative.

            Asserting again that “I’ve got some quotes that I think support what I’m saying” doesn’t help you. All cranks do that. If you’re not a crank, address my actual issues.

          • John_QPublic

            No, I did actiually. Perhaps not as directly as you prefer. I understand inflation is a phase of the big bang theory. I understand that it was invented to save the big bang theory in the last great crisis, and it was swallowed like a gallon of cod liver oil by the scientific community, just as Einstein and others swallowed Fitzgerald’s suggestion that the reason the Michelson-Morley experiment failed to detect the motion of the earth is that the apparatus shrunk “just enough” in the direction of motion to mask the measurement (i.e., substitute an observation with a tautology).

            I thought my comment on Planck indirectly summed up your points and expanded on them. As to statisitcs about the correlation, I will add (Copi, Hutterer, Schwarz and Starkman). Note that the early “solar system foregrounds, etc.” are now largely dismissed, and it is considered these signals are in the CMB:

            The large-angle (low-l) correlations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) as reported by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) after their first year of observations exhibited statistically significant anomalies compared to the predictions of the standard inflationary big-bang model. We suggested then that these implied the presence of a solar system foreground, a systematic correlated with solar system geometry, or both. We re-examine these anomalies for the data from the first three years of WMAP’s operation. We show that, despite the identification by the WMAP team of a systematic correlated with the equinoxes and the ecliptic, the anomalies in the first- year Internal Linear Combination (ILC) map persist in the three-year ILC map, in all-but-one case at similar statistical significance. The three-year ILC quadrupole and octopole therefore remain inconsistent with statistical isotropy – they are correlated with each other (99.6%C.L.), and there are statistically significant correlations with local geometry, especially that of the solar system. The angular two-point correlation function at scales > 60 degrees in the regions outside the (kp0) galactic cut, where it is most reliably determined, is approximately zero in all wavebands and is even more discrepant with the best fit ΛCDM inflationary model than in the first-year data – 99.97%C.L. for the new ILC map. The full-sky ILC map, on the other hand, has a non-vanishing angular two-point correlation function, apparently driven by the region inside the cut, but which does not agree better with ΛCDM. The role of the newly identified low-l systematics is more puzzling than reassuring.

          • Ian

            Indeed, but that you think the long quote you just gave shows the anisotropy ‘pointing to’ the earth is exactly the confusion I pointed out two comments ago.

            So please be clear about your claims and the basis for them. You’re hopelessly confusing two very different things here. Things that your source is not conflating.

            As for the

            it was swallowed like a gallon of cod liver oil by the scientific community


            Well they did approve of it by interviewing, and they talked. And some people are not going to like what some of them think. This makes for a great documentary. That is how truth slips past the Praetorian guard sometimes.

            I’m afraid makes you sound like a real crank.

          • John_QPublic

            equinox and ecliptic correlations? Did you see Krauss’ comment? Not sure what you expect. It points to the earth or perhaps “the earth’s path around the sun”. Either way it is far off from there is no center, everywhere looks the same, we are an average planet in an average solar system in an average galaxy, etc. The Copernican and Cosmological Principles are toast.

          • Ian

            Okay, I’ll repeat this again in simpler terms.

            There are two issues.

            1. Is the CMB actually anisotropic or is it a measurement error.

            2. If it is anisotropic, is the anisotropy uniquely associated with the ecliptic axis.

            When the WMAP data showed anisotropy, and the spherical harmonic decomposition showed an *approximately* aligned octopole, then a logical hypothesis is that there is some orbit-based error. If there is some error, then one would expect it to be roughly aligned with orbit, so seeing an approximate alignment suggests one needs to check for error.

            But a number of papers, and the Planck data suggests that yes, 1 is true, the CMB is actually anisotropic. It is not a measurement error, or an error based on our viewpoint.

            Your paper shows, that under certain reasonable assumptions, 1 is true with more than 99% confidence.

            That being true, 2 becomes a wholly different question. 10 degrees out is near enough to suggest some alignment artifact. But if you want to calculate whether an axis alignment is *particular to earth* that’s a whole different thing. A 10 degree offset is about .1 steradians, meaning about 2% of all planets would be *closer* aligned to the axis than earth. And that’s the closest third harmonic, add the second and its 3.5%. But add the first, and 90% of all planets are closer aligned in their ecliptic. Even interpreting any axis on the plane of the first harmonic gives you 40% of all planets closer aligned on the first harmonic.

            Again, to be clear, if you are looking for evidence of an earth-orbit-determined effect, then a 98% alignment in one and 97% alignment in another harmonic is a good match. Even if others are less impressive. If you’re doing the opposite calculation, and looking for evidence that the earth’s orbit is determined in the effect, then your calculation is very different, you can’t ignore the bad matches, and the correspondence is poor.

            This is the same statistics that lawyers have to get right to avoid sending innocent people to jail: you can’t invert the direction of the implication and keep the probabilities.

            So to conclude on the basis of the statistical likelihood of 1, that 2 is justified, is just wrong.

            And the paper you quoted did nothing of the sort. But you interpret it as implying that, because you’re invested in the conclusion.

            Do you understand?

          • John_QPublic

            But the ecliptic (related to the equator) and equinox are unique to the earth. No other planet has them. Maybe you could stretch a correlation to the sun, but probably not. Some observations (such as the dipole) correlate directly to the equator. Some scientists relegate the dipole to peculiar motion, but recent independent observations cast doubt on this.
            The real point is that in either case (it is aligned to the earth or very near it), the Copernican and Cosmological Principles are gone. This is big news. It means back to the drawing board, and it means that Bellarmine was not so wrong when he said (paraphrase) that we will consider the case when the scientists demonstrate it.
            Again, the cosmologists do not express as much doubt as you do. I do not suggest you cease in skepticism as it is healthy for science, but do listen to the scientists themselves speak.
            I appreciate you actually having a conversation!

          • Ian

            Every planet in the universe has an ecliptic. The ecliptic is just the path the sun appears to take around the sky. Which, in the kind of geometric terms were talking about (when we talk about spherical harmonics), we deal with by treating the orbit as planar, and taking the axis normal to that plane.

            So for the purpose of calculating such an axis for the earth: every pair of bodies in the universe has such an axis. Even restricting it to planets and their stars, that is a vast number. So even at 98% correlation for the octopole, we’re talking an unimaginable number of planets closer to the CMB axis than us.

            Now, there is more of an argument to be made for multiple observations. If one observation showed us as being among the top 2% of alignees, and another showed us being among the top 5%, say, then if we had reason to assume independence, we’d be down at 99.9% confidence that this was more than coincidence.

            BUT! Notice something in your post, you’ve now introduced the equator, which is very different to the axis of the ecliptic. So we now have three potential axes to aim for: the ecliptic, the equinoxes and the polar axis (i.e the equator – NB this isn’t related to the ecliptic). There are potentially more. There’s the galactic plane, the moon-earth orbit plane, the super-galactic plane, the major and minor axes of the orbit ellipse, the mean precession axis and so on. And with distributive properties like the CMB there are unlimited modes. But there are vast numbers of possible measurements even then. So the ‘axis aligned’ CMB anisotropy shows up for a calculation of the difference between observed CMB and expected CMB. But even in that data set, you can slice it different ways. We’re getting to the point where i would expect to find *any* planet to have a set of impressive correlations to physical properties.

            Intuitively you might think “well it increases the chances of being special if each important axis corresponds to something“, but that’s not the case, because you have combinatorial explosion in potential matches.

            So there is a key point: it is important, interesting and surprising that we see anisotropies in fields we expected to be isotropic. But I don’t see any good reason to go from that to concluding that those anisotropies put earth in a privileged position. At this stage, putting earth as special seems to be a fishing expedition: if you have enough parameters, some will fit in amazing ways.

          • Ian

            It also just occurred to me that n=2 and n=3 harmonics on the sphere have other symmetries, so my calculations of 2% and 3% are too low. I don’t have time to do the calculation, but it appears that the n=3 figure needs doubling at least.

          • John_QPublic

            Good points. But, I think all the diagrams and measurements are relative to a universal coordinate, so the earth’s equinoxes in this perspective are fairly unique, and combined with the ecliptic and equatorial (delta=22 deg) correlations, this becomes significant. The axis is in 3D, and it passes physically through or very near us, it is not just an inclination that is being compared. There is one “axis of evil”, but other correlations.
            In any case, it is not the movie producers who are reporting the significance (though they do work with it as part of the movie’s theme), but rather the scientists and their work/analysis. The UMich group is not alone in reporting correlation to us. They are some of the most vocal, but all I can say is God Bless them! The movie is about the Copernican Principle mainly, and is slanted towards its demise.

          • Ian

            so the earth’s equinoxes in this perspective are fairly unique

            Every planet will have them, and at least 3% will be a closer fit. So they are trillions of planets away from being unique. Adding another correlation doesn’t dramatically increase the significance, as I pointed out (I can go through the probability theory if you like).

            In any case, it is not the movie producers who are reporting the significance (though they do work with it as part of the movie’s theme), but rather the scientists and their work/analysis

            And this is the key, and dangerous bit. You’ve already said that ‘the truth slips through’ and, of course, the context for the scientists statements is provided by the movie and its ‘friendly’ guests. So you inevitably get an appearance that scientists are saying things that, if you ask them outright, they wouldn’t agree to. One must be careful not to use the ‘they let the truth slip out’ idea, but actually figure out what they were trying to say in that particular excerpt. Some of these interviews can last several hours and you get five minutes. This is how you get excerpts of Dawkins claiming life was created by aliens, for example.

            Even calling it a movie about the demise of the Copernican PRinciple raises an obvious red flag. Because to most scientists that would initially mean the idea that there is no privileged reference frame. Which, for example, CMB anisotropy, if universal, would give a marker to orient the universe. Goodbye Copernican principle.

            But, perhaps by Copernican principle you mean that the *earth* is privileged. An altogether different issue, and one with a *very* different set of evidence required.

            So you get a physicist in an interview, knowing they’re going to be discussing the Copernican principle (in the normal physics sense), and at some point they’re describing the way the CMB anisotropy discoveries are made, and talking about the startling connection between the harmonics and the ecliptic. And you chop that down and put it in a film where it looks like they agreed with the second sense and are saying the earth is unique. And then, when they distance themselves from those conclusions, you can always fall back on the ‘truth slips out past the Praetorian guard’ angle.

            This happens. A lot. Interviewees don’t have editorial veto.

            So, if you want to know what a scientist really thinks, you have to read what they’re willing to publish, when they do have editorial control.

            Its too easy to spin anything otherwise.

          • John_QPublic

            There may be trillions of planets at that inclination and whose various significant planes the axis will pierce, but they do not all, and most do not lie near the axis. The universe is [at least] 3D. And as the scientists said (including Krauss)- they are correlated to our equinox, etc. Not trillions of planets’. The axis not only pierces our planes, but pierces us (or at least very near within measurement error).

            “Which, for example, CMB anisotropy, if universal, would give a marker to orient the universe. Goodbye Copernican principle.”

            BINGO. This is a major point in itself. If this is all the movie demonstrates this in itself is revolutionary in the context of today’s view of the universe. And yes, some have suggested this even several years ago, but they have been shushed into silence- at least until now. The established order (to be nice about it) hoped (and in a sense prayed) that Planck would make those nasty anisotropies disappear, but alas to no avail. Largely atheist/agnostic science stared into their synthesized theoretical abyss but something looked right back at them. Once the axis was identified, everywhere they looked it popped up. Much like Pooh’s Heffalumps and Woozles- it appeared in galaxy rotations, in polarization signals, in the CMB, in distributions of various phenomenon… Fortunately, many of the scientists think for themselves, and are honest and frank, and are willing to speak out. None want to be caught on the wrong side of history. So the producers of The Principle gave them the opportunity to speak their minds.

            And the scientists say what they say in the context of what was being discussed. In some cases more than one happened to be sitting together (after a conference for example). No one is being snipped and quote mined (the trailer gives that impression but that is the nature of 2 minute trailers).


          • Ian

            Your first paragraph makes no sense at all. And again repeats the same thing without taking account of my specific response to that claim.

            Trillions of planets on the same inclination would be on the correct axis, by definition. Because the axis is merely the vector representation of the plane.

            And because the CMB is background radiation: it is mapped to the 3D sphere at infinity.

            As I said before, and can go through the probability of, adding some features correlated to the ecliptic and others to the equator doesn’t make things more likely.

            Again you don’t seem to be either understanding or responding to my point.

            If this is all the movie demonstrates this in itself is revolutionary in the context of today’s view of the universe.

            The movie isn’t going to ‘demonstrate’ that at all. At most it will report on it and spin it in some way that people watching may or may not be mislead into what the implications are.

            The scientific publications will demonstrate it. Specifically the ESA Planck publication. And it is hardly that revolutionary. Its worth a nobel prize, possibly. Definitely if it leads to some interesting theoretical discoveries. But assuming that is just begging your question.

            And the scientists say what they say in the context of what was being discussed.

            So Kraus is going to admit that the universe is oriented uniquely around the earth now? Or will that be a truth that slipped out he’ll try to renege on?

            You can’t have it both ways, either the interviewees were perfectly aware of the full context of what they were asked, and they’ll stand behind it. Or the final movie will present them in ways they didn’t intend, and their consequent statements will not seem to support their quotes in the movie. In the latter case conspiracists will invoke the praetorian guard argument. But it is rather transparent. Its a game that gets played a lot in these kinds of fringe-science or pseudo-science documentaries.

            No one is being snipped and quote mined

            Were you involved in making the movie? The gold standard test with all these is: will the movie makers be releasing the raw interview footage, which includes all the unused content, as well as the interviewers questions?

          • John_QPublic

            The equinoixes are two perpendicular planes. The ecliptic is on the same axis.

          • Ian

            Don’t you have something better to do than keep replying to me? 😉

            I’m not sure what the fact about the equinoxes does in terms of your argument. Are you saying you are going to claim the axis of the dipole as a ‘hit’ because it is almost (but not actually) 90 degrees out from the octopole?

            If so, it doesn’t change the probability calculation, it just gives you more cherries to bite.

          • John_QPublic

            The CMB map is an all universe projection (at surface of last scattering) much like a 2D map of the earth. If the ecliptic planes and the equinox split the CMB map, their intersections (any 2 of them actually) define a common line. We are on that line (or staitstically very close).

            I do have other things to do, but I find this topic fairly exciting!

          • Ian

            For a start the directions don’t exactly line up, as we’ve seen, they are off by a fair bit.

            But, if they were spot on, then of course we’d be on a line between directions projected onto an infinite sphere, how could it be otherwise? Why would you expect any other such alignment of direction not to have that property?

          • John_QPublic

            The only point is we are on or very near the axis.

          • Ian

            We’re 10 degrees off, and we’d expect trillions of planets to be closer to that axis. I think you’re missing some basic 3D spherical geometry here, or I’m missing why you think this is somehow unique to earth. You know that we’re only dealing with directions and therefore rotations, not positions right? You can’t get positions out of this. We’re dealing with spherical harmonics, and the original map is a projection of directions onto the sphere. All lines or planes of symmetry in any one of the harmonics pass through the origin of that sphere.

          • John_QPublic

            It is more involved than that.I did mention that the CMB was mapped. Take a look at this great collection of articles:

          • John_QPublic

            Here is an interesting one that I hinted at earlier:

            May 17, 2013: Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky?
            Astronomy and Astrophysics Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, India
            “… (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies, which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the ecliptic [1,2]. … Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies… The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP).”

          • Ian

            Thanks for the link, but none of the results in there say anything other than I’m saying. The surrounding text makes the same implication you do, but also doesn’t quote any data to back it up. The data it uses is all directional.

            Do you understand the issue, and what data would be needed to make the claims you’re making (if indeed, the source of your claims are that the anisotropy is spatial rather than directional).

          • John_QPublic

            Most of the scientists making the same statements are top in their fields. Max Tegmark has said the same thing.

            Here is some explanation from a scientist friend using the dipole as an example:

            The CMB N-pole vectors reflect the symmetries of the test pattern…

            If there is no preferred direction through the origin(earth) the coefficient of the dipole will be zero(0).

            For example, consider a simple CMB pattern… A hot spot at (RA=0,45) and a cold spot at (90,45)…

            That is , 2 poles at a right angle seen from Earth. The line connecting them does not pass through Earth , so the dipole coefficient is zero…no dipole

            The CMB doesn’t give positions as distances in real space, but the N-pole coefficients give the radiation intensity or temperature in modeling space. The CMB dipole has a large coefficient compared to higher poles, so there is a strong temp diff in the Leo direction.

          • Ian

            If there is a hotspot at 0,45 and a cold spot at 90,45, (and the rest of the variation is lower amplitude) there absolutely will be a positive coefficient in the first harmonic of the distribution!

            The multipole decomposition is an approximation of the underlying measurements into (usually) spherical harmonics. This is the spherical equivalent to fourier decomposition. And is, as you say, a representation of the strength of various symmetries in the original data.

            To have zero n=1 coefficient would require isotropy to that first approximation. The situation your friend describes is certainly not that!

            What you (or your friend) appear to be arguing is that the n=1 coefficient is unexpectedly high. Fair enough, that may be the case. But that is a harder question to answer.

            Because you’re dealing with the output of the harmonic decomposition at n=1, if you visualise just that you will *always* get a contribution that looks like that harmonic; with a positive and negative pole at opposite sides.

            Even if you could determine that the first harmonic has an unduly high coefficient, you still need to figure out over how big an area that would be expected. When the surface of your sphere is 13.5Gly away, that’s still thousands of galaxies. So you’re still talking billions of planets with better alignment than earth.

          • John_QPublic

            I do agree the situation does look like a dipole! But the axis does not pass through the earth in this case. I need to discuss this some more with my friend.

          • Ian

            But the axis does not pass through the earth in this case.

            Right, it doesn’t, but you shouldn’t confuse the base situation with the n=1 harmonic. The axis of the n=1 harmonic *does* pass through the center, always. So if you do the decomposition, and consider the first harmonic, you can’t conclude anything from where the axis goes.


            This uses l rather than n, but you can see the harmonic always has an axis through the center. (I tend to use n and m, rather than l and m, because I work a lot with SH in computer graphics, rather than physics, where they are used to approximate incident lighting).

            To do the kind of analysis you want you’d need a more complex decomposition with more degrees of freedom, so you can figure out what the major axis of the overall CMB is in a way that doesn’t assume the symmetries of SH. That may be what Tegmark is doing, but if so I’d like to see his working. So far what I’ve read has all been in terms of spherical harmonic decomposition which *guarantees* the kind of centrality you’re talking about.

          • John_QPublic

            No one is saying the intersection of the lobes on the SH solutions creates an axis. Is that what you are thinking? There are clearly physical features on the CMB maps (such galactic coordinates, the ecliptic, etc.). Here is an Example of alignment of quadrupole+octopole with physical direction (

          • Ian

            No. Sorry. That’s not what I mean.

            You are suggesting that the directions of the modes of the CMB form an axis through the projection sphere which, amazingly goes through the center.

            I’m pointing out that going through the center is not amazing, but expected, and you can’t use these equations to give any other result.

            Once again I think you’re confusing confidences in the alignment of the harmonics, with confidence that somehow those alignments intersect somewhere in space (i.e. earth).

            The equations you’ve given again are about direction, alignment, not the position of an axis relative to the center of the sphere. So they have absolutely no bearing on your claim.

            We’re going round in circles, not sure I can say the same things in many other ways!

          • John_QPublic

            Ultimately it is the planes the harmonics align to that form the axis. The reason Copi, et. al, and others see a correlation is that the harmonics are partitioned by the ecliptic, the equinoxes, and other features. What is interesting are all the other features in the universe (independent of the CMB analysis) that share the same alignments. This verifies the CMB anisotropies, and points to a much different physics than previously expected.

          • John_QPublic

            As l increases, you can think of smaller and smaller patches of the measured temperature signal as being locally averaged. This corresponds to angular scale. It is low l (large angular scale) anisotropy that damages the standard model.

          • Ian

            I’m aware of what the equation means, thanks.

            I’m not sure what you’re saying any more. Because you make these grand pronouncements, then when I try to pin you down on the specific grounds for the claim you retreat back to the stuff we covered ages ago that we don’t disagree on.

            You’re either fundamentally misunderstanding what this math is doing, or your point about the *intersection* of axis (not the alignment of axis!) is being lost somewhere. Because if you think the math or the PDF you showed makes any claims about the fact that axes intersect, then I don’t think you understand the math.

            As I said I don’t know how to say the same thing agian. But you’re simply not seeming to internalise that I’m not talking about directions, I’m asking you to justify why any other planet in the universe with the same directions wouldn’t be as ‘special’. You made a claim this is because of the “intersection” of axes. But you’ve only shown me math that assumes intersection in its very definition.

            Do you understand the difference?

            So please, don’t go round again with quotes and samples of the math of the alignments of these axes. We’ve done that to death. You either have math demonstrating your intersection claim, or you don’t.

          • John_QPublic


            “Ultimately it is the planes the harmonics align to that form the axis”

          • Ian

            Okay, maybe in there is the problem:

            “the planes the harmonics align to”

            Given the coefficients of S_{l=1,m=-1,0,1} for the SHD of the CMB, can you tell me what the equation of the “plane the harmonics align to” would be? I’ve been assuming one answer to this, based on the material you’ve quoted.

            But you might have a fundamentally different understanding of what plane is being talked about. It would be more helpful I think to spell it out.

          • John_QPublic

            Theplane the harmonics align to is a real plane in space (depending on the alignment it coud for instance be the ecliptic). As the ecliptic threads its way across the map (in galactic coordinates) it partitions off anisotropies (e.g., quadrupole, octupole)

          • Ian

            I’m not doubting it is a real plane. I’m asking you to define what it is, exactly, in terms of the modes of the anisotropy.

            We’re at the end of the road for handwaving vagueries. I’m trying to be precise about what you are claiming here. Or you need to be clear that you don’t understand the math you are using.

          • John_QPublic

            Ian- I am not doing the calculations. Unlike you, I am not an expert in spherical harmonics. Here is a paper that describes the mathematics used by most of these researchers:

            And here is an earlier paper that goes into more detail.

          • Ian

            Okay, so both these papers are about direction or angular alignment. Which is what we’ve discussed in detail already.

            When you say the axis does not pass through the earth, or that the earth is close to the axis, you’re implying positional information. In fact you’ve been more explicit, you rejected my point that trillions of planets would be as or better aligned than us, by talking about intersections of axes/planes. All these are positional. Now you’ve also said you can’t get absolute positions from the data, sure. But the idea of being ‘close’ to an axis, as well as being aligned with it, suggests relative position. You’ve also talked about earth being on or near to a plane. And as you no doubt know planes in 3D have 4 degrees of freedom. They need both a direction vector and a position, even if that position is relative.

            Can you refer me to papers that talk about this *positional* aspect? Please don’t refer me to another quote that talks about the *angular* correspondence. You are making a positional claim. Where does that come from?

          • Ian

            Most of the scientists making the same statements are top in their fields.

            But so far you’ve not shown a single scientist saying what you are claiming. You’ve shown me things that agree with what i’m saying,a nd sites that wrongly interpret that the way you want it. But they aren’t supporting your point.

            You could write your statement

            “Most of the scientists I’m quote-mining are top in their fields.”

            That may be true (it isn’t true, imho, but they are light years beyond where I am, so their lack of being ‘top’ is hardly important in this discussion!).

            Max Tegmark has said the same thing.

            Can you show me a paper where he has actually argued this directly and quantitatively from the data, rather than a quote snippet where he seems to say something like it?

            You may be right about Tegmark, I don’t know, but I’d like to see the actual data and math.

            I strongly suspect you’re wrong that folks like Kraus and Kaku think this. But again, if you have the actual science, rather than quoted snippets, I’m more than happy to be proven wrong!

          • John_QPublic

            I never said Krauss and Kaku said (or think) this! The point I made at the beginning is that multiple views are represented in the movie.

          • Ian

            Thanks for the clarification. So I withdraw that part of my objection.

            So when you say “most of the scientists making the same statements” I have two questions

            1) by ‘same statements’ do you mean a) approximately ecliptic aligned anisotropy, or b) that the anisotropy is not only aligned with the ecliptic, but spatially centered on earth, or something else.

            2) who do you mean, specifically, then, other than Tegmark?

            Edit: and, 3) Can you give a reference to Tegmark’s calculations to get this result?

          • John_QPublic

            I’ll skip the second “crank” comment for the moment (and just disagree with you), but the inflation hypothesis was mathematically almost ridiculous requiring a precision of knowing the universe’s density to within 1 part in 10^55. It was either a brilliant stroke of dumb luck or desperation. It was accepted to “save appearances”, and kept the game going for a few more decades (and $billions) longer. It is now kaput, just like the Coperncian and Cosmological Principles. Much like other products of entropy, the $billions are also “inflated” away (I am not against scientific research, just prefer it is not ideologically driven, especially past its death knell).

          • PorlockJunior

            Ever tried to work out the field equations in General Relativity for a geocentric universe? You know, one in which galaxies a billion light-years away appear to circle the Earth in 24 hours — but the limitation on relative velocities still holds. No, I haven’t either. No doubt Hawking has the ability to work it out in detail. I’ll read his book about it when he does; but it’s still not a universe you’d wanrt to do astronomy in.

            Which is to say, yes, of course, duh, it’s all relative; but accepting the geocentric view as something to be taken seriously for the study of reality, which once was perfectly sensible to do, would now be ludicrous. Like the 19th century version of omphalism.

      • John_QPublic

        The YEC crowd (i.e., Creation Research) have been slow to adopt geocentrism. They have somewhat considered galacto-centrism. Catholic geocentrists tend to agree that if you hold to a literal view of Scriptures, you cannot deny geocentrism, just as you cannot deny the real presence in the host.

    • TomS

      How do you know that the Sun and Jupiter are much more massive than the Earth, except by assuming Newtonian physics? The parallaxes of stars are interpreted as giving their distances on the assumption of the motion of the Earth. I think that it is not easy to get unambiguous evidence for the motion of the Earth. I would go so far as to say that it is more obvious that humans are related to apes. (The best evidence for evolution is not the fossils, however good that is.)

      • PorlockJunior

        The consensus is that there wasn’t really good physical evidence for any motion of the Earth until the 1850s, when Foucault got the inspiration for his big pendulum. This consensus, like everything else in the history and philosophy of science, is debatable.

        • TomS

          The Foucault Pendulum is good, easily accessible evidence for the daily rotation of the Earth. But what about the annual
          orbital motion of the Earth around the Sun?

          • arcseconds

            Good, accessible evidence which also assumes Newtonian principles, no? Or at least rectilinear inertia. If you’re happy adopting a different notion of inertia, or introducing new forces that push pendulums around (connected in some way to the motion of the sun around the earth, maybe), then Foucault’s pendulum can in principle be used to empirically prove a geocentric theory :-)

          • David Evans

            Are you aware that all our machines are designed using Newtonian principles? If you are going to ditch those principles, you have to explain why the machines work.

          • arcseconds

            No, I don’t!

            Even by the lights of mainstream physics, we know that Newtonian explanations are, at best, incredibly crude approximations to the underlying reality, and are strictly speaking actually false. If we’re happy with these explanations now, then I can’t see why they wouldn’t be happy with them in our glorious new geocentric future.

            People can keep using Newtonian physics because it’s pragmatically useful, just as people currently use all sorts of things that aren’t currently thought to be true because they’re pragmatically useful (including geocentric coordinate systems!).

            Besides, if I’m ditching well-established physical principles, why can’t I also ditch the requirement to give explanations?

            (why is it me that’s doing this, by the way? All I was doing was pointing out the assumptions under which Foucault’s pendulum proves anything… I’m not sure why that means I’m ditching anything (or, for that matter, why you think that means I might be ignorant of the principles used to design machines) but since that is the role which fate has handed me, I guess I may as well run with it and see where it leads… )

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Actually, this is not true:

            “Newtonian explanations are, at best, incredibly crude approximations to the underlying reality, and are strictly speaking actually false.”

            Newtonian mechanics is the degenerative case of relativity and quantum mechanics. In most cases of regular engineering and daily physics, it is completely accurate because relativistic and quantum effects are beyond measurement. I can calculate the wave equation of my desk or the time dilation of my fingers as I type. However, they are too small in effect to matter.

            Newtonian mechanics is an accurate estimate of our world outside of the very big, very fast, or very small.

            I suggest you watch this excellent historical lecture:


          • TomS

            Before I get carried away with this, let me make it clear that I have no problem with standard science of today. The only intent is to show how the anti-evolutionary arguments have their parallels in anti-heliocentric arguments. If one is an evolution-denier, one might as well be a geocenrist. So I might well say that I have no obligation to offer non-Newtonian explanations for things. Or I might say that I accept “micro”newtonism for small things near the surface of the Earth, and reject “macro”newtonism where no humans have been present to directly measure it.

          • Paul Burnett

            David Evans noted “Are you aware that all our machines are designed using Newtonian principles?”

            Not quite – any “machine” that uses mercury (instruments, switches, relays) is taking advantage of its liquidity, which is explained by relativity rather than Newtonian principles. See, for instance,

          • arcseconds

            It seems to me that solid state computers probably don’t use any Newtonian principles in their design. David Evans certainly knows more about this than I do, though, so I’ll let him correct me if I’m wrong :-)

          • David evans

            You’re right, I was exaggerating there. I would have done better to write “all our aircraft, trains, ships, cars…”

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Actually, most solid state electronics relies on simple electromagnetic theory, which does not leverage QED or relativity. However, circuits are getting small enough where quantum effects such as tunneling must be accounted for.

            Newtonian mechanics doesn’t apply to circuits, but the physics except in the extremely small is straightforward.

          • Gary

            Tunnel diodes are specifically made to take advantage of tunneling (quantum migration of electrons or holes across a semiconductor junction barrier. I wouldn’t go too hard on Newtonian anything. Newton came up with differential and integral calculus to describe motion. Take a look at Maxwell’s equations. Same math used to describe electromagnetic interactions. When they finally get the unified theory of everything, it will all be tied together with the same math. Besides, electrons and holes move too. Of course, the whole particle, wave thing is a convenient way to look at it, depending upon what you want to prove. Usually, relativity effects are a second order correction to Newtonian motion, unless the velocity is close to c. I wouldn’t call newton’s motion laws as crude.

          • Gary

            Somebody called them crude, but I lost track of who. Not meant to be addressed at anyone in particular.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            QED uses some pretty exotic mathematics that goes way beyond differential and integral calculus, including gauge theory, operator theory, etc. Much of QED is statistical, and it requires things like measure theory to compute the integrals for situations where the calculus of Newton would fail miserably.

            Have you actually looked at the manifold analysis behind relativity??? Analysis on Manifolds by Spivak is a straightforward introduction for special relativity. General relativity is much more complex.

            While I agree the Newton’s mechanics works for most things where quantum effects and relativistic effects are too small to matter, I wouldn’t diminish the complexity of the math behind relativity or QED.

          • Gary

            It’s still all based upon differential and integral calculus. Schrodinger’s equation is an integral. The last thing I’d want to do is diminish the complexity. BTW, GPS satellites use a relativistic correction, to maintain accuracy. But they are interested in max accuracy of their clocks, and the satellites are moving fast. But the correction is still small, since they are a long ways from c. But don’t want to diminish Newton.

          • John_QPublic

            It is claimed by some that GPS uses a correction of Special Relativity. Others claim it uses a correction from Genenral Relativity. Yet others claim that the correction is simply classical mechanics! A correction is done. The Principle (documentary) interviews Ronald Hatch (he is in the trailer) who is an expert in GPS issues.

          • Gary

            Both. The only movie info I saw was the trailer. You seem to know more about the movie than is displayed. Where are the details of the movie, or it’s source? Who is producing it?

          • John_QPublic
          • Gary

            Ah oh! Executive producer Robert Sungenis. If it walk like a duck, and it talks like a duck, it’s a quack! I’m done.

        • John_QPublic

          According to Mach and Einstein at least, the pendulum cannot distinguish between a stationary earth in a rotating universe and a rotating earth in a stationary universe. I.e., it can only confirm relative motion between the earth and universe.

          • David Evans

            So, which is the more credible hypothesis – that the Earth is rotating, or that the whole universe is? Given that we can see that every other planet in the Solar System is rotating, why should Earth be different?

          • John_QPublic

            It would be unique if it were different that is for sure, and that creates a lot of metaphysical/philosophical/theological questions that most people do not want to deal with. But my point is that from the perspective of science and science alone (or mechanics or measurement if you will), the pendulum cannot distinguish, and thus does not prove or disprove either case (geo or helio centrism).

            You are bringing philosophical points into diuscussion (i.e., Occam’s Razor), which is fine, but I wanted to point this out.

          • TomS

            I think that you should be a little more careful in the way that you say this, for it can give the impression that it is (ahem) circular reasoning, assuming that the Earth is just another planet of the Solar System. I’d point out first that the Earth really is an object made of ordinary stuff like the Moon, Mars, Venus, various meteorites. Second, that the laws of motion are in common between near-Earth objects and acknowledged orbiters of the Sun: There is no distinction between Earthly stuff and planetary stuff.

          • David Evans

            Good points. Thank you.

      • David Evans

        We know that Newtonian physics works in the Solar System because we use it to land probes precisely on Mars and Venus and to send them on precise paths to Saturn and beyond, using Jupiter’s gravity for a precisely calculated speed boost. None of that would work if our calculated masses of the planets were radically incorrect.
        Parallaxes are observed fact. The apparent relative positions of near and distant stars change regularly with a period of one year. If that isn’t a result of the Earth orbiting the Sun, how do you explain it?

        • TomS

          Many a time I have offered a scientific argument to a YEC, only to be told that I am assuming that raioactive decay works in a uniform pattern. How do you know, were you there? How do you know that F=ma and G=gm1m2/r^2 even at places where you haven’t been.

          • David Evans

            I think my example answers that. We calculated the path of the Cassini space probe past Jupiter and out to Saturn, where we settled it in orbit, assuming both that Newton’s laws apply out there (where we had never been) and hat the planetary masses were as we thought. It worked! (and still impresses the heck out of me). When YECs or geocentrists produce a prediction like that I’ll start taking them seriously.
            I’ve had the radioactive decay argument with Answers in Genesis. I pointed out that if the decay which seems to show a 4 billion year age were accelerated into 6,000 years of real time, the uranium ores would have melted inside a year, and the lead would have separated out, which is not what we observe. They retreated to the omphalos argument

          • TomS

            “assuming that Newton’s laws apply there …”
            Say that, and you’d get the immediate response that you are engaging in circular reasoning.
            As far as geocentrists producing such predictions, it’s easy: Just transform the coordinate system so that the Earth remains fixed. The calculation starts with geocentric coordinates, transforms to the complicated system that they actually use in computation, proceeds to the end, and then is transformed back to geocentric. Those added transformations are trivial compared to the rest of the calculations needed.
            I will allow that the geocentrist has some hurdles to overcome, but no more so than the anti-evolutionist. While you may think that my geocentrist computations are weak, the anti-evolutionist has nothing at all.

          • David Evans

            I presume you agree that we have the planetary and solar masses more or less right. If not, our predictions would be wrong in any reference. But if so, how likely is it that the Sun is orbiting the much less massive Earth?

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Galileo showed over 400 years ago that geocentrism is false with simple and direct astronomical observations such as the phases of Venus among other observations. A telescope and some patience are all that is needed to unambiguously destroy geocentrism.

          • TomS

            If one plots out astronomical positions of the Solar System on a sheet of paper (the orbits are very nearly all in the same plane), there is no difference with what point on the drawing is designated as the center.
            BTW, modern geocentrists generally allow Venus (and the other planets) to orbit the Sun.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Okay… I wasn’t aware that “modern” geocentrists allowed for anything to orbit other objects than the earth. This seems like a pretty big cheat.

        • John Pieret

          Parallaxes are observed fact. The apparent relative positions of near and distant stars change regularly with a period of one year. If that isn’t a result of the Earth orbiting the Sun, how do you explain it?

          God performed a miracle, of course. After all, YECs claim that we can’t use apparent brightness and the speed of light to infer that the universe is 13.7 billion years old because God created the light, just 10,000 years ago or so, already “on the way” to earth. But, then, how do we know that stars even exist and aren’t false trails of light that God keeps changing to make it look like there are parallaxes?

          In for a penny, in for a pound. If God has created the world with an “appearance of age,” then he can create it with an “appearance of parallaxes” and where there is an “appearance of landing probes on Mars.”

          • David Evans

            That would make God even more of a deceiver. Creating the world once and for all with the appearance of age is one thing. Continuing to deceive us in the present, so that we can never find out the truth, is another. I’m tempted to ask, why not assume that he gave us a ridiculous creation story in Genesis to see how bright we are? Possibly after another of his bets with Satan.

          • John Pieret

            That would make God even more of a deceiver.

            And? …

            Continuing to deceive us in the present, so that we can never find out the truth, is another.

            Getting closer …

            I’m tempted to ask, why not assume that he gave us a ridiculous creation story in Genesis to see how bright we are? Possibly after another of his bets with Satan.
            I am not a believer but you have just made an excellent case for YEC being a deception of Satan, aimed at making believers looking foolish. Augustine had something to say about that!

          • TomS

            I have been told that God, far from being a deceiver, has made a point of telling us the truth in the plain words of the Bible. He had His reasons for the deceptive appearances of nature, but realizing how they could be deceptive made sure that we would know the truth by telling us in the Bible.

        • John_QPublic

          NASA often uses planet-centric or earth -centric coordinate systems so, this argument does not validate any specific centrism. When launching a vehicle, the math works best in an earth centered system. When travelling to a target in the solar system, a sun-centered may be most convenient. When landing on say a planet, the specific planet centered coordinate system may be most advantageous. Newtonian mechanics is the bread and butter of engineers, but not of cosmologists.

          • David Evans

            True, the Earth-centred system is convenient for some problems. What reason can there be for privileging it over all others (which is, I presume, what geocentrism does)?

          • John_QPublic

            From a naturalistic perspective, I could not say, but observations indicate it is. Certainly there are theological reasons to believe it should be.

          • David Evans

            Observations indicate it is? I don’t accept that. To borrow Ian’s words, you are making a positional claim. Where does that come from?
            And you haven’t answered my question about parallax.
            Theologically, if you are reading the Bible that literally, I would like to know where the “waters above the firmament” are located.

          • John_QPublic
          • David Evans

            It will have to wait. I’m staying with friends and can’t devote an hour to watching.

    • John Pieret

      If God using miracles and changes in the laws of nature makes it impossible to trust what we can discover about the past, why should we trust anymore what we measure in the present? Does the Bible say anywhere that God will stop performing miracles or changing the laws of nature? Why is evidence in the present any more believable?

      • TomS

        One gets the impression at times that the anti-evolutionists make up stuff on the spur of the moment to get them out of a pressing problem, with no concern about filling in the details later or making it consistent with the rest. Let alone finding any Biblical support.

        • John Pieret

          One gets the impression at times
          Tom, I hope you can, after wedging your tongue so firmly in cheek, get it out again. 😉

    • Sven2547

      YEC can partly be defended by appealing to miracles and changed laws of nature in the past.

      In other words, Last-Thursdayism. Not much of a “defense”, really.

    • John_QPublic

      David: I see a lot of preconceptions in your response. You really need to read the book “Galileo Was Wrong”, by Robert Sungenis and Robert Bennett. All these issues and many more are treated scientically and are not issues for geocentrism. You are assuming that science has demonstrated things it has not. This is not uncommon, and takes some reading and thought to unwind from.

      • David Evans

        I don’t have ready access to that book. Perhaps you could tell me how it explains the annual stellar parallax?

        • John_QPublic

          The PDF version is pretty inexpensive.

          The simplest is the neo-Tychonian model. Earth in the center. Sun with its solar system (planets) rotating with the star field. Basically coordinate inverse of Keplerian system. Other explanations involve concepts such as aether.

          • David Evans

            I can make no sense of that. How would the Sun and planets affect the stellar parallax? And how would any motion of the aether make nearby stars appear to shift annually against the background of more distant stars?

          • John_QPublic

            In the neo-Tychonian system, the stars are centered on or near the sun.

          • David Evans

            PS. OK, I think I see it. Every star in the sky shares in the Sun’s orbital motion about the stationary Earth. That would explain parallax. What I can’t see is (i) what forces would accelerate each star in that way, (ii) why anyone would believe something so crazy.

  • Guest

    Is it wrong to use the terms “sunrise” and “sunset”? Shouldn’t we say, What a beautiful “earth-turn”?

    • TomS

      Everyone agrees that there are obvious metaphors in the Bible. However, in the case of the “geocentric proof texts” there is a long history of no one suggesting that it might be a metaphor. If it is a metaphor, it wasn’t obvious to anyone for some 2000 years. Not until evidence from modern science led to heliocentrism did anyone speculate that it might not be literal.

      • John_QPublic

        By “modern”, I assume you are referring to the “ancient” Greeks who argued helicentrism?

  • Ian

    “We are the only life in the universe” says the video.

    “Citation needed”, say I.

    • John_QPublic

      Google Max Tegmark. See the Fermi paradox:

      • Ian

        There’s a lot more than 1 galaxy in the universe!

        • John_QPublic

          The article also addresses other galaxies. I am not sure this is Max Tegmark’s only consideration.

          • Ian

            It only says ‘we’ve not seen any evidence from other galaxies of life’, not ‘we would expect to see such evidence if life existed’.

            Fermi’s paradox is an argument to expectation as a way of turning absence of evidence into evidence of absence. But it applies only to our galaxy, and only to intelligent life. Not to mention that it is a coarse heuristic that can be explained by many many different angles other than earth exceptionalism.

            We simply have no grounds to claim “We are the only life in the universe” (nor indeed should we exclude the middle and claim that “there are other forms of life in the universe”).

          • John_QPublic

            Fair. The Wikipedia article discusses other galaxies also. I just posted the reference to show there is some thought around this issue. You would have to ask Max Tegmark what his total reasoning is on this, but clearly this is his position.

  • John_QPublic

    The Principle is a movie about the Copernican Principle. Recent observations (especially of the CMB, but also other independent observations) in dicate the existence of an axis in space (“axis of evil”) that is correlated to the equinoxes. Other features are correated to the equator. The Copernican and Cosmological Principles are both invalidated. Of course, at that point geocentrism is a viable topic to discuss.

    • John_QPublic

      Also, all interviewees in the movie were quite aware of the topic of the movie (Copernican Principle). For more information see these articles:

    • Guest
    • Christopher R Weiss

      Cough Cough Cough… sorry the cloud of BS I am seeing here is making me a little nauseous.

      Buy a telescope, google the “phases of Venus” and look for yourself.

      • Ian

        To be fair (and bear in mind I disagree with John), his brand of ‘geocentrism’ is not the geocentrism of pre-heliocentric cosmology. This brand of geocentrism doesn’t doubt that Venus orbits the sun.

        The claims are that the universe has a distinct orientation and universal coordinate system (contra the ‘Copernican principle’ — which isn’t the same as copernicus’s planetary model) — this is a position that cosmologists will take seriously, while being in the minority; and furthermore the entire universe is somehow oriented uniquely around the earth — this is a pseudo-scientific / fringe-physics idea.

        So I think John is wrong, but not for the reasons that pre-heliocentric geocentrism was.

        • Christopher R Weiss

          Thanks for the clarification. Basics concepts of gravitational interaction make any form of geocentrism impossible.

      • John_QPublic

        You are referring to the original Ptolemaic model. If you study this further you would learn that first, Ptolemy’s model was basically a curve fit for planetary motion, and he used the best observations he had. He had no telescope. If you were to take more modern data and curve fit it with Ptolemy’s model (i.e., tune the epicycles), you could eliminate the issues with Venus’ phases. Of course why would you do that? But I thought you might be interested in knowing that. Any modern geocentric theories would not be Ptolemaic, and would use the best observational data available.

        • Christopher R Weiss

          No one who has had even basic physics would accept the idea the universe rotates around the earth, ie. that the earth is stationary and everything moves accordingly. This violates basic demonstrable Newtonian mechanics.

          The only way geocentrism could work would be for net gravitational forces on the earth to be zero. I think the tides blow up this theory since they force the mass of the earth to shift while none of the other stellar objects show a similar shift.

          No theory of geocentrism holds up to even the most basic scrutiny.

          • John_QPublic

            You should read the book “Galileo Was Wrong”. You are burdened with a lot of misconceptions. First, you cannot apply Newtonian mechanics to the cosmos. No cosmologist today does that. Newtonian mechanics are the realm of engineers working with medium sized objects (say less than the size of the moon, larger than say a molecule).
            The other issue is what is inertia? What causes it? Not to mention what causes gravity? We can bypass the gravity question briefly, but the inertia question plays into some of your issues.
            Observationally, the Copernican Principle appears to be invalidated. Cosmology opens up much more that you are currently prepared to deal with (not insulting you, I have discussed this with a lot of people and know where you are coming from- I came from there too).
            At least go check out

          • David Evans

            Let me rephrase my question about parallax. Observed stellar parallaxes can be explained in a reference frame in which the Earth orbits the Sun annually and the stars have no annual periodic motions. If we shift to a reference frame in which the Earth is at rest, the stars must each move annually in an orbit with a radius of 1 A. U. to preserve the geometrical relationships on which parallaxes are based. In your view, what forces cause the stars to move in those orbits?

          • $41348855

            Take a well done fried egg and stick a pin through it so that it’s fixed to a table. The pin should go half way between the yolk and the edge. You can now start turning the egg so that the yolk revolves around the pin. Even though the yolk orbits the pin the pin is still not at the centre of the egg.

            Even if you imagine that the Universe is revolving around the Earth, the Earth isn’t at the centre of the solar system. The same goes for the galaxy. You can imagine the centre of the galaxy orbiting the Earth but the Earth isn’t at the centre of galaxy

      • John_QPublic

        This point is related to the original Ptolemaic model. For all its limitations, researchers have studied it and conclude that using modern observational data, the model could be tweaked such that the phases of Venus could be resolved correctly. The data Ptolemy had at the time was limited, and he basically “fit” what he had. Just thought you might find that interesting. Any modern geocentric theories would not be based on Ptolemaic ideas.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Creationism, Intelligent Design; all those movements have their lists of scientists who reject the scientific consensus. Geocentricity has Gerardus Bouw, with degrees in astronomy and astrophysics.

    When I’d started my Bible reading program, one of the first things I learned was that not only was I to learn new things from the words of God, but I was also to forget the teachings of men. “What must I forget next?” was a question I asked over and over.

  • newenglandsun

    I’m an Einsteinian geocentrist. Does this count?


    I’ve got all 3 of the “radical” positions I’m an Authorized King James Bible Onlyist A Geocentrist and a Young Earth Creationist. I would say a Bible believing born again Biblical New Testament Christian.

    The Biblical and Observational Case for Geocentricity Jul 3, 2013
    by Jack a. Mooreman

    The Young Earth: The Real History of the Earth – Past, Present, and FutureOct 23, 2007
    by John Morris

    Early Manuscripts, Church Fathers and the Authorized Version with Manuscript Digests and SummariesMar 27, 2008
    by Jack Moorman

  • Lucy Meadow

    if we’ve got geocentrism issues, spare a thought for the poor supermassive blackholes. From where they are it’s geocentrism all the way out to the edge of the galaxy. Thinking about it, they actually do see distant stars rotating around them faster and faster by further and further. Poor SMB. I wonder if any of them ever escape religion. Maybe that’s why we never see them pointing telescopes at us.

  • John Warren

    and this is why I’m seriously considering Geocentricity. Darwin’s easy to tackle. Real men go after Galileo.