Saturday, May 06, 2006

Galileo Was (apparently) wrong?

Well, there is apparently no limit to the depth of intellectual dishonesty when it comes to people choosing the primacy of religious belief over science. Some are so desperate for their religious stories to be true that they ignore or wish away all facts to the contrary. Evidence doesn't support your crackpot idea, and in fact supports the science? Don't worry! Just claim that "something else must be happening" -- no need to actually say what that is, or prove your own point. I found this article on, which describes one man's attempt to revive the argument that the heavens revolve around the earth:

Sungenis is a geocentrist. He contends the sun orbits the Earth instead of vice versa. He says physics and the Bible show that the vastness of space revolves around us; that we're at the center of everything, on a planet that does not rotate.

He has just completed a 1,000-page tome, "Galileo Was Wrong," which he hopes will persuade readers to "give Scripture its due place, and show that science is not all it's cracked up to be."

[ . . . ]

If you see the Earth as just a humdrum planet among stars circling in a vast universe, then we're not significant, we're just part of a crowd," Sungenis said. "But if you believe everything revolves around Earth, it gives another picture -- of purpose, a meaning of life."

Let's see if I get this: believe the bible (a book of religious myths intended to help people learn how to live together) that the earth is the center of the universe...because it makes us feel special? If we believe that we're just like anyone else, then it somehow makes us less. How sad.

It's pretty simple: you can have your own opinions, but you don't get to have your own facts. If you have to ignore most of them, and ignore the observable behavior of the world around you...what you are doing is not viable science.

But what about Foucault's famous pendulum? Its plane of oscillation revolves every 24 hours, showing the rotation of the planet. If the Earth didn't rotate, it wouldn't oscillate. Nope, Sungenis said: There just may be some other force propelling it, such as the pull of stars.

"Some other force". Sure. That explains things. People actually believe this drivel?

Furthermore, [...], "The Bible has no part in scientific discussion -- none whatsoever." Or, as Galileo famously quoted 16th century Cardinal Caesar Baronius, "The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go."

If you are Christian, the bible is an important part of your life. Good. I hope it makes you a better person. But trying to use it as the one and only science textbook is beyond silly.


The Tiger said...

Not directly related, but I know you'll enjoy this anyways...

The Tiger said...

Argh, sorry. Click here for the link.