“I have no idea who these people are. Are they sincere, or is this a clever bit of theater?” said Brother Guy Consolmagno, the curator of meteorites and spokesman for the Vatican Observatory.Sungenis attended a conference last year called “Galileo was Wrong, the Church was Right” in which like-minded catholics congregated to discuss the future of geocentrism. The conference, itself, touched on different topics, all of which fall within the young earth creationism rubric.
Indeed, those promoting geocentrism argue that heliocentrism, or the centuries-old consensus among scientists that the Earth revolves around the sun, is nothing more than a conspiracy theory to squelch the church's influence.
“Heliocentrism becomes 'dangerous' if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system,” said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. “False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today. … Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world; and governments and academia were subservient to her.”
But here's the corker:
But Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., said the Bible is silent on geocentrism.At last count, there are over eighty scripture references that mention a static, non-moving or flat earth. Some notable ones:
"There's a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated," Ham said. "The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system."
Then spoke Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon." And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. (Joshua 10:12-13)As the argument goes, if the earth is not in the center of the universe, then what difference would it have made if the sun stood still? The earth, itself, would still be moving and Joshua would have lost the battle.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. (Matthew 4:8)One again, if earth is not flat and unmoving, what difference would it have made where they were when the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth? If the writer really is talking about ALL the kingdoms of the earth, as a literal interpretation would argue, then a round earth would have made this impossible.
Interestingly, as Karen Wynn Fonstad points out in her Atlas of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien's Endor is constructed on an ancient understanding of the earth and its foundations. Although he never mentioned it, he evidently struggled with this as the story evolved, eventually ending up with a history in which the first two ages of Middle Earth take place on a flat earth with an “encircling sea” (a la Job 26:10) while the third age involves a round earth with “new lands” to the west.
Is the earth flat? Of course not. Is it in the center of the universe? No, it isn't. The vast majority of Christians would agree with these conclusions, based on modern science. My point is not that the earth is round or in the center of the universe or that the Bible is in error. My point is that a strict literal reading of these passages that are either implicit or explicit about the earth being in the center of the universe and flat is absolutely unwarranted and that for Ken Ham to assert that the Bible is silent on geocentrism but speaks volumes on the age of the earth is absurd.
Common-sense Christianity hits another roadblock.