Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism among TLM Traditionalist Catholics?
  • Elmar
    Posts: 500
    ... no one has gone on record to say whether the earth is “remarkably placed” in the universe
    Well, here I go: "remarkably" is a subjective judgement; my personal answer is 'no' (this may or may not be influenced by my background as physicist).
    or, is the “axis of evil” just a universal coincidence?
    ??? Cuba - Libya - Syria - Iraq - Iran - North Korea ???
    OK my training in astronomy is rather sketchy ... you probably meant a feature of the microwave background as outlined here ... I'd like to cite: "There is no consensus on the nature of this and other observed anomalies."

    In such case, it seems wise to me not do dismiss the judgment of trained experts in a hand-waving way.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,673
    Was "remarkably" used by Hawking in his comments about our Universe being to good to be true. I hope know one thinks the idea of a multiverse or Landscape is in any way scientific.
    The final insult to Hawking is where he is buried or at least his ashes.
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  • "The final insult to Hawking"? I doubt Hawking feels at all insulted, much less that he would have given any thought to an "insult from" beyond the grave either.
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    As Sir Humphrey says: The Church of England is a social organization, not a religious one. These days people go to the Abbey more to see famous dead people than to worship: Stop by and see Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell, Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, and Steven Hawking, then go across the street to grab a kebab and hop on a Boris Bike to cycle 'round to the next tourist location. I can't imagine Hawking being offended by being burried at Westminster, it's about the same as being burried at Waitrose.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 2,211
    Thanks for the correction! Made me go look it up in Fr Hardon's Catholic Dictionary.

    The three preternatural gifts are infused knowledge, bodily immortality, and absence of concupiscence. The 'bodily immortality' means (as corrected above) that while the body still dies, it is incorruptible and does NOT wait till the last day to gain the Beatific Vision.
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  • Do we to wish to be part of the world or part of the Church that Christ founded? That is the question. If we wish to be part of the Church than we must wish to know the mind of the Church and the place to begin is that of the Great Holy Fathers teachings.

    "If we open the Hexaemeron of St. Basil the Great or the Hexaemeron of St. Ambrose of Milan, we will see there apologetic passages, aimed at defending the biblical teaching against the criticisms of “outsiders.” Why did it need to be defended? Because for the secular intellectuals of the time, the teaching of the creation of the world by God in six days was a great scandal, just as for modern evolutionists.
    In the ancient tradition there were several views on the origin of the world (including a view according to which the world is in general “uncreated,” eternally existing). In their specifics, these views, from the point of view of modern science, appear naïve, but according to the original premise they are much closer to evolutionism than to creationism, because these ancient hypotheses tried to comprehend the origin of the world as a natural process, not positing any kind of supernatural intervention from God.

    For the Holy Fathers the doctrine of the creation of the world was never a part of cosmology, but a part of theology. As a piece of cosmology, these questions can be considered only if we are speaking of a natural process—that is, about how the world came about on its own. But the Holy Fathers didn’t consider the world to have emerged on its own. For them the origin of the world, life, and mankind was the result of a miracle, a supernatural event, a creative act of God, which “He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

    Sergei Khudiev errs when he supposes that the Holy Fathers, like modern “Orthodox” evolutionists, obediently followed the naturalist views of their times. It seems to him that the Fathers “like all educated people of their time accepted Ptolemaic conceptions.” But if we look at the Hexaemeron of the holy hierarch Basil the Great, we see otherwise.

    In a few places the hierarch actually provides a short overview of the then-existing naturalist views, but ends with the words: it’s for the scientists to refute one another, but we will turn to that which God says to us in Scripture.

    Thus, the Holy Fathers were aware of the hypotheses of their time and were not afraid to acquaint their readers with them, but didn’t confuse them with Divinely-revealed truths. Sometimes for illustrative purposes they were able to use this or that naturalist view of their time—including erroneous ones—but they never placed them at the foundation of their theological assertions, and never insisted that they were absolutely true.

    The Fathers took great care in relation to science. This is well demonstrated by St. Gregory Palamas who says that:

    In the case of outside wisdom it is necessary from the beginning to kill the serpent, that is, to destroy the arrogance that comes from it; then it is necessary to amputate and cast aside as undisputed and utmost evil the head and tail of the serpent, that is, patently fallacious ideas about things intelligible, divine, and primordial, and fables about creation; and the middle section, that is reasonings about nature, you should with the help of the intellective and contemplative faculties of the soul isolate harmful intellectualizations, as pharmacists cleanse the flesh of serpents by fire and water, extracting it … From serpents we also receive benefit, but it’s necessary only to kill, dissect, and make a drug out of them, and then to apply it with wisdom against their own bites.[2]"

    P.S. I have a strong life-long friendship with the Kolbe Center. In the Russian Orthodox Church there views would be normal, only in the world of dystopian modernism do their views seem odd.
  • The fact is that before the 20th century, there is no evidence of the Roman Catholic Church giving any credence to "intelligent design" and the various evolutionist tainted theories of the worlds creation which have been bandied about in the post-vatican II and post WW-II era. The history shows this as a fact. All the other side can point to is a fairy tale world of innovationism, experimentation, self-created illusions which bears no continuity to that of the other 1900 years of Church life. Either those past 1900 years are wrong or they are right. There is no middle ground.

    Another aspect of this understanding is that in both geocentrism and the Church's view of the creation of the world, Man and Earth are at the center of the universe. In the view of the pagan-neo-pagan-atheist world, Man and the Earth are on the periphery, they are not very important. From an Orthodox Catholic Christian viewpoint, one can easily see how these are diametrically opposed ideologies... the symbolism alone is profoundly different. One pessmistic, the other hopeful.
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  • I do understand the desire to stop constantly apologizing for ones faith and compromising with whatever secular trends are current. Broadly, "secular trends" could include anything from the ever-changing understanding of disease, nutrition, psychology and so on to the ever-developing discoveries and theories about planetary history, animal life, and so on. To the extent that these topics are usually described in opposition to the a) existence of any Creator and b) the truth of any Christian belief about the meaning of life, I can understand it being easy to just chuck the whole lot as a bunch of anti-Christian propaganda.

    Moreover, if I ever do see any cable-TV type documentary about science, the way the information is presented is often totally spun into a kind of exciting drama that has nothing to do with what is actually going on, or is used to teach whatever values or views are current regarding family life, social structure, conflict, and so on. The animals or plants are merely props for a kind of propaganda.

    I can think of only one friend - a secular humanist who was in the early stages of converting - who asked me bluntly "But how can you really believe in something like Adam and Eve and not in evolution?" I told her in all honesty it just simply never occurred to me to worry about it. It doesn't seem terribly important to my day to day living of my faith (unlike, say, practicing the Commandments God has asked us to keep with as much diligence as possible; or learning the chant for Sunday...!).
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  • But shouldn't we "compromise" (rather, accept) whichever trends are current that do not need to be permanent?

    The basic reality of our faith is unchangeable. That doesn't mean that there was no need for the Jews to accept Christ's teachings once He came along. Nor does it mean that the Tridentine liturgy was less valid than that which came before.

    I see no issue with bowing to current consensus on that which should be open to change.
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  • Elmar
    Posts: 500
    I hope know one thinks the idea of a multiverse [...] is in any way scientific
    I fully agree with this (as a physicist, thoug I might be missing something as an experimentalist).

    Anything I read about it rests on a big semantic confusion: calling 'parallel universe' what is usually known as 'possibility'. And while many great scientific advances (e.g., the 'law' of conservation of energy) are rooted in questions of the type "why don't some events that we thought were possible, actually happen?", we here get as an 'answer': it's an illusion.

    Am I mistaken, or isn't this an implicit acknoledgement - by people who think of science as the 'ultimate' knowledge! - that either the question of why some possible things happen and others don't, or the question of subjective experience (or both) reach beyond science?

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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,673
    @Elmar as scientists we can observe and test our own universe, well a very tiny, but possibly significant part of it. To talk about multiple other universes with different conditions... this is fantasy, on par with the imagination of Tolkein, but without his skilful use of the English language. Furthermore it is untestable, and unobservable.

    As for Hawking I thought he did not want to be buried in a church...
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    As for Hawking I thought he did not want to be buried in a church...

    He wasn't; he was buried in a tourist attraction. (Half-snark)
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  • We shouldn't be bothered about speculations about multi-universes. Whatever is that is sensible to us is part of creation. God made it all and the more we discover, the more that comes to light just makes it more beautiful and fascinating for us. It was all made for us. It would not exist, it would be pointless without us to see and define its beauty and God at work in it. Too, whatever is is fallen, the entire universe or universes (all of creation, says St Paul, is fallen and groans for redemption), which makes our job of evangelisation even more compelling (and complicated) than it has been here on Earth - presuming (and its a very big presumption) that we may or may not find intelligent life elsewhere (I think that we probably won't) - and that it doesn't destroy or enslave us (or we it).
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  • Elmar
    Posts: 500
    To talk about multiple other universes [...] is fantasy [...] Furthermore it is untestable, and unobservable.
    That is what bothers me most: that there are scientists around who do not realise that this is not science, for this very reason.
    Of course there is nothing wrong with metaphysics, and scientists who are going on 'holiday trips' into philosophy from time to time - as long as they do not pretend to be the 'real experts' over there when they aren't.
    (Same for theologians in cosmology, evolution biology, ecology etc., as discussed at length.)
    As for Hawking I thought he did not want to be buried in a church...
    He wasn't; he was buried in a tourist attraction.
    This summer, I didn't even think of it before I almost stumbled over his grave when leaving the Evensong ... not that there is any physical (haha) obstacle, but everyone in front of me walked on it in a kind of exit procession. Nobody else seemed to notice. I hope Hawking liked the sung prayer, maybe it is designed as part of his purgatory experience ...
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  • Does one claim that Westminster Abbey is a tourist attraction on the basis of Yes, Prime Minister?
  • Hawking buried?
    This old story (which may or may not be an invention) may be applicable to him -
    A Catholic priest was praying over the body of a slain soldier in the First World War trenches. The soldier's friend said 'you needn't do that, father, he didn't believe in God', to which the priest made immediate reply, 'well, he does now".
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Does one claim that Westminster Abbey is a tourist attraction on the basis of Yes, Prime Minister?

    No, but one makes a semi-serious joke based on it. The great churches of England are in a similar boat to the great Churches of France. They have become primarily tourist attractions: whether for history, architecture, music: Church attendance is down in the C of E, and this is how they make money for upkeep: the majority of congregants are tourists (after all, you can get in free during a service). Notre Dame and Saint Sulpice are tourist attractions, too.
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  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    From the Outer Limits

    What about God? Do you have a god?


    An all-powerful being.
    A force underlying everything.

    Electromagnetic forces underlying all.

    No, l mean an intelligent force


    Electromagnetic force intelligent.
    Matter, space, time: all the same.

    All the same?

    Different names.
    lnfinity is God.
    God infinity.
    All the same.

    All the same.

    one very subtle form of indoctrinization
  • very subtle form

    We need a common definition of subtle, apparently.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 500
    the majority of congregants are tourists (after all, you can get in free during a service)
    Ya caught me, Salieri!
    It is telling, though, that 98% (my estimate) of the visitors that day went for the museum-style visit, including queueing up for at least an hour ... on the other hand I experienced the evensong as really prayerful, including participation of the congregation (audience?) in the responses, the Prayer of the Lord, and the Creed.
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  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    A friend told me this the other day relating to a science alone theology.

    “The promise of a humanistic secular world view

    You are a genderless biological accident-born into a species created by a random series of meaningless bio-chemical reactions.

    You survive only because your maternal carbon unit chose not to terminate your life because you were conceived at a time of convenience.

    As a result of that choice you will exist on this polluted planet, stimulus and responding to your sensate desires as you try to sedate the inevitable unfairness, man-made sufferings and existential emptiness by engaging in momentary pleasurable experiences that ultimately leave you unfulfilled, angry, disillusioned and addicted.

    If the planet isn’t destroyed by the evil capitalists who inhabit your country of birth, you will endure this meaningless suffering for about 80 years prior to disappearing into a black hole of nothingness.”

    I immediately thought of our conversation here.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,900
    How touching.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,927
    I actually think the earth is a pretty wonderful and unique place filled with much joy and good. No, everything isn't perfect, but it is nowhere near as bad as some make it out to be.
  • The Consolation of Philosophy is a wonderful resource for those who are overly depressed about the world. Some people read it as a manifesto against 'the world', but they miss the part where Lady Philosophy argues that all of God's creation is good, and that 'perception' of badness is mis-perception.

    As for the many-somethings theories (I hesitate to call them 'universes' or 'worlds' though those are the traditional epithets), I agree (MJO) that God *could* manifest His goodness by making such a thing (if there is in fact sense to be made of such a thing, which is a debtable point), but it is worth bearing in mind that many, indeed I would wager most, advocates of such theories are motivated by (or, minimally, committed to) a denial of the real existence of human persons. Such versions of the view (to which it naturally lends itself) are problematic in ways that geocentrism and evolution are not.

    (Many years ago I had a long conversation with a well-known (and I think well-meaning) advocate of these views -- I am a professional philosopher who spent many years studying and writing about quantum theory and related matters -- and he finally understand me when he realized that I believe in personal identity and its connection with moral responsibility. And I understood him when I realized that he does not, which, I hasten to add, does not make him an immoral person, just wrong about the underlying nature of morality.)
  • Elmar
    Posts: 500
    Thanks a lot, Michael, for your philosophical contribution to the discussion.
    As for the many-somethings theories (I hesitate to call them 'universes' or 'worlds' though those are the traditional epithets)
    How about returning to calling them just "possibilities" or "alternatives"?
    Isn't this just a semantic game to deny some of the old, big questions their legitimacy: Why is the world this way, and not another way? Why am I the person I am, and not another (preferably, a better) one?
    ... many, indeed I would wager most, advocates of such theories are motivated by (or, minimally, committed to) a denial of the real existence of human persons
    This makes perfect sence to me - except for the point, how can anyone deny (especially, along the way, his/her own!) human personality?
    I mean, no matter how much any advances in physics and biology may explain my mental state as a product of natural processes, none of my dear collegue scientists will ever convince me that my own 'selfness' is some kind of "illusion" (to whom???) especially when on the other hand all possibilities and alternatives are claimed to be even 'real'.
    And how can a scientist in his/her right mind - OK they might claim that there is no such thing - combine this view with doing 'empirical research'? Well, I know one, he was my colleague as PhD student and now he's a physics professor ...
    ... he does not [believe in personal identity and its connection with moral responsibility], which, I hasten to add, does not make him an immoral person, just wrong about the underlying nature of morality
    Still such danger is present, especially when this world-view is propagated to the general public; which makes it indeed problematic in ways that geocentrism and young-earth creationism are not.
    When I can redefine 'suffering' into just special (pain-perseption) states of brains, all of which are equally real in parallel universes anyway - then morality might quickly evaporate into 'selfishness of genes' etc. or become ultimately meaningless.
  • Briefly, in reply:

    How about returning to calling them just "possibilities" or "alternatives"?
    Isn't this just a semantic game...?

    There's nothing wrong with calling possibilities 'possibilities'. The point of the many-somethings theories is to respond to the so-called 'measurement problem' in quantum theory (QT). Ever so briefly (there are books on the matter...), the problem is that QT does not seem to provide a way to explain (in a principled fashion that doesn't amount to 'it just happens') how one possibility emerges as actual. The many-somethings theories celebrate this feature of the theory by asserting that 'all possibilities are actual'. The other, better, you is just as real as you. Hence the problem with personal identity....

    none of my dear collegue scientists will ever convince me that my own 'selfness' is some kind of "illusion" (to whom???) especially when on the other hand all possibilities and alternatives are claimed to be even 'real'.

    It is precisely the reality of the other 'yous' that threatens personal identity. (E.g., every time a 'quantum event' occurs (and yes, the definition of a 'quantum event' is slippery at best), some more 'yous' -- maybe infinitely many of them! -- pop into existence. (The matter is complicated by views about the nature of time that these folks tend to hold as well. I'll leave it there.)

    ...problematic in ways that geocentrism and young-earth creationism are not

    What I had in mind, here (which is not to dispute what you say) is that, as has been discussed at great length by others better-informed than I, the perceived threat of geocentrism and evolution hinge on interpretations of the Bible that are by no means forced upon us, and that, as Augustine taught, may need revision in light of the development of science. The threat to personal identity is different from those threats because of the belief that God will judge persons, Christ saves persons, the resurrection occurs to persons, etc..

    I hasten to add, however, that this threat to personal identity is not based on the agreed findings of science, but on an interpretation of that science that is both contentious and problematic in other ways that have nothing to do (at least not directly) with personal identity, souls, morality, etc.. Nor do I think it an inevitable outcome of that interpretation, though it might not unreasonably be characterized as 'naturally allied'.
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  • That reminded me of this article - it's a little off-topic (well, even more off-topic than this off-topic topic) and doesn't go into the QT you described but I thought it might be of interest:

    The existence of life as a physical phenomenon appears ludicrously improbable under modern physical theories. The cosmological anthropic principle is the idea that the reason we observe such an improbable universe is because it is only in such an improbable universe that anyone would be around to observe it. Perhaps an infinite number of universes exist; but we find ourselves in a very unlikely corner of a very unlikely one, an unlikely corner capable of supporting life, because it isn’t possible for us to exist in any of the other universes or life-hostile corners of this universe.

    Whatever one may think of it as an argument for the plausibility of this or that metaphysic, the cosmological anthropic principle is an interesting if tautological observation about the logic of our existence: whatever else can be said about this world, it is exactly this world which I should expect to see, since it is exactly this world which gave rise to me. There may be other worlds than this one, but the one I will definitely find myself in is the one upon which my existence is logically contingent.

    The Problem of Evil can be stated in many ways, but one way is as the following question: How is it possible for evil to occur in a world created by an infinitely powerful, all-knowing, infinitely good God? It is a very human and natural question, and anyone who cannot relate to it as an emotive response to evil and suffering is probably, at the least, the odd man out at parties. But I don’t think it holds up as a logical matter.

    The cosmological anthropic principle demonstrates that only this world is compatible with my existence. Many worlds are no doubt logically compatible with an infinitely good God’s existence, but only this exact one is compatible with my existence. If not for some very precise and extraordinarily unlikely events, many of which are contingent upon the evil of this world, I would not exist at all. If this world is logically incompatible with God’s existence and any other is logically incompatible with mine**, then God’s existence and my existence are, as a logical matter, mutually exclusive. To assert the problem of evil is literally to consign onesself to Hell: to assert that it is impossible for God to love me enough to tolerate the existence of evil.

    The Problem of Evil is a-rational emotion masquerading as reason. The Incarnation and the Passion make it infinitely so.

    [**] Some might object that an infinitely powerful God could have made me without making this world or allowing any of the evil to occur which has occurred. It seems to me that when someone says that, he is equivocating on the word “me”. God could have made some other being, to be sure, but only I am me.
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  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I see no more threat to personal identity in quantum theory than in biology - the body is a completely new set of cells every 7-10 years. I forget the formal name of that paradox (ship builder?)
  • I forget the formal name of that paradox (ship builder?)

    @ryand Theseus' ship.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,927
    The earth was younger when this post began...
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Weren't we all???
  • If every part of the NO is replaced with the corresponding part from the TLM, is it still the NO or is it a new creature altogether?
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  • It is probably the weirdest and most uselessly interesting thread ever, though.
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  • >> If every part of the NO is replaced with the corresponding part from the TLM

    (What is the "corresponding part from the TLM" for The Great Amen?)
  • If this thread undergoes enough random topic mutations, will it still be generally the same kind of thread? Only time will tell. Buckle in, folks, it's going to be a several million year wait.
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  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640

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  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    COSMOLOGISTS called it the axis of evil. Spotted in 2005 in the cosmic microwave background, the all-pervading afterglow of the big bang, the axis was a peculiar alignment of features where we would have expected nothing but randomness.

    The name was justifiably melodramatic, given that it threatened our established view of the universe. At the heart of that picture is the cosmological principle, which says that the universe appears the same on the largest scales no matter where you happen to be looking. This is what you’d expect in the aftermath of an explosion like our big bang, with all the constituents winding up mixed together in a randomised, homogeneous soup. The reality, it seemed, wasn’t like that – and despite steadily improving measurements, the axis has stubbornly refused to vanish. (New Scientist)


    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations. When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking.

    Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea.

    In the above video, Max Tegmark describes in a simplified way how spherical harmonics analysis decomposes the small temperature fluctuations into more averaged and spatially arranged temperature components, known as multipoles.

    The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle. (ThePrinciple)


    The "Axis of Evil" is a name given to an anomaly in astronomical observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The anomaly appears to give the plane of the Solar System and hence the location of Earth a greater significance than might be expected by chance – a result which runs counter to expectations from the Copernican principle.

    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation signature presents a direct large-scale view of the universe that can be used to identify whether our position or movement has any particular significance. There has been much publicity about analysis of results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and Planck mission that show both expected and unexpected anisotropies in the CMB.[1] The motion of the solar system, and the orientation of the plane of the ecliptic are aligned with features of the microwave sky, which on conventional thinking are caused by structure at the edge of the observable universe.[2][3] Specifically, with respect to the ecliptic plane the "top half" of the CMB is slightly cooler than the "bottom half"; furthermore, the quadrupole and octupole axes are only a few degrees apart, and these axes are aligned with the top/bottom divide.[4]

    Lawrence Krauss is quoted as follows in a 2006 article:[5]

    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. (Wiki)

    So WHO created the AOE?!?!
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  • So WHO created the AOE?!?!

    How tempting it is to answer this snarkily.

  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    Yea, I am just waiting for the snarks! The whole friggin universe is pointing to earth and the science community doesn't want to admit it. Done deal, people. God has the last laugh.

    The name was justifiably melodramatic, given that it threatened our established view of the universe.
  • Hugh
    Posts: 198
    I must say as a non-scientist I'm warming to YE and Geocentrism.

    I'm unimpressed by much of is invoked in name of science to argue against the young earth hypothesis for this reason (among many others): if God created the universe up and running (eg mature trees, and Adam) it would have to look older - from the point of view of empirical science - than it was. He's told us that He did this sort of thing, explicitly in the Gospels. He produced fish from nothing when He fed the five thousand. Now, a good scientist analysing those fish according to his expertise might conclude that they were, say, one year old and had grown up at X point in Lake Genesareth. They didn't. They were created there and then. A good medico might look at the miraculously raised from the dead Lazarus and say there's no way he was dead two days ago. But he was! A good oinologist might say the wine at Cana came from such and such a terroire, etc. But it didn't. None of those scientists would be wrong on their observation and tentative hypothesis, based on the natural laws they had studied. There would be no contradiction between faith and science to that point. But they would be wrong as to their conclusion - and thus going beyond their brief as empirical scientists - if they dogmatically ruled out any other possibility, including the supernatural.

    I'm well aware of Augustine's dictum that we shouldn't hold to interpretations of scripture that would make us a laughing stock to unbelievers. But, with great respect to St Augustine, how far is this to be taken? The fact is that unbelievers - and even many daily communicants - scoff at the idea that Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. The current Pope himself says that this was a natural event, with people pulling out supplies from their cloaks and feeding each other with a new-found generosity. What are we to do? Deny all the miracles in the Bible, because they're miraculous and ridiculous to unbelievers?

    The literal account of Genesis 1 & 2 is not metaphysically impossible. Moreover, God can create, eg, trees ex nihilo that look from scientific principles as if they're 50 years old, and a man (Adam) as if he's 33 years old and conceived naturally by a human mother and father. He can create Eve from the side of Adam (something Catholics are required to believe ... "We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep." Leo XIII, Arcanum divinae, 1880 ) and yet she according to natural science appears to be of mature age and conceived naturally as well. And so on. And it's not some sort of deception, since (on the YE hypothesis) He's told us explicitly via supernatural revelation that He did it this way! So what exactly is it about Genesis 1-2 that requires us to believe it is just a mythical account?

    What would knock Geocentrism off the perch for me is if someone were to conduct Michelson-Morley and Sagnac experiments somewhere out near, say, Jupiter, (perhaps even the Moon? Or maybe it's too close and the error bars would be too wide?) and come up with exactly the same result as that which obtains here on earth. That would seem to prove the ether doesn't exist. Until then, the well-documented MM and Sagnac results are consistent with the existence of an ether, and with the earth being at the centre of the universe.

    My two cents.

    OK, back to Gregorian chant ...
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • Miracles contravene the natural order. (I'm using 'natural' in the old-fashioned sense of 'in accordance with the nature God gave each created thing.) To suggest that the natural order comes about in the same manner as miracles confuses the two in a manner that diminishes the significance and meaning of the miracles. (WARNING: there is a 100% chance that my judgment on this matter is fallible.)

    For what it's worth, the contemporary judgment about geocentrism isn't that it's wrong, but that both it and its denial involve a mistake.

    I'm reminded of a 'joke' (which isn't funny, but it's true, if contemporary physics is even close to right): "What would it be like to move nearly the speed of light?" Answer: Just like this. (I.e., you *are* moving nearly the speed of light, relative to *something*.)

    Lesson: Geocentrism isn't 'wrong' or 'right' -- it involves a concept ('being at the center of the universe') that doesn't hold water in the context of current physical theory.

    The physical world is infinitely mysterious, and yet at the same time not entirely incomprehensible (which, in itself, is a kind of miracle). God gave us reason and creativity, and we may make use of them to try to make sense of the physical world. (Both are crucial.) When that effort goes well, there is something to be learned from it about the majesty and purpose of God's creation. It has gone well many times, but 'going well' does not guarantee that people will understand what is to be learned. The physical world is infinitely mysterious, and the possibilities of human error (including my own, lest anybody draw the wrong conclusion, here) are infinitely frustrating.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,336
    I consider both neoDarwinists and YECreationists as having fallen into an intellectual trap set by the Devil. And worse - both sets try to persuade me that my views inevitably lead me to atheism.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    Well, it is just extremely funny to me, as I have investigated this only since this thread came on line, that for years, the more technologically advanced we become in scientific analysis, the more we don't understand the laws that are defying science and it comes to be 'a mystery' that we cannot fathom, and very large unfolding mysteries at that.

    I heard about the geocentric idea without giving it a second thought years ago. Since I don't buy everything science tries to promote, for me, evolution was a farce from the moment I examined it, but geocentric was something I had never looked into. Don't know if any of you watched the movie I mentioned above, but it is eye opening for sure.

    The part that really makes me laugh is this:

  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Did anyone read about the scientist* who found soft tissue in dinosaur remains (and was fired for reporting such)?
    It's very interesting.

    Points more toward a "young" earth than a crazy old earth.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,336
    That would be Mary Higby Schweitzer, would it? The discovery, and the controversy, don't seem to have damaged her career in science. And, more importantly, they have not damaged her faith in God, she remains a firm Christian.
    Creation magazine claimed that Schweitzer’s research was “powerful testimony against the whole idea of dinosaurs living millions of years ago. It speaks volumes for the Bible’s account of a recent creation.”
    This drives Schweitzer crazy. Geologists have established that the Hell Creek Formation, where B. rex was found, is 68 million years old, and so are the bones buried in it. She’s horrified that some Christians accuse her of hiding the true meaning of her data. “They treat you really bad,” she says. “They twist your words and they manipulate your data.” For her, science and religion represent two different ways of looking at the world; invoking the hand of God to explain natural phenomena breaks the rules of science. After all, she says, what God asks is faith, not evidence. “If you have all this evidence and proof positive that God exists, you don’t need faith. I think he kind of designed it so that we’d never be able to prove his existence. And I think that’s really cool.”
    Thanked by 2GerardH Elmar
  • francis
    Posts: 10,635
    God can carbon date a Dino that is actually “brand new”
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,336
    I believe God is omnipotent.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 402
    But if the notion of an old earth and evolution lead one away from God, why would God place false clues that point in that direction?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,336
    For an exposition of the arguments in favour of a consistently rational God, read Pope Benedict's address at the University of Regensburg. Particularly from the question in the fifth paragraph:
    Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?