Galileo was wrong...
In the print edition of my father's local newspaper is a reprint of a Chicago Tribune article called Some Catholics seek to counter Galileo: Splinter group says the Earth, not the sun, is, indeed, at the center of the universe. It begins:
Some people believe the world literally revolves around them. It's a belief born not of selfishness but faith.This is a great bit:
A small group of conservative Roman Catholics is pointing to a dozen biblical verses and the Church's original teaching as proof that the Earth is the center of the universe, the view that prompted Galileo Galilei's clash with the Church four centuries ago. The relatively obscure movement has gained a following among a few Chicago-area Catholics who find comfort in knowing there are still staunch defenders of original Church doctrine.
"This subject is, as far as I can see, an embarrassment to the modern church because the world more or less looks upon geocentrism or someone who believes it in the same boat as the flat Earth," said James Phillips, of Cicero. Phillips attends Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church in Oak Park, a parish run by the Society of St. Pius X, a group that rejects most of the modernizing reforms the Vatican II council made from 1962 to 1965.
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."The world? The whole world? O RLY? But I digress...
Sungenis is no lone Don Quixote, as illustrated by the hundreds of curiosity seekers, skeptics and supporters at a conference last fall titled "Galileo Was Wrong. The Church Was Right" just off the University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind.I love how the writer went to Ken Ham, for whom this is just too loony: "The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system." When Ken Ham finds you too wacky, you are definitely in need of help.
My favorite part of the article, however is this:
But supporters of the theory contend that there is scientific evidence to support geocentrism, just as there is evidence to support the six-day story of creation in Genesis.Guys. It can't be any simpler, it really can't: "the Bible says" is not "scientific evidence".
There is proof in Scripture that the Earth is the center of the universe, Sungenis said. Among many verses, he cites Joshua 10:12-14 as definitive proof: "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe. … The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course."
Your faith may be strong, but you aren't scientists. And that's really all there is to that.
(Plus, of course: this is one more demonstration of why Stephen J Gould's dream of "non-overlapping magisteria" has always been a non-starter. Religion makes claims about the real world. It won't stay in the unreal. It just won't...)