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Great myths of the war of religion on science, skewered slowly and patiently


Tim O’Neill, blogger at History for Atheists, offers a compendium of the Great Myths, including the warfare thesis myths on science and religion, a sure seller among the half-educated. Consider, for example, The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication [on Earth as orbiting the Sun]:

In a 2014 blog post full of typical historical howlers, new atheist grumpy uncle PZ Myers sneered at a mention of Copernicus as a “Catholic astronomer”, snarling “[Copernicus] delayed publication out of fear; only saw his ideas in print on his deathbed [and his] book was prohibited by the Catholic Church in 1616”. And just a few weeks ago in an error-filled article rehearsing the hoary myth of Giordano Bruno as a martyr for reason, the atheist blogger Rick Snedeker also repeated the deathbed publication story…

Now, just a smidgen of the reality:

To begin with Copernicus definitely did not keep his ideas secret at all. He not only discussed them widely with his continent-wide circle of friends and compatriots, but around 1512 he also wrote an eight chapter summary of his theory – the so-called Commentariolus – which then circulated in unpublished form among interested astronomers and mathematicians. He seems to have sent a copy to the Cracow cartographer and historian Bernard Wapowski and it is this copy that probably found its way into the library of Matthew of Miechów, where its appearance in that library’s catalogue in 1514 is the first recorded mention of Copernicus’ theory. Copernicus’ friend and supporter, Bishop Tiedemann Giese of Culm, was almost certainly one of those who circulated the Commentariolus and he seems to have either sent a copy or at least written about the theory to the great Humanist scholar, Erasmus of Rotterdam – though another mathematician in Cracow, Johannes Broscius, later described Erasmus’ reception of the thesis as “temperate”.

Audiences in Rome, on the other hand, were rather more enthusiastic. In 1533 the German scholar and theologian Johann Albrecht Widmanstadt (or Widmannstetter) was serving as a secretary to Pope Clement VII and was invited by the pope to give a lecture on Copernicus’ theory. Widmanstadt gave at least one lecture (or it may have been a series) in the Vatican gardens for the pope and leading members of the Curia and Papal court, including Cardinal Franciotto Orsini, Cardinal Giovanni Salviati, the Bishop of Viterbo Giampietro Grassi and the papal physician Matteo Corte. The pope was fascinated by the theory and rewarded Widmanstadt, who was a famous orientalist and Grecophile, with a precious manuscript of Alexander of Aphrodisias’s De sensu et sensibili, with Widmanstadt proudly inscribing the circumstances in which he received this gift in its front pages… Tim O’Neill, “The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication” at History for Atheists

O’Neill plans to update the series every two or three months. So far:

The Great Myths 1: The Medieval Flat Earth
The Great Myths 2: Christmas, Mithras and Paganism
The Great Myths 3: Giordano Bruno was a Martyr for Science
The Great Myths 4: Constantine, Nicea and the Bible
The Great Myths 5: The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria
The Great Myths 6: Copernicus’ Deathbed Publication

Should be very handy. At one time, it would take time to sort through all the rubbish to get actual facts on these topics. Today, there is little excuse for retailing the myths, unless the purpose is just to tell an inert audience what it too easily believes.

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See also: What Copernicus really thought. Not your usual lecture-room platitude

He may be an atheist, but he's doing the Lord's work. (Although he prefers to think of it as the muse's work.) EvilSnack
Tim O’Neill who I discovered back in 2009 or 2010 is an honest, open minded atheist. A breed that is hard to come by these days-- especially here at UD. Here is some excerpts from a review he wrote about the 2009 movie Agora, which is “based” on the historical account of the female philosopher-“scientist” Hypatia of Alexandria who lived the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
“As an atheist,” O'Neill writes, “I'm clearly no fan of fundamentalism - even the 1500 year old variety (though modern manifestations tend to be the ones to watch out for). And as an amateur historian of science I'm more than happy with the idea of a film that gets across the idea that, yes, there was a tradition of scientific thinking before Newton and Galileo. But Amenabar [the film's director] has taken the (actually, fascinating) story of what was going on in Alexandria in Hypatia's time and turned it into a cartoon, distorting history in the process. From the press release timed to coincide with the film's screening: Played by Oscar-winning British actress Weisz, Hypatia is persecuted in the film for her science that challenges the Christians' faith, as much as for her status as an influential woman. From bloody clashes to public stonings and massacres, the city descends into inter-religious strife, and the victorious Christians turn their back on the rich scientific legacy of antiquity, defended by Hypatia. So we are being served up the idea that Hypatia was persecuted and, I'll assume, killed because "her science ... challenges the Christians' faith".
Carl Sagan is someone who popularized the Hypatia story in his TV series and book, Cosmos.
The final chapter of the book of Cosmos is… where Sagan… tells the story of Hypatia as a cautionary parable; a tale that illustrates how fragile civilisation is and how easily it can fall to the powers of ignorance and irrationality [during the declining days of the Roman Empire. [It’s there that he] introduces Hypatia as its "last scientist"… [Here’s] the crux of his story: Cyril, the Archbishop of Alexandria, despised her because of her close friendship with the Roman governor, and because she was a symbol of learning and science, which were largely identified by the early Church with paganism. In great personal danger she continued to teach and publish, until, in the year 415, on her way to work she was set upon by a fanatical mob of Cyril's parishioners. They dragged her from her chariot, tore off her clothes, and, armed with abalone shells, flayed her flesh from her bones. Her remains were burned, her works obliterated, her name forgotten. Cyril was made a saint. (Sagan, p. 366)
O’Neill then goes on to debunk this myth, which even though he perpetrates it Sagan didn’t create it. (It’s a “free thinker’s” myth that goes back quite a ways.)
Like most natural philosophers of her time, she embraced the neo-Platonic ideas of Plotinus and so her teaching and ideas appealed to a broad range of people - pagans, Christians and Jews. There is some suggestion that Amenabar's film depicts her as an atheist, or at least as wholly irreligious, which is highly unlikely. Neo-Platonism embraced the idea of a perfect, ultimate source called "the One" or "the Good", which was, by Hypatia's time, fully identified with a monotheistic God in most respects. She was admired by many and at least one of her most ardent students was the Bishop Synesius, who addressed several letters to her, calling her "mother, sister, teacher, and withal benefactress, and whatsoever is honoured in name and deed", saying she is "my most revered teacher" and describing her as she "who legitimately presides over the mysteries of philosophy…" [But] if she was admired so widely and admired and respected by learned Christians, how did she come to die at the hands of a Christian mob? And, more importantly, did it have anything to do with her learning or love of science? The answer lies in the politics of early Fifth Century Alexandria and the way that the power of Christian bishops was beginning to encroach on that of civil authorities in this period. The Patriarch of Alexandria, Cyril, had been a protégé of his uncle Theophilus and succeeded him to the bishopric in AD 412. Theophilus had already made the position of Bishop of Alexandria a powerful one and Cyril continued his policy of expanding the influence of the office, increasingly encroaching on the powers and privilages of the Prefect of the City. The Prefect at the time was another Christian, Orestes, who had taken up his post not long before Cyril became bishop.
O’Neill then goes on to quote several historical sources that discuss the political conflict at the time in more detail. He then notes:
What is notable in all this is that nowhere in any of this is her science or learning mentioned, expect [does he mean except?] as the basis for the respect which she was accorded by pagans and Christians alike. Socrates Scholasticus finishes describing her achievements and the esteem with which she was held and then goes on to say "Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed". In other words, despite her learning and position, she fell victim to politics. There is no evidence at all that her murder had anything to do with her learning. The idea that she was some kind of martyr to science is totally absurd.
In conclusion he remarks,
Unfortunately for those who cling to the discredited "conflict thesis" of science and religion perpetually at odds, the history of science actually has very few genuine martyrs at the hands of religious bigots. The fact that a mystic and kook like Giordano Bruno gets dressed up as a free-thinking scientist shows how thin on the ground such martyrs are, though usually those who like to invoke these martyrs can fall back on citing "scientists burned by the Medieval Inquistion", despite the fact this never actually happened. Most people know nothing about the Middle Ages, so this kind of vague hand-waving is usually pretty safe… as usual, bigots and anti-theistic zealots will ignore the evidence, the sources and rational analysis and believe Hollywood's appeal to their prejudices. It makes you wonder who the real enemies of reason actually are.
http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/05/agora-and-hypatia-hollywood-strikes.html Those are his words not mine. However, I think he is spot on. Nothing promotes good will and constructive dialogue more than intellectual honesty. john_a_designer
O'Neill is a smart guy. I used to read him on Quora. tribune7
Einstein himself stated, The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS [coordinate systems].”
“Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.” Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);
Fred Hoyle and George Ellis add their considerable weight here in these following two quotes:
“The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.” Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973. “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.” – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55
As Einstein himself noted, there simply is no test that can be performed that can prove the earth is not the center of the universe:
“One need not view the existence of such centrifugal forces as originating from the motion of K’ [the Earth]; one could just as well account for them as resulting from the average rotational effect of distant, detectable masses as evidenced in the vicinity of K’ [the Earth], whereby K’ [the Earth] is treated as being at rest.” –Albert Einstein, quoted in Hans Thirring, “On the Effect of Distant Rotating Masses in Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation”, Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 29, 1921 “If one rotates the shell *relative to the fixed stars* about an axis going through its center, a Coriolis force arises in the interior of the shell, *that is, the plane of a Foucault pendulum is dragged around*” –Albert Einstein, cited in “Gravitation”, Misner Thorne and Wheeler pp. 544-545.
Here are a few more references that drives this point home:
"We can't feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion.,,, If all the objects in space were removed save one, then no one could say whether that one remaining object was at rest or hurtling through the void at 100,000 miles per second" Historian Lincoln Barnett - "The Universe and Dr. Einstein" - pg 73 (contains a foreword by Albert Einstein) Could 80-year-old ether experiments have detected a cosmological temperature gradient? - February 8, 2016 Excerpt: the 20 or so experiments performed since 1887 seem to have steadily improved the precision in support of the view that there is no ether and no preferred reference frame. - per Physorg “In the Ptolemaic system, the earth is considered to be at rest and without rotation in the center of the universe, while the sun, other planets and fixed stars rotate around the earth. In relational mechanics this rotation of distant matter yields the force such that the equation of motion takes the form of equation (8.47). Now the gravitational attraction of the sun is balanced by a real gravitational centrifugal force due to the annual rotation of distant masses around the earth (with a component having a period of one year). In this way the earth can remain at rest and at an essentially constant distance from the sun. The diurnal rotation of distant masses around the earth (with a period of one day) yields a real gravitational centrifugal force flattening the earth at the poles. Foucault’s pendulum is explained by a real Coriolis force acting on moving masses over the earth’s surface in the form –2mgvme ´ ?Ue, where vme is the velocity of the test body relative to the earth and ?Ue is the angular rotation of the distant masses around the earth. The effect of this force will be to keep the plane of oscillation of the pendulum rotating together with the fixed stars.” (Andre K. T. Assis, Relational Mechanics, pp. 190-191). “…Thus we may return to Ptolemy’s point of view of a ‘motionless earth’… One has to show that the transformed metric can be regarded as produced according to Einstein’s field equations, by distant rotating masses. This has been done by Thirring. He calculated a field due to a rotating, hollow, thick-walled sphere and proved that inside the cavity it behaved as though there were centrifugal and other inertial forces usually attributed to absolute space. Thus from Einstein’s point of view, Ptolemy and Copernicus are equally right.” Born, Max. “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity”, Dover Publications,1962, pgs 344 & 345:
Even Stephen Hawking himself, who once claimed that we are just chemical scum on an insignificant planet, stated that it is not true that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong,,, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
“So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest. Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.” Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – page 39 – 2010
Even individual people, as the following article makes clear, can be considered to be central in the universe according to the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity,,,
You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016 Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere. The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe. Here's another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We're looking at the light from stars that's traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we're seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened. But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It's sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates. But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes. https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk
,,, In fact, when Einstein first formulated both Special and General relativity, he gave a hypothetical observer a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.
Introduction to special relativity Excerpt: Einstein's approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,, Each observer has a distinct "frame of reference" in which velocities are measured,,,, - per Wikipedia The happiest thought of my life. Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”: “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.” http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node85.html
Whereas, on the other hand, in Quantum Mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe. As the following article states, "It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,",,,
Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness - May 27, 2015 Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found. "It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. http://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html
Moreover, Steven Weinberg himself, an atheist, noted that in quantum mechanics, in what is termed 'the instrumentalist approach’, humans are brought into the laws of physics at the most fundamental level instead of humans being a result of the laws of physics as Darwinists had falsely imagined us to be.
The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017 Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,, In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11 Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,, Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/01/19/trouble-with-quantum-mechanics/
Needless to say, Atheists, (including Weinberg himself), don’t like the “instrumentalist approach” of quantum mechanics since it, by letting free will into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level., directly undermines the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, the “instrumentalist approach”, in spite of how atheists may personally feel about it, is experimentally confirmed to be true by contextuality and/or by the Kochen-Speckter Theorem. As Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
“The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.” Anton Zeilinger – Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437
Because of such evidence as this in quantum mechanics, Richard Conn Henry, who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University, states “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”
"It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe. And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society." Richard Conn Henry - Professor of Physics - John Hopkins University http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/quantum.enigma.html
Thus, contrary to popular, and deeply entrenched, belief, humans and the earth beneath their feet are not nearly as insignificant in this universe as many people, including many Christians, have been falsely led to believe by the Copernican principle. Moreover, on top of the overturning of the Copernican principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, in the following video physicist Neil Turok states that we live in the middle, or at the geometric mean, between the largest scale in physics and the smallest scale in physics:
“So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].” – Neil Turok as quoted at the 14:40 minute mark The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe) https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715
And here is a picture that gets his point across very clearly:
The Scale: 10^-35m to 10^-5m to 10^25m – picture http://www.timeone.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Robbert-Dijkgraaf-Planck-scale.jpg
Thus, besides the CMBR, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity overturning of the Copernican principle, the centrality of life in the universe is also established by yet another fairly impressive angle in physics in which life is found to be at 'the geometric mean' or quote unquote 'the middle' of the universe. There is also evidence that can be brought to bear from Chemistry, via Michael Denton, and from the fine-tuning of light for humans, via Robin Collins, that adds even more weight to overturning the Copernican principle. Bottom line, and to sum it up, the evidence from out best theories in science directly overturn the Copernican model and restore the Earth and humanity back to their rightful place in the universe as to having very deep, and intrinsic, meaning, purpose and value.
Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog
Isaiah 45:18-19 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”
A more widely believed, and deeply entrenched, myth than the myth that Copernicus did not openly discuss his theory out of fear of the Catholic Church, is the myth that the Copernican model, and/or heliocentric model, is undeniably true. Specifically, contrary to the popularly held belief that the Copernican principle has rendered any belief in the special status of the earth in this universe, and for humanity in particular, null and void,,,
Copernican principle Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1] Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus's argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernican_principle
,,contrary to that popularly held belief, the fact of the matter is that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics have all now overturned the Copernican principle and/or the principle of mediocrity as being a valid principle in science. First off, there are now found to be anomalies in the CMBR that strangely line up with our own solar system and earth.
What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? – February 17, 2015 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. (Youtube clip on site) 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. http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/
At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist who specializes in this area of study, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system
“Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle” – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832
Max Tegmark is not the only expert in this area to change his mind concerning the “Axis of Evil”. Here are some pre and post Planck comments that reflect this change in attitude among experts concerning the “Axis of Evil”
4 Anomalies in The Big Bang Afterglow: – Jaime Trosper – August 13, 2014 Excerpt: Now, here’s where it gets super weird. The CMB data seems to indicate that not only is there is some kind of a preferred direction for light in space to travel in — a conclusion based on the fact that certain galaxy clusters are speeding off at more than 2 billion kilometers per hour, all traveling toward an expanse of space that, relative to Earth, is merely 20 degrees in size (see above) — but this direction appears to correspond with the curvy “line” dividing temperature lobes in the CMB (and interestingly, it also seemingly coincides with the ecliptic plane of our solar system ) pre-Planck opinions
”See How Opinions Have Shifted over the Years:” APRIL 11, 2007 — ‘Axis of evil’ a Cause for Cosmic Concern? “Some astronomers have suggested straightforward explanations for the axis, such as problems with WMAP’s instruments or distortions caused by a nearby supercluster (New Scientist, 22 October 2005, p 19). Others doubt the pattern’s very existence. “There’s still a fair bit of controversy about whether there’s even something there that needs to be explained,” says WMAP scientist Gary Hinshaw of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.” [Reference: EurekaAlert] SEPTEMBER 16, 2009 — Cosmic Cold Spot Just a Trick of the Light “We trace this apparent discrepancy to the fact that WMAP cold spot’s temperature profile just happens to favor the particular profile given by the wavelet.” “We find no compelling evidence for the anomalously cold spot in WMAP at scales between 2 and 8 degrees.” [Reference: MIT Technology Review] FEBRUARY 9, 2010 — Seven-Year WMAP Results: No, They’re NOT Anomalies: “Since the day the first Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) data were released, in 2003, all manner of cosmic microwave background (CMB) anomalies have been reported; there’s been the cold spot that might be a window into a parallel universe, the “Axis of Evil”, pawprints of local interstellar neutral hydrogen, and much, much more. But do the WMAP data really, truly, absolutely contain evidence of anomalies, things that just do not fit within the six-parameters-and-a-model the WMAP team recently reported? In a word, no.” [Reference: UniverseToday]
post-Planck opinions
MARCH 12, 2013 — Planck Shows Almost Perfect Cosmos – Plus Axis of Evil: “Planck reveals that one half of the universe has bigger variations than the other. Planck’s detectors are over 10 times more sensitive and have about 2.5 times the angular resolution of WMAP’s, giving cosmologists a much better look at this alignment. “We can be extremely confident that these anomalies are not caused by galactic emissions and not caused by instrumental effects, because our two instruments see very similar features.” [Reference: Newscientist] MARCH 21, 2013 — SIMPLE BUT CHALLENGING: THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO PLANCK “Other anomalous traits that had been hinted at in the past – a significant discrepancy of the CMB signal as observed in the two opposite hemispheres of the sky and an abnormally large ‘cold spot’ – are confirmed with high confidence.” [Reference: European Space Agency] MARCH 09, 2014 — Is the Lopsided Universe Telling Us We Need New Theories? “I think the alignment, in conjunction with all of the other large angle anomalies, must point to something we don’t know, whether that be new fundamental physics, unknown astrophysical or cosmological sources, or something else.” [Reference: ARS Technica] https://futurism.com/4-anomalies-in-the-big-bang-afterglow/
And here is an animated video clip that explains these CMBR “anomalies” very clearly:
Cosmic Microwave Background Proves Intelligent Design (disproves Copernican principle) (clip of “The Principle”) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htV8WTyo4rw
Of related note:
Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013 Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the eclipticcite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropiescite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sourcescite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon. http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4134
In regards to General Relativity, in the 4 dimensional spacetime of Einstein's General Relativity, we find that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe,,,
Where is the centre of the universe?: Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a "Big Bang" about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/centre.html
,,, and since any 3-Dimensional point can be considered central in the 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity, then, as the following articles make clear, it is now left completely open to whomever is making a model of the universe to decide for themselves what is to be considered central in the universe,,,
How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015 Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,, In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-einstein-revealed-the-universe-s-strange-nonlocality/ How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity - March 2018 Excerpt: Einstein’s field equations — the equations of general relativity — describe how the shape of space-time evolves in response to the presence of matter and energy. To describe that evolution, you need to impose on space-time a coordinate system — like lines of latitude and longitude — that tells you which points are where. The most important thing to recognize about coordinate systems is that they’re human contrivances. Maybe in one coordinate system we label a point (0, 0, 0), and in another we label that same point (1, 1, 1). The physical properties haven’t changed — we’ve just tagged the point differently. “Those labels are something about us, not something about the world,” said James Weatherall, a philosopher of science at the University of California, Irvine.,,, The Einstein field equations we have today are generally covariant. They express the same physical truths about the universe — how space-time curves in the presence of energy and matter — regardless of what coordinates you use to label things.,,, as Einstein discovered,,, the universe doesn’t admit any one privileged choice of coordinates. https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-einstein-lost-his-bearings-and-with-them-general-relativity-20180314/
Copernicus was a canon. Roughly speaking, he was a similar to a monk, required to pray and sing the Psalms daily. Liberal myths are never wrong; they're incredibly wrong. This is one of them. PaV

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