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Opposition to Galileo based on science, not just religion?

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One wouldn’t think anyone had to point that out, but physicist Christopher Graney does a good job at Aeon:

… Yes, [an opponent] said, a moving Earth messes with certain Biblical passages, like Joshua telling the Sun to stand still. But it also messes with certain astronomical terms, such as sunrise and sunset. Copernicans had work-arounds for all that, Locher said, even though they might be convoluted. What Copernicans could not work around, though, were the scientific arguments against their theory. Indeed, Locher even proposed a mechanism to explain how Earth could orbit the Sun (a sort of perpetual falling – this decades before Isaac Newton would explain orbits by means of perpetual falling), but he said it would not help the Copernicans, on account of the other problems with their theory.

What were those problems? A big one was the size of stars in the Copernican universe. More.

Advice: When Bimbette Fluffarelli at Airhead TV announces that all opposition to Galileo was religious, 1) change the channel 2) cancel your subscription 3) advise the network to either quit offering pop science or improve the brand quality. We have the internet now.

See also: Galileo’s trial: What really happened


Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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7 Replies to “Opposition to Galileo based on science, not just religion?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this ancient geocentric image from the article

    The Ptolemaic Geocentric system. Photo courtesy Wikimedia

    It turns out that that ancient image is not so different from the modern image we now have of the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) surrounding the earth

    Image credits: Earth: NASA/BlueEarth; Milky Way: ESO/S. Brunier; CMB: NASA/WMAP.

    It seems that the earth, with the discovery of the CBR has come full circle from being considered an insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space back to having some measure of respectability as far as being at the center of the universe is concerned:

    In The Beginning – Ross Andersen – 12 May 2015
    Excerpt: As I walked out of Steinhardt’s office for the last time, it occurred to me that our cosmos is once again a sphere. Our Earth has been demoted in recent centuries. It no longer enjoys its former status as the still centre of all that is. But it does sit in the middle of our observable cosmos, the sphere of light that we can detect with our telescopes. Gaze into this sphere’s reaches from any point on Earth’s surface, and you can see light coming toward you in layers, from stars and the planets that circle them, from the billions of galaxies beyond, and the final layer of light, the afterglow of the Big Bang.

    Here is a video that illustrates the earth’s centrality in the universe:

    The Known Universe by AMNH – video – (please note the ‘centrality’ of the Earth in the universe at the 3:36 minute mark in the video)

    Here is a still shot of the image at the 3:36 minute mark of the preceding video

    Picture of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR)

    Interestingly, long before the CBR was discovered, the bible predicted it:

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

    Despite this rather astonishing discovery with the CBR, many people are still absolutely convinced that it is impossible for the earth to be considered central in the universe. In fact, Michael Rowan-Robinson, former president of the Royal Astronomical Society, and apparently an atheist, emphasized the Copernican principle as the threshold test for modern thought, asserting that:

    “It is evident that in the post-Copernican era of human history, no well-informed and rational person can imagine that Earth occupies a unique position in the universe.”
    Michael Rowan-Robinson – (1996). Cosmology (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 62–63.

    In other words, according to Michael Rowan-Robinson, a person is not informed and/or rational if they may hold the Earth has a unique position and/or status in the universe. Yet, due to advances in our knowledge, methinks the honorable Michael Rowan-Robinson may have judged much too quickly.

    Contrary to what is popularly believed by many people today, of the earth being nothing but a insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space (Copernican Principle), there is actually a strong case to be made for the earth, and humans themselves, being central in the universe once again.

    In fact, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time upon which General Relativity is built,,,

    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, 4-dimensional (4D) space-time was created in the Big Bang and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

    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.

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point can be considered central to the expansion, if that’s where you live.

    ,,, and also due to the fact that, in both General and Special Relativity, the observer is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements,,,

    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,,,,

    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.”

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, Then, as far as general relativity itself is concerned, which is by far our best theory of gravity, centrality in the universe is left completely open for whomever is making a particular model of the universe to arbitrarily decide for themselves what is the center of 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.

    No less than Einstein himself stated that, as far as General Relativity itself is concerned, neither the sun nor the earth has more centrality in the universe than the other does

    “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.);

    “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.

    “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

    Fred Hoyle, discoverer of stellar nucleosynthesis, weighs in here:

    “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.

    “We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance.”
    Sir Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology – A Modern Course, (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co.), p. 416,1975.

    George Ellis, who, along with Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking, helped extend General Relativity to show that not only energy and matter had a definite beginning in the Big Bang but that space and time also had a definite beginning in the Big Bang, weighs in here:

    “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

    Many people say that the heliocentric model is preferred over the earth centered model because of simplicity, i.e. aka Occam’s razor, the following recent article takes issue with that claim:

    The Tyranny of Simple Explanations – Philip Ball – AUG 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Occam’s razor is often stated as an injunction not to make more assumptions than you absolutely need.,,,
    In layman’s terms, the simplest explanation is usually the best one.,,,
    But Occam’s razor is often fetishized and misapplied as a guiding beacon for scientific enquiry.,,
    The worst misuses, however, fixate on the idea that the razor can adjudicate between rival theories. I have found no single instance where it has served this purpose to settle a scientific debate. Worse still, the history of science is often distorted in attempts to argue that it has.
    Take the debate between the ancient geocentric view of the universe—in which the sun and planets move around a central Earth—and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, with the Sun at the center and the Earth and other planets moving around it.,,,
    It is often claimed that, by the 16th century, this Ptolemaic model of the universe had become so laden with these epicycles that it was on the point of falling apart. Then along came the Polish astronomer with his heliocentric universe, and no more epicycles were needed. The two theories explained the same astronomical observations, but Copernicus’s was simpler, and so Occam’s razor tells us to prefer it.
    This is wrong for many reasons. First, Copernicus didn’t do away with epicycles.,,,
    In an introductory tract called the Commentariolus, published around 1514, he said he could explain the motions of the heavens with “just” 34 epicycles. Many later commentators took this to mean that the geocentric model must have needed many more than 34, but there’s no actual evidence for that. And the historian of astronomy Owen Gingerich has dismissed the common assumption that the Ptolemaic model was so epicycle-heavy that it was close to collapse. He argues that a relatively simple design was probably still in use in Copernicus’s time.,,,
    Occam’s razor was never meant for paring nature down to some beautiful, parsimonious core of truth. Because science is so difficult and messy, the allure of a philosophical tool for clearing a path or pruning the thickets is obvious. In their readiness to find spurious applications of Occam’s razor in the history of science, or to enlist, dismiss, or reshape the razor at will to shore up their preferences, scientists reveal their seduction by this vision.

    In fact, Ptolemy’s model has a certain symmetrical beauty to it that is missing from the Copernican model

    Ptolemy’s model of the solar system – video

    And thus, on the criteria of beauty alone, which Einstein preferred, I hold Ptolemy’s model should be preferred over Copernican’s model

    ‘the only physical theories that we are willing to accept are the beautiful ones’
    Albert Einstein – per Wigner “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”

    Besides beauty, that the earth and solar system should be given privileged consideration once again, over all other frames of reference in the universe, is also established by empirical evidence itself, i.e. by Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) anomalies.

    Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer – 2007
    The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights?
    Caption under figure on page 43:
    ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes.
    Here is the actual graph of the alignment from the Huterer 2007 paper (worth a thousand words):

    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.

    At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist, 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

    Moreover besides the earth and solar system lining up with the anomalies in the Cosmic Background Radiation, Radio Astronomy now reveals a surprising rotational coincidence for Earth in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe:

    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.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the light coming from the CMBR is also, unexpectedly, found to be fine tuned for intelligent life like human life to discover it:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

    And whereas in General Relativity the observer is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, in quantum mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: 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…

    As well, life is found to have centrality in the universe from another angle:

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph

    The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality. As far as the exponential graph itself is concerned, 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the geometric middle.
    Dr. Neil Turok comments on this strange ‘anomaly’ of life being in the in the following public lecture

    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we are in the exponential/geometric middle of the universe)

    And although both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics give the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, none-the-less, in the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, simply ‘refuse to talk to each other’ in any attempt to unify them mathematically:

    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video

    Yet, when the Agent causality, i.e. God, of Theists is rightly let ‘back’ into the picture of physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton and Maxwell among others), then a empirically backed unification between Quantum Theory and Relativity is readily achieved by the resurrection of Christ from death:

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything – Centrality Concerns

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Verse and Music

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    “Alive” – W,Lyrics, By Natalie Grant

    Supplemental note:

    Special Relativity and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video

  5. 5
    Pearlman says:

    yes we (the Earth-Sun/ ecliptic) are center of the universe which is a sphere with no ongoing cosmic expansion, reference /as explained in
    SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    corrected video links to post 2, i.e. accurate representations

    In fact, Ptolemy’s model has a certain symmetrical beauty to it that is missing from the Copernican model

    Geocentric Perspective with Sun and Planets over 165 Years – video playlist

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Excerpt: Research that I have published(4) looked at periodic structure in the abundances of galaxy redshifts in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 5 and the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dF GRS). We analyzed half a million galaxies out to redshifts of about z = 0.3.  From that we determined that there was periodic structure in the redshift abundance. That can be visualized something like concentric shells of galaxies with preferred redshifts centred on a point in space near our galaxy.

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