10. Geocentrism

It is better to use the infallible Word of God for our scientific assumptions than to change His Word in order to compromise with “science” that is based upon man’s fallible assumptions. True science will always support God’s Word.

The above quote comes from one of the most ardent proponents of Young-Earth Creationism: Answers in Genesis.  There are simply no words to combat this sort of mentality.  But I will try.

Let’s travel back in time – about, oh, half a millenium, shall we?

In the 1500s, a young upstart by the name of Copernicus dared to suggest, after careful study, that the Earth rotated around the Sun.  This was a threat to the long

Geocentric Model

-held belief that the Earth is immovable and that it is actually the Sun that moves around the Earth.

To be fair, Copernicus was not the first to come up with a heliocentric model.  In the third century BC, Aristarchus of Samos theorised that the Sun was the centre of the known universe.  He even put the planets in the right order!  However, his ideas were not taken seriously; Aristotle and Ptolemy’s geocentric models were believed to be correct (and Biblical, to boot!).  Nevertheless, Copernicus is often honoured as he is the one who came up with a fully predictive mathematical heliocentric model.

The heliocentric model which Copernicus proposed was against the Church’s teaching.  Indeed, careful reading of the Bible reveals that the Earth does not move at all.  If Answers in Genesis were around 500 years ago, I have no doubt they would be loudly proclaiming that heliocentrism is against the Bible, the infallible Word of God.  Here are some verses which support geocentrism:

  • Ecclesiastes 1:5 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
  • Psalm 104:5 5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:30b The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
  • Psalm 96:10 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.

These words come directly from the ‘infallible Word of God’.  The Bible is very clear that the world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Cannot. Be. Moved.

And yet it moves.

‘Oh,’ I can hear you say, ‘those verses were not meant to be taken literally.  The writers wrote things down as they saw/understood things.’ Wait a minute!  You mean they aren’t the revealed word of God?

Here is a statement from Creation Ministries International, the Australian ‘arm’ of Answers in Genesis:

Bible writers used the ‘language of appearance’, just as people always have. Without it, the intended message would be awkward at best and probably not understood clearly. When the Bible touches on scientific subjects, it is entirely accurate.

Does the last sentence there strike anyone else as illogical and designed to fit the author’s agenda?

Five hundred years ago, a geocentric model of the known universe was classified as scientific, backed up by Scripture.  Now, most people – including YECs – believe in a heliocentric model.  What happened?

And what will YECs do as the evidence for Evolution mounts up?

<< 9. What ‘Theory’ Really Means | Creation/Evolution Page |
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Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010, in Creation vs Evolution, Religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “Indeed, careful reading of the Bible reveals that the Earth does not move at all.”

    On the contrary, only a superficial reading indicates that, as I will come back to.

    “If Answers in Genesis were around 500 years ago, I have no doubt they would be loudly proclaiming that heliocentrism is against the Bible, the infallible Word of God.”

    I’m sure that they wouldn’t, because the heliocentric model, although claimed to have some biblical support, came from Greek thinking, not the Bible, as you acknowledge. And the biblical support is superficial.

    “‘Oh,’ I can hear you say, ‘those verses were not meant to be taken literally. The writers wrote things down as they saw/understood things.’ Wait a minute! You mean they aren’t the revealed word of God?”

    Again, misrepresentation of creationist arguments. Creationists, contrary to some opinions including some expressed on this blog, do not take all of the Bible literally, because it was not all meant to be taken literally (it includes metaphor, simile, parables, etc.) So the mere fact that something is in “the revealed word of God” does not mean that it is meant to be taken literally. That is a non-sequitur.

    You give the false impression that someone who says “those verses were not meant to be taken literally” has no other reason for doing so than it fits their preconceptions . This is false, because creationists actually claim that one can determine which should be taken literally and which shouldn’t in a more objective manner. So they argue that the creation and flood accounts should be taken literally /because they are, in a literary sense, historical narrative/.

    “Here are some verses which support geocentrism:”

    Note that ALL THESE VERSES ARE POETRY, not historical narrative, and have clear non-literal meanings. To imply that if one takes the creation account literally one should also take poetry literally is nonsense.

    And that’s without getting into the issue that there is nothing incorrect about using language of appearance. Even astronomers today still refer to sunrise and sunset, for example, without anyone accusing them of not understanding reality.

    “Does the last sentence there strike anyone else as illogical and designed to fit the author’s agenda?”

    Not at all. It sounds quite logical to me.

    “And what will YECs do as the evidence for Evolution mounts up?”

    Ah, the fallacy of the loaded question. I could just as easily ask, what will the (theistic and other) evolutionists do as the evidence for creation and the flood mounts up?

    “Now, most people – including YECs – believe in a heliocentric model. What happened?”

    What happened? Good question. What happened is that YECs such as Copernicus and Galileo did real science and rejected the Greek “science” that much of the church had adopted and tried to justify biblically. Rather like YECs today do real science and reject the “science” of evolution that much of the church today has adopted and tries to justify biblically. Therein is a lesson, although not the one you had in mind.

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  2. Don’t forget that Copernicus was brought up and educated by the Jesuits. Does this tell you anything?

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