Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I was struck by something a little while ago, and then my sister came and spoke about it again today because she came across it in her text book. Imagine that the model of the universe you have been taught for all your life might be wrong! Its quite staggering to think about, but like Ive said before - if you stop thinking and simply accept what people tell you because they said it then you are in a dangerous position.
I was very interested to find out that there is still a school of thought that holds to Geocentricity as opposed to Heliocentricity. That is that the earth is the center of the universe and that the sun and planets revolve around it. At first I thought that those poor people were probably just still stuck in the dark ages but after hearing more about it I found it quite interesting. Its one of those things that we just accept because it comes from the scientists.
But it is interesting that neither the theory of Geocentricity nor the theory of Heliocentricity can be proved. So there's no way of really knowing whether we are going around the sun or whether the sun is going around us.
Interestingly Copernicus' idea was not based on science as much as it is on philosophy. He agreed with the philosophy of Plato and Pythagoras (yes, that name makes me fake sickness too) who believed that the sun was the culmination of everything good!
This textbook gives some very interesting quotations from the Bible to support geocentricity:
Genesis 1:1,16 - Sun, Moon and stars created after the earth
Judges 5:20 - speaks of the "stars in their courses"
Psalm 19 - speaks of the sun "running a race"
Joshua 10:13 - the sun stood still.
2 Kings 20:8-11 - The sun went backwards
Now most of those things could be just interpreted as having been said in a human perspective, but they might well be literal! Isn't it just amazing how much knowledge of space the bible characters knew without the means of knowing it! See the book of Job for some of that!
Einstein's theory of relativity insists that it is impossible to tell whether the earth, the sun, or any other body is stationary or moving - just that one is moving in relation to another.
Geocentricity says that instead of the revolving once every 24 hours, the sun travels around the earth once in that time causing day and night. (Joshua 10:15 where the sun stood still) and 2 Kings 20:8-11 (where the sun went back 10 degrees)
This theory also says that the sun travels around the earth in a spiral-type orbit so that it is closer to the northern hemisphere in June and closer to the southern hemisphere in December.
Interestingly, I would think that this theory dispels any notions of life on other planets, it also limits the size of the universe!
Another evidence which has just come to mind and is pretty strong - the star signifying the birth of Jesus
Matthew 2:9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
While there is no definite proof for either theory, I find the notion that there might be another way that the universe functions quite exciting. I also think that the evidence in the Bible lends itself more fully to a Geocentric understanding of the universe rather than a Heliocentric view. I dont think I am completely persuaded either way though.
This is not a forum and so I'm not asking for major debate, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this? I certainly found it to be interesting.
Source: Theocentric Christian Education South African notes for grade eight.
Picture of the earth: http://www.fpsoftlab.com/images/screenshots/earth-640x480-2.jpg