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Galileo Was Wrong?

September 13, 2010

Many other sites and bloggers have mentioned the Galileo Was Wrong Conference taking place November 6th in South Bend, IN (and thanks to Chris E. for sending me a link as well). Apparently, the event is being headed by Dr. Robert Sungenis, a “Ph. D.” in theology who is going to correct all of the godless atheists with their ‘science’ and ‘telescopes in space’ with a face value reading of Scripture. Also, it seems the Popes of the 17th century knew more about the universe from the Bible than modern scientists.

The stupid it burns!

Instead of deconstructing the many logical fallacies in Sungenis’s theological position–because whatever else, not only is he an awful scientist he is a terrible theologian as well–the lack of generic identification, the apologetic need for absolute truths for ‘faith’, the misunderstanding of the task at hand for the modern church, etc. ad nauseum. Let’s just take a basic, basic look at a few issues.

First our galaxy:

Our solar system is not even the center of our galaxy! At the center of our galaxy is a super-massive black hole. It is the gravity of the hyper-activity at the center of the galaxy that gives the galaxy its shape. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has 200 to 400 billion stars. Seriously, just stop and think about that for a second. Our galaxy has billions and billions of stars!

Now this is where the “center of the universe” talk just gets silly. The universe is so vast that it is almost pointless to talk about the size of the universe. Not only does our galaxy have billions of stars but there are also billions of other galaxies each with hundreds of billions of star themselves.

Do you see those light smudges? Each of those is a galaxy (a picture taken from outer space by a telescope that they sent there using formulations based on a heliocentric solar system. Funny how those computations worked). This is but a small sampling.

When you consider how small the Earth is in relation to the Milky Way, and then the Milky Way in relation to the universe, we are not even a speck of sand on a beach, nor a drop of water in the ocean.

I can only imagine how the authors of the 18th century would have re-phrased their understandings of the sublime if they were faced with the reality of the universe. I certainly know of no thing that gives me such feelings as when I attempt to even begin to consider the galaxy we live in and the universe in which it is found.

Galileo was wrong? I can’t hardly even begin to think about an issue that is less of a concern to any modern church goer, that is based more on a tendentious reading of ancient literature, that adds nothing to any conversation whatsoever pertaining to life, science, and religion.


If you need me, I’ll be over here with my sublime feelings about the universe.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 2:23 pm

    The last reviewer says that Copernicanism was abandoned by Galileo before he died. Kind of like how Darwin recanted before he died, right?

    What is it about believing ridiculous, scientifically untenable things, AND making them essential to one’s faith, that is so exciting to human beings?

  2. Jake permalink
    September 13, 2010 3:02 pm

    Are you gonna write a bunch of emo poem’s while you’re sitting over there by yourself Mr. Sublime?

    • September 13, 2010 4:12 pm

      LOL… I can’t write any sort of poems let alone ’emo’ poems, however, if I could write poems, today I would write emo poems!

      • Jake permalink
        September 13, 2010 9:55 pm

        You’re listening to Dido right now aren’t you…

  3. September 14, 2010 6:59 pm

    Have you heard the theories that the big thing wasn’t really over geocentrism, and that it wasn’t the historical belief the Church? It was more politics than anything. No one ever really believed in geocentrism

    • September 14, 2010 10:07 pm

      Nope. I’d be interested in some sort of source or background if that was true. However, I think (and certainly this is not my area of expertise) that a Ptolemaic understanding of the “universe” was ubiquitous.

      Luther called Copernicus an “upstart astronomer” and referred to him as a “fool who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

      Melanchthon said that “the eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty-four hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded the earth moves.” In support of what was obvious to him and clearly taught in Scripture he would quote such authoritative texts as Ecclesiastes 1:5 “The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises.”

      Jean Calvin is reported to have said: Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?

  4. F. Journier permalink
    September 23, 2010 1:46 pm

    More about Sungenis “credentials” here

    Please note that Sungenis has no official capacity in the Catholic Church and was forced by his bishop to take the name “Catholic” off of his organization. Thank you.

  5. jery permalink
    April 10, 2011 8:17 pm

    how is this pikture real if nasa can barely get out of our solar system ??? there could be otherlife forms in the galaxy next to us the mrs2 or watever its called because earth is a grain of sand in a huge sand box think bout it nd couldnt the sun explode and turn into a black hole??? since its a star??? yes thats a supernova bt thats never gna happen in our lifetime nd the wworld isnt gna end cause hollywood has been makin movies about aliens and the and of the world (ex: indepandence day, deep impact and termonator) way before 2000 and nothin happened so lighten upp.


  1. Calvin, Luther and Melanchthon believed Geocentricity? | The Church of Jesus Christ

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