The Most Difficult Fifty Bucks I Ever Earned

A reader asked me to view the following two hour lecture on geocentrism. He promised me fifty bucks if I was not convinced. I wished I had asked for more. This was painful to sit through.

The man involved, Robert Sungenis, is, to put the matter kindly, a smug and dishonest crackpot without even the zealous honesty the other crackpots, flatearthers and theosophists, tend to radiate.

I was trying to count the number of scientific errors he made, and gave up counting when I realized every statement contained a scientific error but one. (He is correct that the microwave background radiation in space is not symmetrical).

The argument was grossly illogical, merely an assertion that there is a conspiracy theory among scientists to discredit the Bible, and that scientists falsify results and ignore contrary experiments due to personal prejudice.

It haunts and horrifies me that any educated person could be deceived by this man. Robert Sungenis is an uncharismatic version of Professor Harold Hill, the Music Man. Only not as amusing, and without the song and dance.

Here is the lecture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwx7bYEUIF4&ab_channel=LoneStar1776

Fairness requires me to at least list to the points I found unpersausive.

Professor Harold Hill (as I shall call him hereafter) begins with a fifteen minute explanation of his purpose, which is to show that the Earth is the center of the universe in order to undermine the atheist view that the Earth is in an insignificant area of a vast cosmos.

He repeats this several times, and the argument is never made more logically than this: he rejects anything other than a flatly literal interpretation of the Bible as discrediting the whole of the Bible, so that if an ancient writer speaks of the sun rising or the moon setting, this is support for geocentrism.

The problem with Biblical literalism is that it requires a firmament of water above the atmosphere, plants older than the sun, and the presence of unicorns in the wilderness, leviathans in the sea, and God having hands and feet and wings and so on.

As  Roman Catholic, I am not bound to affirm that every non-scholarly flatfooted literal reading in translation of every passage of the Bible, taken out of context, means what the non-scholar says. So, to me, the idea that even one Christian lost his faith due to the Copernican theory is absurd (or, rather, that only absurd Christians would find this a challenge to their faith) much less that the orbit of the Earth around the sun is the main reason for loss of Christian faith in the modern day. The Copernican theory was not an issue for Christians until the Evangelical movement springing from the Protestant movement, some hundreds of years after the entire Christian world saw no conflict between astronomy and theology. It is a make believe problem believed neither by honest scientists nor by orthodox Christians.

The fight between faith and reason exists only the narrow minds of atheists who worship science without understanding it and heretics who worship the Bible without understanding it: two brands of idolaters, each a mirror reflection of the other.

As an ex-atheist, I solemnly assure you that not a single atheist, no, not one, would give a flying fig over whether geocentrism were proven true. Earth being in the center of the cosmos does not prove God exists, or even hint as much. How many atheist of your acquaintance fell down and worshiped God when the Big Bang became the standard model?

Lucretius the Roman philosopher and poet was an atheist (or, at least, a man who believed the serene gods never interfered in human affairs) and he believed the geocentric model.

Astronomy is not what makes atheist doubt the witness of the Christians. (More likely, it is our lack of charity and godliness that makes them doubt.)

The medieval writers who put Earth in the center of gravity, where are all the heavy, mundane, mortal, and un-divine material fell, regarded the center of the universe as the bottom, where hell was. The Earth’s surface was the roof of hell. The stars were the palaces of the saints and angels, the important part of the universe. We were the sewer.

And, as writers from Chesterton to Lewis have pointed out, in no sober man does the size of the universe show man to be too small for the concern of God, rather than stand in mute witness to His glory.

Man is indeed small in relation to the universe. For that matter, he is small in relation to the nearest tree.

Arguing that heliocentrism moves man from the central position of God’s love to a forgotten corner of the cosmos is as illogical as arguing that Caesar must be a god but Christ cannot be god, because Caesar was in Rome, adorned in purple, whereas Christ was born in a stinking stable in an obscure frontier of the Empire.

Only someone unfamiliar with (or perhaps an enemy of) both Christian humility and scientific honesty could make such a stupid argument as to claim heliocentrism erodes faith and geocentrism will restore it.

Therefore when Professor Hill says at the outset that his purpose is not to learn science, but to use science to teach about God, salvation and the eternity of the soul, he attempting gross malfeasance, first by identifying a wrong cause of atheism (it is not caused by heliocentrism) and second by identifying a wrong method of Biblical exegesis (expecting science to match tin-eared literalism of those heretics who worship the Bible, not Christ.)

So the introduction gave me the intellectual measure  of the man: the question he approaches are above his mental pay grade.

His approach, throughout, is based on three simple tricks that a child could see through:

  1. He quotes a famous scientist out of context;
  2. He then accuses the scientist of being motivated solely by anti-Biblical bigotry, and lying to the public in order to deceive them and spread atheism;
  3. He then misquotes the theory, purpose, and results of various famous experiments as if confident that no one in the audience knows either the history of science of the methods of natural philosophy.

Unfortunately for him, I know both.

I read the Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler and Newton in school, not filtered through the modern opinions of the textbook writers, but in the original. I performed some of the experiments and took myself some of the observations on which the some of the results are based. So I know exactly what each man was trying to prove and not trying to prove, and why.

And I can spot the fraud. This lecture was nothing but.

Since men I respect have paid this lecture high compliments, and claimed at least to have been scientifically trained, it behooves me to remind them of the basics of the scientific method they should have learned in high school.

First, no scientist claims to know an absolute truth. Ever. He claims to have a model with the following properties: it predicts measurable phenomena more accurately than other models; it is the most elegant (that is, most parsimonious and robust) of the models available.

When a model predicts a result that differs from the observed result, the model is tinkered with, assumptions are added or subtracted, to do what is called “saving the appearance” that is, to make the revised model match the observed result.

This is neither deception nor subterfuge, but the normal progress of science. When Ptolemy could not explain the motion of a planet, he added an epicycle or a differens or something to make his figures come out right.

Only someone with no scientific training whatsoever could be amazed at the fact that the different model predict the same results. The three models discussed in the lecture are the Ptolemaic, the Copernican, and the Tycho Brahe model.

For those of you who never studied science: the Ptolemaic model places Earth at the center of the solar system, and has all the heavens revolve around it: the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The inner and outer planets differ in that Mercury and Venus never rise to the zenith. The planets orbit on perfect circles riding on other circles, which revolve around a center of motion rotating near the core of the Earth. The universe turns once a day on its axis, producing day and night, and moves turns in the opposite direction one degrees per day, so that at the end of 360 degrees the year is completed.

This model explains gravity as issuing from the Earth only, and has only bodies made of heavy matter falling toward the center of the earth. Light bodies such as the sun, moon, and stars, including the wandering stars called planets (which were thought to be lamps, not physical globes like the earth) were made of light and ethereal substance.

The Ptolemaic model makes no account of the phases of Venus, the Galilean satellites orbiting Jupiter, the parallax of the stars, or luminiferous aether, none of which was detected before Galileo’s day.

(In two paragraphs I have explained more than Professor Harold Hill about the Ptolemaic model.)

Tycho Brahe’s model has the Earth also at the center, but, for ease of calculation, has the moon only revolving around the Earth. The other planets revolve around the sun, which revolves around the Earth. This model make no account of gravity. The one advantage of the Tychoic model is that it explains the phases of Venus.

The Copernicus model had some 44 epicycles to retain the circular motions, but put the Sun at the center of the system, and had the Earth move around it. The main argument against the Copernicus model is that lack of sensation of motion to observers on the earth, and the lack of stellar parallax (which was, however, discovered in 1838 by Bessel, who picked a nearby star, 61 Cyni).

Kepler’s model reduced the complexity of Copernicus to three laws of astronomical motion by eliminating circular orbits and positing elliptical orbits.

Newton’s three laws of motion were even simpler, since all of the Kepler could be deduced from them, but also ballistics, billiards, the fall of apples, the motions of eddies, and all inelastic collisions.  Newton solved the problem of Aristotle’s local violent motion by positing that bodies in motion stayed in motion and that bodies at rest stayed at rest, a property he called inertia.

Most significantly, Christiaan Huygens established what is now known as Newton’s Second Law of motion (F=ma).

He also established a central principle of modern physics, the main point of which Professor Harold Hill in his lecture is unaware: that from the point of view of physics, the motions of bodies in collision (or orbit) must be the same from any frame of reference. Two trains at fifty miles an hour crashing headlong are the same as one train at one hundred miles and hour crashing into a stationary train.

This is called the principle of relative motion. Example: from the point of view of a man on Earth, Venus is an interior planet (an interior planet is one that sets on the same horizon from which it rises) and Mars is an exterior (an exterior planet is one that rises to the zenith). From the point of view of an observer on Venus, Earth is an exterior planet. From the point of view of an observer on Mars, Earth is an interior planet. Whether the Earth spins on its axis daily, or the universe rotates daily about a motionless earth, the motion seen from the surface of the Earth would be the same.

(The motion of the Earth seen from the moon, of course, would be different, unless the moon is somehow being carried along with the circular motion of the universe in a fashion that cannot be detected.)

Now, the astonishment and smirking glee with which Professor Harold Hill, over and over and over again, in his boring lecture expects to blow the minds of the scientifically illiterate audience shows he has never heard of this principle, or expects his audience never to have heard of it: the universe spinning around a stationary Earth results in the same appearances as the Earth spinning in a stationary universe.

But it is the most obvious principle in modern physics. The only way to abridge it, is to posit an absolute space to act as a framework from whose special vantage all relative motions can be measured, but even then, the principle holds as long as inertia holds. That is, if there were an absolute frame, no observation could determine it: by definition, the observations of all accurate models must be the same. One model is preferred over the other not on the basis of different predicted results, but solely on the basis of the elegance of the model.

In particular, the Brahe model predicts the same lunar eclipses, and retrograde motions, oppositions, triunes and conjunctions at the same latitudes and dates as the Ptolemaic model or the Copernican model.

Professor Hill’s argument is that it is invalid to determine scientific models on scientific grounds, that is, on the basis of the elegance (robustness and parsimony) of the model.

He, displaying grotesque scientific ignorance unbecoming to any literate man raised in the West, scoffs at these principles as being a mere philosophical bias, which he dishonestly and deceptively characterizes as being motivated solely by an animus against Christ, which he heretically and blasphemously takes to be synonymous with the geocentric model.

Professor Harold Hill makes a huge point, over and over again, that all three models predict the same results. And he dismisses the other rule used for preferring one model to the other, the elegance, as a mere bigotry of philosophy.

Now, I must say, the scientific community is much to blame for creating an atmosphere of science worship rather than scientific rigor which would allow an audience of scientifically illiterate dupes to be found which would find any of this baloney convincing. Science-worshipers do not like the fact that models are based on elegance, and that more than one model fits the available facts. They want science to be a religion and to give final and absolute answers, and it does not. They want science to make no mention of elegance, since this is an aesthetic or philosophical criterion, one where human judgment is involved.

In real history, outside of the hysterical lies of Professor Harold Hill, the Tycho Brahe model was not rejected on the ground of it being unable to predict the motions of the planets as seen from the Earth’s surface.

Because it was not rejected on those grounds, it cannot revived on the grounds that it accurately predicts the motions of the planets as seen from the Earth’s surface.

It was rejected because Kepler’s model is robust, in that it allows one to use three simple rules rather than 88 epicycles to calculate the motion of the moons of Jupiter as seen from the surface of Jupiter, or the motions of the moons of Mars as seen from the surface of Mars, or to calculate the position of the Earth in the black skies of the Moon at any given latitude and longitude of the moon.

More to the point, the Newtonian mechanics explains not only motions in the heavens, but the motions of billiards and cannon balls on Earth, and so the theory is far more robust than Ptolemy could have imagined.

And again, the Newtonian model specifies only three entities to explain all the ballistic motions of the heavens and earth: gravity, mass, and inertia.

The Tycho Brahe model requires gravity for Earth to hold the moon around it, and a second force, never named, which pins the planets around the Sun, and a third unnamed force to move the Sun with the yearly motion, and a final unnamed force to move the orb of the fixed stars with daily motion in the other direction.

The Tycho Brahe model was rejected because it was neither robust (it could not be used with ease to calculate locations from anywhere but Earth, whereas the Kepler could) nor did it explain terrestrial motions of billiards and ballistics (as Newton could) nor was it parsimonious (Tycho requires dozens of entities for Newton’s three laws.)

But Professor Harold Hill did not bring up any of these objections to the Tycho Brahe model or the Ptolemaic model. He simply did not say what the grounds were on which the models were rejected. All he did was say that the geocentric model was rejected on the grounds that it lent credence to the Bible.

At this point, Professor Hill loses, for me, the charm of a cunning con man like THE MUSIC MAN, because he then covers over the glaring errors in his theory by launching a vicious and dishonorable attack on Galileo. He claims that Galileo was not a Christian at the time before and during his trial, but had a conversion experience, and became Christian late in life, three years before his death, and on that ground and that alone affirmed the Ptolemaic model once more.

His proof the Galileo was  not a Christian was that he fathered bastard Children out of wedlock, whereas we all know Italians never could possibly do that, and that Christians never sin.

His proof that Galileo rejected his own pro-Copernicus stance was not because it did not fit the available evidence at the time (it did not, by the way. Galileo held that the tides were caused by the Earth sloshing as it circled the sun, which even other scientists of his day thought was absurd) but because of his sudden conversion to Christianity was an unsigned letter. He says that an evil conspiracy to use science to undermine the Church removed the signature.

At that point, as I say, the lunatic lost his charm for me. All the astronomers and mathematicians involved for the first three hundred years of these debates were Christians, and Kepler was a monk. Newton wrote books on Biblical prophecy. The idea that these scientific men were trying to undermine rather than glorify God in their works is refuted by a cursory glance at their writings.

Let me dwell for a moment on the sheer effrontery of the man’s argument. All he did was put up on a powerpoint screen, one after another, quotes of famous scientists explaining the principle of relative motion or the principle of saving the appearances, and quote where the famous scientist would say something like “on the basis of predicting the appearances alone, there is no reason to prefer the heliocentric to the geocentric model”.

And he would smirk  and click the slide away, without reading the rest of the sentence or the paragraph. I took the trouble of pausing the film the first dozen times he pulled this trick. One the same page he was quoting, usually in the next paragraph or the next line, was an explanation of the grounds for rejecting geocentrism, which were not, and were never said to be, on the basis of observations made at the time of Galileo.

Now, after the discover of the Galilean satellites, the fact that the stars are at various distances, and gathered into galaxies, clusters, and superclusters, far, far more than the observations available at the time of Galileo would have to be explained away if we wanted to return to a robust and parsimonious geocentric model.

For one thing, you would have to explain why satellites see the Earth turning, or observers on the Moon.

Merely saying, as Professor Harold Hill quotes over and over respectable scientists saying, that any point can be taken as the center of observation when observing relative motion does not prove Earth is the center of the universe. Indeed, that statements are enunciating a philosophical principle that the universe, contra Newton, has no special center.

So what am I to make of a con man so clumsy that the quotes he puts up on the screen for me to read CONTRADICT the interpretation he wishes to draw from them? I cannot decide if he is a fool and does not notice the contradictions in the same paragraph he quotes, or assumes I am a fool and will not notice. Either assumption puts paid to any serious discussion with the man or his ideas.

Anyone who doubts me can click through the link, listen to the lecture, and pause the playback whenever he throws a quote on the screen. Read them yourself. Usually the full statement is in the next sentence right after he stops reading aloud. It is a pathetic attempt. The real Harold Hill would not be caught so easily.

He explains stellar parallax by saying it is not necessarily the case that Earth is in a different point in space on the opposite sides of its orbit. Rather, the star 61 Cygni, and all the other stars, even though no known force of gravity or motion could act on them to produce this motion, and jogging to the left and then to the right once a year by the precise distance of the diameter of Earth’s orbit, 2 AU’s.

So much for basic errors in the philosophy and methods of science. His next trick was just to accuse scientists of being in an anti-Christian cabal. This is Dan Brown levels of paranoia I will not pause to refute, except to say that Robert Sungenis is a damnable liar blackening the names of better man than he, and I wish I were not a Christian man, so that I could punch him handsomely in the nose.

Einstein is the scientist he slanders most wantonly, calling him a virulent anti-Christian. Einstein was a Jew who toyed with the idea of joining a Christian denomination, but it was one of those Protestant puritanical groups that would have made him give up cigars. Einstein believed in God, and was in no sense an antichristian.

Let me see if I can remember and list some of the scientific errors and misstatements made. By no means can I recall them all.

Professor Hill makes the argument that Mach claims the whole mass of the universe surrounding the Earth creates the illusion of inertia, which does not actually exist. In other words, Professor Harold Hill dismisses the three Newtonian laws of motion in the name of Mach. Unfortunately for him, having a large gravity field covering the universe would not copy the effects of inertia, since all the rest of the universe is in free fall with respect to us, as we are to them.

If you are orbiting a distant gravitational body, the acceleration you feel when you accelerate is the same no matter in which direction you go: the only difference the gravity of the distant body would make is that your flightpath is bent from a straight line into a hyperbola, parabola, or ellipse. If you were in the middle of a field of stars all pulling evenly in you in all directions, the forces would cancel out and your flightpath would be a straightline. In no case would the sensation of acceleration, which is due to inertia, be altered.

The idea that the gravity of distant stars creates the sensation of pushing you back in your seat when you accelerate your car is not even junk science, it is not even astrology, it is jabberwocky. This is technobabble, meant to deceive the gullible, but which, upon closer inspection, means precisely nothing. I would have been more impressed had he claimed that inertia was caused by phlogiston.

He makes much ado of the fact that gravity fields extend to infinity, which he says Newton denies, even though Newton is the one who first formulated the inverse square law saying that gravity extends to infinity (getting infinitely weaker as it goes, of course. The star 61 Cygni is exerting gravitational influence on your body right now. Your refrigerator, while a smaller mass, is closer, and exerts more influence.)

Professor Harold Hill several times repeats this incoherent idea that the total mass of the universe is what creates the frame of reference so that an accelerating body suffers the same sensation as gravity produces in the direction of motion. However, a simple thought experiment should dismiss that notion. If, as he says, you are pushed into your carseat by the acceleration of your car due to the stars effecting you with gravity, then you would be pushed out of your car seat whenever you accelerated the opposite direction. The stellar gravity cannot be moving so that it is always behind your buttocks no matter which way you point your car’s nose. And if the stellar gravity were the same in all directions, the gravity cancels out.

Be that as it may, even so, the presence of a universal gravity field would not provide an explanation for the other things heliocentrism and relativity explain which geocentrism does not. When geocentrism was originally proposed, the stars were thought to be lanterns held on a crystal sphere rotating once a day around a stationary earth, and the lamps of heaven were thought to be an ethereal and weightless substance. But modern astronomy says the stars are suns, most of them many times the size of Sol.

Having 61 Cygni, at the distance of only ten lightyears, circle a stationary Earth once a day produces a speed of motion somewhat alarming for a star of that mass. To save the appearances of the geocentric model, we have to posit a force, call it the Tychoic force, moving the star in a circle.

And not just that star. The Andromeda galaxy, which is two and a half million lightyears way, must sweep out a much larger radius a circle in the same 24 hour period, and its mass is ten times the mass of the Milky Way.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to calculate the speed and kinetic energy of the Corona Borealis Supercluster, which is immensely more massive than any mere cluster of galaxies, and allegedly circles the stationary earth once a day, slinging 12 × 1016 solar masses  around a radius of one thousand million lightyears.

Unfortunately for Professor Hill, his statement of Mach’s Principle is incorrect. Mach does not say the stellar gravity causes inertia, and he certainly does not say that it creates inertia on Earth only, and nowhere else, which would need to be the formulation to save the appearances of geocentrism.

Let me see if I can recall the other misstatements of high school physics.

Newton did say that if Tycho Brahe stipulated another force aside from gravity that “this enormous force would create forces of motion acting on the sun and planets” but not on the Earth. As best I can tell, Newton was discussing the possibility that a second gravitating body could draw the Sun around the Earth if it were sufficiently massive, but that this would affect the Earth also.

The reason why this statement and the proof around it did not make it into the Principia is not mentioned by Professor Hill. Allow me to suggest an obvious reason: Newton realized the proof was inadequate or erroneous. Certainly a page of a draft found in an astronomer’s wastebasket is not to be given the same unskeptical credence his reviewed and published work is given.

Newton’s formula for calculating tensors does not lead to the result that in the Earth is sufficiently small, the laws of inertia suddenly no longer apply to it. I honestly have no idea why Professor Hill bothered saying this or how he imagines it aids his argument. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force, and that is true for any size of bodies, large or small.

He misstates Ptolemy, who did not put Mercury and Venus “in the wrong positions” whatever that means. In the Ptolemaic model, they orbit the Earth above the moon and below the sun. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are above the sun, in that order.

He has no explanation for stellar parallax, except if he wants to introduce an epicycle drawing nearby stars in a yearly cycle closer and farther from their fixed positions. He has no explanation for the bulge of the Earth aside from the lunatic misinterpretation of Mach’s principle that stellar gravity somehow effects things at the stellar equator but not at the stellar poles.

He misquotes Einstein in a most egregious and dishonest fashion, so much so that any benefit of the doubt we might give the man should evaporate.

Allow me to explain: Michelson and Morley performed an experiment to detect the relative motion of the Earth through the luminiferous aether.  The theory was that light traveled like ripples on a pond through a medium called luminiferous aether, and that the earth, passing through the aether, would add its momentum to the waves at the bow of its motion and subtract momentum from the waves left behind in its wake.

The Newtonian model predicted exactly this result. If a man on the bow of a ship shot a musketball at a motionless target directly in front of the ship, the speed of the ship would be added to the speed of the musketball. If the musketball ricocheted back from the target in a straight line, the speed of f the ship would be added to it again. By way of contrast, if the musketeer shoots at a target at right angels to the line of motion, no velocity is added. Two musketballs shot in perpendicular directions at the same time will go and rebound, and the one shot in the direction of motion will rebound and return first.

Please note that if the lake is moving in the opposition direction the boat is pointing but the boat is still, the target off the prow is still moving and still adds its momentum to the reflected mustketball. Whether the lake is still and the boat is moving, or the boat is still and the lake is moving, the result is the same. The prow-ward bullet moves faster and returns first.

So Michelson and Morley tested, but using light rather than musketballs. The shocking result which turned the scientific world on its ear was that the light returned both in the direction of motion an at right angles was the same.

The scientific community was astonished by the result that the two light waves were measured to be the same speed.

Now, the reason given for this result is Einstein’s relativity, which says the speed of light is the same to all observers. If the speed of light is the same to all observers, this means from from an outside frame of reference, a moving body shrinks in the direction of motion, increases in mass, and the measurement of time slows down.

The implications of this are that gravity bends light. A famous experiment in 1919 (performed by Arthur Eddington and his collaborators during a total solar eclipse) confirmed this result.

Indeed, the difference in time measurement even between satellites and surface clocks are earth are effected by relativistic Lorentz contractions so that engineers have to adjust these measurements to make your GPS and cellphones operate.

If the Michelson-Morley experiment were wrong, and relativity is wrong, much, much more than the question of the relative motion of the Earth is at stake: the entire standard model of physics is radically incorrect.

Professor Harold Hill, smirking and giggling, would have us believe the reason why there is no difference in the measurement of light traveling through the luminiferous aether between rays at right angles issuing from the Earth is that the Earth is stationary, and the universe is moving. This is like saying the boat is still and the lake is moving.

The problem is that this is not the expected result, because, as shown above, a musketball bouncing off a moving target or a lightwave bounding off moving point in the aether, even if the boat or the earth is still, nonetheless should gain velocity.

In describing this, Professor Hill, assuming his audience knows nothing about Albert Einstein, made the outrageous assertion that when Lorentz published his theory of the contraction in the direction of motion needed to explain the Michelson-Morley result, Einstein simply asserted that the thing had happened for no reason and without a cause.

This is a lie and an unconvincing one. It is not a mistake, not a difference of opinion, not an innocent misunderstanding. No one familiar with Einstein, his theories, and his approach would dare say this about him.

Those of you who know something of the history of scientific disputes know that Einstein defended Newtonian cause and effect determinism and argued against the probabilistic Quantum Mechanics interpretation put forward by Heisenberg.

That is what his famous “God does not play at dice” means: Einstein said that every event, even subatomic events, had to have definitive causes, even if those causes, due to Heisenberg limitations on observation, cannot never be known.

(And one wonders why, if Einstein was such an ardent enemy of Christianity, he refers to God as the ultimate authority in matters of physics?)

Besides, the general and special theory of Relativity was exactly Einstein’s explanation of the Lorentz contraction in the direction of motion.

Now, the other possibilities for why light sent out at right angles from the Earth and returns at the same interval include that the luminiferous aether is being carried along with the earth as it moves, or that the earth is not moving at all.

The problem with the second theory is that the same experiment using the moon rather than the Earth as the body whose motion is being added or subtracted from lightspeed gets the same result. So, under the geocentric model, measurements only from the Earth would get this same result.

Indeed, my first readings of Michelson and Morley were of another experiment, where they were attempting to measure the acceleration the motion of the moon added to light along its bow edge in its orbit around the earth, and subtracted from its wake. Since in all three models, Ptolemy, Tycho Brahe, or Kepler, the moon orbits the earth, the explanation of the result (light is the same to all observers) cannot possibly be that the moon is motionless with respect to the luminiferous aether. If the Earth is motionless in the Earth, and the moon orbits the Earth, the moon cannot also be motionless.

Professor Hill gawks and gapes at the idea that Lorentz would seek another explanation aside from the motionlessness of the Earth to explain the lack of light acceleration from the Michelson -Morley result. His comical goggle-eyed flappy-lipped pantomime at the idea of Lorenz transformation (that the measuring instrument shrank in the direction of motion) is disingenuous to say the least.

Lorenz was attempting to find an explanation which would prove true for all moving bodies, not just Earth, and it was no more of an ad hoc than any other tinkering with any scientific model to save the appearances. That is the way science works. Professor Hill makes Lorentz out to be mountebank. Liars always project their flaws onto the men about whom they tell lies.

The grotesque misquote from Hill of Einstein was where Einstein says “Since then I have come to believe that he motion of the Earth cannot be detected by any optical experiment.”

Professor Hill would have the gullible chumps in his audience believe that this means Einstein is saying no experiment of any kind whatsoever proves that the Earth is moving. And if no experiment proves the Earth is moving, then the Earth is not moving!!

But Einstein spoke precisely: he said no optical experiment could detect the motion of the Earth through the luminiferous aether.

Optics works by electromagnetic waves. Light is made of electromagnetic waves.

The reason why no optical experiment will prove the Earth moves through the luminiferous aether is, according to Einstein, twofold:

One, there is no luminiferous aether, hence there is nothing for an optical experiment to detect.

Two, light travels the same speed to all observers, therefore the method of testing the speed of a body moving through the luminiferous aether by comparing differences in the speed of light is doomed to failure. There can be no difference for the measurements of any body, fast or slow, large or small.

As for non-optical experiments for showing the rotation of the Earth, actually firing a rocket into the sky, and Foucault’s pendulum, both make such proofs. In order to dismiss them as proofs, he called them brainwashing, Prof Hill has to dismiss the notion of inertia and Newton’s laws of motion, which returns physics to the model of the Second Century.

Professor Hill than lists all the scientists who believed, before the experiments on 1912 showed that gravity bends light, that the luminiferous aether existed. Bully for them. They all later retracted and climbed aboard the new model. Professor Harold Hill is lying, of course, and trying to pretend first, that the theory of luminiferous aether is not as dead as the theory of phlogiston, and, second, that the theory of luminiferous aether could somehow save the geocentric model. It could not. The measurements of other heavenly bodies, not just the Earth, shows that light is the same speed to all observers.

At this point, Prof Hill was reduced merely to snarling and sneering and accusing all scientists, Christian and non-Christian alike, of being a great conspiracy to ignore all evidence pointing to geocentrism, on the grounds that all scientists hate the Bible and will do anything, even sacrifice personal honor and professional reputations, to falsify the evidence. He says some crackpot scientist proved Michelson-Morley was wrong, and that differences in the speed of light were detected. Which would seem to prove that the Earth was moving, not that it was standing still. I think Professor lost track of his lies at this point, and did not realize what in the world he was saying.

He then spoke of the Hubble Expansion. At this point, I actually began to feel sorry for him. Hawkins explains that the Hubble redshift is symmetrical to all observers by using the analogy of a balloon being expanded, and two dimensional men on the surface, seeing only by means of two dimensional waves that follow the curve of the balloon, from any position on the balloon would see the more remote points on the balloon retreating faster. Which is indeed what we see from Earth, and anyone would see from any point in space.

But, no, Professor Harold Hill misunderstood that this was an analogy explaining a fourth dimensional expansion, and thought that Hawkins was saying he universe was hollow in the middle, and all the galaxies were grouped in a sphere about an empty center. Which makes no sense on any level.

In the whole lecture, and I counted carefully, there was one and precisely one thing he said that was scientifically accurate: the three degree background radiation, thought to be the echoes of the Big Bang explosion, are not homogeneous and symmetrical.

But then he fell on his face again by saying this disproved the Big Bang. It merely suggests the Big Bang was not symmetrical, which the fact that matter arose after the universe was no longer opaque after its period of initial expansion, to alert students, already suggests.

He makes much ado of the fact that the non-homogeneous temperature spikes in the microwave background radiation fall along our plane of the ecliptic,  that is, the plane in which all the planets but Pluto move. Looking on the Internet for exactly one second, I see a theory saying this reading could be caused by non homogeneous temperatures in the Oort Cloud, which is the possible source of the protoplanetary disk from which the planets arise. I have no idea which theory is correct, or if some additional theory will arise with even more startling results, but I will say that even reading the evidence in the light most favorable to the con man, having the background radiation show distortions in the plane of the ecliptic does not mean that Earth, rather than Jupiter, is the center of the cosmos.

The sad thing is that even if I believed every word of his lecture, the looming fact is that he does not prove geocentrism true or even try to do so. Everything he says about Earth being the center of the universe could also be said of Jupiter, or, indeed, any point in space whatsoever.

But I do not believe a single word. Every experiment or observation that he mentioned which I knew something about, I knew he was lying. His outrageous accusations of Galileo being in a conspiracy against the Church or Einstein being a virulent anti-Christian who falsified their results is a dishonorable insult that personally offends me. The man’s inability to grasp the standard model’s explanation of the Hubble expansion makes me feel embarrassed for him. Not even a school child would make that mistake, and many people have surely corrected him by now, but there it was in his lecture.

His intelligence-insulting notions of Biblical literalism and daffy ideas as to what makes atheists skeptical about claims of God merely add the luster of heresy and blasphemy to his shameless dishonesty, freakish science-hating paranoia, and embarrassing stupidity.

If anyone reading these words gave this man the benefit of the doubt or were impressed by the audacity of his claims, you should please be more wary in the future, and learn something about the basis of how science forms theory. It disturbs me that many an educated man with whom I speak, including at least one real scientist, seems not to know this basic information.

Go audit a high school physics course. Read the Almagest of Ptolemy, the Principia of Newton, and Einstein’s papers. I have, and I an no genius.

Or just think about why there is a bulge at the equator of the Earth and a larger such bulge at the equator of Jupiter. If the Earth is motionless, there is no inertia pulling the faster moving matter at the equator farther from the center than matter at the poles.

And if stellar gravity or Mach’s principle, and not inertia, explains the bulge of the Earth, how does it explain the bulge of Jupiter and Uranus, whose equators do not lie in the same plane as the equator of the Earth?

If Professor Harold Hill had just promoted his crackpot theory without besmirching the names of those who proved opposite theories, I would have retained for him that respect one always give a foe who, equipped with with nothing but a beanshooter and one little bean, faces armies, but who nonetheless stands his ground. He forfeits that respect by stooping to lies and slanders.

I wish the Inquisition were back. Some men deserve flogging for bringing disrepute upon the name of Christ.

My reader paid the wager immediately and without complaint, for which I thank him.

 

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