Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A partial response to Dave Armstrong's article - "The Folly of Geocentrism (Links Page) "

Dave Armstrong has made a link to the article entitled Flogging a Pink Unicorn Why Modern Geocentrism is Intellectual Blancmange here. I posted responses to this article on Dave’s blog here , which were subsequently deleted. My responses are placed below for your reading.

AM - Flogging a Pink Unicorn Why Modern Geocentrism is Intellectual Blancmange by Alec MacAndrew

JM - After writing my reply to AM’s article, I noticed Alec MacAndrew is an atheist with a PhD in physics. He has been answered by Robert Sungenis here.

AM- Introduction
In the pantheon of bizarre anti-intellectual, anti-science, religiously inspired ideas even geocentrism (the idea that the earth is the unmoving centre of the universe) still exists. All forms of geocentrism are rejected by all serious scientists; its modern proponents are scientifically ignorant, religiously motivated cranks such as the self-appointed Roman Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis (1).

JM – Ad hominem against Sungenis’ character.

AM- (Robert Sungenis is also a Young Earth Creationist with all the science-denying obfuscating counter-Enlightenment baggage that goes along with that discredited notion).

JM – and there’s another ad hominem.

AM-  Sungenis's geocentric nonsense is, I hasten to add, peculiarly his, and is not officially sanctioned by any institutional body of the Catholic Church.

JM- The church has embraced geocentrism as was clearly shown in another thread on Dave’s website.

AM - Indeed I get the impression that Sungenis is something of a embarrassment to the Church.

JM – I get the impression that there is something of a setup here.

AM - Here is a summary of the arguments that demonstrate that modern geocentrism (2) is not a tenable hypothesis for a reasonable person with a moderate knowledge of modern physics. Please note that I am not seeking to prove the truth of heliocentrism or any-other-centrism, but merely to show why geocentrism is not tenable.

JM – We shall see who the real crank is. It isn’t Robert.

AM - The whole argument can be summarised in one sentence, so if you can't be bothered to read the whole article, just read the next sentence:

In Newtonian mechanics, geocentrism cannot be true for many physical reasons; in General Relativity the centre of the universe has no meaning, so to claim that the earth is the centre of the universe is meaningless; in neither system can the earth be said to be the unmoving centre of the universe.

JM – Note the fallacy in the above statement. “In Newtonian mechanics, geocentrism cannot be true for many physical reasons”, yet Newtonian mechanics is merely a mathematical model of the motions of bodies. Therefore, as the notion of “physical reasons” is not mathematical, but physical, the notion of “physical reasons” is inconsistent with Newtonian mechanics. Therefore the above statement is fallacious.

“in General Relativity the centre of the universe has no meaning, so to claim that the earth is the centre of the universe is meaningless” – but GR says any frame of reference is equivalent to another, so any frame of reference must include a stationary reference frame at the earth. This is nothing controversial, yet AM, says geo is incompatible with GR. Go figure.

“in neither system can the earth be said to be the unmoving centre of the universe” – yet in neither system there is nothing that requires the earth to be moving. Therefore AM’s conclusion is false.

AM -I’ll also argue that the promotion of geocentrism is unnecessary for salvation, is contrary to reason, and represents a major source of scandal, calling ridicule down on the Church and the Faithful

JM – Yet Popes have stated the moving earth is against the faith. As man is justified by faith, then geo is tied into salvation.

AM -In Newtonian mechanics, geocentrism cannot be true for many physical reasons

Newtonian mechanics works within Euclidean geometry, which, for our purposes, we can summarise as a three dimensional spatial geometry based on an absolute space. Euclidean space is absolute and independent of matter or energy, which exist within Euclidean space without, in any way, affecting it. In addition, Newtonian mechanics relies on an additional dimension of absolute time.

JM-  the dimension of absolute time is a “dimension” that is very much unlike the “three dimensional spatial geometry”, which is merely a description of points, lines and planes. Time is not a point, line or plane, but is numbered movement according to before and after. Therefore time is a fluid continuum always in the present, with reference to the past and the future. Yet the other three dimensions are not fluid continuums and do not have reference to before and after. Therefore time is not another dimension, like “three dimensional spatial geometry”.

AM - Note that the concept of the equivalence of reference frames exists in Newtonian mechanics. It is a mistake to think that the idea that reference frames are equivalent is a new finding of Special or General Relativity. Indeed, the concept of relativity and the equivalence of reference frames was first understood by the great scientist, Galileo, whose name is given to the mathematical expressions used to transform between reference frames in Euclidean geometry - these expressions are called Galilean transformations after him.

Galilean relativity states that relative motions of systems of bodies are the same no matter what inertial reference frame they are in, where an inertial reference frame is one in which the motion of a body not subject to forces is in a straight line and uniform and where the acceleration of bodies is proportional to applied forces. In Newtonian mechanics inertial reference frames move uniformly and rectilinearly with respect to one another.

Newton used this property of Galilean relativity in his calculations of planetary motion. It follows from the definitions of inertial frames and their equivalence that the centre of mass of an isolated system of bodies is at rest in an inertial frame. Newton reasonably approximated the solar system as an isolated system of bodies (this is not strictly true, but the forces and influence of the rest of the universe on relative motions within the solar system are vanishingly small on the scale of years). Within this reference frame, he then calculated the accelerations that would result from the gravitational forces between the bodies. Newton rejected the notion of geocentrism and heliocentrism (neither of which were ever to make an appearance in physics again); instead it is the centre of mass of the system of bodies (in this case the solar system), that is at rest with respect to the reference frame - all the other bodies (including the sun) experience accelerations and are not therefore at rest in the inertial frame.

JM – Newton believed in an absolute space as the rest frame. The centre of mass of a system can move through absolute space. According to Newtonian mechanics, the barycentre of an isolated system of say the sun and another planet can easily be calculated. Here are the figures for the individual systems.

Planet ---- Orbit Radius ----- --Mass Ratio ------- Radius of Sun's Counter Orbit
Earth ----- 93 million miles-- --333,000 ----------280 miles
Jupiter----484 million miles ---1050----------------462,000 miles
Saturn ---- 839 million –----- --3445----------------244,000 miles
Uranus----1.8 billion miles-----22,900--------------78,000 miles
Neptune---2.8 billion miles-----19,400-------------144,000
Venus-----67.6 million miles----408,000-----------166 miles
Mercury--36 million miles------6 million ---- ------6 miles

The statement is made that the barycentres of each system cancel out at or near the suns centre, because “The center of mass of the entire solar system does not deviate from the center of mass of the Sun as much as it does for the two-body combinations shown above, because planets on the opposite sides of the Sun cancel out their individual effects.”

Yet when there is a planetary alignment such as seen on 5 May 2000, the masses are all on the same side of the earth and do not cancel out. There is also another planetary alignment in June 1988 found by inputting the date here - A diagram of the barycentre shown outside the sun is indicated on page 93 of Encyclopedia of planetary sciences By James H. Shirley, Rhodes Whitmore Fairbridge


Here is a discussion on the effects of planetary motion on the suns orbit - showing there is a sun wobble expected.

According to Newtonian mechanics, during the alignments, the sun ought to have moved around a barycentre of not less than 462,000 miles and probably outside the sun as shown in the diagram in the “Encyclopedia of planetary sciences” from the centre of the sun, which should have been observed from earth (and I assume was not observed). We can see the modeled sun wobble caused by Jupiter in relation to the sun in the ‘gravity simulator’ here - So the Newtonian model causes an expected sun wobble due to the motions of the planets.

In fact, if the sun did move around the barycentre as expected by Newtonian physics, there is no force within Newtonian mechanics able to pull the sun back into alignment to allow it to continue its course. Evidently observations of the lack of the suns barcentre motion during these alignments do not conform to Newtonian mechanics and therefore the notion of centre of mass is merely a convenient mathematical fiction used to derive approximate body motions in simple two body systems. The observed planetary alignment is yet another invalidation of Newtonian mechanics.

Furthermore, the suns analemma is well known as the path in which the sun travels over many years, yet this analemma also has no barycentric wobbles to account for the influence of the planets on the suns motion. From this clear lack of observational data concerning the long term motion of the sun, Newtonian mechanics, with its predicted planetary barycentric motion, has shown itself to be inconsistent with the observed sun’s analemma.

I’m happy to be corrected here if anyone wants to try.

AM -The sun, of course, is vastly more massive than every other body in the solar system, and so its centre is nearly at the centre of mass of the solar system and nearly stationary with respect to it, but not quite. So heliocentrism, within the solar system, can be seen as a close approximation to the Newtonian case. All of this is true whether we observe this from an inertial frame at rest with respect to the solar system or the fixed stars, as we can transform between them using the Galilean transformation.

It is unreasonable to hold that the earth is the unmoving centre of the universe according to Newtonian physics, in which there is an absolute space. The arguments against geocentrism in a Newtonian universe are overwhelming and have been rehearsed many times. I do not intend to go into them in detail, but I list some of them below:

AM - Satellites are launched to the east because the earth's rotation boosts the velocity of the satellite and helps it to achieve orbital velocity - the earth is used as a sling shot

JM – Satellites are launched at a point on earth which can be understood to have a relative velocity of zero between the earth’s surface and the rocket. This is the equivalent of a stationary earth and any sling shot claim is countered with a rotating universe causing the same effect.

AM -Satellite launch sites are as close to the equator as nationally possible for the same reason as 1.

JM –  The rotating universe will cause the same effect.

AM - Points at rest or in uniform motion in inertial frames of reference (which in Galilean relativity are frames of reference in which a point not under the influence of applied force continues in rectilinear and uniform motion), have no unresolved forces

JM- The earth at rest will have unresolved forces due to the aether flow and the rotating masses around the earth.

AM - The earth has obvious unresolved forces (Items 3 and 4 have relevance in Riemannian geometry too)

JM-  these forces match the geo model with aether flow and rotating masses.

AM - Foucault's pendulum demonstrates the existence of unresolved forces at the surface of the earth

JM- And for the same reason geo’s say the rotating masses in the universe cause the unresolved force on earth, which causes the Foucault pendulum to move.

AM -Weather systems always rotate counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and vice versa in the southern hemisphere owing to the Coriolis force of rotation

JM- caused by the rotating masses of the universe acting on the earth.

AM - Oblate earth - the earth has a greater girth at the equator than across the poles owing to the centrifugal force of the earth's diurnal rotation

JM- That’s the shape of the earth. So what? There is nothing here to counter a stationary earth.

AM - Parallax in the star fields as a consequence of earth's rotation round the centre of gravity of the solar system

JM- parallax involves positive and negative parallax, which is not found in the hellio model. Only the geo model accounts for both positive and negative parallax.

AM - Red shift in the star field as a result of ditto

JM- Red shift may well be caused by rotation in a gravity field. Who knows? Making unsubstantiated grandiose claims about redshift does nothing to prove the motion of the earth.

AM - A star field with a radius of 14 billion light years and a mass 3x10^27 times that of the earth rotating around the earth once a day and wobbling with a amplitude of 186 million miles at an angle of 23.5 degrees annually is an untenable dynamical system in Newtonian mechanics

JM- Why is a rotating star mass untenable? We are not told . . . because it is not untenable.

AM - Systematic forces which explain the dynamics of retrograde planetary motion are not available in a Newtonian gravitational system

JM- retrograde planetary motion is accounted for in the geo model . . . surprise, surprise, there is nothing here yet again that the geo model cannot handle.

AM - Interestingly, there is a serious sense in Newtonian mechanics that refutes the idea of not just the earth, but any body being the unmoving centre of the universe.

JM – And that’s simply because Newtonian mechanics is only an idealized model which has some success and several failures to predict bodily motions. Newtonian mechanics demands each body has an effect on another body in a universe in which gravity is caused by the masses alone. Nevertheless there are alternate models of gravity which account for body masses and the large scale structure of the universe (which has been revealed by God in the OT). These models account for the structure of space and have had better results in real experiments such as the action of bodies in wells, the effect of shape on the gravitational action of bodies, the effect of stars on the gravitational action on bodies and so on. All these experiments show Newtonian mechanics is the work of a true genius, but is yet fundamentally flawed. One such flaw is the notion of absolute space, which has never been demonstrated in Newtonian mechanics.

AM -Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that the universe is spatially finite, and we accept that there is a point in absolute space that corresponds to its centre of mass, no object with finite mass and finite spatial extent can be permanently at rest with respect to that point, because all objects with finite mass and spatial extent necessarily experience accelerations caused by the gravitational forces resulting from the presence of other bodies of finite mass in the universe, accretions of matter and other Newtonian interactions, in addition to tidal gravitational forces (ie forces resulting from gravitational gradients within the finite spatial extent of the body) and they therefore cannot be permanently at rest in any given Newtonian inertial frame.

JM – Geos reject the claims of Newtonian mechanics, because its mathematical model is deficient in many ways – Newtonian mechanics claims body with no distance between them have an infinite gravity force, gravity acts at a distance instantaneously, there is no explanation for planets causing a twisting effect on other planets, the cause of gravity as an attraction of the masses is merely an assumption, the action of gravity in wells does not match the Newtonian model.

If the universe is rotating as Geos say it is then there is nothing within Newtonian mechanics that can conclude to a point at the centre of rotation being the barycentre of the universe and as such is not movable. Anyway, Newtonian mechanics is not the be all and end all of mechanics. So if Newtonian mechanics says a body cannot be at rest, then the Newtonians have only shown the rest of us their model of the universe is deficient. It does not necessarily conclude to a proof against a geo model.

AM - Geocentrism is meaningless in General Relativity

Geocentrism, indeed any-centrism, is meaningless in the formulation of GR that accurately describes the universe structure. So let's see what that is.

JM – If any reference frame can be at rest, then GR has nothing to say against geo. This is fact. And it really hurts those who understand GR and then recognize geo must be a valid option within its mathematical model. Yes, it really hurts a lot, because GR can be used by Geos. IF GR is true, then Geo cannot be mathematically disproven.

AM -First of all, solutions to Maxwell's electromagnetic equations yielded an expression which showed that the speed of propagation of electromagnetic energy (light) is constant irrespective of the frame in which you measure it.

JM – This is a self serving statement. The speed of “propagation of electromagnetic energy” is assumed to be always c, then the Lorentz tranforms are used to change the time to account for the constant c. For the “the speed of propagation of electromagnetic energy” probably requires time dilation to be true. As time dilation is self contradictory, it is not measurable, then the statement “the speed of propagation of electromagnetic energy”, is not a real conclusion of physics, but only a conclusion, assuming light always travels at c in vacuo and the Lorentz transforms are valid. I have shown on my theologyweb thread “Geocentrism discussion” from post 1382 onwards that relativity contains many irresolvable problems and the transforms are not valid, therefore the constancy of light propagation and “the speed of propagation of electromagnetic energy” is not required in physics.

AM - So now we have a phenomenon that disobeys the principle of Galilean relativity. The solution to this conundrum is Einstein's special relativity. The inconsistencies between constant c, the speed of light in vacuo and Galilean relativity are resolved by giving up the idea that length and time are independent of reference frame.

JM – this is where the self serving nature of relativity is exposed. Relativity merely assumes light travels always at c in vacuo. Then when experiments are performed, there are transforms put in place to ensure c never changes. This is supposed to be science folks, yet is nothing more than self serving agnostic propaganda, clocked under the assumption that all physical properties will be viewed the same under any reference frame. Therefore according to relativity, we cannot perform an experiment to demonstrate the earths motion (or if it is stationary), because all views of physical properties are dictated by the reference frame chosen. If the reference frame is a stationary earth or a moving earth, it doesn’t matter to relativity, because it can and does place artificial transforms within its equations to produce the assumed conclusions. Logically, relativity is a self serving mathematical trap.

AM - The Galilean transformation is replaced by the Lorentzian transformation and Newtonian spacetime by Minkowski spacetime. We have to give up the concept of simultaneity - events that appear simultaneous in one reference frame do not appear simultaneous in another, so we also lose the concept of absolute time.
Einstein then developed his insight that the force of gravitational attraction is indistinguishable and no different in principle from the force of acceleration.

JM – This paragraph is a jumbled mess of ideas. The notion of Newtonian spacetime doesn’t really exist and Minkowski spacetime is merely (x,y,z,t) with t as the variable time. As it is only a variable, then it is changeable, therefore time, t, is only a relative, measured by the local observer. However, only in the notion of absolute time, known form Aristotle, is time derived from the nature of a measure of moving bodies. As Newtonian mechanics uses the notion of absolute time and Minkowski spacetime uses the notion of variable and relative time as another dimension within its mathematical model, then only the absolute time is a valid approach. Why? Only Aristotle’s derivation of time which arrives at the valid definition of time as numbered movement according to before and after. Therefore, because Minkowski spacetime denies this definition, it is an invalidated theory, not reflective of the true nature of time.

AM - The Einstein equivalence principle states that in a local inertial reference frame the outcome of any non-gravitational experiment is independent of the velocity of the frame or its position in spacetime and that the laws of nature are those of special relativity. This does NOT mean that rotation is the same as being static nor does it deny the special status of inertial reference frames; in fact, EEP holds only in inertial reference frames

JM – And the equivalence principle only holds if we hold to the Lorentz transforms, time dilation and length contraction. All of which are self serving and absurd. Length contraction was demonstrated to be false through the wheatstone bridge experiment You’d think after this experiment that relativity would be a dead duck. Yet even with this fundamental invalidation of relativity, the wheatstone bridge experiment must be interpreted within the principles of relativity. It just goes to show you even scientists are merely humans prone to being brain washed into thinking the impossible is a property of nature. According to the length contraction hypothesis, every time a body moves, it contracts in the direction in which it moves. This is needed to prop up the null result for the Michelson Morley experiment – which was clear evidence for a stationary earth surrounded by a moving aether flow. Yet science could not permit such an experiment to go unanswered, hence the birth of the absurdities of relativity.

Where AM says “that the laws of nature are those of special relativity.”, he makes an error by equating the laws of physics with the mathematical rules of relativity theory that requires physical things to be in different local time dilations, have relative lengths, based upon local velocities and all this is used with the Lorentz transforms to maintain the constancy of c. This is typical of the thinking used by relativists – equate reality with relativity, even though the theory contains absurdities. Then whenever anyone challenges the theory, they are accused of challenging a fundamental theory of reality.

AM - The consequence of this is that in General Relativity (GR), spacetime is not flat as it is in Newtonian mechanics or Special Relativity, but is curved.

JM – flat and curved are merely relative terms that have no physical properties in the real. After all, how can a space time continuum composed of the variables x,y,z and t have any real physical properties? The truth is they don’t because relativity is only a maths theory and nothing more. Therefore curved space is merely a relativity maths notion and not a physical reality.

AM- Moreover, the curvature is determined by the presence of mass. We now have to work in non-Euclidean geometry, with no absolute flat co-ordinate system. In order to calculate the dynamic behavior of masses we have the complex problem that the presence of the mass curves spacetime in such a way as to create what we observe as the gravitational force (although in GR we shouldn't think of gravity as a force) between them, but also influences the geometry of space and time in their locality. We have to work in Riemannian geometry using tensor analysis, the details of which are way beyond the scope of this article.

JM - Riemannian geometry has more than three dimensions of x,y,z and therefore any conclusions from such geometry are only abstract quantities and no0t real physical qualities/quantities. The transferral from Riemannian geometry to physical reality is easily confused by those who do not know the limitations of the geometric theory and its application to the real.

AM- The Einstein field equation is the generalised formulation of gravitational physics and one of the reasons that it is expressed in terms of tensors is that doing so allows a co-ordinate free description. It is important that no co-ordinate system is deemed to have precedence, as it is possible, in any such preferred system, to re-introduce the discarded notion of gravitational force. So GR is formalised in a co-ordinate free manner.

JM – And therefore the stationary coordinate system is permitted within GR. Case closed against any objection to geo through the GR theory.

AM -From a cosmological perspective, there have been various attempted solutions of the Einstein field equation, the most successful of which, the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker solution closely reflects the observed universe. In the FRW metric, the universe is homogeneous and isotropic, that is, from any point it looks the same in all directions and its properties at all points are the same.

JM - From a cosmological perspective there is probably more than one solution within to the field equations. Anyway regardless of what AM asserts, if GR is a true reflection of cosmology, then geo cannot be invalidated by GR, because GR can use any reference frame, including a stationary earth.

AM - In a homogeneous universe the curvature of space time is invariant with position and determined by the energy density of the universe. Locally however, spacetime is curved by the presence of massive objects.

Now what about the proposition that the earth is the unmoving centre of the universe? Well, GR states that the effect of a force resisting gravity and the effect of a force accelerating a reference frame are identical and indistinguishable. In GR, spacetime geometry is determined by the distribution of matter/energy in the universe (there is no absolute space) and the spacetime geometry influences the flow of matter/energy. It is therefore utterly meaningless to talk about a spatial centre for the universe because in GR, space has no absolute meaning.

JM – GR does involve absolutes, such as the absolute value of c, which is a constant. Therefore once one absolute is included in the theory, why not more? Why not an absolutely stationary earth relative to the rotating universe? Of course there is nothing objectionable within the GR theory when we consider the theory must account for all possible reference frames.

AM - Mach’s principle states that inertia is not absolute but depends on matter in the universe. Matter/energy there determines inertia here. There is no such thing as absolute rotation in the universe independent of the distribution of matter, and no absolute space. The closest we can get to a definition of absolute rotation is rotation with respect to the average distribution of matter in the universe: the distant stars; or rotation with respect to a local inertial frame (which is, in fact, very closely aligned to the star field, although this alignment can be slightly perturbed by the influence of large nearby masses)

JM – I’m not sure what AM means by Mach’s principle. If he is referring to Mach principle of relative motion, then there is nothing in Mach’s principle that prevents one from taking a stationary earth and having the stars rotate around the earth daily, then reverse the system and have the earth rotate daily relative to a stationary star system. This is very simple stuff indeed.

AM - General covariance applies in all inertial frames of reference.

JM – including the stationary reference frame.

AM - It is extremely misleading, and a characteristic error of geocentrists to claim that in GR, all reference frames are equivalent. They are not.

JM – If they are not, then the physical properties of the universe are not invariant according to reference frame. But this is against what GR says. Therefore all reference frames are equivalent in GR.

AM - Let's do a thought experiment. Let’s imagine we are in a spacecraft, with blacked out windows, that is rotating so that the centrifugal force creates an artificial gravity – we are pinned against the walls of the craft by this force. We then employ the steering motors of the spacecraft to manoeuvre the craft so that all forces that we can measure within the craft disappear. We open the window blinds and what do we see? The craft is not rotating with respect to the stars. The craft is now at rest within what we call a local inertial frame of reference, one in which there are no measurable residual forces due to linear accelerations. According to Mach, matter/energy there determines inertia here, so the inertial frame aligns closely with the star field (with local perturbations due to large nearby rotating masses - a phenomenon known as frame dragging).

In GR, an inertial frame is defined as a frame in free-fall in which an object at rest experiences no forces. The equivalence principle applies only in inertial frames. The surface of the earth is absolutely not an inertial frame in GR, because if you are standing on the surface of the earth you experience a force due to the local curvature of spacetime (gravity) as well as coriolis and centrifugal forces. Such forces do not appear in an inertial frame.

JM – “The equivalence principle applies only in inertial frames.”, yet the stationary earth is an inertial reference frame. AM thinks because a force I felt in an inertial reference frame then it is not an inertial reference frame. Yet this precludes any reference frame whatsoever, because there is always a force acting on a body in space, including the earth. Yet AM thinks such a situation excludes the body being in a reference frame. AM is simply wrong. Inertia is a continued resistance to a change in velocity. If a body is moving at v=0 then it has an inertia, or a continued resistance to a change in velocity from 0. If a body is moving at a velocity of 100km/s, then it has an inertia to resist any change in velocity of 100km/s. If a body is accelerating at 100km/s, then it will continue to accelerate if a force is applied to the body. Otherwise inertia takes over and the body will continue to move at only 100km/s.

If we have an observer in the above three examples, then the observer will act within those reference frames as though the body was stationary, except for the example when the body and the observer are both being accelerated. In this example, the observer will feel the force, say pinning the observer to the space ship, yet the observer will see all things in an accelerated reference frame. I fail to see how AM could simply make such a fundamental error as to state a force cannot be placed on a body in a reference frame.

AM -Now we have seen that talking about a centre of the universe in GR (or at least as far as the Friedmann- Robertson-Walker metric solution to the Einstein field equation goes) is meaningless,

JM – It’s only meaningless if we ignore many points made above to counter his arguments.

AM - but is it meaningless to talk about absolute rotation? Well when astronomers and cosmologists talk about rotation in the universe they do so with respect to local inertial frames (which we have seen are very closely aligned to the distant stars), or with respect to the star field itself.

JM – which means the stars are the assumed stationary reference frame. So there you have it. AM has admitted that a stationary reference frame can be used, even though he denies it can be applied to a stationary earth.

AM - So in GR, the formal conclusion is that it is meaningless to posit absolute rotation independent of matter in the universe, but that inertial frames are special (in that they uniquely represent conditions with no detectable residual forces), they align with the star field according to Mach’s principle, and if absolute rotation means anything at all, it means being in a non-inertial reference frame rotating with respect to the stars; in such a frame forces are detectable. The Earth’s surface is just such a non-inertial frame: by this definition it rotates. (3), (4), (5)

JM – If we can use “a non-inertial reference frame rotating with respect to the stars” then why not a non-inertial reference frame NOT rotating with respect to the ROTATING stars? The fact is . . . we can and that’s what geos do do.

AM -What about translation? To the extent that we claim that an object is moving or is stationary, we need to define that movement with reference to something.

JM – Geo defines movement with respect to the absolute rest earth. Big deal.
AM - Although in relativity, preferred inertial frames are rejected, the Cosmic Microwave Background (the afterglow of the Big Bang) is taken as a special reference, and is interpreted as the rest frame of the universe. Measurements of the dipole of the Cosmic Microwave Background power spectrum show that the solar system is moving with respect to the CMB at a velocity of 368 km/s and the galaxy and Local Group of galaxies at a velocity of 600km/s, (6), (7).

JM – CMB is only another proof against the absurdity of GR. GR denies an absolute reference frame, yet the CMB is used as an absolute reference frame.

AM -To summarise this section, in General Relativity the concept of the centre of the universe has no meaning.

JM – Yet GR seems to allow an absolute c and an absolute CMB, but somehow an absolute stationary earth is not permitted. Go figure the logic!

AM -Furthermore, to the extent that any reference frames are special, inertial frames and the rest frame of the CMB have that distinction. The earth's surface is not at rest in an inertial frame and the earth has a significant velocity with respect to the CMB and so there is no sense in which we can say that earth is stationary in the centre of the universe.

JM – “The earth has a significant velocity with respect to the CMB” only if we assume temperature variation of the CMB with its universal temperature changes is caused by the local movement of the earth through the universe. Wow, that insignificant earth just became significant again. Its lowly movement through space can cause the entire universe to change temperature with the axis of temperature change running along the entire axis of the universe, which passes through the earth. What an amazingly powerful earth we have according to modern cosmology. Yet modern cosmology also denies we have an amazing earth and this is the cause of the Copernican principle, which attempts to make the earth as just another planet in the solar system among many others. So for modern cosmology the earth is amazing when it has to be to travel through space against the CMB and it’s not amazing when we consider the earth’s motions relative to the sun and other stars. Evidently modern cosmology is thoroughly schizophrenic.

The truth is the earth is an amazing object and the CMB temperature variation is not caused by the moving earth, but probably by the moving aether flow with a heat source in the north-south direction. Only the geo model correctly accounts for the CMB data.

AM - Geocentrists also confuse kinematic transformations with dynamic transformations. Just because a kinematic transformation is possible does not mean that the physics cannot distinguish between the two reference frames. Here's a simple example. A flea leaps off the surface of the earth. Now there is nothing wrong with describing that event kinematically in a reference frame stationary with respect to the flea. In such a reference frame the earth accelerates away from the flea rapidly to a maximum velocity at the point where the flea loses contact with the earth. Thereafter, the earth continues to move away from the flea but more and more slowly until the earth stops and begins to accelerate back towards the flea. The earth eventually hits the flea at about the same speed that they originally parted. The earth then slows down and stops. (The event can be described from an earth frame of reference simply by swapping the words flea and earth)

From a dynamic point of view the reference frames are not equivalent. A point in the flea's reference frame will experience forces associated with the flea's rapid acceleration and deceleration. A point in the earth's reference frame will experience almost zero force as the acceleration of the earth's frame due to the flea's antics is very very very tiny. Dynamically it is not correct to say that the earth leapt off the flea. (Strictly speaking, the reference frame that experiences zero acceleration and zero force as a result of this experiment is one in which the centre of gravity of the flea and the earth is at rest.)

Similarly, it is not dynamically correct to say, as you must if you hold that the earth is the unmoving centre of the universe in an absolute space, that the impact of a large meteorite on the earth causes an absolute acceleration of the entire universe.

JM – Geos hold to the kinematic equivalence of the stationary earth and the rotating universe with the rotating earth and the stationary universe. The dynamics of the two systems are possibly different. I would check this out further if further details of the problems were made evident. Until then, I await further explanation.

AM - A Sungenis specific error

A particular Sungenis nonsensical idea is his reference to the ‘gyroscopic rotation of the universe stabilizing the earth at its centre of mass’. First of all, this confuses solid body dynamics with many-body kinematics.

JM-  the rotating universe can be considered as a solid body for modeling purposes. There seems to be no problem here at all.

AM - Secondly if he really believed in the equivalence of the rotating and static star field reference systems he would acknowledge that the ‘stabilising forces’ would have to exist in both co-ordinate systems – but where in the reference frame at rest with respect to the distant stars are we to find forces that prevent the earth from wandering off through the universe due to the influence of locally acting forces such as gravitational attraction to large masses.

JM – Robert correctly doesn’t believe in the attraction of masses as the cause of gravity. Therefore AM’s point is moot.

AM -  Indeed, as we have seen, the measurement of the CMB anisotropy indicates a relative motion between the solar system and the primordial radiation of the early universe of 368 km/sec (Incidentally, the CMB also aligns with, i.e. does not rotate with respect to the star field and local inertial frames, so we can say that the star field frame and the local compass of inertia is at rest with respect to the spacetime manifold of the primordial universe as described by the FRW model)

JM – there has been no information shown on this discussion to demonstrate the solar system motion of 368 km/sec. This is only a conclusion of modern physics that is ad hoc and confused. The CMB temperature variation could be due to other factors such as aether flow throughout the universe.

AM - Summary

To summarise, in order for the ‘centre of the universe’ to have meaning, we need an absolute space. In such a space, Newtonian mechanics (plus special relativity) applies, and there are many compelling reasons in that system which show that the earth cannot be the unmoving centre. In order to refute these reasons, Sungenis calls on General Relativity, but in General Relativity talk of a centre is meaningless (

JM – Talk of a center in GR is not meaningless if an absolute c and an absolute CMB can be used. They are used, so to say a stationary earth in GR is meaningless is a blatant double standard.

AM - Sungenis also vehemently denies the propositions of General Relativity so logically he shouldn’t use it; he wants to have his cake and eat it).

JM – Sungenis believes GR is invalid, but he can use it to demonstrate to those who think GR is valid, that using its own principles, geo is a safe theory.

AM - In an absolute space (Euclidean-Newtonian) model the earth cannot be at the centre and in a GR model there is no centre. Sungenis is caught in a fundamental logical inconsistency.

JM – Yet we have seen that if we apply Newtonian mechanics to a planetary alignment, we should see the sun wobble about the barycenter, which has moved to at least 500, 000 miles from the centre of the sun. Even if this were observed (and I don’t believe it was observed), there is nothing within Newtonian mechanics to bring the sun back on course. Therefore according to Newtonian mechanics, the sun should have moved off course and stayed of course. Yet the sun continues along its predictable course as always, invalidating Newtonian mechanics. AM cannot have it both ways. If Newtonian mechanics is invalidated then his objection to Geo fails. Also if he cannot find any evidence for the sun’s barycentric wobble and give us forces to cause the sun to be brought back onto its normal course through space, then his claims against Geo involve a double standard. The double standard is  - he is using an invalidated model (Newtonian mechanics) of the universe to claim another model (Geo) is invalidated. Yet he claims Newtonian mechanics is a valid model. Therefore for AM’s objection to hold any logical validity, he must first demonstrate Newtonian mechanics is valid. Even then he must show that Newtonian mechanics

AM - Here endeth the flogging of the pink unicorn.

JM – Here endeth the many holes found in the pink unicorn flogging.


Recently I have made some comments as follows - 

Rick - I think it is indeed time to move this discussion onto more visible ground, and up the ante quite considerably.

JM - I'm all for that. Lets pull all these arguments apart and expose the anti geo camp as being anti historical, anti scientific and anti revelation. They have nothing to go on, so their position is one of prejudice.

Remember we should always act with charity, yet be clear in our own argumentation and admit when we have erred. But you know what, it really doesn't matter if we make mistakes from time to time, because the bottom line is, we have the truth and the opposition does not.

We can see this in the way the anti geos behave. The anti geo Catholic apologist (AGCA) is normally quite systematic in his assessment of others, who are against other Catholic doctrines, yet when it comes to the question of geo, the AGCA is anything but systematic. We have seen such examples with the behavior of others on the other recent geo thread. They make some poorly thought out arguments, then end up running away with excuses, or don't even bother to directly engage the geo arguments.

Apparently anything goes with the anti geos. They can make false claims, make excuses, run away and post links to websites with rubbish arguments and then delete geo comments. Yet this doesn't seem to bother them that their anti geo position and consequent behavior betrays an anti intellectualism which is antithetical to the Catholic faith.


Dave responded with this post - 

Lets pull all these arguments apart and expose the anti geo camp as being anti historical, anti scientific and anti revelation. They have nothing to go on, so their position is one of prejudice.
Remember we should always act with charity, . . . their anti geo position and consequent behavior betrays an anti intellectualism which is antithetical to the Catholic faith.

Very lovely, johnmartin. Thanks for exposing your bigoted mentality. Henceforth I will delete all of your comments, since this is the rank bigotry and idiotic first premises that they start with, and we engage in intelligent discussions here, not mere bigoted rantings and personal attacks.

You expressed it yourself and it is now documented on my blog. Thanks! Rarely have I seen such a transparent admission of the bigotry that underlies a person's position.

Usually it is covered up, but I guess my removal of your garbage made you angry enough to reveal your true stripes.

Let's summarize again for the record: to disagree with you, is to be:

1) "anti historical"

2) "anti scientific"

3) "anti revelation"

4) "nothing to go on, so their position is one of prejudice."

5) "anti intellectualism which is antithetical to the Catholic faith"

By the way, in proper English, one places a hyphen between "anti" and what follows it. Just for your information, so you don't look even more ridiculous in the future than you already do. 

Dave has closed down the thread, so I will respond to his statements here.

Lets pull all these arguments apart and expose the anti geo camp as being anti historical, anti scientific and anti revelation. They have nothing to go on, so their position is one of prejudice.
Remember we should always act with charity, . . . their anti geo position and consequent behavior betrays an anti intellectualism which is antithetical to the Catholic faith.

Dave - Very lovely, johnmartin. Thanks for exposing your bigoted mentality.

JM – Unless Dave establishes that I have a bigoted mentality, he has sinned against my character.

Dave - Henceforth I will delete all of your comments, since this is the rank bigotry and idiotic first premises that they start with, and we engage in intelligent discussions here, not mere bigoted rantings and personal attacks.

JM – Punishment given due to the alleged bigotry not yet proven.

Dave -You expressed it yourself and it is now documented on my blog. Thanks!

JM – Expressed what? That I should act with charity and clarity, then I accurately expressed the anti geo position. How is that bigoted? It is simply not bigoted at all.

Dave  - Rarely have I seen such a transparent admission of the bigotry that underlies a person's position.

JM – Take a good long hard look at yourself Dave. Who is acting as the bigot now? You merely assert I have a bigoted mentality and yet you are acting with a bigoted mentality.

Dave - Usually it is covered up, but I guess my removal of your garbage made you angry enough to reveal your true stripes.

JM – Poor old Dave is more exposed than ever. He is so keen on labeling me with a bigoted mentality the he fails to see his own.

Dave - Let's summarize again for the record: to disagree with you, is to be:

1) "anti historical"

JM – It is a historical fact that the church fathers taught geo as found in the scriptures. This is the same interpretation as the Popes gave to scripture when they initiated the investigation into Galileo. Both the Popes and the committees empowered by the Popes said the same thing – the doctrine of the moving earth is against the faith. Therefore the anti geo position is anti-historical.

2) "anti scientific"

JM – I have answered the science papaers posted on Daves thread, therefore the anti geo position is simply against modern science such as relativity.

3) "anti revelation"

JM – The anti geo position must ignore the unanimous consent of the fathers, Papal statements and condemnation by the church of a moving earth. So yes, the anti geo position is anti-revelation.

4) "nothing to go on, so their position is one of prejudice."

JM – Prejudice automatically follows when the anti geo position is against historical facts, science facts and the truths of the faith. What else could it be when the issues have been discussed?

5) "anti intellectualism which is antithetical to the Catholic faith"

JM-  consequently the anti geo position must be anti-intellectual.

Dave - By the way, in proper English, one places a hyphen between "anti" and what follows it. Just for your information, so you don't look even more ridiculous in the future than you already do.

JM – Dave finally gets something right. The real reason Dave is so hostile to me is probably because I have demonstrated he has a double standard when it comes to criticism of geocentrism. I placed a post on his thread on 22 December, 2010, which has been deleted by Dave. In that post I made a clear case for his double standards –

DA - Free speech is one thing: taking over someone's blog with an opposed (and I think, quite absurd) viewpoint, with fanatical, obsessive amounts of comments is quite another.

JM - You can do what you want on your blog Dave. Its ok by me.

All I was doing in the recent comments was answering one of the articles you made a link to.

Whinging about the other thread with over 400 comments doesn't mean anything to me other than you don't want anyone to make a substantive response to people like David Palm or Jordanes, probably because it shows how weak the anti geo position really is.

If you think the geo view point is absurd, then engage that view point directly and stop hiding behind links and other people’s comments such as Palm, Jordane and S, which have been substantially answered.

This is my position on your take on the geo matter.

I find your lack of direct action on the matter a serious flaw in your apologetic methodology. Let me give you an example - I have stated the geo diagram at the start of your article, which shows epicycles for the planetary motions, is not representative of the modified Tychonian model. And what is your response to this Dave? Do you go and check the model to see if you are correctly representing the model, or do you simply ignore the statement and continue to misrepresent the model? The latter, obviously. So your methodology is flawed and conveys a double standard, whereby you expect others, such as atheists and so on to correctly represent the position of Catholics, yet when Catholics promote a geo model, you fall into the atheists straw man methodology and falsely represent the geo model.

I'll grant you the benefit of the doubt that you may not have initially intended to do this. Yet now that you have been told of the problem, it is now a matter of integrity for you to directly address the matter an correct your error.

I will be posting all my recently deleted responses on my own blog here - when I am able.

I look forward to 2011 where hopefully, Robert Sungenis and possibly others, will take on any Catholic apologist who misrepresents the Catholic position on geo, as you have currently done on this thread.


Dave could have been man enough to answer the serious flaw in his method, yet he chose the low path of ad hominem attack and censoring my posts. It’s his blog, but then again, as a matter of integrity I have to expose his attitude on geocentrism as anti-intellectual and now without integrity. It’s a sad day for Dave Armstrong when he has chosen to take such action against legitimate opposition to his anti-geo claims. 

However, on other matters concerning Catholic apologetics, I highly recommend him to anyone investigating the truth claims of the Catholic faith. I’ve bought his books and read most of them. The one’s I’ve read are intellectually solid.

If Dave wants to retract his comments about me and allow me to freely post on his combox, then we can negotiate a truce about this current situation. Until then, my comments stay on the net for all to see.



  1. Well, John, I think Dave and Jordanes are losing the debate on Dave's website, and badly.

    I see evidence that the issues will, gradually, become more important than the personalities involved.

    On the issues, the anti-geocentrist arguments have not been impressive.

    I expect that to continue.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. John, I really appriate your defense of geo. It amazes me that Armstrong will allow you to post on his site when you fire salvo after salvo into his helio ship. He doesn't seem to realize that if he wanted to really hurt you, he would ignore you completely. Instead his ego drives him to attack geo and it's defenders, even though, as Rick points out, he and his buddies are losing the debate.

  3. Scotju - he and his buddies are losing the debate.

    JM - They sure are and that's a good thing. I'm still stunned by Dave's approach to this matter of geo. Maybe he will yet turn around and change his mind on the matter when the anti-geo arguments are rebutted.


  4. John I noticed that a "comment deleted" appears under your name, just above my final post.

    Did you delete it, or did Dave?

    If the latter, please post it here :-)

    Also please consider putting together a summary of the whole debate, with a fair-minded selection of actually substantive posts from both camps.

    It might be a great thing to post not only here but on the gww blog.