Science Superior to the Bible?
Does the Bible teach the earth is stationary
and at the center of the universe?
THE HUMANIST'S CLAIM: The
Bible teaches a Stationary Earth as the Center of the Universe
erroneous Bible teaching caused Christian theologians to oppose Galileos
proof that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. In the sixteenth
century, Copernicus proposed this theory about the double motion of the earth.
In the following century, Galileos telescope proved that Copernicus had
To oppose the Copernican doctrine
and show that the earth remains stationary while the sun moves around it, the
Catholic Church pointed to the tenth chapter of the book of Joshua [according
to Andrew White]. There we are told that Joshua, in order to have a longer period
of daylight in which to carry out the Lords command to slaughter the Amorites,
ordered the sun to stand still not the earth. (Once again Andrew
White is referenced as the source. Andrew White has been discredited in previous
pages (read more
starting to get into some scientific questions, and we're just a little church
on the Oregon coast. We had 12 people attending last Sunday, and we can't even
afford to pay a pastor. So, how can a semi-retired, unpaid pastor of a tiny church
on the north Oregon coast answer tough scientific questions? Fortunately my background
is in engineering and science, and I love science questions... especially if they
are related to the Bible.
What Is The Origin of the Belief in a Geocentric
In one word Aristotle. It wasn't that the church was promoting a
belief that the earth was at the center of the universe, geocentricity was the
established scientific belief at that time. Why did some Catholic leaders believe
in geocentricity? As often happens, people in the church abandoned the teaching
of scripture, and believed what science taught. Galileo's supporting the fact
that the earth goes around the sun was in opposition to the science of his day.
And that's what caused him some problems.
Why Then Was Galileo Tried by
You can get the complete answer to this question in a
paper published in April of 2000. The author, Thomas Schirrmacher, writes in the
abstract for the paper:
century controversy between Galileo and the Vatican is examined. Fifteen theses
are advanced, with supporting evidence, to show that the Galileo affair cannot
serve as an argument for any position on the relation of religion and science.
Contrary to legend, both Galileo and the Copernican system were well regarded
by church officials. Galileo was the victim of his own arrogance, the envy of
his colleagues and the politics of Pope Urban VIII. He was not accused of criticizing
the Bible, but disobeying a papal decree. - The
Galileo Affair: History or Heroic Hagiography? by Thomas Schirrmacher on April
Does The Bible Teach Geocentricism?
No, it does
not. A good paper on this topic is: Geocentricism
and Creation, by Dr. Danny R. Faulkner
Does Joshua 10:11-13 Support
No, it does not. A good article on this topic is: Joshuas
long day Did it really happenand how? by Russell Grigg
Joshua 10:11-13 used to support geocentricism? Here are verses 12 and 13
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites
before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
sun, stand still at Gabon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves
of their enemies.
The phrase "the sun stood still"
is taken to mean that the sun stopped moving. The thought is that... the only
way that could be true is if the sun goes around the earth, and the sun had stopped
moving. Therefore, the Bible describes geocentricity... the sun going around the
The only problem with this is that it is absurd. If this way of thinking
were true, then TV weather forecasters across the country declare geocentricity
every day when they give the times of the sunrise and sunset. Obviously, the sun
can't rise unless it is the sun moving around the earth.
Do you see the
The Bible speaks in the same everyday manner that we speak. We describe
things, such as morning arriving, from our point of view on the earth. That's
why the SUN RISES in the morning. It's not that this is a scientific fact... it's
just the way it appears to us. Being consistent, this is the way the Bible describes
what happened during Joshua's long day. The sun appeared to stop moving in the
sky. This says nothing about the sun physically going around the earth. All it
says is that, to an observer on earth, the sun stopped in the sky.
the sun stop in the sky? I suggest reading the article I recommended above: Joshuas
long day Did it really happenand how? by Russell Grigg
The Bible does not teach a stationary earth as the center of the universe. The
historical facts are that science wrongly taught geocentricity for nearly 2000
years, and vigorously defended it in Galileo's day. It was science that was wrong,
not the Bible.
The next humanist claim: Other
passages demonstrating that the earth remains stationary include Psalm 93:1 (The
world is [e]stablished, that it cannot be moved.); I Chronicles 16:30 ([T]he
world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.); and Psalm 104:5 (The
Lord laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.).
of Galileos support for the Copernican doctrine, the Inquisition threatened
him with torture, forced him to recant, and subjected him to imprisonment. Additionally,
for nearly 200 years the Catholic Churchs Index of Forbidden Books condemned
all writings that affirmed the double motion of the earth. [Again referencing
the discredited Andrew White.]
The humanists continue whipping the dead
horse of geocentricism, totally ignoring the fact that at the time of Galileo
geocentricism was the firm belief of science, and had been for nearly 2000 years.
It's science that got it wrong, not the Bible. We'll look at the scripture the
references in the next page... click