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January 10th, 2007

Ice On The Brain

"Everything you know is wrong" – The Firesign Theater

I’m looking through my server logs and I see a reference to my blog coming from a site I’d never seen before…Why the hell are you here?  Check out the Bad Science and Dead Racists tags for some good reading.  Anyway…I was looking around and I found a link to this…of all things…

The Geocentrism Challenge

CAI will write a check for $1,000 to the first person who can prove that the earth revolves around the sun. (If you lose, then we ask that you make a donation to the apostolate of CAI). Obviously, we at CAI don’t think anyone CAN prove it, and thus we can offer such a generous reward. In fact, we may up the ante in the near future.

Scripture is very clear that the earth is stationary and that the sun, moon and stars revolve around it. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, "flat-earthers" are not accepted here, since Scripture does not teach a flat earth, nor did the Fathers teach it).  [Bruce: Actually…I belong to the Flat Mars Society…]  If there was only one or two places where the Geocentric teaching appeared in Scripture, one might have the license to say that those passages were just incidental and really didn’t reflect the teaching of Scripture at large. But the fact is that Geocentrism permeates Scripture. Here are some of the more salient passages (Sirach 43:2-5; 43:9-10; 46:4; Psalm 19:5-7; 104:5; 104:19; 119:90; Ecclesiastes 1:5; 2 Kings 20:9-11; 2 Chronicles 32:24; Isaiah 38:7-8; Joshua 10:12-14; Judges 5:31; Job 9:7; Habakkuk 3:11; (1 Esdras 4:12); James 1:12). I could list many more, but I think these will suffice.

This was copied from a site called Catholic Apologetics International, and seems to have since been pulled from it, as the page they’ve linked to is no longer found.  But some digging around among the other links back at Why The Hell Are You Here? turned up this amazing little tidbit

The non-moving Earth 

& anti-evolution web page of

The Fair Education Foundation, Inc.

Exposing the False Science Idol of Evolutionism,
and Proving the Truthfulness of the Bible from Creation to Heaven…

–  since 1973 –

Marshall Hall, Pres.

Questions from Daniel Ott and his audience will be seeking hard evidence from me

which proves that the Earth is neither rotating on an axis nor orbiting the sun.

You won’t want to miss this unraveling of the granddaddy of all conspiracies, and

what the Truth about the Non-Moving Earth issue means to every living person.

 

This site doesn’t appear to be satire.  In case you’re wondering, they seem to be claiming that the stars we see in the sky at night are mostly reflections of sunlight off of ice crystals.  Which explains for me a reference that’s always puzzled me in Jacob Bronowski’s wonderful book Science and Human Values.  In Part 2, The Habit of Truth, Bronowski relates a story of how the great German scientist, Werner Heisenberg, was denounced by the S.S.  He mentions a letter Himmler wrote defending Heisenberg, and suggesting that Heisenberg might be useful in a Nazi Academy he was planning to establish, "which Himmler proposed to devote to the conviction which he either shared with or imposed on his scientific yes-men, that the stars are made of ice."

Why, I wondered, would a blood drenched Nazi lunatic want people to believe the stars were made of ice?  Well now I know.  It’s necessary for an earth centric model of the universe.  The universe just can’t be as huge as it is, and work in an earth centric model.  So it has to be much smaller.  Which means the stars can’t be so big, and so far away.  They have to be much smaller, and huddled around the earth like a halo.  So the stars must be a cloud of ice crystals, reflecting the light from the sun.  That was what Himmler was wanting to prove, so he could prove the earth centric model, so the Nazis could throw out mountains of science that existed, and which was the result of free inquiry.  That much of modern physics by that time had been done by European Jews was probably on his mind.  But science, regardless of who is doing it, is anathema to totalitarians, who exalt authority over free inquiry, and the Nazis, contrary to a lot of claptrap about their so-called paganism, time and time again appealed to the bible, and to their own brand of biblical fundamentalism for justification.

It’s incredible to find people so afraid of the world as it is, that they’ll shrink back from it into this kind of delusion.  Galileo blew this model apart when he took a telescope he made and pointed it at the heavens and saw with his own eyes that the earth centric model simply didn’t work, and Copernicus’ powerful insight had been right.  You can buy a pair of binoculars nowadays that are far better then anything Galileo had in his day.  But Bronowski, writing this time in his book The Ascent of Man, puts his finger on it…

Galileo seems to me to have been strangely innocent about the world of politics, and most innocent in thinking that he could outwit it because he was clever.  For twenty years and more he moved along a path that led inevitably to his condemnation.  It took a long time to undermine him, but there was never any doubt that Galileo would be silenced, because the division between him and those in authority was absolute.  They believed that faith should dominate; and Galileo believed that truth should persuade.

And there it is.  This is why the republicans and the Bush administration have been waging an unprecedented (for America) war against science and knowledge.  When people say that the rush back into religious fundamentalism comes from fear of change and apprehension about where science is leading us, that may well be true in part.  But it is not the whole.  This is a fight over who is in charge, and at the core of it is the struggle for free inquiry.  Does your life belong to you, or to some strongman dictator, to the man thumping his bible at you, to your local committee of some national authoritarian political party?  Every time you ask a question, you challenge authority.  That is what is wrong with asking questions.  That is why science must be brought to heal.  Because it sets a bad example.

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