Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

Riddikulus

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Sauron said:
"when biologists say that species do not exist" What biologist(s) say that? I have only seen that claim in creationist literature. Immutability is not a condition of existence.

What linguist says that languages do not exist? If they don't exist, how can they differ?

These are not rhetorical questions, by the way. Please name three biologists and three linguists who say "species do not exist" and "languages do not exist", respectively. Bonus points if you can find such a claim in a peer-reviewed article. (a Google Scholar search yielded no scholarship on either of these positions)
Sauron makes a request here regarding some claims that have been made and, unless I've missed the response (which is quite possible), it is one that seems to have been overlooked.
 

Jonathan Gress

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I'll concede that I haven't yet located a professional biologist saying that species do not exist, which is, of course, a different topic from how do we define a species. Perhaps this is simply a meme among certain generative linguists who like to think they understand biology. I don't know. It is interesting, however, that I came across this statement twice in apparently independent sources, though I suppose it's conceivable Prof Kroch may have gotten it from Jackendoff or maybe from someone else.

Why would such a statement make such intuitive sense, when as Sauron rightly points out, mutability does not entail non-existence? The fact that over time the human species gradually differentiated itself from its ape relatives does not mean that humans now are the same as other apes. To look at it the other way, why did St Basil attach such importance to the (at that time) philosophical notion of the immutability of species, such that he found it worth citing in his otherwise strictly theological interpretation of Genesis? Did St Basil not know logic as well as any of us, so that he couldn't see that the doctrine of the immutability of species had nothing at all to do with the dogmatic significance of Creation? It only makes sense to suppose that he believed this philosophical doctrine to be dogmatically significant and an important argument for belief in Creation.

If we acknowledge this as what was probably in the mind of St Basil, we can then perhaps start to understand why so many Christians have reacted against Darwinism, with its teaching that distinctions among species are mutable. It should become obvious now that, however illogical it may appear from a certain point of view, many associate the reality of distinctions with the permanence of those distinctions. If this is not logical, then it must arise from some deep-seated psychological association. The analogies between people's emotional attachment to the permanence of biological distinctions and the permanence of linguistic distinctions now become clearer. But a psychological association like this, just like the common psychological antipathies to cannibalism, are perhaps related to dogmatic truth nonetheless. Just as the emotional repugnance felt by most individuals in most cultures to the eating of human flesh correlates with (as we believe) a universal, absolute prohibition against the eating of human flesh, just so the frequent association of existence with permanence suggests perhaps something of universal, absolute significance.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Why would such a statement make such intuitive sense, when as Sauron rightly points out, mutability does not entail non-existence? The fact that over time the human species gradually differentiated itself from its ape relatives does not mean that humans now are the same as other apes. To look at it the other way, why did St Basil attach such importance to the (at that time) philosophical notion of the immutability of species, such that he found it worth citing in his otherwise strictly theological interpretation of Genesis? Did St Basil not know logic as well as any of us, so that he couldn't see that the doctrine of the immutability of species had nothing at all to do with the dogmatic significance of Creation? It only makes sense to suppose that he believed this philosophical doctrine to be dogmatically significant and an important argument for belief in Creation.
Perhaps it is borne from a belief that the creation is complete. It needs nothing added, subtracted, or modified. (this is not my belief, but may have been the underpinning of St. Basil.

If we acknowledge this as what was probably in the mind of St Basil, we can then perhaps start to understand why so many Christians have reacted against Darwinism, with its teaching that distinctions among species are mutable. It should become obvious now that, however illogical it may appear from a certain point of view, many associate the reality of distinctions with the permanence of those distinctions. If this is not logical, then it must arise from some deep-seated psychological association. The analogies between people's emotional attachment to the permanence of biological distinctions and the permanence of linguistic distinctions now become clearer. But a psychological association like this, just like the common psychological antipathies to cannibalism, are perhaps related to dogmatic truth nonetheless. Just as the emotional repugnance felt by most individuals in most cultures to the eating of human flesh correlates with (as we believe) a universal, absolute prohibition against the eating of human flesh, just so the frequent association of existence with permanence suggests perhaps something of universal, absolute significance.
When I was in 8th grade, I once had a math teacher ask the class, "do you want to believe you come from a monkey"? This reflects I think a key problem of creationists. They argue against evolution because they don't like the implications. However, this is the worse form of magical thinking. We don't get to vote on reality.

(and of course, the teacher was factually wrong. Evolution does not hold that humans come from monkeys.)

By the way, I do write in a very matter-of-fact manner. Since some have objected to my tone, although you have not, I do apologize if I have been brusque. I did not intend offense.
 

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I think you put your finger on it, Sauron: St Basil probably was thinking about the perfection of Creation.

As for your possibly brusque manner, I am probably just as guilty of over-sensitivity.
 

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i think the perfection and completion of Creation would not be exactly synonymous. Adam and Eve were created in a state of sinlessness, for example, but yet were called higher, and to bring all of creation with them. so I would say St. Basil may have had the perfection of Creation in mind, but not the completion.
 

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akimori makoto said:
The time for saying this has probably passed, but I will say I only felt compelled to enter the dicsussion not because I care very much about it but because I thought Jonathan was doing a really good job discussing the issues with you graciously and without venom and I didn't feel you were doing him the same courtesy.

For the record, I feel you embarrassed yourself when you invited the clear inference that Jonathan was wrong because he was employing a reductio and also when you misunderstood his usage of the concept of nature. What's worse though is how you came out swinging at me for giving someone I perceived to be under attack a bit of a boost (not that he probably needed a defence).

Other people have called you on your tone, so I would like to think I am not imagining the above complaints.
To whom are you talking?
 
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PeterTheAleut said:
akimori makoto said:
The time for saying this has probably passed, but I will say I only felt compelled to enter the dicsussion not because I care very much about it but because I thought Jonathan was doing a really good job discussing the issues with you graciously and without venom and I didn't feel you were doing him the same courtesy.

For the record, I feel you embarrassed yourself when you invited the clear inference that Jonathan was wrong because he was employing a reductio and also when you misunderstood his usage of the concept of nature. What's worse though is how you came out swinging at me for giving someone I perceived to be under attack a bit of a boost (not that he probably needed a defence).

Other people have called you on your tone, so I would like to think I am not imagining the above complaints.
To whom are you talking?
Sorry, that was addressed to Sauron, though I think we've made friends now.
 

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Sauron said:
Evolution does not hold that humans come from monkeys.
Correct. Current scientific consensus is that we (that is, genus Homo and close relatives) came from apes, who themselves came from monkeys.
 

Jetavan

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The reason some may argue that "species don't exist" is because the concept of species is more clearly socially constructed than the concept of "individual organism": where one draws the line between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis is much more fuzzy, and much more liable to individual scientists' idiosyncrasies; than the line one draws between individual Homo sapiens A and individual Homo sapiens B.
 

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Jetavan said:
Sauron said:
Evolution does not hold that humans come from monkeys.
Correct. Current scientific consensus is that we (that is, genus Homo and close relatives) came from apes, who themselves came from monkeys.
No, and no.

Humans don't come from apes; we are apes. Similarly, apes don't "come from" monkeys.

Consensus is that humans and the other great apes have a latest common ancestor. In turn, apes and monkeys are considered to have a latest common ancestor.
 

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Jetavan said:
The reason some may argue that "species don't exist" is because the concept of species is more clearly socially constructed than the concept of "individual organism": where one draws the line between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis is much more fuzzy, and much more liable to individual scientists' idiosyncrasies; than the line one draws between individual Homo sapiens A and individual Homo sapiens B.
The concept of "can they breed and have fertile offspring" is a generally good rule of thumb, although it certainly does not always fit the bill.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Here's an example of a biologist discussing different definitions of species and referring to a "nominalist" concept of species, which holds that differentiation of species exists only in the minds of human taxonomists.

http://www.frozenevolution.com/xx2-there-are-several-principally-different-theoretical-concepts-species
 

ialmisry

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Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
 

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ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
 

Jonathan Gress

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Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise. But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus. Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.

Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs? Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise.
Good thing we are concentrating on such important questions that for some reason scripture, Christ and the Apostles never addressed.
Jonathan Gress said:
But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38152.0.html
(WARNING:EXPLICITE discussion of anal sex and other matters.

Jonathan Gress said:
Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.
God created for Himself, not for the Fall.

Jonathan Gress said:
Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs?
yes.  What do you want to know?

Jonathan Gress said:
Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
Have you not read, that He Who made them at the beginning made them male and female?  We have that on excellent authority.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise. But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus. Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.

Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs? Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
yeah, im not sure they got into such things - if they had sex organs, anus, etc before the Fall. but what we do know is that their bodies were different and not subject to any form of corruption.
 

Sauron

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Jonathan Gress said:
Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise. But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus. Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.
Why else would he have an anus, then? Flatulence humor?

Did Adam breathe or not?

Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs? Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
How could someone get the idea that there was no sex pre-Fall? The command to "be fruitful and multiply" was given pre-Fall. How were they supposed to multiply, fission like an amoeba? Moreover, Chapter 3 says one of the consequences of the Fall would be that childbearing would become more painful, which implies that childbearing was otherwise going to take place in the pre-Fall way i.e. through the vaginal canal.

"Be fruitful and multiply" is also good evidence that physical death existed in the pre-Fall world. Otherwise, there was no need to reproduce. Furthermore, it would overpopulate the planet very quickly. If each person has just two descendants, the 40th generation alone would have over a trillion people. You think we have an energy shortage now? Ha.

Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post.
 

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Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post
Be careful. I tried that and got accused of being a hell-bound Agnostic :)

PP
 

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primuspilus said:
Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post
Be careful. I tried that and got accused of being a hell-bound Agnostic :)

PP
Heh.

I have not read Genesis, Creation and Early Man, but I understand that it is a patristic case against evolutionism. Does anyone wonder why he didn't write a book for the patristic case against heliocentrism?
 

ialmisry

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Sauron said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise. But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus. Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.
Why else would he have an anus, then? Flatulence humor?

Did Adam breathe or not?

Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs? Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
How could someone get the idea that there was no sex pre-Fall? The command to "be fruitful and multiply" was given pre-Fall. How were they supposed to multiply, fission like an amoeba? Moreover, Chapter 3 says one of the consequences of the Fall would be that childbearing would become more painful, which implies that childbearing was otherwise going to take place in the pre-Fall way i.e. through the vaginal canal.

"Be fruitful and multiply" is also good evidence that physical death existed in the pre-Fall world. Otherwise, there was no need to reproduce. Furthermore, it would overpopulate the planet very quickly. If each person has just two descendants, the 40th generation alone would have over a trillion people. You think we have an energy shortage now? Ha.
you beg the question about pre-Fall physical death: what do you think He is going to do after the Resurrection of the Body/

Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post.
OK, Fr. Rose had his opinion, and you have yours. But that isn't the issue.
 

ialmisry

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Sauron said:
primuspilus said:
Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post
Be careful. I tried that and got accused of being a hell-bound Agnostic :)

PP
Heh.

I have not read Genesis, Creation and Early Man, but I understand that it is a patristic case against evolutionism. Does anyone wonder why he didn't write a book for the patristic case against heliocentrism?
No.
 

Sauron

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ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Sauron said:
ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
So Adam didn't have an anus?
I know about the theological debate about Adam having a belly button or not, but this one is new.
I am pushing back the frontiers of theology.

By the way, I think I also asked someone earlier in this thread if Adam breathed. They never responded.  ???
Fr Seraphim Rose objected to Thomas Aquinas' view that Adam "voided fecal matter" in Paradise. But I'm not sure that means he didn't have an anus. Some of the Fathers, including St Basil I think, believed that God gave creatures certain anatomical tools in anticipation of the conditions under the Fall, e.g. carnivores-to-be got their sharp claws and teeth, even though killing and meat-eating didn't exist in Paradise. This might be an instance of that, too.
Why else would he have an anus, then? Flatulence humor?

Did Adam breathe or not?

Does anyone know about e.g. the sexual organs? Fr Seraphim again followed the opinion of the Fathers that there was no sexual intercourse in Paradise, but I don't know if that means Adam and Eve didn't have sexual organs.
How could someone get the idea that there was no sex pre-Fall? The command to "be fruitful and multiply" was given pre-Fall. How were they supposed to multiply, fission like an amoeba? Moreover, Chapter 3 says one of the consequences of the Fall would be that childbearing would become more painful, which implies that childbearing was otherwise going to take place in the pre-Fall way i.e. through the vaginal canal.

"Be fruitful and multiply" is also good evidence that physical death existed in the pre-Fall world. Otherwise, there was no need to reproduce. Furthermore, it would overpopulate the planet very quickly. If each person has just two descendants, the 40th generation alone would have over a trillion people. You think we have an energy shortage now? Ha.
you beg the question about pre-Fall physical death: what do you think He is going to do after the Resurrection of the Body
By "beg the question", do you mean "raise the question"? I don't understand what you are asking. It does not seem to address the points I raised.

ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post.
OK, Fr. Rose had his opinion, and you have yours. But that isn't the issue.
It is not a matter of opinion. He denied reality. That strikes me as an important issue if he is to be cited in this discussion.

 

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ialmisry said:
Sauron said:
primuspilus said:
Sauron said:
Fr Seraphim Rose had incorrect ideas about evolution. I happen to think that the creationism paints a weaker picture of God than one that provides for evolution, but I will discuss that in another post
Be careful. I tried that and got accused of being a hell-bound Agnostic :)

PP
Heh.

I have not read Genesis, Creation and Early Man, but I understand that it is a patristic case against evolutionism. Does anyone wonder why he didn't write a book for the patristic case against heliocentrism?
No.
That was a rhetorical question, but I am glad you are following the discussion.  ;D
 

Jonathan Gress

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I think the point is not so much denying reality as choosing which view of reality is the most Orthodox. Fr Seraphim was indeed influenced by "creation science", but the only reason he appealed to creation science, which was otherwise the preserve of Protestant Biblical literalists that had no interest in patristics, is because he genuinely believed that Darwinism was incompatible with patristic Orthodoxy. Since Darwinism is not just a philosophy, however, but a scientific theory supported by concrete evidence, he felt he had to challenge the scientific basis of it, too.

I think the place to challenge thinkers like Fr Seraphim is where they claim to be the authentic interpreters of the patristic tradition. It's not enough to show that the Fathers took Genesis literally. You have to show that the Fathers would continue to have taken it literally now in the face of new evidence that wasn't around then. I personally think this is a legitimate question because elsewhere the Fathers refer to the secular science and philosophy of their day, which means they were not in principle opposed to learning from non-Orthodox sources. Even Fr Seraphim admits that just because the Fathers believed in heliocentrism or other defunct theories of the world we don't need to believe them now. His case for literalism in Genesis rests on the idea that this is not a matter of defunct science but of correct Biblical exegesis, i.e. if the Fathers took Genesis literally, then this overrides any scientific theorizing to the contrary.

Objecting that the anus would not have served any function without the presence of defecation seems to miss the point. Why should it necessarily have had a function at the time? It's not as if the world was invented to make sense to you or me. If St Basil believed that the tiger got its claws and teeth in Paradise, but only in anticipation of the Fall and NOT because the tiger killed prey and ate meat in Paradise, he is obviously envisioning a situation where something was present that didn't have an immediate purpose, but only a purpose in the future. And as far as I know Fr Seraphim showed convincingly that the Fathers did not believe that sexual intercourse as we know it today existed in Paradise, so the command to be fruitful and multiply must have referred to some manner of generation that would now be physically impossible or at least is beyond our current understanding. However, if we are not taking the Genesis narrative as absolutely literal history, this debate is beside the point. The real point is that the passionless angelic life toward which we strive is fundamentally different from the carnal life we know now. My take is that Paradise is a symbol of this goal of our striving.

JRR Tolkien distinguished between allegory and applicability when discussing the meaning of his own works of fiction. Allegory is when there is a definite symbolism behind some narrative that doesn't in fact permit great freedom of interpretation. For instance, one might allegorize the tree of life as Virtue, but if allegory were the only correct way to read Genesis, it would mean that we would not be allowed to understand anything other than Virtue by it, even if it would otherwise permit different meanings. Applicability means that each reader can derive from it what meaning he wished. I have a feeling that the Fathers who argued for literalism may in fact have been trying to defend this greater freedom and applicability of interpretation. So, internal to the narrative, the tree of life should be understood as a literal tree. But when applying the narrative to our own understanding, we can consider it to mean virtue, immortality or whatever seems appropriate.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
I think the point is not so much denying reality as choosing which view of reality is the most Orthodox. Fr Seraphim was indeed influenced by "creation science", but the only reason he appealed to creation science, which was otherwise the preserve of Protestant Biblical literalists that had no interest in patristics, is because he genuinely believed that Darwinism was incompatible with patristic Orthodoxy. Since Darwinism is not just a philosophy, however, but a scientific theory supported by concrete evidence, he felt he had to challenge the scientific basis of it, too.
Certainly it is denial of reality. Either the Earth is 10,000 years old or it is not. There is no "Orthodox view" of that fact.

If he thought that reality was not compatible with his view of patristic Orthodoxy, that was his personal problem. He needed to conform his views to reality.

I think the place to challenge thinkers like Fr Seraphim is where they claim to be the authentic interpreters of the patristic tradition. It's not enough to show that the Fathers took Genesis literally. You have to show that the Fathers would continue to have taken it literally now in the face of new evidence that wasn't around then. I personally think this is a legitimate question because elsewhere the Fathers refer to the secular science and philosophy of their day, which means they were not in principle opposed to learning from non-Orthodox sources. Even Fr Seraphim admits that just because the Fathers believed in heliocentrism or other defunct theories of the world we don't need to believe them now. His case for literalism in Genesis rests on the idea that this is not a matter of defunct science but of correct Biblical exegesis, i.e. if the Fathers took Genesis literally, then this overrides any scientific theorizing to the contrary.
I think the challenge for Fr Seraphim and others is for them to establish why the church fathers have anything of value to say about science.

Heliocentrism is correct, by the way. The church fathers did not accept it.

Objecting that the anus would not have served any function without the presence of defecation seems to miss the point. Why should it necessarily have had a function at the time? It's not as if the world was invented to make sense to you or me. If St Basil believed that the tiger got its claws and teeth in Paradise, but only in anticipation of the Fall and NOT because the tiger killed prey and ate meat in Paradise, he is obviously envisioning a situation where something was present that didn't have an immediate purpose, but only a purpose in the future. And as far as I know Fr Seraphim showed convincingly that the Fathers did not believe that sexual intercourse as we know it today existed in Paradise, so the command to be fruitful and multiply must have referred to some manner of generation that would now be physically impossible or at least is beyond our current understanding. However, if we are not taking the Genesis narrative as absolutely literal history, this debate is beside the point. The real point is that the passionless angelic life toward which we strive is fundamentally different from the carnal life we know now. My take is that Paradise is a symbol of this goal of our striving.
I find that argument to be rather unpersuasive. If they want to propose some non-sexual way of reproduction, fine, but let them propose it. Of course, that is special pleading, which is fallacious.
 

Opus118

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Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.

Sauron said:
"when biologists say that species do not exist" What biologist(s) say that? I have only seen that claim in creationist literature. Immutability is not a condition of existence.

These are not rhetorical questions, by the way. Please name three biologists and three linguists who say "species do not exist" and "languages do not exist", respectively. Bonus points if you can find such a claim in a peer-reviewed article. (a Google Scholar search yielded no scholarship on either of these positions)
There are such peer reviewed articles and there are a lot of them. The problem here is that you need a more nuanced definition of species to make your case. There are a lot of bacterial and archaeal species. But if you use the criterium of genetic isolation, then the existence of a lot of bacterial archaeal species we have come to know and love can now be considered questionable. I posted this review on this topic back in post 3066:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784144/
"We now think of the entire world of prokaryotes as a single, huge network of interconnected gene pools, and the notion of the prokaryotic pangenome is definitely here to stay."

Just a thought on the matter.


 

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Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.

I also found your question confusing because it implies that St. Basil and Einstein were in agreement on some point. What point was that, and why do you think so?

Sauron said:
"when biologists say that species do not exist" What biologist(s) say that? I have only seen that claim in creationist literature. Immutability is not a condition of existence.

These are not rhetorical questions, by the way. Please name three biologists and three linguists who say "species do not exist" and "languages do not exist", respectively. Bonus points if you can find such a claim in a peer-reviewed article. (a Google Scholar search yielded no scholarship on either of these positions)
There are such peer reviewed articles and there are a lot of them. The problem here is that you need a more nuanced definition of species to make your case. There are a lot of bacterial and archaeal species. But if you use the criterium of genetic isolation, then the existence of a lot of bacterial archaeal species we have come to know and love can now be considered questionable. I posted this review on this topic back in post 3066:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784144/
"We now think of the entire world of prokaryotes as a single, huge network of interconnected gene pools, and the notion of the prokaryotic pangenome is definitely here to stay."

Just a thought on the matter.
This is not a response to my question.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's question so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.

I should take this opportunity to correct a typo in my reply to him. It should have read, "Geocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born" rather than "heliocentrism".

 

PeterTheAleut

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Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
My certitude is based on the fact that I speak English. In any event, Opus118 is the best authority on his own posts and what they mean.1 Wouldn't you agree?

1 While I only have an undergraduate understanding of physics, I think I would have remembered learning that general relativity had something to do with geocentrism.
 

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i thought the orthodox believe in hellocentrism, not heliocentrism.
surely greece is the centre of the universe?
;)
 

PeterTheAleut

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Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
My certitude is based on the fact that I speak English. In any event, Opus118 is the best authority on his own posts and what they mean.1 Wouldn't you agree?
That's why I suggested you speak with a little less certainty that you actually know what he's talking about.
 

Opus118

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Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
My certitude is based on the fact that I speak English. In any event, Opus118 is the best authority on his own posts and what they mean.1 Wouldn't you agree?

1 While I only have an undergraduate understanding of physics, I think I would have remembered learning that general relativity had something to do with geocentrism.
Hi Sauron,

I just got home last night from a 6 hr plane flight and I probably should have waited to post the next day but your "wrong belief" statement irked me and I figured you would understand what I was writing about. I also had a year of undergraduate physics and it did not come up. I did take an astronomy course and it did come up. My apartment roommate at the time was a graduate student in astrophysics and we had a rather long and mind-boggling conversation about how geo-centrism can actually be a justifiable point of view.

I only have one book that covers this topic: Hans Reichenbach, The Philosophy of Space and Time (1928), and here is a quote to contemplate:

"According to the general relativity of rotation, we can consider not only the earth but also any given rotating system, e.g., a merry-go-round, as the rest system. This conception, however, has absurd consequences. The horse, which in the usual interpretation pulls the merry-go-round, must in the second interpretation be able to put the earth, even the universe, in motion by means of treading, since now the merry-go-round remains at rest. How can the horse have the strength to do so?  This objection overlooks the fact that, in the relativistic conception, the rotation of the stars is due to a gravitational rotational field, and not to the horse. The latter has an entirely different task; it prevents the merry-go-round from following the rotational field and taking part in the general rotation. We see that even according to the relativistic interpretation, the horse has to perform a task determined by the mass of the merry-go-round and not by the mass of the stars. If an elevator glides down slowly and a fly inside crawls upward so that it remains at the same level relative to the building, it has to transport only its own mass – it does not have to “push down” the elevator."

Basically, the Ptolemeic viewpoint was as valid as the Copernican viewpoint (albeit with greater conceptual difficulties for the former) when I was an undergraduate. So, whenever this issue comes up I ask if there is something new that I did not know about. Nothing more than that.

In regard to species, the definition is somewhat in flux so it is best to define what you mean by it.

 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
My certitude is based on the fact that I speak English. In any event, Opus118 is the best authority on his own posts and what they mean.1 Wouldn't you agree?
That's why I suggested you speak with a little less certainty that you actually know what he's talking about.
And again, I think that is best left to him. He seems very competent at holding his own.

 

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Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Sauron said:
Opus118 said:
Sauron said:
You know how the Bible says to submit to the lawful authorities? When it comes to describing the physical universe, scientists, not theologians, are the lawful authorities. St. Basil, for example, believed that the earth was immovable and located at the center of the universe. (See, e.g., Nine Homilies on the Hexameron, 10) He was far from alone in this wrong belief. Of course, we know now that the solar system is heliocentric and that the universe has no center, in fact.
Is there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong? I haven't seen it so I am curious.
General relativity has nothing to do with heliocentrism. Heliocentrism was disproven several centuries before Einstein was born. Neither is general relativity the source of the proposition that the universe has no center. Your question betrays surprising ignorance of the physical universe and general relativity.
I'm glad you understand Opus118's so much more perfectly than I do, since I couldn't figure out what he was asking. ::)
I look forward to his treatise on geocentrism.
I somehow don't think that's what he really wants to talk about. You might actually try asking him before you jump to conclusions like this.
I did so in the post to which you replied with the eye-rolling smiley. The ball is in his court.
There isn't a question in the post that drew my sarcastic reply. In fact, that's what drew out my sarcasm: your apparent certitude that you know perfectly what Opus118 is talking about.
My certitude is based on the fact that I speak English. In any event, Opus118 is the best authority on his own posts and what they mean.1 Wouldn't you agree?

1 While I only have an undergraduate understanding of physics, I think I would have remembered learning that general relativity had something to do with geocentrism.
Hi Sauron,

I just got home last night from a 6 hr plane flight and I probably should have waited to post the next day but your "wrong belief" statement irked me and I figured you would understand what I was writing about. I also had a year of undergraduate physics and it did not come up. I did take an astronomy course and it did come up. My apartment roommate at the time was a graduate student in astrophysics and we had a rather long and mind-boggling conversation about how geo-centrism can actually be a justifiable point of view.

I only have one book that covers this topic: Hans Reichenbach, The Philosophy of Space and Time (1928), and here is a quote to contemplate:

"According to the general relativity of rotation, we can consider not only the earth but also any given rotating system, e.g., a merry-go-round, as the rest system. This conception, however, has absurd consequences. The horse, which in the usual interpretation pulls the merry-go-round, must in the second interpretation be able to put the earth, even the universe, in motion by means of treading, since now the merry-go-round remains at rest. How can the horse have the strength to do so?  This objection overlooks the fact that, in the relativistic conception, the rotation of the stars is due to a gravitational rotational field, and not to the horse. The latter has an entirely different task; it prevents the merry-go-round from following the rotational field and taking part in the general rotation. We see that even according to the relativistic interpretation, the horse has to perform a task determined by the mass of the merry-go-round and not by the mass of the stars. If an elevator glides down slowly and a fly inside crawls upward so that it remains at the same level relative to the building, it has to transport only its own mass – it does not have to “push down” the elevator."
Except geocentrism is not a justifiable model of the solar system (or universe). The reason it is not justifiable is because it is false.

I still don't understand what you meant by "there a peer reviewed paper that refutes this aspect of Einstein's theory of generally relativity such that one can state St. Basil's belief is wrong?" It implies that general relativity somehow calls for geocentrism, when in fact, it was a heliocentric phenomenon e.g. the precession of Mercury that led Einstein to formulate it in the first place. That does not make sense.

Geocentrism also conflicts with Einstein in another way. E=mc2 demonstrates that the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe. If the earth is stationary at the center of all, then everything in the universe is zooming around the earth once every 24 hours. That means anything more than 2.5x109 miles (about 4 light-hours) away is moving faster than light speed.

For the rest of the class, there are actually people alive today that believe in a geocentric universe. See, for example:
http://fixedearth.com/

I am sorry that you are irked, but your emotional reaction is not proof of anything. The fact remains that the earth follows an orbit around the sun while rotating on its own axis. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. This is not a matter of opinion upon which reasonable minds can disagree.

Basically, the Ptolemeic viewpoint was as valid as the Copernican viewpoint (albeit with greater conceptual difficulties for the former) when I was an undergraduate. So, whenever this issue comes up I ask if there is something new that I did not know about. Nothing more than that.
Were you an undergraduate in the 15th century?

 
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