Equivocation, Thy Name is Geocentrism

At the heart of neo-geocentrism lies a deliberate equivocation.  And Robert Sungenis’s “must read” reply to my article “It Really Is That Simple: Geocentrism Lacks Basic Evidence” is built entirely on this equivocation.  He deploys it, as the geocentrists always do, to deflect attention from the fact that he was unable to produce any observational evidence in support of strict Geocentrism.

equivocationYou see, the geocentrists have two usages of the word “geocentrism” and they switch back and forth between them, depending on their need at the moment.  Many other commentators have noted this equivocation and have called them out on it.  Here’s one of many examples:

It’s just [geocentrist Rick DeLano’s] usual bait-and-switch. He has two mutually exclusive versions of geocentrism; the one he actually holds, which requires relativity to be wrong, and his fall-back position, which requires relativity to be right. And every time someone brings up an argument against his actual position, he responds with a defense of his fallback position.

In short, he’s remarkably intellectually dishonest . . . (see this and other examples midway down the page here.)

In his “must read” reply to me, “Everyone Allows Geocentrism, Except David Palm”, Sungenis deployed the same bait and switch.   But let’s be clear – the “geocentrism” that Sungenis says that “everyone allows” is based on General Relativity, under which any point in the entire universe, including the Earth, can be treated “as if” it’s an immobile center, while inherently excluding the very concepts of an absolute center and absolute motion.  Within the framework of General Relativity (GR) those two concepts make no sense.[1]

Sungenis and Company do not espouse “geocentrism” (with a small ‘g’).  They do not hold that any point in the entire universe, including the Earth, can be treated “as if” it’s an immobile center.  If that were all they were saying then there would be no controversy.

What the new geocentrists actually espouse is strict Geocentrism (henceforth with a capital ‘G’).  That is, they insist that the Earth is the one, absolute, central, and immobile frame of reference for all motion in the entire universe.  Within strict Geocentrism there is one absolute, central, and immobile reference frame, whereas within General Relativity absolute center and absolute motion are inherently excluded – within GR those two concepts are literally nonsensical.  The distinction between these two positions could not be more stark.

mg20727671-800-1_500What’s more, the geocentrists vociferously reject General Relativity.  Sungenis states, “Let me say it again for the umpteenth time . . . we don’t believe in General Relativity.”  He considers General Relativity literally to be the product of Einstein’s moral degeneracy, possibly even of alleged syphilis-induced insanity: see e.g. the section “Albert Einstein Everything’s Relative: Including Morality” in Galileo Was Wrong.  Sungenis’s co-author Robert Bennett says, “GR is inconsistent, and an inconsistent system is worse than being incomplete… it’s worse than being wrong.”   And geocentrist Rick DeLano says, “I am certain that it is not correct” (see here.)

Whether one holds to General Relativity or not, it should be obvious that these two views – strict Geocentrism and General Relativity – are fundamentally incompatible.  It is a deeply dishonest equivocation for the geocentrists to continue to claim that somehow General Relativity “allows for” strict Geocentrism, when General Relativity inherently excludes Geocentrism’s most fundamental premises.  It’s like arguing that Hinduistic polytheism – in which there are many gods and which inherently excludes the idea that any one god has ultimate supremacy over the others – somehow “allows for” the existence of just one God, with all the other “gods” being no gods at all.  Or, coming at it from a different angle, perhaps an even better analogy would be to argue that atheism – which contains a rejection of theism right in its name – somehow “allows for” the existence of God.  General Relativity, as its very name indicates, does not in any way “allow for” one absolute center about which there is absolute motion.

Bottom line – if someone thinks it’s possible for a scientific theory that inherently excludes both absolute motion and an absolute center to somehow “allow for” the fideistic view that the Earth is the absolute, immobile center of the whole universe then it is his burden to explain how.  Not surprisingly the neo-geocentrists never do this.  They are content to bamboozle those unwary or credulous enough to take their rhetoric at face value, without noticing the fundamental equivocation over the word “geocentrism”.

Geocentrism Fails to Provide the Most Basic Observational Evidence in its Favor

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.  The geocentrists cannot appeal to General Relativity, period. Why?  First, because their view is inherently excluded by that theory; General Relativity does not in any way “allow” for strict Geocentrism.  Second, because they themselves vigorously reject General Relativity (again see here).



So what does this mean in practical terms?  It means that strict Geocentrism has to stand on its own two feet.  To be taken seriously the geocentrists are going to have to put on their proverbial big-boy pants for a change.  They are going to have to become something other than intellectual parasites who illegitimately grab bits and pieces of whatever they think will them to make their case.  They are going to have to start doing the hard work that real scientists do.  They are going to have to put forward positive, observational evidence when their own system is challenged.

And what did we get from Sungenis when he was challenged to provide the observational evidence for the gravitational sources that will keep the Earth from plunging into the Sun?  We certainly didn’t get observational evidence, because there isn’t any and he knows it.  Instead we got more hand waving, a “God just did it” pseudo-argument.  Sungenis said,

Can the universe be built in such a way that the combined inward force of gravity can be precisely balanced against the outward pull of centrifugal force? Of course. That is precisely what God did. He knew all the forces. He knew the exact speed needed for the universe to rotate in order to create the precise centrifugal force needed to offset gravity.

Do you think God can do that, or is it too hard for Him? Apparently, in Mr. Palm’s new twist to his argument, he thinks it is too hard for God to make all the necessary calculations. God can make the human body with its trillions of cells to interact with each other in astounding ways, but according to Mr. Palm, God can’t make all the celestial bodies of the universe balance because it is too hard for Him (“Everyone Allows”, p. 8).

This is bald assertion, devoid of any demonstration.  The question of whether God could do something is completely irrelevant.  How does Sungenis know what He did do with respect to the motion of the entire universe?  How does he know that his proposed system, “is precisely what God did”?  Where is Sungenis’s evidence?  Since the Catholic Church does not now and has never taught any particular cosmological scheme (see here) and the Popes have repeatedly taught that the Holy Spirit did not put any such details of the physical universe in sacred Scripture (see here), the only way from a Catholic perspective (and Sungenis is arguing from a Catholic perspective) that we can know the details of the motion of objects in the universe is by scientific observation.  Sungenis thinks he has this covered even outside of General Relativity and quotes an unpublished manuscript from Newton thus:

In order for the Earth to be at rest in the center of the system of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, there is required both universal gravity and another force in addition that acts on all bodies equally according to the quantity of matter in each of them and is equal and opposite to the accelerative gravity with which the Earth tends to the Sun…Since this force is equal and opposite to its gravity toward the Sun, the Earth can truly remain in equilibrium between these two forces and be at rest.



As we lay out in detail in “Sungenis Tries to Proposition His Readers”, Sungenis has plagiarized this English translation from Dr. G. E. Smith and his ellipses obscure verbiage that shows that such a force is bizarre, unsupported by any physical evidence, and is thus essentially magical (quite likely the reason Newton chose not to publish this proposition.)  Sungenis’s suggestion that it is centrifugal force is a non-starter for many reasons (see here.)  With no other viable source for this force we’re left with gravity, which brings us right back to the very point I made, namely that for strict Geocentrism to work there would have to be, “some other masses that perfectly and continuously offset the Sun’s enormous gravitational influence on the Earth. . . . [and] these offsetting masses would have to be moving constantly and be positioned perfectly at every second of every day of every year in order for the Earth to remain motionless” (link).  So, in effect, all Sungenis has done by citing this quote from Newton is to affirm the validity of my point: for Geocentrism to be scientifically tenable, we would need observational evidence for these continually offsetting masses.  No bogus appeal to General Relativity.  No hand waving.  No fideistic, “God can do anything” pseudo-arguments.  We need observational evidence for the masses producing the gravitational forces needed to make Geocentrism a viable scientific view.

And there’s the problem.

got-evidence-300-blackedThere isn’t any such evidence, which is why Sungenis didn’t even make an attempt to produce it.  Instead, he engaged in the stock debater’s trick he has learned over the years in order to divert the reader’s attention away from the embarrassing truth about his case.  As always happens when Sungenis and the new geocentrists are pressed to stand on their own feet, their rhetoric devolves into equivocation, special pleading, hand waving, and finally conspiracy theories to fill in the gaping holes.  It’s a predictable pattern.

This is why all working physicists – Christians, Jews, and yes, even atheists – have for centuries rejected strict Geocentrism (but not “geocentrism”.)  They rejected it before big bang cosmology came on the scene and they’ll continue to reject it if some other theory replaces it.  There isn’t any “they know it, but they’re hiding it”, atheistic conspiracy theory to suppress Geocentrism, as Sungenis claims.  These scientists reject strict Geocentrism because there is no observational evidence to support its most basic claims, whereas on the other hand there is a perfectly simple explanation for why the Earth doesn’t plunge into the Sun – it’s revolving around its star according to the universal law of gravity, like every other planet.

It comes down to this yet again.  Strict Geocentrism is parasitic pseudo-science, a massive exercise in special pleading gummed together with conspiracy theories.  The geocentrists regularly deploy a dishonest equivocation in their apologia for Geocentrism, but balk when pressed to provide the most basic observational evidence in support of its most basic claims.  It’s abysmal science.  It’s bad philosophy.  And it’s rotten theology.  What a terrible combination.


End Notes:

[1] Albert Einstein states this explicitly in a quote which the geocentrists regularly crop in order to wrench one phrase out of context: “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? If this can be done, our troubles will be over. We shall then be able to apply the laws of nature to any CS. The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, ‘the Sun is at rest and the Earth moves,’ or ‘the Sun moves and the Earth is at rest,’ would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS. Could we build a real relativistic physics valid in all CS; a physics in which there would be no place for absolute, but only for relative motion? This is indeed possible! . . . Our new idea is simple: to build a physics valid for all CS” (A. Einstein and L. Infeld, The Evolution of Physics, The Scientific Book Club and Company Ltd, p.224; my emphasis).

It should go without saying that there is no place for strict Geocentrism in a physics that itself has “no place for absolute but only for relative motion” and that therefore General Relativity does not in any way “allow for” strict Geocentrism.  Intellectual honesty should compel the neo-geocentrists to stop using this and other quotes from modern scientists who are speaking in the context of General Relativity.

Posted in Science |

Sungenis Tries to Proposition His Readers

by Dr. Alec MacAndrew and David Palm

Geocentrist Robert Sungenis has for many years tried to give Geocentrism a veneer of scientific respectability by a continual appeal to out-of-context quotes from scientists writing from the perspective of General Relativity.  Sungenis would like to convince you that all of these scientists “allow for” Geocentrism.  But physicists writing from the vantage of General Relativity hold that any point in the universe can be treated “as if” it’s the center.  It is only to that extent that they “allow for” a kind of “geocentrism” – but then they would also allow for moon-centrism and Alpha Centauri-centrism and tip-of-my-nose-centrism. But since General Relativity inherently excludes the very concepts of an absolute center and absolute motion, these scientists most certainly do not allow for the strict Geocentrism espoused by Sungenis and Company.  The whole claim is built on a dishonest equivocation (for more, see “Equivocation, Thy Name is Geocentrism”).

Unlike some geocentrists, Sungenis does not limit his claim to General Relativity.  He goes so far as to claim that Newtonian mechanics too “allows for” strict Geocentrism.  And he’s recently tried to buttress this claim by appeal to an unpublished Proposition from Sir Isaac Newton: “perhaps he [David Palm] will believe Isaac Newton when he says the same as we do” and,

Newton allows the very thing that David Palm denies. Everyone thought that Newton’s mechanics would not allow geocentrism, but here even Newton himself realized, especially after talks with Christiaan Huygens, that if he expanded his own laws outside the solar system, the geocentric system becomes viable, precisely as Mach and Einstein said (“Everyone Allows Geocentrism, Except David Palm”, p. 9).

As usual, what Sungenis leaves out of the discussion is fatal to his case.

In this article we’ll see that Sungenis has used ellipses to cut out an important caveat included by Newton which makes Sungenis’s use of this proposition all the more problematic, and that in the end it doesn’t advance his case at all since there is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of the strange force about which Newton was speculating.



The Proposition:

Newton’s Proposition 43 is a proposition like those that comprise his Principia, but one which he chose not to include in the famous work – it is unpublished and known only in manuscript form.  Sungenis quotes an English translation of this unpublished Proposition 43 in the body of the text of his 4th edition of Geocentrism 101 (and a Latin original in a footnote.)  The Latin text and English translation come from the work of Dr. G. E. Smith, professor emeritus of philosophy at Tufts University, in an unpublished article entitled, “Newtonian Relativity: A Neglected Manuscript, an Understressed Corollary” – we received a copy of this article from Dr. Smith and the story of how he came to possess this manuscript is fascinating, but that is his story to tell.

[NB: I [David Palm] originally stated that Sungenis did not document where he got the English translation of this proposition. The footnote on the English text in Geocentrism 101 takes one to the Latin text but not a reference, which led to my mistake. The next end note, however, does contain reference to Dr. Smith’s work and I missed it. This is my fault, I was not careful enough, and I apologize to Mr. Sungenis for the charge of plagiarism.]

So, About Those Ellipses…

In his own published work, Sungenis has cut out some of the text using ellipses.  Here’s his quotation of Dr. Smith’s English translation:

In order for the Earth to be at rest in the center of the system of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, there is required both universal gravity and another force in addition that acts on all bodies equally according to the quantity of matter in each of them and is equal and opposite to the accelerative gravity with which the Earth tends to the Sun…Since this force is equal and opposite to its gravity toward the Sun, the Earth can truly remain in equilibrium between these two forces and be at rest. And thus celestial bodies can move around the Earth at rest, as in the Tychonic system.

What did Sungenis cut out with the ellipses?  Newton additionally says, “For, such a force, acting on all bodies equally and along parallel lines, does not change their position among themselves, and permits bodies to move among themselves through the force of universal gravity in the same way as if it were not acting on them” (“Newtonian Relativity”, p. 9).

solar-systemNewton had already derived the result that if the entire solar system is subject to the same constant force proportional to the mass of each body acting along parallel lines, and therefore being subject to the same acceleration in magnitude and direction, then this would not affect the relative motions among the bodies of the solar system at all. Relative to one another, their dynamic behaviour would be identical to that which would obtain in the absence of such a force.  Just such a situation exists for the orbit of the solar system around the galactic centre. The entire solar system experiences an equal and parallel acceleration towards the galactic centre and this does not perturb the orbits of any of the solar system bodies which behave as though the solar system is isolated.

Proposition 43 builds on this by saying that if the entire solar system is acted on by a parallel force which is in the opposite direction to the Earth to Sun direction and which is proportional to the mass of each body such that the additional force on the Earth is equal and opposite to the force on the Earth caused by the Sun’s gravity, then the Earth can be at rest in the centre of the system, but otherwise the solar system orbits are not at all perturbed compared to what happens in the absence of this additional force.  Of course, if such an additional force were to exist, this can be seen to be true, because there would be two equal and opposite forces acting at all times on the Earth (the force of the sun’s gravity, and this additional force), so that the Earth would not be subject to any proper acceleration and so would be at rest.



Thus, in Newton’s view every body of the solar system, from the sun to the very outermost highly eccentrically orbiting comet has to have the force acting in parallel and which at all times is exactly opposite in direction to the sun’s gravitational attraction on the earth, and is proportional to the mass of each body but such that its magnitude at the earth exactly offsets the sun’s gravity at all times.  Since the direction of the strange force acting on all bodies must be parallel, its source has to be located a long way from the solar system and yet it has to have the same magnitude at the earth that the sun, located 1 AU away has.  And it would have to act at all times exactly opposite and with the same magnitude as the force of gravity of the Sun acting on the Earth, which force varies in magnitude over the course of the year (owing to the Earth’s elliptical orbit) and which changes direction through 360 degrees over the course of a year.

It is this combination of properties, including the property of the force acting on all solar system bodies along parallel lines, which Sungenis snipped away, that makes the postulated force so bizarre and unphysical.

Do You Have Any Evidence, Mr. Sungenis?


Is there any possible source for such a bizarre force as described in Proposition 43 acting on the Earth and the rest of the solar system?  Sungenis suggests centrifugal force.  That’s a non-starter.  The centrifugal force of what revolving around what?  If you read Proposition 43 carefully without the ellipses it’s clear that Newton’s suggestion is not a force resulting from universal gravity (he says: In order for the Earth to be at rest in the center of the system of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, there is required both universal gravity and another force in addition”), but some additional unknown force acting arbitrarily and exactly in the way he described.

There are overwhelming reasons to reject centrifugal force as the source of the additional force acting on the solar system.  First of all, Sungenis’s assertion that the Universe rotates and that the centrifugal force on each body exactly matches the gravitational force pulling the stars, galaxies and clusters together (dynamic stability) doesn’t work for many reasons, but particularly for a spherical ball-shaped universe, because, as we have seen in another context (see here), there is no centrifugal force acting on bodies on the polar axes.  For a given angular speed and distance from the Earth, the centrifugal force would be greatest on the equatorial plane and fall off as the cosine of declination, falling to zero on the polar axis.  This means that bodies away from the equatorial plane would have less and less centrifugal force acting on them to offset gravity.  This is why dynamically stable rotating systems, such as Saturn and its rings and its moons, or the solar system itself, or spiral galaxies are flat not spherically symmetric because a system of free falling bodies revolving about an axis will dynamically evolve to be flat.

Second, his claim that the Proposition 43 force is centrifugal force cannot appeal to the putative daily rotation of the Universe about the Earth, because Proposition 43 is an annually cyclic phenomenon.  Third, Thirring and all other gravitomagnetic phenomena are excluded, because his whole point is to show that the Earth can be static in Newtonian mechanics, where no such gravitomagnetic phenomena appear.  And fourth, Sungenis claims that the Proposition 43 force acting on the Earth and the rest of the solar system is centrifugal force, but in Newtonian mechanics, centrifugal forces arise only from acceleration of revolution or rotation – in other words, if the Earth experiences centrifugal force, then Newtonian mechanics says that the Earth is not at rest in an inertial frame (by definition), and so it cannot be static [stationary].

Since there is zero evidence for such a bizarre force and no possible source for it even in his day, Proposition 43 is really no more than an idle (though ingenious) speculation.  This seems likely to be the real reason why Newton chose not to publish it.


So does Proposition 43 “allow for” strict Geocentrism and is Sungenis right that Sir Isaac “says the same as we do”?  Well, we have seen that the source of the Proposition 43 force cannot be centrifugal force.  So, for Geocentrism to be viable in light of the universal law of gravitation, there would have to be masses somewhere in the universe that at every instant of time are moving so as to be positioned perfectly to offset the enormous gravity of the Sun and other planets, thus leaving the Earth motionless.  Moreover, such masses would have to be sufficiently far away from the solar system so that they act on parallel lines on all objects in the solar system.  They would have to move so that they always acted on the Earth in a direction exactly opposite to the Sun’s gravity, rotating through 360 degrees in the course of a year.  The magnitude of the force would have to match the annual variation of the gravitational attraction of the Sun on the Earth caused by the ellipticity of the Earth’s orbit.  There is no observational evidence that such masses exist (see again, “It Really Is That Simple: Geocentrism Lacks Basic Evidence”.)

Newton suggests that the force needed could be from something other than universal gravity.  But again this purely imaginary force would then have to vary constantly in just the way needed to offset the complex movements of the Earth with respect to the Sun.  Given that such a force is bizarre, unphysical, and completely unsupported by physical evidence, we begin to see good reasons why Newton chose to leave this proposition unpublished.  And there is no reason to appeal to such a force, since there is a perfectly good explanation for why the Earth doesn’t plunge into the sun, namely, that it’s rotating around its star like any other planet, according to the universal law of gravitation.

So we see that Geocentrism’s appeal to Newtonian mechanics, especially to Newton’s unpublished Proposition 43, relies on the existence of bizarre, essentially magical forces for which there is not one shred of observational evidence.  Sir Isaac Newton is most certainly not saying the “same thing” as the new geocentrists – not even close.


Appendix 1:

Sungenis’s response to this is predictable.  He will likely assert (but not prove) that it doesn’t matter that he used ellipses to snip out the very part of Newton’s Proposition 43 that shows just how incompatible this view is with modern Geocentrism.

Since Newton’s “force, acting on all bodies equally and along parallel lines” is nowhere in evidence, how will Sungenis salvage his claim that Newtonian mechanics “allows for” Geocentrism?  We should all know by now.  He will ironically yet again turn away from Newtonian mechanics to deploy yet another quixotic appeal to General Relativity – a theory he vociferously rejects and a position which he chalks up literally as an atheistic plot hatched from syphilis-induced madness.  And as we have demonstrated, this appeal to General Relativity represents a fundamentally dishonest equivocation (see again “Equivocation, Thy Name is Geocentrism”).  But his followers will not notice the bait and switch and will swallow the manoeuvre hook, line, and sinker.


Posted in Science |

Dark Matter Illuminates Geocentric Double Standards

Perhaps nothing provokes as much derision and scoffing from the new geocentrists as the scientific discussion about dark matter.  Geocentrists take this discussion as a prime example of their contention that many physicists are basically frauds, duping an unsuspecting public by simply making up whatever details they happen to need to prop up theories which they know in their hearts are really in shambles.

But in reality the geocentric derisive treatment of the theory of dark matter provides an excellent illustration of the extent to which the new geocentrists themselves turn the process of true scientific endeavor on its head.  It further illustrates the extent to which geocentrism itself is utterly unscientific.  The double standards held by the new geocentrists come boldly into relief when illuminated by the discussion on dark matter.  Let’s see how.

Starting With What You Know Best



True scientific exploration starts with what we can observe most closely and measure most accurately.  It then builds on that to help us understand what we don’t yet know.  In the case of astronomical exploration, this means using knowledge gleaned from the interactions of the bodies within our own solar system to help us understand the interactions of bodies on much larger scales, such as stellar clusters, galaxies, and galactic clusters.

Hundreds of years of observations and measurements by countless scientists have led to the conclusion that massive bodies attract other massive bodies in direct proportion to their mass.  We call this attractive force gravity.  Some geocentrists are quick to declare that we don’t know yet exactly how or why gravity works.  Those are great and intriguing questions, but completely beside the point.  Not knowing exactly how something works should not be used as an excuse to dismiss the fact that it does work.  All of the observations that we can make most clearly and the measurements that we can make most accurately show that massive bodies attract other massive bodies in proportion to their mass, according to well-defined and well-understood physical laws.  So well established is this phenomenon that even geocentrist Rick DeLano states that “To deny gravity is to deny reason itself.”  I agree.

DeLano, To Deny Gravity is to Deny Reason ItselfWe also observe that all over the universe, less massive bodies are captured by the stronger gravitational field of more massive bodies and end up orbiting.[1]  Planets and asteroids orbit stars, moons orbit around planets, and there are even asteroids that have tiny little asteroid moonlets orbiting around them (link).

gal_ida1352So precise, so unvarying are these laws in our own solar system that scientists and engineers can calculate the future position of a given planet, moon, or even comet and send space probes to explore them.  In 2014 we witnessed the incredible feat of the Rosetta probe landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after having travelled four billion miles in the course of ten years.  And recently we also witnessed another probe rendezvous with Pluto after having done a gravitational slingshot maneuver off Jupiter, using that massive planet’s rotation to boost the probe on its way to Pluto in its almost three billion mile journey.

I agree with geocentrist Dr. Neville Jones that given the suppositions of the geocentrists on the nature of the universe, such feats of celestial navigation would be impossible – certainly the geocentrists themselves could never pull them off – and therefore the only  alternative is that they’re all faked: “These conclusions would mean that claims made by the American government agency, NASA, regarding space probes, gravity slingshots, comet rendezvous and so on, would be fraudulent . . .” (link) and “I maintain that a Biblical, non-moving World cannot be maintained if it turns out that NASA put men on the Moon” (link).

Searching for Answers

But when scientists observe much larger cosmic bodies they find something puzzling.  Galaxies, for example, rotate faster than would be expected given the mass of the visible objects that we observe in them.  Why would this be?  One possible explanation is that there is some additional mass in these galaxies, some form of mass that we cannot yet see.  This has been dubbed “dark matter”, because it cannot yet be directly observed.

Here’s where the hooting starts from the geocentric gallery – haw, haw, making it up as you go along, eh?  But is this really an unreasonable surmise, given what we can observe most closely and measure most accurately?  Let’s look at a concrete example to see why it’s not.

Enter the Dark Planet

uranus-moon-ringSome of the planets in our solar system, like Venus and Mars, can be viewed with the naked eye.  Others, like Uranus, can only be observed via telescope.  As astronomers used powerful telescopes to chart the motions of Uranus more and more accurately, they found small deviations in that planet’s orbit, “irregularities in its path which could not be entirely explained by Newton’s law of gravitation.” (Wikipedia, “Uranus”).

Even though they could not see it, there was indirect evidence that “something” else was there.

One can just imagine the analogs of the geocentrists in that day, scoffing at a “dark planet” theory and dismissing it outright.  One could easily imagine them jumping immediately to the conclusion that the existing laws of gravitation were all wrong and needed to be scrapped, as “proved” by the perturbations in Uranus’s orbit.



But instead, it was perfectly reasonable to suppose that, given the laws of physics that we can establish most clearly and accurately, it was more likely that “something” was there than that the laws themselves were completely wrong.  And so scientists applied those now well-established laws of gravitation and, based on the nature of the perturbations they observed, calculated where the unseen object should be.  And indeed something was there.  On September 24, 1846 the planet Neptune was finally observed “after less than an hour of searching and less than 1 degree from the position Le Verrier had predicted, a remarkable match” (link)  Since then hundreds of astronomical objects – including planets around other stars than our own (see “Exoplanets”) – have been discovered based on the effects that “dark” objects (that is, objects that can’t yet be seen) have on nearby visible objects.

Image composite credit: X-ray: NASA / CXC / CfA / M.Markevitch et al.; Optical: NASA / STScI; Magellan / U.Arizona / D.Clowe et al.; Lensing Map: NASA / STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan / U.Arizona / D.Clowe et al.


While dark matter cannot be directly observed at this time, there are several ways the influence of “something else” shows up indirectly.  It’s not just the rotation rate of galaxies, but also such phenomena as gravitational lensing and the power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) (see here).  For some details and very nice graphics, see Dr. Ethan Siegel’s “Five Reasons We Think Dark Matter Exists” and “Convincing a Young Scientist That Dark Matter Exists”.

Still, it could be that there is another, better explanation for all of these observations.  In fact, there have been many alternative theories of gravity itself proposed to explain them.  These are not suppressed or hooted down out of hand.  They are evaluated, analyzed, debated.  But currently, the majority of astrophysicists agree that some sort of matter that is not yet detectable best explains all of the observations.  If some other theory comes along that explains all of the observable data better than some form of dark matter, eventually that view will win the day.

All this to say, though, that there is nothing fundamentally foolish or unreasonable about hypothesizing that something like dark matter exists.  It’s currently the best explanation for astronomical anomalies on a large scale, given what we know from what we can observe most closely and measure most accurately – how gravity behaves on smaller scales.[2]  But there are many other proposals being discussed and evaluated – if one of those theories ends up explaining all of the observational evidence better, then it will eventually carry the day.

Geocentrism: Flipping Science on Its Head



Here is where the new geocentrism proves itself to be utterly unscientific.  In fact, it flips the entire scientific method on its head.  Focusing back on our own solar system we observe that the distance from the sun and period of revolution of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and a host of asteroids and comets are just exactly what the universal law of gravitation predicts, given their mass and the mass of the sun.  We know, then, that these bodies are orbiting the sun or, to be more precise, that they are mutually orbiting a common barycenter that is very, very near the center of the sun.

What about the Earth?  Lo and behold, the Earth happens to be at just the distance and have just mass and period that we would expect if it was orbiting the sun according to this same law.  What a strange coincidence, huh?  The simple, reasonable conclusion that the Earth orbits the sun and rotates on its axis, just like any other planet, is all that is needed to explain this “coincidence”, along with a host of observations – from the seasons to stellar parallax to nutation to stellar aberration to the equatorial bulge, etc.  Nothing more is needed to explain all of these observations – just the Earth orbiting its star and revolving on its axis according to the normal laws of physics, just like any other planet.  (On the other hand, for geocentrism to be viable the geocentrists would have to provide observational evidence for both the existence of and precise motion of masses that at every instant of time are positioned perfectly to offset the enormous gravity of the Sun and other planets, thus leaving the Earth motionless.  There is no such observational evidence.  Therefore, geocentrism is not a viable scientific theory.  See “It Really Is That Simple: Geocentrism Lacks Basic Evidence”).

But because the geocentrists have started with a fixed conclusion, they are not free to embrace this simple, reasonable explanation, no matter how much evidence accrues in its favor.  So they must invent “explanations” as to how things can “really” be geocentric, in spite of the laws of nature which we can observe most closely and measure most accurately.

Let’s look at a concrete example.

Sungenis’s “Planck Medium”: Explaining Nothing and Supported by No One

In late 2014 we documented how Robert Sungenis made basic math errors when trying to explain why the sun – which he claims orbits the Earth, but could not possibly be held in place by the Earth’s gravity – does not shoot off into space.  He twice tried to calculate the enormous centrifugal force that would need to be overcome to keep the sun in such an orbit and got the calculation wrong both times (see “Elementary Physics Blunders” and “Sungenis Botches the Math….Again!”).  But the bottom line is that he acknowledged that the centrifugal force of the rotating sun would be vastly greater than the gravitational attraction of the Earth.  In his geocentric universe, something else besides gravity would have to be holding the sun in place.  What might that be?   He gives this answer:

So how does the geocentrist explain the extra 12 orders of magnitude? He does so by saying that the centrifugal force is not on the Sun, but on the Planck medium that constitutes the space that carries the Sun (something Newtonian mechanics never considered but which Quantum Mechanics says exists).

Since Planck particles have dimensions of 10^33cm, 10^5grams, and an overall density of 3.6 x 10^93 grams/cm^3, the Planck medium absorbs the tremendous centrifugal forces of a rotating universe, and the celestial bodies (the stars and galaxies) will be kept in tow by the rotating universe (“Response to Sky and Telescope Re: The Principle”).

In a follow-up article Sungenis as much as admitted that it doesn’t really matter what force is calculated – his “Planck medium” will handle it no matter what:

Note well: MacAndrew’s previous argument against geocentrism, which stated that the gravitational force of the sun would pull in the Earth, is completely nullified, whether the centrifugal units are 10e6 and 10e11 or 10e28 and 10e33 (“David Palm’s Academy Award Winning Performance of Straining a Gnat and Swallowing a Camel”, pp. 2f.)

So basically Sungenis only attempted the calculation in order to appear competent (while demonstrating the opposite.)  Because in the end we find that, unlike in real science, in geocentric “science” the actual answer doesn’t matter.  In Sungenis’s system a mythical “Planck medium” will absorb whatever forces he needs it to absorb, while remaining completely undetectable when he has no use for it.  And this isn’t science, it’s magic.  As Dr. MacAndrew rightly says,

The geocentrists have invented an entity, which they call the “Planck medium”, and Sungenis claims that it “absorbs” the centrifugal force. Needless to say, he doesn’t describe the physical properties of this medium which allow it to “absorb” the centrifugal forces. Does it do so gravitationally, by viscous drag, by electrostatics or magnetics? Who can say? How can it “absorb” these stupendous dynamic forces, and yet be completely undetectable? Only Bob knows (“Elementary Physics Blunders”).

Remember the discussion above about the motions of the planets, how Neptune’s position was accurately predicted using only Newton’s laws of gravitation?  Funny, isn’t it, how none of those scientists had to factor into their calculations the existence of this “Planck medium”, that absorbs gigantic centrifugal forces without breaking a sweat?  Hold that thought.

Here’s another thing to consider.  Dr. MacAndrew notes that reality stubbornly refuses to go along with Sungenis, because the vacuum simply doesn’t have the properties he attributes to it:

when geocentrists like Sungenis talk about the “Planck medium”, which is a term used almost exclusively by geocentrists, they are probably referring to the hypothesised vacuum energy or zero point energy of the vacuum that arises from a naïve interpretation of Quantum Field Theory. A naïve calculation results in an infinite energy density for the vacuum, and a slightly less naïve calculation yields a finite but stupendously large value. Since the energy of the vacuum is measured to be actually rather small . . . it is clear that there must be a problem in the renormalisation step of the QFT calculation at these scales. . . . in any case, it is empirically clear that the vacuum doesn’t have the viscous or drag properties that Sungenis wants it to have. Even if the zero point energy is what he means when he speaks of the “Planck medium”, he has imbued it with properties that it doesn’t have, even as a highly hypothetical entity in QFT (“Elementary Physics Blunders”).

There is no observational evidence – none, not even indirect – for Sungenis’s “Planck medium”.  And yet his system cannot possibly work without it.  Isn’t this the very thing that Sungenis is constantly harping on—scientific theories that don’t match up with experimental reality?  MacAndrew sums up well, “You can explain anything at all, to your own satisfaction, if you make it up as you go along,” and points out the obvious:

No-one else performing real, complicated celestial mechanics calculations (like NASA or ESA for example!) has to invoke this fantasy. This made-up medium, this fairy dust has no physical interaction other than magically doing just what he needs it to do while remaining completely undetectable whenever he doesn’t need it – way to go, Bob (“Elementary Physics Blunders”).

To which Sungenis had no cogent reply at all, but merely this dodge:

Apparently, MacAndrew is not up to speed on the literature regarding the Planck medium that I cited above. As for who is inventing a “fantasy,” the Dark Matter and Dark Energy of Alec in Wonderland’s Big Bang theory wins the prize (“Alec in Wonderland Meets the Queen of Planckdom”, p. 45).

Apparently what NASA really needs is some scientists and engineers who are up to speed on the literature regarding the “Planck medium,” so that they can finally launch successful space missions?  Oh, wait…..the real engineers and scientists who do real-world work like sending space probes to land on comets and slingshot off of Jupiter to rendezvous with Pluto do all of their work as if Sungenis’s “Planck medium” doesn’t exist.

The most obvious reason for that is that it doesn’t exist.

Geocentrism: Why Bother?

why-botherSo here’s the bottom line.  There is a fundamental difference in modern scientific discussions about dark matter, versus the neo-geocentric invocation of something like a “Planck medium”.

On the one hand, scientists start with what they know best, can observe most clearly, and measure most accurately – objects at the scale of our own solar system – and from these observations derive physical laws.  At these most observable scales, these laws work out to many, many decimal points.  They then apply these physical laws to seek the best explanation to certain anomalies in observations at much larger scales.  A large consensus of working physicists hold that some form of dark matter is the best explanation for these anomalies and a number of converging lines of observational evidence leads them to this conclusion.

On the other hand, the simple conclusion that the Earth orbits the sun and rotates on its axis, just like any other planet, is all that is needed to explain a host of observations – from stellar parallax to nutation to stellar aberration to the equatorial bulge, etc.  There is no need to posit that the entire universe is wiggle-wagging, and shilly-shallying, and rock-n-rolling in just the ways that it would need to mimic the observations we would expect if the Earth was orbiting the sun and rotating on its axis.  And Sungenis’s invocation of the “Planck medium” is a solution looking for a problem.  It is not involked to uphold and harmonize with already observed universal laws – rather, it’s invoked precisely to prop up an arbitrary exception to those universe laws.  As St. Thomas Aquinas says, “If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments where one suffices”.

What observations with respect to the Earth’s motion does the mythical “Planck medium” account for that cannot be infinitely more easily explained by simple appeal to gravity?  How many working astronomers or physicists believe in the existence of such a “Planck medium” having the specific characteristics Sungenis believes it has?  What experiments does Sungenis cite to show that his “Planck medium” has any of these specific characteristics?  None, none, and none.

There are good reasons why all working physicists – Christians, Jews, and yes, even atheists – have for centuries rejected strict geocentrism.  They rejected it before big bang cosmology came on the scene and they’ll continue to reject it if some other theory replaces it.  There isn’t any atheistic, “they know it, but they’re hiding it” conspiracy to suppress geocentrism.  Working scientists universally reject geocentrism because there is no observational evidence to support it, whereas on the other hand there is a perfectly simple explanation for why the Earth doesn’t plunge into the Sun – it’s rotating around its star according to the universal law of gravity, like any other planet.

What reason would we have to seek some other explanation?  There is no good reason.  The fact is that, for all their “science” talk, the geocentrists do not hold to geocentrism because it is the most obvious and plausible scientific solution.  It’s not reasonable at all – rather, it’s a massive exercise in special pleading, gummed together with conspiracy theories.

Geocentrists hold to geocentrism first and fundamentally as a matter of faith—they believe that their faith compels them to do so.  And then, because they (mistakenly) believe it is a matter of faith, they are willing to do all manner of backflips and turn science completely on its head to make geocentrism look scientifically plausible.

Ironically the gaping double standards of the new geocentrists are indeed illuminated most clearly by dark matter.


End Notes:

[1] Technically, of course, these objects orbit a common barycenter. But when one of the objects is considerably more massive than the other, as in the case of a planet orbiting a star or a moon orbiting a planet, that barycenter lies so near the center of the star that it is convenient shorthand to say that the planet orbits the star and the moon orbits the planet.

[2] At the very least, alternative theories to dark matter are openly debated in technical journals and a physicist who succeeded in unseating dark matter as the best explanation for the various anomalies would stand, in the end, to gain a fair bit of notoriety.  On that note, it might be worth anticipating a cynical geocentrist reply that one possible reason that scientists cling to the dark matter theory is that they have a large financial interest in maintaining funding for the research tools being used to search for it.  Scientists are human, of course, and could succumb to less than lofty motives in holding onto a particular theory.  But the same can be said of the geocentrists.  Let’s be frank – geocentrists Robert Sungenis and Rick DeLano, at least, make their entire livelihood peddling geocentrism.  As such it’s hard to imagine that they are going to be extremely open to a change of mind that would entail not only the public admission of error, but the loss of their income as well.

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