Geocentrism: Tempest in a Teapot or Theological Shipwreck?

New Feature Article

Geocentrism: Tempest in a Teapot or Theological Shipwreck?

A traditional Catholic supporter of the new geocentrists recently insisted in an on-line discussion that the whole matter is a “tempest in a teapot”. To him “[Robert Sungenis] is clearly no threat to the integrity of faith and morals”. He asks, “Is the geocentrist theory a threat to faith and morals? No on all counts” and insists “At any rate, these people aren’t bothering anybody.”

These claims prompted me to finish an article that I’ve had in the works for a long time. Geocentrism as a scientific view is a massive exercise in special pleading gummed together with conspiracy theories. But taken by itself it is not theologically erroneous. The problem is that that geocentrists hold it first and foremost as a matter of faith. And for the Catholic geocentrists, this runs them right onto the rocks of an actual heresy that has been formally defined by the Catholic Church.

That’s what’s documented in the new article

Geocentrism: Tempest in a Teapot or Theological Shipwreck?

Presented in three parts, this piece answers directly the brush-off that the new geocentrism “is clearly no threat to the integrity of faith and morals” and that the new geocentrists, “aren’t bothering anybody”. Not so. How ironic that in their zeal to uphold what they think is the “True Faith”, the Catholic geocentrists end up running into a serious theological error that has been formally condemned by the Catholic Church as heresy

Three other new articles support that thesis and also highlight the defective scholarship of the new geocentrists:

Geocentrism and the First Vatican Council”, highlights still further the serious theological challenges faced by the new geocentrists. It’s not just the 1820-22 decrees that they have to face declaring that there are “no obstacles” or “any difficulties” for Catholics to hold to non-geocentric views, but many other official acts since then.

Sungenis and Pius VII: Turning the Evidence on Its Head”, in which Robert Sungenis gets the import of an entry in the Acta of the Holy Office exactly backwards, and…..

It’s All in the Translation”, in which Sungenis mistranslates a French word and misconstrues a scholar’s meaning.

Now, for those who come at this issue more from the vantage of what sacred Scripture has to say on the matter, please consider these articles:

“Sungenis Looses What He Has Bound on Joshua 10”, in which Sungenis himself admits that there are “inumerable” ways in which God could have accomplished the miracle recorded in Joshua 10 and,

Geocentrism and the Pitfalls of Over-literal Interpretation”, highlighting the sometimes humerous results when one applies a wooden literalism, even to the poetic parts of sacred Scripture.

Posted in Magisterium, Theology |

Will the New Geocentrists take The CMB Alignment Challenge?

by Dr. Alec MacAndrew and David Palm (02/14/2015)

To this point, the new geocentrists have not fared well when challenged to produce their own, real mathematics or science (see, for example “Geocentrists Fail the Lagrange Point Challenge”,  “Geocentric Physics: Is That All You’ve Got?”,  “Elementary Physics Blunders in Sungenis’s Reply to Sky and Telescope’s Camille Carlisle”,  “Dr. Tom Bridgman Weighs In On Flunking the Lagrange Point Challenge”, and “Sungenis Botches the Math Again”).

So it will be interesting to see how they fare with The CMB Alignment Challenge.

The new geocentrists have been making extravagant claims about some anomalous alignments in the cosmic microwave background or CMB.  Specifically, they claim things such as:

The warm and cool spots of the CMB are systematically organized into distinct regions of the Universe that, when graphed on an X and Y axis, point directly to the Earth as the center of the distribution… It is very special and was placed in a very unique place in the Universe – in the very center (Robert Sungenis, “2013 Planck Data Shows Universe is Non-Copernican”, p. 2)

the CMB shows that the whole Universe is centered on the Earth (Robert Sungenis, “Interview with Robert Sungenis on Phil Plait’s Criticism of Geocentrism,” p. 10).

Well Planck has once again verified that the supposed most primal signal in the Universe knows about is pointing directly at the earth (Mark Wyatt, link).

The CMB, WMAP, SLOAN results all show the universe is centered in on the earth (“John Martin”, link.)

The CMB would neatly divide the cosmos, along the equinox plane.  The quadrupole and octopoles would, just to prove God has a real sense of humor, point out the ecliptic plane.  Anybody smart enough to measure the CMB and perform a spherical harmonic analysis would find themselves directed to us, from anywhere in the cosmos they might happen to be looking (Rick DeLano, link).

Since the release of Planck’s data confirmed the existence of just such a preferred direction in space, the Copernican Principle has been shown to be false, as a matter of scientific observation.  One can determine an up, a down, a left, a right, with respect to this Axis.  That would be more than shocking enough.  But the actual observations are much more shocking still.  That preferred direction happens to be pointing directly at us (Rick DeLano, link).

[This is just a sample – additional, equally categorical claims from the new geocentrists may be found at the end of this article.]

3-year WMAPThe alignments that the new geocentrists claim point “directly at the Earth” proving that it is in “the center of the Universe” are between certain features of the Cosmic Microwave Background [CMB] radiation – specifically features known as the dipole, quadrupole and octopole – and the Earth’s ecliptic plane and the equinoxes.  (For a detailed explanation of the CMB features see Dr. MacAndrew’s article “The CMB and Geocentrism”.)

To hear them talk, one would think that these alignments are absolutely precise.  Indeed, they’d have to be in order to point “directly at the Earth” and to prove that the Earth is “the very center” of the universe.

But in fact, these CMB alignments are only approximate.  Indeed, the measured data show that they can be quite a ways off.   We present the actual numbers in Dr. MacAndrew’s article, “The CMB and Geocentrism”:

  • The quadrupole to the equinox is 23.1°
  • The octopole to the equinox is 17.6°
  • The quadrupole to the dipole is 28.5°
  • The quadrupole to the octopole is 7.7°
  • The dipole to the equinox is well known and is 14.1°
  • The dipole to the ecliptic plane is 11.1°
  • The quadrupole to the ecliptic plane is 16.0°
  • The octopole to the ecliptic plane is 8.6°

Dr. MacAndrew divulged precisely where he obtained the data on which these figures are based, namely, Table 18 of “Planck Collaboration, Planck 2013 Results. XXIII. Isotropy and statistics of the CMB,” arXiv:1303.5083v3.

So how did Sungenis respond to Dr. MacAndrew’s calculations showing that the CMB alignments are far from exact?  Rather than interacting with them in any meaningful way, he just summarily dismissed them:

So what we find is that the “16 degrees” is not actually in the literature written by the authoritative experts in this field, but was Alec MacAndrew’s ipse dixit calculation (“Debunking Alec MacAndrew”, p. 7; note that Sungenis just quoted the quadrupole to the ecliptic plane figure in his article – although he normally quotes the entirety of his opponent’s piece, in this case he excised all the other (mis)alignments including the quadrupole to the dipole which are separated by 28.5 degrees.)

So Sungenis attempted to discredit the values presented by Dr. MacAndrew, not by presenting alternative figures, but by implying that MacAndrew’s calculations were biased or incompetent or both. Surely if Sungenis was able to do the calculations himself, he would have found either that Dr. MacAndrew was correct and so refrain from his comment; or that Dr. MacAndrew wasn’t correct in which case he would no doubt have gladly pointed out the error.

One strong hint that Dr. MacAndrew was correct about these misalignments is the fact that the new geocentrists are already trying to do damage control.  You’re invited to read “Yes, the CMB Misalignments Are a Problem for the New Geocentrists,” where we debunk those attempts.

But let’s keep the focus specifically on the misalignments themselves and Sungenis’s dismissal of the scientific evidence.  The sort of hand-waving in which he indulged demonstrates one of two things: Sungenis’s mathematical incompetence or his laziness. Dr. MacAndrew cited the scientific work in question and even directed the geocentrists to the very page and table containing the data.  He did the calculations to transform the galactic coordinates given in the paper to ecliptic coordinates that would express these vectors with relation to the ecliptic and equinoxes, and then calculated the angles between the various CMB features and the ecliptic plane and equinox.  Most significantly, you’ll notice that in that very table, one of the angles (between the quadrupole and octopole) is specifically reported and Dr. MacAndrew got the same result, which supports our claim that the method he used is correct.

As we are talking about mathematics here, there are only two possibilities.  Either Dr. MacAndrew did the calculations correctly or he did not.  If he did them correctly then the CMB alignments are as he says – not at all exact but only approximate.  If he did not do them correctly then the geocentrists have a golden opportunity to demonstrate their own competence and trustworthiness.

So here is The CMB Alignment Challenge to the new geocentrists to show that they have even the basic competence to discuss these matters:

  1. Start with the direction data for the quadrupole and octopole given in galactic coordinates in the cited paper defined precisely in the notes below.  Use the datum for the dipole given in the notes below.
  2. Do the calculations to transform the direction of the dipole, quadrupole, octopole and equinox, as required, to galactic or ecliptic co-ordinates so as to be able to calculate the angles between them.
  3. Calculate the eight angles between these vectors, the equinox and the ecliptic plane as presented in “The CMB and Geocentrism” and reproduced above.
  4. Publish your work on-line, including, on-line, your working for calculating both the co-ordinate transformation and the angles.
  5. Tell us on that site which is true, either that a) Dr. MacAndrew’s calculations were correct and the alignments of the various features of the CMB are, as he says or, b) that Dr. MacAndrew’s calculations are incorrect and you can now show him to be mathematically incompetent.

Note again that this challenge specifically concerns the misalignment of the CMB vectors with the ecliptic and the equinox.  We acknowledge, and always have done, that the low multipole alignments with themselves and the dipole and ecliptic/equinox are anomalous and not currently understood.  But the geocentrists cannot therefore deflect this challenge by pointing to the low probability of random alignment.  That is not the focus of this challenge.  To make sure there is no misunderstanding, we are focused on the geocentrists’ repeated claims that the CMB alignments point directly at the Earth and Sungenis’s hand-waving dismissal of our demonstration that they do not.

It will be interesting to see if the new geocentrists are willing and able to take up and meet this latest mathematical challenge. If they want to be taken seriously, then it’s high time they do some calculations of their own.  And let’s be perfectly frank. If Sungenis and Co. refuse to take up the challenge, then it’s either because they can’t do the mathematics or because they know that Dr. MacAndrew was correct.

So there it is.  The ball is in their court now.


Please see the companion to this article, “Yes, the CMB Misalignments Are a Problem for the New Geocentrists.”


  1. These sort of calculations are subject to rounding errors – so getting results within about  0.2° is fine
  2. The working should clearly demonstrate the mathematical basis for both the co-ordinate transformation and the calculation of the angles and show the steps in both stages of the calculations.
  3. The vectors for the quadrupole and octopole in galactic co-ordinates are to be taken from the Planck paper, Planck 2013 Results. XXIII. Isotropy and statistics of the CMB, Table 18, p21, the final row (SMICA component separation algorithm, kinematic quadrupole corrected)
  4. The dipole vector is l=264.0°, b=48.3° in galactic co-ordinates; this is a well-known and uncontroversial datum that has been measured many times.
  5. Calculations are to be done in the J2000 epoch


Additional Neo-Geocentric Claims about the CMB:

COBE, WMAP and Planck . . . showed us that if we draw lines that connect all these warm and cold spots (as if you were playing Connect the Dots), those lines would point like an arrow from the edge of the universe directly to the Earth (Sungenis, “2013 Planck Data Shows Universe is Non-Copernican”).

As they see it, we just happen to live on the one in which the Earth is in the center and the whole CMB sky points to it like the spokes of a giant bicycle wheel. (Sungenis, “Darwin, Newton and Einstein: At the End of Their Rope”, pp. 10f.)

. . . this explanation misses the elephant in the room, i.e., that the entire universe, as represented by the CMB dipole, is aligned with the tiny Earth. One has to be blind or biased to miss this” (Sungenis, Galileo Was Wrong, 9th ed. vol. 1, p. 331).

The shocking fact about the CMB is that it is aligned with our solar system, but our solar system is inside a 93 billion light-years universe, thus our solar system is only 10-17% [sic] of the size of the universe (Sungenis, Galileo Was Wrong, 9th ed. vol. 1, p. 311).

The CMB has an imprint in it that points right back to us on the largest scales. (Mark Wyatt under the pseudonym “John_QPublic”, link).

Now After 4.5 Years Of Data Gathering ~ The Planck Deep Space Satellite Shows That The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Points Directly To Earth aka; Geocentrism (link).

Geocentrism perfectly accounts for LaGrange points. . . . oh and by the way that very interesting little Axis in the CMB- the one that is pointing like a huge, universe spanning arrow, directly at….well.  It ain’t the “galacto” in galactocentric, Tom- although I have nothing (gastronomically!) against against a Milk-centered universe mind you……It is the “geo”.  As in “geocentric” (Rick DeLano, in the same thread in which he issued the LaGrange point challenge which has caused the geocentrists so much difficultylink.)


Posted in Science |

Yes, the CMB Misalignments Are a Problem for the New Geocentrists

by Dr. Alec MacAndrew and David Palm (02/14/2015)

The new geocentrists have been making quite a number of extravagant claims concerning the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and geocentrism. Specifically they claim that certain anomalous alignments in the CMB “point like an arrow . . . directly to the Earth”, “point directly to the Earth as the center”, “show that the whole Universe is centered on the Earth”, etc. (see more of these claims here.) They hold this because certain features of the CMB have been said to align with the ecliptic and the equinoxes.

Now verbiage like “point like an arrow” and “directly at the Earth” and “exact center” would naturally lead one to believe that these alignments are precise.  Indeed, given that the new geocentrists argue that God created these alignments specifically to highlight the central position of the Earth, you’d expect for them to be exact.

But they’re not.

In his article “The CMB and Geocentrism”, physicist Dr. Alec MacAndrew demonstrated that, to the contrary, these alignments are only approximate.  In fact, they can be quite a ways off – the CMB vectors and the ecliptic are misaligned by as much as 16 degrees, from the equinox they are misaligned by as much as 23.1 degrees, and they are misaligned between themselves by as much as 28.5 degrees.

It is true that any apparent alignments are interesting to physicists if they are expecting complete randomness.  But the inexactness of the alignments certainly does not create anything like a sound foundation upon which to build the extravagant claims of the geocentrists.

In the same article, Dr. MacAndrew also pointed out that the CMB vectors provide directional but no positional information. He has now buttressed this fact with a new article, “The Derivation and Meaning of the CMB Anisotropy Vectors”, which lays out the mathematics behind this fact. He also documents that this fact is stated even in the scientific articles cited by the new geocentrists. As such, to be intellectually honest, the geocentrists are going to have to abandon their claims about the CMB vectors pointing to the Earth or indicating the location of anything, including the Earth.

Now, without actually admitting that Dr. MacAndrew is right, but probably sensing that they face a serious problem, the new geocentrists have started to do damage control. In this article we’ll first consider an analogy that will help us understand how these vectors convey directional but not positional information. Then we’ll individually debunk all of these attempts to downplay the CMB misalignments and their implications for geocentric claims.

An Analogy – Direction But Not Position:

Analogies have limitations, of course, but here is one that should help the reader understand how the CMB vectors carry directional but not positional information.

Imagine you’re on a tiny rock somewhere in the middle of a vast ocean with an ocean current flowing round the rock and the wind blowing and gravity pulling you down. Can you define a vector that characterises the wind direction? Sure you can –its direction is, well, the direction to which the wind is blowing. That is analogous to one of the CMB vectors. Similarly, you can define a vector that characterises the direction of the ocean current – that is analogous to another of the CMB vectors. Can you tell which way gravity is pulling – yep, there’s a third. So you have three vectors, all with origins on your little rock. And none of that information gives you a clue as to where you are in the wide ocean. Because the vectors define only direction and carry no positional information, they don’t define a position. The CMB vectors are like that – they are unit vectors that define a direction from the point of observation but they give no information about position or location.

And the fact that the intersection of the vectors represents a point right at your location is simply true by definition, because you are at the point of observation. That you are in the “exact center” or the point of intersection of these vectors tells you nothing about your location relative to anything else. And that centrality has no significance, because directional vectors like these will always have their origin at the point of measurement – that is how they are defined.  (For a detailed, technical demonstration of these facts please see “The Derivation and Meaning of the CMB Anisotropy Vectors”.)

Now, with that clarification in hand, let’s look at the four ways that geocentrists have tried to wiggle out of the significant misalignment of the CMB vectors.

Geocentric claim #1: The misalignments might not even be real.

Reality: The misalignments are very real, being documented in the very literature cited by the geocentrists.

Dr. MacAndrew calculated the angles between the various vectors and the equinoxes and ecliptic plane using the data from the most recent and accurate measurements of the CMB. In at least one place Sungenis casually dismisses these misalignments as merely Dr. MacAndrew’s “ipse dixit calculations”, implying that they may not exist at all. This is unacceptable. Dr. MacAndrew told the geocentrists where he got the most recent and accurate CMB data. And since we’re talking about mathematics here then either Dr. MacAndrew got the calculations right or he got them wrong. In “The CMB Alignment Challenge” we challenge the geocentrists to do the math, show their work, and then tell us either that Dr. MacAndrew was right or Dr. MacAndrew was wrong about these misalignments.

Will they answer the challenge?

Geocentric claim #2: The misalignments don’t matter because they still place the Earth right at the origin of the vectors.

Reality: The point of observation will be at the center of these vectors by definition.

Sungenis has tried to argue that the fact that the vectors intersect at a single point somehow establishes the Earth at some physical central point of the universe:

In order to have an exact position (or what we would call the “exact center” in the universe), we need an X axis, a Y axis and a Z axis, since that will give us three dimensions in Euclidean space. The CMB dipole and quadrupole give us the X and Y axis, but not the Z axis. Hence, the X and Y axis of the CMB provide a direction, but only an approximate position. That is why we have continually said that the CMB puts Earth “at or near the center of the universe.” For the Z axis we depend on other information, such as quasars and galaxy alignment that the CMB cannot provide (“Debunking Palm and MacAndrew on the CMB Evidence”, p. 8).

But as we’ve seen in the ocean analogy above, these vectors will by definition intersect at the point of observation and that tells us nothing about the location of that intersection with respect to anything else in the universe. In other words, it is Sungenis’s ignorance at work here – this does not provide any evidence at all of the Earth’s alleged physical centrality.

Geocentric claim #3: The misalignments are so small that they don’t matter.

Reality: The misalignments are very significant and even the geocentric analogies show that.

Sungenis also argues that these misalignments don’t matter because they get you “close” enough.  He uses this North Pole analogy in support of the claim:

Let’s say someone asked you, “Which direction must I travel to get to the North Pole?” To help him, you pull out your compass and wait for the dial to settle. You point him to the direction that the dial is pointing and declare, “That way is North Pole.” But is this exactly true? No, since the magnetic field to which the compass points is a few degrees away from the precise North Pole axis. But, of course, your direction will get him very close to the North Pole . . . (ibid., p. 8).

Now of course, the analogy is fundamentally and fatally flawed because these vectors don’t “point” at or distinguish any planets or stars or galaxies and you cannot navigate by them to any such features in the Universe. So at its heart this analogy is based on Sungenis’s flawed understanding concerning the nature of the CMB vectors and the information they convey.

But let’s take the analogy as it stands to its logical conclusion. If someone asks, “Which direction must I travel to get to the North Pole?” and you give him an answer that’s 10, or 16, or even 18 degrees off, are your directions really going to get him “close” to his destination? Well, if you started at Sungenis’s home in Pennsylvania and headed off with a supposedly “close enough” error of 16 degrees, you’d miss the North Pole by well over 900 miles.  One can imagine that an arctic explorer who asked for directions that “point directly” at the North Pole “like an arrow” might be found cursing Sungenis’s “close enough” misalignment when he finds himself more than 900 miles from his provisions.

Now let’s use Sungenis’s own verbiage about navigating from the edge of the universe:

So if one follows the CMB by staring [sic] at the edge of the universe (where the CMB originates) and follows it for 45 billion light years (the presently believed radius of the universe) and it got you to within 5 to 10 degrees or so of the Earth (the median of MacAndrew’s claims for the alignment), don’t you think that would be a close enough “position,.” especially since geocentrists hold that the Earth is geometrically off-center with the edge of the universe? To arrive within 5 to 10 degrees of the Earth (which you already know is off-center in the Neo-Tychonic model) when you started your journey some 45 billion light years away is astounding! (ibid., p. 13).

This is utter nonsense. Sungenis starts with the fundamental misunderstanding that the CMB vectors “point” to something (they don’t), compounds it with the misunderstanding that you could navigate from them (you can’t), but then just shrugs off the fact that being off by 10 degrees over a path of 45 billion light years would have you missing your target by over 7.9 billion light years! Sungenis and DeLano hold as a matter of faith that the Sun is the no-fooling geometric center of the entire universe and that the Earth is only 93 million miles away from this center. Now, suddenly, a miss by 7.9 billion light years is “close enough”? Incredible.

Geocentric claim #4: The misalignments are actually expected in the geocentric universe.

Reality: This is merely ad hoc hand-waving, not a reasoned answer.

Sungenis says that because the sun is offset from the earth they would expect there to be large misalignments in the CMB!:

Now, let’s say a little more about Mr. Palm’s accusation that God is a “sloppy architect” if God actually intended to align the universe with the Earth and Sun. In the geocentric universe, the Earth is not at the geometric center of the universe, but is off to one side by one astronomical unit, or 93 million miles. The universe is centered on the Sun, and thus the Sun would be closer to the geometric center of the universe, not the Earth. This is the very reason that the Bible never says that Earth is in the center of the universe, but only that it does not move. Why? Because the Earth is the center of mass for the universe, and the center of mass, as opposed to the geometric center, does not move. The entire universe follows the motion of the sun around the Earth because the center of mass for the universe coincides precisely with the center of mass of the Earth. In regards to the CMB, our model shows that the CMB alignments with equinoxes and ecliptic are the result of the annual Coriolis force created by daily rotation of the universe. Hence, if we calculate the slight off-centered position of the Earth with the universe, we will see the slight off-centered alignments of the CMB against the Earth. So, it is no surprise to the geocentrists that the alignments are not exact; rather; they are very close to the Earth’s equator and the Sun-Earth ecliptic and is what we would expect in a Neo-Tychonic universe  (ibid., pp. 7-8.).

This should come as a surprise to any geocentrist who has been following Sungenis and Company for any time, because they have never said one word about any “expected” misalignments in the CMB. Until Dr. MacAndrew pointed out the misalignments the verbiage was “point like an arrow” and “directly at the Earth” and “exact center”. Now, suddenly, Sungenis changes his story and significant misalignments are not only not a problem, but something they expected all along. Notice, however, that there were no calculations to back up this fabricated, post hoc claim — and there never will be.  As with all geocentric claims, it’s pure hand-waving.

It’s interesting too to note the blatant double-standard involved here. Sungenis insists that misalignments of 14, 16, even 23 degrees present no problem for his claims. But he insists that anomalous alignments in tiny anisotropies in the CMB absolutely sound the death knell for the Standard cosmological model. He blatantly misrepresents just how large the anisotropies themselves are:

let’s, for the sake of argument, agree that the universe is 95% isotropic and homogeneous. What about that other 5%? How significant would that be in studies of this nature? Pretty big (ibid., p. 5).

In reality, as Dr. MacAndrew has documented, the “intrinsic” anisotropies are about one part in 100,000 or 0.001% (see “The CMB and Geocentrism”, p. 14). Even the biggest anisotropy in the CMB, which arises from the Doppler shift of the motion of the solar system with respect to the CMB is about one part in 1,000 or 0.1%. According to every measure, the Universe is highly isotropic. So again we find yet another blatant double standard in Sungenis’s “scientific” rhetoric, with Sungenis attempting to downplay these significant misalignments of 14, 16, even 23 degrees as trivial for his own views, while at the same time playing up the expected and vastly smaller anisotropies in the CMB as devastating for his opponents by simply fabricating numbers that are different from those observed by a whopping factor of 5,000.


The new geocentrists have for years been making extravagant claims concerning the alignment of the CMB vectors, claiming that they “point like an arrow . . . directly to the Earth”, “point directly to the Earth as the center”, and “show that the whole Universe is centered on the Earth”. Their claims are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the information conveyed by the CMB vectors, which give directional but not positional information. And to compound their difficulties we find that the CMB vectors are significantly misaligned from the ecliptic and the equinox.

Rather than simply admit both their misunderstanding of the science and their misrepresentation of the alignments, the geocentrists have instead chosen to “double down” and deploy a bunch of ad hoc “explanations” that further demonstrate both ignorance and incompetence.

The new geocentrists have bamboozled any number of unsuspecting folks into believing that they really know the science. But once again we see that their fundamental claims are based on a profound misunderstanding of the scientific views they purport to be competent to challenge and even correct. The geocentric hype concerning the CMB shows that they are propagandists first, media manipulators second, but scientists never.

Posted in Science |