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.
You 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.
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.
What’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 gets this English translation from Dr. G. E. Smith, but 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.
There 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.
 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.