Geocentrism

Jupsat Pro Astronomy Software

Secrets of the Deep Sky

Get Instant Access

Geocentrists accept that Earth is a sphere but deny that the sun is the center of the solar system. Like flat earthers, they reject virtually all of modern physics and astronomy as well as biology. Geocentrism is a somewhat larger, though still insignificant, component of modern antievolutionism. At the Bible-Science Association creation-ism conference in 1985, the plenary session debate was between two geocentrists and two heliocentrists (Bible-Science Association 1985). Similarly, as recently as 1985, the secretary of the still-influential Creation Research Society was a published geocentrist (Kaufmann 1985).

Both flat earthers and geocentrists reflect to a greater or lesser degree the perception of Earth held by the ancient Hebrews, which was that it was a disk-shaped structure (Figure 3.2). They believed that the heavens were held up by a dome (raqiya or firmament) that arched over the land and that water surrounded the land. The firmament was perceived as a solid, metal-like structure that could be hammered and shaped (as in Job 37:18: "Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?" [All biblical quotes are from the Revised Standard Bible, Zondervan, 1981]). The surface of the firmament is solid enough that God can walk on it (as in Job 22:14: "Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, he walks on the vault of heaven"). The sun, moon, and stars were attached to the firmament, which means that these heavenly bodies circled Earth beneath the firmament and, hence, were part of a geocentric universe. Further support for the idea of a solid sky and a geocentric solar system is found in Revelation 6:13-16: "and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up." Stars were regarded as small, bright objects rather than massive suns hugely larger than Earth. They could fall on Earth because they were below the firmament, a solid object that, if rolled aside, would reveal the throne of God (Schadewald 1987, 1981-1982).

The Bible also speaks of the waters above the firmament; ancient Hebrews conceived of the firmament supporting a body of water that came to Earth as rain through the "windows of heaven" and was the source of the forty days and nights of rain that began Noah's Flood.

Ancient and modern geocentricity reflects the idea that because the Earth and its creatures—especially humans—are central to God. To symbolize this importance, God would have made Earth the center of the universe. Taking Earth out of this central position reduces its importance, which reduces (according to their interpretation) man's place as the most important element in creation. Although not actively supporting geocentrism, young-Earth creationist astronomer D. Russell Humphreys has promoted the idea of the centrality of Earth and humans by claiming that Earth is at the center of the universe (Humphreys 2002). His conception of cosmology has the central Earth surrounded by galaxies and ultimately a sphere of water that is light-years in diameter (the "waters which were above the firmament" of Genesis 1:7) (Humphreys 2007; see Figure 3.3).

The next group of creationists on the continuum are less biblically literalist than the previous two, but all three endorse the theological doctrine of special creationism, which stresses the view that God created the universe, Earth, plants, and animals,

Figure 3.2

An early twentieth-century conceptualization of ancient cosmology. Early Hebrews conceived of the universe as consisting of a disk-shaped Earth that was the center of the cosmos, in which a domelike sky was supported by pillars of heaven. From Robinson (1913), frontispiece.

Figure 3.2

An early twentieth-century conceptualization of ancient cosmology. Early Hebrews conceived of the universe as consisting of a disk-shaped Earth that was the center of the cosmos, in which a domelike sky was supported by pillars of heaven. From Robinson (1913), frontispiece.

THE ANCIENT HEBREW CONCEPTION OF THE UNIVERSE

TO ILLUSTRATE THE ACCOUNT OF CREATION AND THE FIDOD

and humans in essentially their present form. The most common form of special creationism holds that the creation event took place relatively recently, and is thus called young-Earth creationism.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment