|, this as a result of the Earth's 30 km/sec velocity. Keeping this in mind it is easily seen that when the Earth begins to move from A to B, the telescope begins to swing to the left. That is to say: its top projecting the apparent aberration circle on the night sky "shows" the star progressing from A1 to B1. For aberration always displaces the stars toward the apex of the Earth's way.
The geocentric theory begs to differ from this
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Copernican explication. The Earth is absolutely at rest in space, and the star is moving congruent with the Sun's motion. As a result of this our telescope "catches" the star at point of its real aberration orbit when it is already at S1. Consequently: when, as in the Bradleyan interpretation, the Sun is in position A between Earth and star, this star is observed at A1 and so on.
The Copernican-Einsteinian and the Tychonian understanding of the phenomenon both "fit the facts". Therefore only experiments testing their inferences may and must allow us to make a reasoned-out choice. As I have shown: without exception such experiments confirm or favour Tycho Brahe and censure or doubt Copernicus. Hence when around the turn of the century the patrons of that canon of Frauenburg ran out of plausible ad hocs the only possibility left to them was to get on the STR bandwagon.
That their anti-geostatic persuasion could not but constrain them to do this is understandable. The Achilles' heel that until today only with modus ponendo ponens arguments they have been able to bolster their case is glibly and conveniently overlooked. Also it should amaze nobody that only by ostracizing nay-sayers and relentless peer pressure on persistent opponents their establishment has succeeded in upholding relativity's preponderance - thus the world wags. However, as soon as in the late sixties manned satellites offered the physicists the possibility to perform a modus tollendo tollens experiment, they did not jump at the obvious chance to verify their belief - and this I hold against them. True scientific spirits would have hastened incontestably to confirm their faith in the a-centric aimless Universe they are hankering after. Why didn't
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they? Are they deep-down afraid of their ideal turning out to be an idol?
The point here is that aberration, if after an Einstein demoting space test it will have to be geocentrically understood, this indeed will make mincemeat of four centuries of progressive astronomy. According to Bradley the aberrational displacement is the angle between the star's geometrical direction and the direction in which the telescope has to be pointed to observe that star. According to the updated Tychonian view the displacement is the angle between the direction in which the star is observed and its geometric direction at the moment of this observation. Or to formulate it otherwise: for the ruling view the aberration orbits are apparent and the Earth's orbit actual, but for the view actual here defended the former are actual and the Earth's is non-existent. And thereby hangs a tale!
To quote a standard astronomical college text about stellar aberration: "The effect is greatest when the earth is moving at right angles to the direction to the star, and disappears when the earth moves directly toward or away from the star. A star that is on the ecliptic appears to shift back and forth by a small amount in a straight line during the year, for during part of the year the earth is moving in one direction compared to the star's, and during the rest of the year the earth is moving in the opposite direction A star in a direction perpendicular to the earth's orbit appears to describe a small circle in the sky, for its apparent direction is constantly displaced in the direction of the earth's orbital motion from the direction it would have as seen from the sun. Stars in between these extremes appear to shift their apparent directions along tiny elliptical paths".( 83)
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improved and introduced, among others, the so-called astrolabe (from Greek astron-star and larnbanein - to take), in essence the ancestor of the multiform instruments now used to measure and, presumably, thereby in abstracto to master the architecture of the celestial sphere around us.
In the museum at Torun, Poland: "There exists a most remarkable painting of Copernicus that allows insights on his background. It shows Copernicus praying with open eyes. On his right a crucifix with a corpus is portrayed. On the opposite side of the crucifix astronomical instruments are shown. Clearly set off is the astrolabe introduced by Sylvester II." And significant is Copernicus' prayer underneath the painting. "I do not ask for the grace granted to Paul, neither do I demand the forgiveness of Peter, but I incessantly pray for the forgiveness which thou on the wood of the cross hast granted to the murderer."(85) Did Copernicus have an inkling of the consequences his theory would have? In the modern Universe God is a superfluous luxury. As far as up-to-date astrophysics is concerned He is dead and has had His day. To quote Alexander Koyré about astronomy's progress after the wholesale acceptance of Copernicanism: "The infinite Universe of the New Cosmology, infinite in Duration as well as Extension, in which eternal matter in accordance with eternal and necessary laws moves endlessly and aimlessly in eternal space, inherited all the ontological attributes of Divinity. Yet only those - all the others the departed God took with Him."(86) And when at the close of the nineteenth century it had become insuperable to reconcile the Newtonian celestial clockwork of that New Cosmology with observational data, the most plausible inference was left out of consideration. The possibility of a basic
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misconception in the defunct system remained outside the theoretical field of vision. Not for a moment did anybody bethink himself whether the clash between "new" facts and the fiducial - but never proven! -Galilean natural philosophy was, maybe, due to the sacrosanct Copernican revolution. Astronomy opted for an approach that made short shift with even those remaining ontological divine attributes by assigning irrational and impossible qualities to the Creation's mode of being. For when in their never-never land of relativity the distances between a number of clocks are increasing a wondrous thing is happening, we must conclude. Believe it or not: then each of those clocks works more slowly than all the others - which, I am sure we will agree, is impossible in our real world.(56)
3. The Tychonian interpretation offers the simplest possible solution among all those ever proposed of Olbers' paradox - a given that they who like to operate with Occam's razor may well take into account.
4. Nothing, but nothing will change as far as observations are concerned. When somebody once remarked to him how stupid medieval men must have been in thinking that the Sun was orbiting the Earth, Wittgenstein is said to have replied: "I agree. But I wonder what it would have looked like if the Sun had been circling the Earth". In his excellent The Day the Universe Changed , a book that everyone should read, James Burke, telling this anecdote, comments: "The point is that it would look exactly the same. When we observe nature we see what we want to see, according to what we believe we know about it at the time".(87)
5. What would drastically change are the extrapolations from our observations. I simply cannot
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withstand the temptation to repeat a warning by Eddington, which I have already quoted. "For the reader resolved to eschew theory and admit only definite observational facts, all astronomical books are banned. There are no purely observational facts about the heavenly bodies (Eddington's emphasis, v.d.K.). Astronomical measurements are, without exception, measurements of phenomena occurring in a terrestrial observatory or station; it is only by theory that they are translated into knowledge of a universe outside."(42)
You will say to me: "Physician, heal thyself. Your weird scheme is a theory too, and certainly the weirdest possible." Agreed, it is a theory, and if and when the experiment I propose shall have put Einstein's ideas at long last on a firm footing, I grant everyone the right to call me a misguided fool. But not before this will have happened! For I challenge until then, and therefore here and now, all modern scientists to come forward with one non-relativistic reasoning that, without affirming consequences and introducing ad hocs, succeeds in rebutting the straightforward theoretical conclusions here drawn from the panoply of the celestial phenomena. They cannot do this, and the foremost thinkers among them know this all too well!
So far regarding the ratiocinations of those who refuse to honour and accept any otherworldly input. A few remarks over and above that I must add, more directly aimed at the men and women who with me have been impelled to believe that the Bible is the Book of Wisdom given to us by the Great Creator God in Whom we live, and move, and have our being.
6. "Nonsense", I have painfully found out, they exclaim almost to a man. I ask: "Why nonsense?" Why
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should the oldest model, being the strangest, not be the truest? Does the stupendous variety of life forms and landscapes displayed within the Earth's tenuous biosphere not perfectly match with a likewise kaleidoscopic panorama of a stellar sphere encompassing creation as a whole? Do these two Hebrew words "and (the) stars" by the farthest stretch of imagination invite us to distill out of them a Divine act of such a size and grandeur that by comparison even the creation of the so-called Solar System is less than a drop in a bucket?
7. "Yes, but science..." - that theistic evolutionists of all stripes demur I can understand. For them, with regard to the creation account, the time-bound results of ever incomplete human research are first, and the Scriptures a second-best, adapted as Genesis is, they allege or settle without word of mouth, to the understanding of Homo Sapiens barely risen above the mental capacities of monkey-dom.
After the glorious appearance of modern science we now "know” that we cannot read the Creation story as in any way factual to the first degree. To argue with these brethren before their hallowed secular masters will have been compelled to take a turn for the better may well be pouring water in a sieve. Creationists worthy of the name, from the cradle on conditioned to believe in the stereotyped cosmos of popular astronomical texts, may be wise to think twice, however, before they join the "Impossible" chorus of the Christian majority. They squarely differ from this majority with respect to botany, biology, and geology, but are less outspokenly fervent with respect to astronomy, in which discipline they save the appearances by means of an exegetical tour de force,
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together with fairly improbable and any way unprovable ad hocs. Question: why should the ruling paradigm in that oldest branch of natural philosophy still have any say whatsoever in Creation science? Behind its public facade it today hides a hodgepodge of far-fetched tentative models bristling with anomalies.(88) Just compare the data by means of which the evolutionists on the grandest cosmic scale build their models with those of the evolutionists in a narrower, Darwinian sense. The latter have at least deaf-mute bones they can examine and silent rocks they can analyze. The former have nothing outside their observatories but untouchables that cause their optical instruments to exhibit spectra and their radio telescopes to stutter clicks.
8. It is always possible to impress some clever pattern on random sets of givens. Biologists, constructing their genealogical trees, "show" in that manner how humming birds and crocodiles are distant relatives, and they expect us to swallow such cunning confabulations as testable actualities. In the same manner, but with even less solid observations to build on, astrophysicists discuss in their diagrams the life cycles of stars, their composition, and their distance from us. Why then do creationists soundly reject Darwin, but still kowtow to Copernicus? No man should serve two masters, should he?
9. I have as yet not been able to find one orthodox theologian willing to give me a serious hearing. This is something that in the beginning hurt me. Gradually, however, I have come to realize how it had to be expected. These people are so sure of the truth of their in the nature of things fallible dogmatical extrapolations from a Message they declare to be infallible in what it
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says, that apropos of nothing they excommunicate each other for almost any doctrinal difference. Small wonder that these theologians assume the articles of modern scientific faith to have the same kind of infallibility, which they take for granted in their own deductions from Holy Writ. People for whom the Bible is no more than a quaint old book, and who therefore have no interest in saving it at the cost of scientific knowledge, gladly admit that the Scriptures proclaim the preeminence of man in an Earth-centered Universe. To doubt or to deny it, they will affirm, is to wrench the meaning of the Genesis text. Before modern science raised its arrogant head very few called this truism in question. However, after Galileo we have to reconcile the geocentric structure that Holy Writ considers self-evident with the facts that for almost four centuries astronomy has professed to "know", but today is no longer too pertinently sure of. This momentum-gaining turnabout in the philosophy of science theologians are not yet aware of and will surely be loath to take to heart, since such a new - in fact very old - concept of human knowledge cannot but begin to rattle the foundations of their dogmatic certainties also. Anyway: caught between a hard rock and an immovable place the defenders of the Infallible Word do with regard to Genesis 1:1-19 not shilly-shally: the literalness of that periscope is the loser. But the thing that baffles me to no end is that in relation to Genesis 1:11-13 and 20-31 the creationists among these theologians defend tooth and nail its literalness. Why this measuring by two standards?
It is here not the place to elaborate on such ambivalence, but behind it hides the vexed issue of anthropomorphisms in Holy Writ. "This is what the
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Word says, but we shall tell you what it means, for the Divine Author talks to us in the way a father talks to little children, who cannot really understand him yet" Thus, from Calvin on, the speakers not being such children, but they themselves being perfectly able to make clear to us what God could not make clear! Speaking about conceit...? With heliocentrism for many generations bred in the bone, and biological evolution, relatively spoken, a newcomer, a growing number of Christians again dismiss the latter. Why then that unwillingness to look at the out-dated Newtonian world picture with a grain of doubt? Let alone to doubt the weird hypotheses secular astronomy had to betake itself to, now that picture has become untenable?
10. There are, but these beyond the restricted scope of the present paper, still at least three fields of enquiry left that may will come to play a part in future considerations with regard to a geocentric cosmogony and cosmology. Lingering at the fringes of the theological-exegetical free-for-all is the vexed issue of the Gospel written in the stars,(89) and the impetus of a restored Stellatum on that esoteric theme. Physically there remain the topics of a long-time stability of the Solar System, and the never absolutely laid to rest likelihood - which I take seriously! - of a non-Newtonian theory of gravity.(90)
ii. Pascal, facing the inescapable outcome of a consistent Copernicanism, has said that the eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrified him. So did it me
- until I became aware that there is not the slightest truly scientific reason or evidence to take the modern view of the cosmos seriously.
Thankful I am for the Eternal Word that ridicules
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the idea of mankind being no more than a freak occurrence in a boundless cold and dark void. Which idea, therefore and of course, has been, is, and will be contradicted by every ad hoc -less rational experiment.
12. "The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork", David exclaims in Psalm 19. Indeed, they do - who on a clear night, seeing the constellations slowly wheeling through the dark dome of space, does not stand in awe? Or does not feel himself and the Earth under his feet to be insignificant minutiae amidst a majestic pageant? From Antiquity on, thinking men have realized that "the earth, in relation to the distance of the fixed stars, has no appreciable size and must be treated as a mathematical point"(91) For Ptolemy as well as for us, however, this does not compel us to downplay our importance in the totality of being: size and worth are not correlate. A rough diamond is a nothing compared with a heap of pebbles, yet sell it, and you can buy a gravel pit, and still have money to spare. To the contrary an object's place and station clearly indicate its paramountcy. In Parliament the Speaker may be a small man, but he is not hidden among the backbenchers. If the present-day astronomical world view would have come to the indisputable conclusion that after all the Earth is an unique phenomenon in the Heavens, then there would have been less incentives to renounce its acts and facts. Such a pre-eminence granted, and keeping in mind Russell's Reminder that after all for a metaphysical bystander the Earth and not the Heavens may be at rest, then the a-centric Universe of the Hoyles and Sagans could be considered as a model at least breaking with Newton's Copernicanism. For an orthodox reader of the Bible there would be fewer
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questions with regard to curved space than with regard to the heliocentric vision that demoted our dwelling-place to one of a set of similars. The multiform parameters necessary for the maintenance of the living Earth appear to have been minutely structured and combined for that purpose, the impact of their attunement equalled nowhere in the Solar System's barrenness. Yet this attunement is taken to be no more than one of a number of lucky throws in a macro-evolutionary roulette. Hence secular science labours with might and main to find extra-tellurian evidence that will reveal life-bearing planets to be a not uncommon occurrence. An Interplanetary Society has dedicated itself to that search, and countless science fiction novels and movies are brain-washing the hoi polloi with this doctrine of space harbouring a diversity of civilizations. For any connotation that the human race is something special and has been assigned a peerless habit in the Heavens - it must, cost what it may, be kept out of mind. It might evoke the teleological spectre that modern man, come of age, wants, and has decided, to lay at rest.
To believe that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, if not literally then at least in meaningful myths, testify to the origins of the reality into which we are born, this, I maintain if not openly then at least implicitly, obliges Christians to acknowledge that the Earth is more than a typical throw-off from a condensing and spinning minor star. There are peculiar people for whom Hebrew is no foreign language, and for whom already more than three millennia the Torah has been Wisdom above all wisdom. To them the ever-changing theories of science are, by comparison, puerile prattle. A 1944 Nobel laureate, I. I. Rabi, born and bred among them, was as a boy
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accordingly a Tychonian until gentile information told him better things. "Because his family was Orthodox and fundamentalist in its Judaism, Rabi had not known that the earth revolved around the sun until he read it in a library book."(92)
Indeed: a library book. But astronomy books, misleading as - courtesy of Albert Einstein - their heliocentric illustrations and explanations are, seldom or ever spell out the a-centric concept to which the Copernican revolution has inevitably led. The Earth is now for it no more than a typical pellet of matter somewhere in an out-of-the-way corner of the Universe. How can orthodoxy, whether Jewish or Christian, reasonably harmonize this with an Earth according to the first chapter of the Old Testament already adorned with trees, and flowers, and grass before Sun, Moon, and stars suddenly appeared in the emptiness of the Heavens?
13. A last point: theistic-evolutionist Bible believers have, of course, no difficulty with a Big Bang and endless ages already elapsed before the Creator began biological evolution. with self~reproducing clots acurdling in a glutinous fluid. How do they reconcile the countless years required by such snail-slow processes with the promise of a resurrection of all the dead long returned to dust in the twinkling of an eye when the trumpet shall sound? If God can make that happen, why should or would He have needed many millions of years to get from unicellular creatures to billion-cellular men? If I may believe St. Paul, then He will restore all the dead who ever have lived to life instantly. Or must I, maybe, my thinking illuminated by the light of sciences, reverently understand this as a twinkling of an eye of God, which for us takes five hundred million years?
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In a recent article from the skillful hand of Dr. Stephen J. Gould he claims that the fact of evolution is as well established as the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. On the other hand he allowed that absolute certainty has no place in the lexicon of scientists.(93) Now it would be an insult to assume that a scientist of his stature never should have heard about a man called Einstein, according to whom we just as well may vouch for a Sun revolving around the Earth. And this being the case Gould, on his own cognizance, cannot rule out creation.
Accordingly my anti-instant creationist brethren will do well not to exclude the possibility of change of heart becoming necessary for them, since even Gould advises them not to take their present convictions too absolutely. And in case the Sun will be shown indeed to circle the Earth, these brethren will be led, I hope, to realize what Holy Writ really affirms with regard to cosmology as well as with regard to biology.
Lastly, with reference to St. Paul's "twinkling of an eye" an up-to-date item, reminiscent of such a Divine instantaneous "Let there be" - and there is and there are! Secularist confabulators rhapsodize about their Big Bang of a dozen or so billion years ago as if it has been as undoubtedly factual as last year's pyrotechnics on the Queen's birthday. Well, that certainty these brethren may do well to take with grains of salt. According to a news clipping in the December 1987 Creation Research Society Quarterly Alan Guth, professor of astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is saying that the Universe expanded to its present size and structure of stars and galaxies, not in ten to twenty billion years as previously claimed almost dogmatically. Guth says "the whole process lasted less than a second."
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Bible and Science