The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Cretinism or Evilution? No. 2
Edited by E.T. Babinski
Biblical Astronomy



"Biblical Astronomy!"
The latest advance in "creation science!"

A view advocated by some modern day creationists. The earth lies at the center of the universe. The sun revolves around the earth. All the remaining planets revolve around the sun, while the stars and distant galaxies; revolve around the sun on a daily basis.

"Biblical astronomy" (as displayed in the figure, above) originated in the 16th century. Its most notable exponent was Tycho Brahe (a Danish astronomer). Today's "Biblical astronomers" still advocate Brahe's System.

By the 17th century Brahe's System seemed improbable to people like Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, who wrote in one of his popular science books: "Tycho Brahe, who had fixed the Earth in the Center of the Universe, turned the Sun round the Earth, and the rest of the Planets round the Sun, because new discoveries in astronomy left no way to have the Planets turn round the Earth. But among so many great Planetary bodies how could you exempt the Earth alone from turning round the Sun? It certainly seems improper to make the Sun turn round the Earth, when all the Planets turn round the Sun. Though Brahe's System was invented to maintain the immobility of the Earth, yet it was very improbable. So we resolve to stick to Copernicus, whose Opinion was most Uniform and Probable."

Not satisfied, like "scientific creationists," with merely wanting "evidence against the theory of evolution" taught in schools, today's Christian geocentrists want "evidence against the theory of gravity" taught in schools.


Since the 1970s a few devout Protestant and Catholic scholars with Ph.D.s in physics and astronomy have begun to argue in favor of geocentrism ("geo"=earth "centrism"= lies at the center). These devout Bible believers maintain that the earth does not go round the sun, but that the sun, planets, and all the stars go round the earth. In the United States there is a society that defends Bible-based geocentrism, called the Association for Biblical Astronomy (founded in 1971 under the name of "The Tychonian Society"). The Association for Biblical Astronomy publishes a journal and books, and is led by a young-earth creationist who has a doctorate in astronomy from Case-Western Reserve University, Dr. Gerardus Bouw. Outside the U.S., in France and Belgium, a Catholic group called Cercle Scientifique et Historique, includes some members who support geocentrism.

Such geocentrists are also young-earth creationists and, like their young-earth brethren, "Biblical astronomers" feel the need to "point out flaws" in modern scientific evidence in light of "what Scripture tells us." And, like their young-earth partners, who publish "critiques of scientific arguments for an old-earth," these "Biblical astronomers" have recently published a number of books that "critique scientific arguments for a moving earth." They hope to open the eyes of the modern scientific community to the God-given truth that the earth doesn't move, or only moves slightly in comparison with the rest of the planets and stars in the cosmos, most of which must fly around the earth on a daily basis at speeds faster than light!

If the success of young-earth creationists at mobilizing "Bible believers" is any indication of future trends, then the cry, "Let's teach geocentrism!" can't be far behind. All it takes is some dedicated "Biblical astronomers" traveling tirelessly around the country, holding seminars at church after church, employing all the fancy "scientific" sounding rhetoric at their disposal to lead their brethren to cry out against "those lying, Satanic, evil believers in evolution, in an ancient earth, and a decentralized moving earth!"

This is not to say that all young-earth creationists agree with the new "science" of "Biblical astronomy." Most apparently do not. In fact, the young-earth creationists at the Institute for Creation Research recently published a pamphlet repudiating geocentrism. (See the July 1994 Impact article by Gerald Aardsma, available from the ICR for a nominal fee.) But it will take more than just a pamphlet to stop "Biblical astronomy" from spreading."Biblical astronomers" have debated their young-earth brethren at a few "Bible Science conventions," neither side being able to convince the other. And, among "Bible believers," the scripture verses supporting geocentrism provide formidable ammunition against mere "scientific" arguments to the contrary!

It's ironic but true, that Aardsma (the author of the ICR Impact article that defended ICR's heliocentric stance against encroaching geocentrist sentiments), agreed to leave ICR recently, because he no longer agreed with the lower range of ICR estimates for the age of the earth. Aardsma is absolutely convinced, via tree-ring data, that the earth cannot possibly be as young as 6,000 years. ICR still says the earth could be between 6,000 to 15,000 years old and ICR does not want to offend many of their supporters by "upping the lower limit" to 12,000 years as Aardsma has done.

That would offend too many folks who still believe that Bishop Ussher's "strictly Biblical" estimate of the age of the earth was the correct one, i.e., 6,000 years old.




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