Monday, November 22, 2010

Geocentrism clarifications

So apparently there are some geocentrists out there who are dissatisfied with my portrayal of their recent conference (parts one, two, three, four, and five). I've been getting emails. I guess I asked for it by posting my impressions in a public arena where they can't leave comments (see how sneaky I am?). So in the interest of fairness, let me offer a few clarifications.

First, I got a long email from Bennett, who said this about his ALFA challenge:
ALFA: Not an experiment, but a model to be tested against experiments. Find one that destroys ALFA.
Sorry about that. My mistake.

Then I got a couple messages from an email address that I found out belongs to Sungenis's company. I assume they must have come from Sungenis. The first email was ostensibly Sungenis's reply to my assessment of his talk, and the second was a response ostensibly from Salza. Regarding my understanding of the objective of his presentation on Galileo, Sungenis clarified:
I specifically stated that since the condemnation wasn’t issued in a formally infallible venue, it then depended on the Ordinary Magisterium. I then said that because the condemnation of Galileo came under the auspices of a canonical trial from a tribunal of the Church, it then became a legal matter, and since legal matters can only be overturned by the pope or another tribunal, then the legal decision against Galileo and heliocentrism continues since no one has ever legally rescinded it. I then said that, if the Church were to rescind the canonical decision against Galileo and heliocentrism, it would only be putting itself in jeopardy, since in saying an Ordinary Magisterium of the past made a mistake then forces us to ask whether an Ordinary Magisterium from the present can also make a mistake, but, of course, that specific issue is hypothetical.
I didn't even know there was a difference between the infallible Magisterium and the ordinary one.  How embarrassing!  I feel like such a Protestant!

He also claimed that my understanding of the injunction against copernicanism was flawed, and quoted the following passage from what he called "the official document":
His Holiness ordered the most Illustrious Lord Cardinal Bellarmine to call Galileo before himself and warn him to abandon these opinions; and if he should refuse to obey, the Father Commissary, in the presence of a notary and witnesses, is to issue him an injunction to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it; and further, if he should not acquiesce, he is to be imprisoned.
Now that's an interesting quote. A google search led me to this page, where it is labeled as minutes of the Inquisition from February 25, 1616. Notice it says that Galileo is not to be allowed to discuss it, which is way beyond not holding or teaching copernicanism. Was I therefore wrong when I said that the Dialogue as a discussion of both copernicanism and traditional geocentrism was "ostensibly permissible?" Maybe not...

On that same page, if you scroll down a bit beyond the February 25 minutes, you'll find the actual record of the injunction, where a "Father Commissary" named Segizzi is said to have
...ordered and enjoined the said Galileo, who was himself still present, to abandon completely the above-mentioned opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing
Doesn't mention not discussing copernicanism. Galileo just can't "hold, teach, or defend" it. I think what this shows is that the issue of Galileo's trial is enormously complex and not easily summarized, either by me or Sungenis.

The response attributed to Salza was insulting and condescending, so I'm not going to bother with it.

And to head off one more response before it even arrives, here is a link to E. Michael Jones's paper, so you can check for yourself my characterization against the actual text.  I found it quite interesting that his citations for the paper consist of one biography of Newton, one book on alchemy, and one book on economics.

So now I'm really, really done with geocentrism. Just in case you don't quite understand what that means, it means I'm not going to discuss it again on my blog or respond to emails about it. If you geocentrists want to refute or attack me, go ahead and post it on the web somewhere. Don't expect a response though.  I've got better things to do with my life.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.