Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hanging out with the Geocentrists, Part 2

For those just tuning in, I went to the Galileo was Wrong conference, AKA the First (and I emphasize First) Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism. I am neither Catholic nor geocentrist, but I figured it would be worth my time to hear what these guys had to say. Last time I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the theological perspective offered by John Salza, so let's get into the science this time.

Engineer Mark Wyatt opened the science part of the conference with his talk "Introduction to the Mechanics of Geocentrism." This was where he explained the neo-Tychonian perspective, and made a distinction between a geocentric universe and a geostationary one. That was an interesting idea. He argued that the universe doesn't have to be perfectly geocentric only that the earth is very near the center. The key to him was that the earth does not move. According to Wyatt, the whole universe "rotates" around the earth every day, which is "kinematically exactly the same" as earth rotation. He introduced a lot of other concepts that other speakers addressed in more detail, so I'm going to move on to those. I'll come back to that kinematic claim later.

Just after lunch, we heard a talk from Mr. Rick DeLano, which the program described as "Catholic apologist and Hollywood agent." His presentation? "Scientific Evidence: Earth in the Center of the Universe." In my smug sciency-ness, I thought, "This is going to be a very entertaining disaster." I'm pleased to say I was very quickly humbled. In my estimation, Mr. DeLano gave the best talk of the day. It was easily the best organized, most logical, and most comprehensible. So thank you for humbling me.

Basically, DeLano covered various evidences that suggest that the earth is somewhere near the center of the universe, including redshift distribution, gamma ray bursts, quasar distribution, galaxy distribution, and the quadrupole moment in the cosmic background radiation. I was so astonished by some of what he said, that I got out my laptop to check his facts while he was still talking. As far as I can tell from my brief Google scholar searches, most of what he said was accurate, though in some cases dated. He didn't really talk about alternative explanations either, but coming from a Hollywood agent, this was really not all that bad. Of course, you should take my opinion with a huge grain of salt. I'm no astrophysicist or cosmologist. All I can do is check the available literature. I cant' really check his claims against the best thought in the field. But hey, given my low expectation for the science of the conference, this was a breath of fresh air.

Not all talks were so rosy, unfortunately. In fact some were downright confusing. The next big science talk was Robert Bennett, who was described in the program as, "Holds doctorate in Physics with emphasis on Einstein's Relativity." As he began, I thought this was finally our opportunity to get down to some of the really hard questions about geocentrism. We didn't really get that.

He opened with about 5-10 minutes of discussion of the scoffers and mockers. He welcomed them, but he did come across as kind of miffed at being the object of scorn. Then again, who can blame him? Then he talked about the aether, which is apparently the key to understanding geocentrism. By aether, he's referring to the luminiferous aether, the medium through which light propagates. This aether supposedly explains the motion of Foucault's pendulum, which is apparently dragged by the aether of the universe as it rotates around the earth. The next section I'll just quote from my notes, because I don't think my description can do it justice:
Speed of light in water goes faster if water moves in same direction as light b/c water drags the aether. Likewise reduced when light moves against direction of water flow.
This is an experiment he is challenging scientists (I think) to do to test for the aether. It's his "Absolute Laboratory, Flexible Aether" (ALFA) model. You can check it out at his blog: alfachallenge.blogspot.com. He's opened the blog to comments, so that's the place to go to ask him questions.  He currently has zero comments, so have at it.

He concluded by explaining how there is some kind of signal in the cosmic background radiation just behind the constellation Leo. Then he informed us that although the zodiac is today associated with the occult, it's true origin is biblical. Leo is the "Lion of Judah," AKA Jesus Christ. Regulus (a star in Leo) is therefore signaling to us that Jesus is returning.  I'm truly at a loss for words.

And with that, I'm going to close this brief missive. I've got a few more talks to describe, and then I'll give my overall impression of the science of geocentricity (or geostationism, if you will). Stay tuned!

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