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Chalcedon Foundation discloses they privately contributed to Joe Taylor’s legal defense against Doug Phillips, and discussion on Reconstructionism and “Biblical Patriarchy”
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Further developments have unfolded on the Doug Phillips story and I will try to briefly recap them since the content has been buried in blog comments. Links are provided if you care to dig deeper.
On an earlier article here, Doug Phillips: Repentance and Restoration – Is it Possible?, a commenter using the name “Chalcedon Foundation” contributed a link to the comment discussion. It is important to understand what the Chalcedon Foundation is. Here is a small blurb from Wikipedia — and although this is probably not how the Chalcedon Foundation describes itself, it does give a glimpse of how they are perceived in the broader public arena:
The Chalcedon Foundation provides educational material in the form of books, newsletter reports and various electronic media, toward advancing the theological teachings of Rushdoony’s Christian Reconstructionism movement. It is notable for its role in the influence of Christianity on politics in the U.S. and has been described as “a think tank of the Religious Right. Rushdoony’s son, Mark now heads the foundation.
The Chalcedon Foundation has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for, among other reasons, supporting the death penalty for homosexuals.
Here is the comment by “Chalcedon Foundation” posted on the aforementioned article:
A very different approach to the fundamental issue: http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/liberty-from-abuse-2/
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I responded by commenting that the link led to a Reconstructionist site. This apparently opened up a whole can of worms and discussion ensued about Reconstructionism. I then posted this:
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I just took a quick look at the link provided by Chalcedon and was surprised at what I read. There is a lot of good info in that article. Time prevents me from reading the whole thing, but there is a good understanding of ecclesiastical abuse. That particular article may be fine, however, I would urge caution when reading at this site (shouldn’t we always be careful, though?). Reconstructionism (you’ll see footnotes from Rushdoony, a Reconstructionist), is the core of the Homeschool Movement and the driving force of many of the practices: keeping daughters at home, out of the work force, away from college, marrying young, having lots of babies, etc.
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If you look on my sidebar Categories listings for Reconstructionist-Dominion Movement, I have articles identifying R.J. Rushdoony as the father of the Homeschool Movement. The title was not original with me. However, it seems that both “Chalcedon Foundation” and commenter T.W. Eston have issues with me attributing to Rushdoony the excesses and abuses within the Homeschool Movement. Read T.W. Eston’s most recent comment:
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I have high regard for Julie Anne, but I believe she is misinformed on this point. As I have noted in my article, R.J. Rushdoony is one of the founding fathers of the modern home school movement. It would not then be unreasonable for those who condemn home schooling to disdain Rushdoony. But oddly enough there are many home schoolers (Julie Anne being one of them) who believe in home schooling but who at the same time disdain one of its most significant pioneers. Such is the sad state of confusion so many live in today.
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Fair enough. T. W. Eston has a good point. While researching Rushdoony months ago, it is true that I did not find specific documentation connecting him directly to the types of abuses we see currently within the Homeschool Movement. So it seems that Rushdoony began the movement, but as certain men jumped on board, they shaped it with their own ideas and agendas, some abusive. T.W. Eston refers to these men as “hyper-patriarchs” in his comment and then later lists specific individuals:
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Julie Anne, it would seem to me that’s what you, and many other commenters here, have done in unjustly attributing to Rushdoony those things in the modern home schooling movement that you (and I too) object to. Place the blame squarely where it belongs: Phillips, Sproul, Swanson, McDonald, Botkin, and others of their ilk, not with a man who did not promulgate those things that you have unjustly accused him of.
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That makes sense. Commenter, Chalcedon Foundation, and for that matter, T.W. Eston, both seem to highly respect Rushdoony. That’s fine. I don’t. I do not like the trajectory he set forth with his Reconstructionist views and how the foundational system of Reconstructionism has fueled these current movements.
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Chalcedon Foundation Paid $5,000 to Joe Taylor to Help with Legal Expenses
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Another interesting development along the way is the disclosure that the Chalcedon Foundation paid $5,000 to Joe Taylor to help cover legal fees when Doug Phillips was suing him over the allosaur debacle. You can read the entire discourse in the comments at Jen’s Gems, Open Letter To Chalcedon Foundation Regarding Its Defense of Doug Phillips.
Martin Selbrede, the Vice President at Chalcedon Foundation, shared the story of how Joe Taylor was personal friends with both him and Rushdoony.
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As Vice President of Chalcedon at the time, I took this issue to President Mark Rushdoony and we decided it was morally incumbent upon us to offer Joe Taylor what help we could against the legal onslaught he was facing. On the condition that Joe never reveal the source of the money to anyone, Chalcedon sent him an “officially anonymous” check for $5,000 (which we really didn’t have to give) to help Joe defend himself against the legal assault Doug Phillips had initiated. This proverbial “gift in secret” remained so until the moment this paragraph was posted here on this site.
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Later, Joe Taylor chimed in with a comment to confirm this contribution:
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Joe Taylor Says:
November 20, 2013 at 9:31 am
Martin Selbrede is correct. I can now acknowledge that Chalcedon did send me a check for $5,000 to help in my defense against Doug Phillip’s legal assault on me beginning in 2002.
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However, Joe adds much more in his comment. He discusses the pattern of Phillips using the intellectual property of others for his own personal gain:
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In the early 80s, Robert Green and I began discussing the need to help men recover their God-given responsibility to lead and train their families. Robert subsequently published his excellent magazine “Quit You Like Men” for which Doug Phillips was a writer. I believe that they usually got negative reactions to Doug’s articles. Nevertheless, Doug went on to make a lot of money on the premise of “patriarchy” although, misued in his hands.
Nor was Doug the first to see the need for a magazine and organization that would help the early homeschool movement network and be a source for home education resources. In 1986, I flew to Georgia to lay the groundwork for just such ideas with Steve Schiffman, for whom I also designed “The American Vision” logo consisting of three Pilgrim kids (the models were kids I was helping raise). I have often wondered if my “Norman Rockwell” style and the name “The American Vision” was any influence on Doug’s choice of the name for his organization and it’s [sic] “Rockwell” style.
Starting in 2002, and repeatedly through 2008 I tried to warn not only Chalcedon, but ICR, AiG, and others in the home school, Creation, and American Heritage movements about Doug and his partners. The legal problems ruined [sic] my health and business, the most active Creation fossil excavation, restoration and research team in all of Creation circles. Doug bragged that his group of little homeschool kids took paleontology away from the secular world. In fact he destroyed it. What a wonderful work we could have all done together with Doug’s brilliant mind, business ability and his contacts with wealthy Christians. By now, instead of Creation field [sic} paleontology being severely crippled, it could have blossomed and been responsible for the start of several new fossil evidence museums, films and publications not to mention the training of numerous laborers in the feild.
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Chalcedon Foundation to Release Symposium on Spiritual Abuse, Patriarchy, and Feminism Possibly in 2014
I took special interest in another topic in the conversation there between Martin Selbrede and T.W. Eston: spiritual abuse, and restarting publication of Chalcedon’s Journal of Christian Reconstruction. Selbrede writes:
I thought that a Symposium on Spiritual Abuse would be an excellent first issue to put out in 2014, pulling contributions from key sources, all directed toward developing a constructive solution to a growing problem. That could then be followed by a Symposium on Patriarchy and Feminism. These two consecutive volumes would constitute a worthy way to restart the Journal. (Emphasis added.)
Um, the key leaders in the Homeschool Movement who subscribe to Reconstructionist views are the ringleaders of abuse within the movement. Hello!?!
T.W. Eston responds by endorsing the concept and offers his own title to the symposium idea, apparently to take on those who’ve gone overboard from “true” Reconstructionism and misused the term to cover their own abusive approaches to theology and hierarchical control.
I would say that the long standing hiatus of the Journal of Christian Reconstruction is a likely factor, perhaps even a significant one, in giving free reign to the Hyper-Patriarchs, especially given that all of the most abusive of them have claimed at one point or another to have been influenced by Christian Reconstructionism. They’ve had little to nothing in the way of a scholarly rebuke and, as I see it, the only genuinely authoritative rebuke could come from the same organization through which Christian Reconstructionism and Biblical Patriarchy is recognized to have originated from. (Emphasis added.)
I think you will find many who will be eager to subscribe should it come back out of retirement. Allow me to suggest a third edition: Symposium on Patriarchy and [vs.] Hyper-Patriarchy. The subject matter is extensive enough that I believe that it really merits its own edition.
. . . . . because we’re all nice and cozy with the idea of scholarly Reconstructionists educating us about spiritual abuse, aren’t we, now? The “only genuinely authoritative rebuke?” What does that mean? Who is that authority? Why are they in that place of authority? Oh yea, these are guys who are brilliant scholars and intellectuals who have a direct line with God?
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- Open Letter To Chalcedon Foundation Regarding Its Defense of Doug Phillips (jensgems.wordpress.com)
- Denver Christian Perspectives Examiner: “Chalcedon ministry sets ‘record straight’ about relationship with Doug Phillips” (jensgems.wordpress.com)
428 thoughts on “Chalcedon Foundation Privately Donated Funds to Joe Taylor to Help His Legal Defense Against Doug Phillips”
Gary, I’ll answer question 2 first, then 1 & 3 together.
Since at least the time of Tycho Brahe (Kepler’s mentor), no geocentrist has held to the planets circling anything other than the Sun. The retrograde motion of Mars was illustrated in the video that Dr. North refused to view, and is premised on a Sun-centered orbit for Mars. By the same token, the phases of Venus, etc., also are natural results of the geocentric model.
There are two versions of the Tychonic model for geocentricity, and they differ in how they account for parallax and aberration. The so-called “Modified Tychonic Model” is the one that geometrically parallels the heliocentric model and is what is usually conceived of as being the relativistic equivalent of the heliocentric model and its physics. Parallax and aberration arise naturally in this model per both Galilean and Einsteinian relativistic considerations.
The second version of the Tychonic model, the Pure Tychonic Model of geocentricity, centers the rotation of the rest of the universe existing beyond the planetary system upon the Earth, explaining parallax and aberration as two components of a single phenomenon involving what is known as a conformal mapping with the Earth situated at the primary sink. This phenomenon has been made rigorous in two dimensions, but is intractable in three dimensions and thus requires numerical (computational) methods to properly solve. The two dimensional derivation, however, satisfies the requirements for fully accounting for parallax and aberration within such a geocentric system.
So that is the short answer to your second question. As to your first and third questions: most geocentrists treat the diurnally rotating object to be the background entity bearing the Planck Density (which exhibits that 376+ ohm reactive impedance referred to in that long post above) that functions as a quasi-isotropic space in which the universe is embedded (the “sub-quantum thermostat” described by noted physicist Jean-Pierre Vigier, for whose Festschrift even Richard Feynmann contributed). It is this object that rotates, carrying the proportionally tiny mass of the universe with it. Consequently, the Sun does revolve around the Earth because it shares the motion of the sub-quantum domain in which it is embedded. (FYI, that object is not the same thing as the proposed hypothetical dark matter, an ad hoc Band-Aid applied to patch up serious holes in modern astrophysics.)
Although Hoyle had already anticipated objections arising from bald application of the barycentric argument (heavier objects don’t revolve around lighter objects) by showing that the center-of-mass calculation arguably errs in excluding the rest of the universe from consideration, the presence of this massive density underlying conventional matter is a total game changer when talking about “the most massive body.” This material is vastly more massive than the universe itself, and neglecting its presence and effects leads to self-inflicted scientific blindness. Consequently, a good portion of that big post above dealt directly with the properties of this background domain in which the universe is embedded.
Patrice, I would indeed look forward to the meet-up you describe.
You’re not far off the mark about my background. The head of the musical composition department at CSU Northridge examined one of my orchestral scores that I had written at the age of 16 and declared that it was graduate-level material. He offered me, on the spot, a full four-year music scholarship at the university. My father had me decline it on the grounds that music was the “brotlose Kunst,” the “breadless art,” i.e., a ticket to poverty. So theoretical physics (my other love) prevailed, and later other vocational interests, but I’ve continued to work both sides of my brain my whole life. My biggest regret leaving California in early 2001 was that I had to resign my post as assistant conductor of an orchestra.
In any case, your brother sounds like what they call “an idea engine.” Combined with the many talents that others bring to the table, it has its own part to play in our complex world. And I can see that you do appreciate him for who he is.
Did you just answer “yes” to each of the 3 questions I posted at 11:20 AM?
I’m re-reading my answer, and I don’t see what’s unclear about it. I strongly answered question 2 in the negative, and explained specifically what the revolving body is in respect to questions 1 and 3 (because I assume you were interested in dynamics, not merely kinematics). I answered this with precision so that the motion and its origin would not be distorted or misconstrued by any readers. Would an illustration help?
Further, is it your view that a quick 3-question challenge will undo that 9,000+ word post above? Why didn’t astrophysicist Dr, Nieto (who was actually paid to debunk geocentricity) use your simple technique? Perhaps because he was trying (not too well) to confront the arguments of Dr. John Byl, who is a geocentrist with an earned doctorate in astronomy from the University of British Columbia?
Although I know there are some geocentrists who do a poor (if not execrable) job in defending geocentricity from a scientific perspective, the general rule is that you have to confront the strongest, most technically skilled protagonists of a position, not those who are incompetent to defend it (any “wins” by heliocentrists then reflect the calibre of their opponent, not the merit of the position). And since holding this position gives you an instant hit in your credibility (due to how everyone is taught in elementary science what the “truth” is, although you learn different in college when you get to Einstein), most exponents are wise enough to study the question at considerable depth. The notion that mounting a technical challenge against geocentricity is child’s play is quite wrong.
And if I were a heliocentrist (or acentrist/polycentrist), I’d probably avoid dealing with any sharp geocentrists, knowing on how many fronts they can document problems with the standard models and confound my astrophysics with inconvenient facts and data that tend to show that scientific integrity sides with them and not with me (at least in regard to how things stand now). And if I were a heliocentrist, I would hope that the public can be railroaded into simply reasserting what we’ve hammered into them in school, and hope that when they recite a few historic disproofs of geocentricity, they don’t run into someone who can debunk them. I would trust cavalier dismissal to get the official heliocentric/acentric/polycentric position off the hook, and use my media channels to confirm my heliocentric version of reality with sarcasm against ignorant Luddites and plenty of confident assurances of the party line position. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
You might have noted in my big post above how secular Soviet astrophysicist Y. Obhukov gingerly stepped around the philosophical implications of his research on cosmic rotation (he pointed out that they were disquieting, and he wasn’t going to get into a debate on philosophy, he was going to focus on the data and its interpretation). In other words, some data can get you into trouble if it’s not politically correct, and he didn’t hesitate to point this out. (In this instance, if the cosmos is rotating, then there is a central axis to it, and the idea of polycentricity or acentricity is discredited — which is why some secular researchers substitute the word “vorticity” for “rotation” to help get their research published.
It’s difficult to get a straight answer out of you. I am now understanding that you are answering my questions as follows:
1. Does the Sun revolve around the Earth once a day, or about once a day? Yes.
2. Do the Solar planets revolve around the Earth rather than around the Sun? No.
3. Does the entire universe revolve around the Earth once a day, or about once a day? Yes.
Do I understand your position?
No, Gary, it’s difficult to get an inaccurate answer out of me. Question 3 already embraces question 1, so question 1 is superfluous and creates a false impression of motions being independent.* And the rotation of the cosmos (in your question 3) is an effect of the rotation of the background subquantum domain that the matter of the universe is embedded in. So, given these provisos (and not without these provisos) I would let stand your answering those questions for me. If you run with your bald answers without reference to my actual position (summarized briefly here, and at greater length in the above posts), that would constitute a gross distortion of my position, which I would then disavow. And it would be a distortion that I labored to prevent. A person should be allowed to present their position for themselves, and their position as they state it in their own words is a legitimate target for dispute, debate, rebuttal, etc.
But on the supposition that you’re genuinely sincere in your questions and seeking to understand the geocentric viewpoint (rather than positioning yourself for repartee), I apologize for the frustration of getting long, detailed answers in lieu of Yes and No. Had your questions been phrased differently, or had you asked me to assert my position about the motion of extraterrestrial bodies, this might not have taken so long. Because the position is built on physics, it must be described using the parameters of physics — otherwise, you end up where Galileo started (kinematics, that is, positions and speeds being observed, without dynamics, namely, without forces to account for the kinematics). And that was Galileo’s contribution: he founded the entire science of dynamics, later solidified by Newton. Since Galileo, no astronomical model of merit has ever attempted to assert mere kinematics: all models are on the hook to provide a plausible dynamics — otherwise, they’re inherently worthless. So, we must put the dynamics up front, just as Galileo rightly did in the service of the mainstream heliocentric model.
*After all, we are embedded in the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy. This is what made the work of Rubin, Thonnard, etc., from Jet Propulsion Laboratories so interesting: they summed up all the know motions (galactic, galactic cluster, up to the largest superclustering known, and other superimposed motions) and were shocked to find that those motions added up to zero at our location. Dr. Vera Rubin, by the way, is the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.”
O.K. Am I understanding that you are saying that , yes, the Universe spins around the Earth once every day, but not in the sense this statement would have meaning according to the classical Newtonian physics — in which case objects near the periphery of the universe would be traveling VERY fast, indeed.
Maybe it would help if you could explain in layman’s terms what you mean by “the rotation of the background subquantum domain that the matter of the universe is embedded in.”
Gary, actually pretty much everything past Saturn would be exhibiting a tangential velocity greater than the speed of light. However, the general theory of relativity permits this (see the discussion in the big post about recession velocities of quasars measured much larger than the speed of light). In 1994, Cambridge University’s Sir Herman Bondi (a long-time collaborator of Sir Fred Hoyle’s) publish an article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London entitled “The angular momentum of cylindrical systems in general relativity” where he uses examples of spinning systems where the outer shells of the cylinder travel faster than light. These give rise to what’s called “perfect frame dragging,” which is what we experience here on earth.
That last citation, and many others from the literature of relativity, make clear that these high speeds do not violate the laws of physics. So, while I would be free to avail myself of these models, I do not. My choice of model is not because I’m forced to the model I have because it’s the only one that can explain those speeds, however. Therefore, I want you to understand that important point.
Okay, it’s tough to explain “in layman’s terms” the more esoteric points of quantum mechanics — so we are driven to use analogies, and analogies always have weaknesses. The more accurate the analogy, the harder it is to understand. The easier it is to understand, the more likely it deviates from the physical reality it is trying to illustrate. So I’ll try the harder analogy first, and resort to the easier one if we still haven’t made this sufficiently clear.
Modern physics (after Louis de Broglie) sees particles as having a wave nature: in fact, every particle also has what as known as a Compton wavelength. So if we extrapolate a little bit about these waves, we can talk about the notion of waves traveling through a solid body (like light waves through glass). So long as the wave’s size (wavelength) is greater than the particles making up the glass, the glass is considered transparent and the particle moves freely through the glass (although at a slower speed than it would through a vacuum, based on the refractive index of the glass). So, we see that waves can travel through a solid (we experience this every day: light through glass). But if the particles in the glass were sufficiently large, they would interfere with the waves and scatter them (glass with such features looks cloudy) and with sufficient tampering of its internal structure, the glass can finally be made opaque (light waves go in but they never come out — they’re absorbed rather than scattered or transmitted through).
Okay, so if the particles comprising atoms (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) are considered as waves, they would be able to pass through an object that has individual components much smaller than the Compton wavelength of those particles. And this is precisely what the subquantum domain has: the subquantum particles (Planck particles) which comprise it are about 20 orders of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of the subatomic particles, so the waves that constitute these particles pass freely through it (despite the huge density). The subquantum domain is to atoms what a sheet of transparent glass is to light waves: a medium through which they can freely travel.
However, if you pass a light wave through a slab of transparent glass that is being moved, the light wave moves along with the slab (a phenomenon called Fresnel drag). And this is what happens (in the analogy) with the subquantum domain: it is like a giant slab of glass in rotation, and all the waves in it partake of its motion (undergo the analogue of Fresnel drag).
Matter (considered in its wave nature) is embedded in the subquantum domain and therefore participates in any motions of this domain. So when we say something as imprecise as “the universe rotates,” we would be saying that the Planck particle matrix in which the universe is embedded is in motion, taking the universe with it (just as a rotating slab of glass takes any light traveling in it along with it).
Again, analogies like this are imperfect — they are what they call heuristic tools to help grasp concepts that can be counter-intuitive (e.g., how can rigid matter pass freely through something countless times more dense than that matter? the well-known wave properties of matter explain this issue).
The simpler analogies are more deeply flawed, and I would hate to bring them out and then have the flaw in the analogy be held against me. But the analogy above has benefits and I’m willing to stand behind it within the limits of the analogy. (As a technical point, the subquantum domain has a measured electrical impedance of 376+ ohms, and it’s a reactive impedance, meaning it stores energy and returns it without loss, corresponding to full transparency in respect to matter embedded in it.)
Let me know if we need to dive deeper into this point.
In the fourth paragraph it would have been more clear had I written that the WAVE passes freely through the glass. Although the “wave” is the one comprising the specific “particle” we were discussing, I ended up using the word “particle” in two different senses: the particles comprising the glass slab, and the particle passing through the glass viewed from the point of view of its intrinsic wave nature. This dual use of the term “particle” might have seemed confusing at first glance. My apologies.
That helps me understand your position, though I don’t suppose you will be surprised to hear that I remain highly skeptical.
If you are willing to continue to humor me:
First question: Somewhere above you refer to a quasar with a red shift of 4.73, which is computed to be receding from us at 2.8 times the speed of light. Now, you may not be inclined to help me refute the argument you are making, but Is there not some way to explain the red shift measurement without requiring that the quasar actually be receding at a speed greater than that of light?
Second question: Do you posit your theory of a geocentric universe dogmatically, as though it is not subject to question, or do you posit it as a theory you think credible while recognizing that it may well be false?
Third question: Whether or not you hold to your particular theory dogmatically, do you believe that the Bible somehow requires a geocentric universe, much like many, possibly yourself, insist that the Bible requires 6 literal days of creation and a young earth? If so, what passages lead you to think the Bible requires a geocentric universe?
The poem credited to Anne Graham Lotz (above in a post by Hannah from 11/26 at 9:32 am) is actually an excerpt from a famous sermon by Dr. S.M. Lockridge, who was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 to 1993. He passed away in 2000 at age 87.
Portions of Lotz’s book “Just Give Me Jesus” can be viewed on Google Books. She doesn’t mention Lockridge in the introduction of the book, or the acknowledgements, or on page xii where she actually quotes him without citation. In the end notes on page 289 she mentions him without actually giving him much credit. She says:
“Some time ago, I received a homemade cassette tape with the handwritten title “My King Is . . .” From what I could gather, a man named Lockridge had been called to the platform during a church service to tell the congregation who his King is. The tape was a recording of his eloquent answer. In a rich voice that resonated with passion and increased in volume and tempo as he warmed to his subject, he thundered his description of his King, Jesus–in three minutes! When the tape ended, I rewound it and replayed it. This unknown brother in Christ had absolutely thrilled my soul with his description of my King, Jesus! I have taken Mr. Lockridge’s idea–and, at times, some of his very phrases–and written descriptions of Jesus that appear at the beginning of each couplet of chapters in this book. Even as I pray that these descriptions of our King Jesus will be a blessing to you, I pray for Mr. Lockridge: God bless you always, sir, for the blessing you have been to this servant of the King!”
Well, he’s not an “unknown brother,” and he didn’t just amble up to the platform to extemporize. He was a pastor for 40 years, and he labored over those beautiful words that have touched so many people. I’m frankly disappointed that Lotz did not cite him properly nor even properly identify him. I expected much, much better from her. This appears to be another incident of sloppy and inadequate citations in Christian publishing.
For those who are interested, one of the most moving videos online is the famous Lockridge excerpt with scenes from “The Passion”: http://vimeo.com/1371841
The entire sermon is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BhI4JKACUs
Biographical info on Lockridge is here: http://www.rpmministries.org/2009/12/thats-my-king-do-you-know-him/
No, no surprise on the skepticism (I’d be too in your shoes). But you ask good questions.
In the text of the big post, the explanation given for those superluminal (faster-than-light) recession speeds is that the space between us and the quasar is stretching (expanding), carrying the quasar away from us at those allegedly “impossible” speeds. As the text noted, the speed is attributed to a property of space (expansion of space). The majoritarian model and the geocentric model agree in attributing these speeds to a property of space, but the majoritarians attribute it to spatial expansion, whereas geocentrists attribute it to spatial rotation. On the face of it, the idea of space rotating is less troublesome than space expanding or stretching. Moreover, the rotation of the cosmos has (in a recent secular paper from 2010) been employed to explain the existence of rotating bodies in the universe. (Under the popular Big Bang model, it is difficult to account for rotating systems when everything exploded apart in straight lines away from the alleged center of the Bang: if there’s no angular momentum to begin with, it can’t create itself without violating physical law.)
Okay, so on to your specific question: is it possible to explain the red shift of these quasars without arriving at a faster-than-light recession velocity? Yes, but for astrophysics the cure is worse than the disease: it would mean the red shift is not due to a Doppler effect, and that the Hubble Law (the basic law describing the post-Big Bang expansion) is therefore erroneous. But the secular literature does show significant challenges to the Doppler interpretation (in fact, Dr. Vigier collaborated with two MIT researchers, Peck & Robertson, to publish a paper in the big British science Journal, “Nature,” in the early 1970s entitled something like “A Non-Doppler Interpretation of the Cosmic Red Shift” (I don’t have it in front of me at the office). These men held that attributing a tiny non-zero mass for photons and allowing them to interact inelastically (permitting energy loss in such interactions) would account for the observed red shifts. The red shift of a galaxy would actually be a function of its temperature, then, not its recessional speed. These men worked out the mathematics and proposed an experiment: pass a green laser across a horizontal path, then simultaneously pass a gamma beam through the same path. Modern physics holds that the gamma ray won’t change the color of the green laser, but these men predicted that the gamma rays would shift the green laser toward the red. The results of the experiment were apparently not published (something that only makes sense if the green laser reddened, because that result would send the entire Big Bang theory crashing down, because the Big Bang theory is premised on (1) the cosmic red shift being a Doppler effect in combination with (2) the background cosmic microwave background radiation and its 2.7-degree-Kelvin signature).
In any case, I’m not bothered by whether those quasars are or are not receding from us (I’m inclined to believe they’re not, though other noted geocentrists believe they are, so it’s not necessarily germane to geocentric physics). This part of the discussion is really the first-stage-apologetic (where the objections against geocentricity are shown, on the opposition’s own principles, to be invalid). In the second-stage-apologetic, it would be fair game to challenge things like the red shift and its interpretation (where weaknesses in the opposition’s principles are subject to exposure and critique).
As to your second question, I believe that all true scientific theories must be falsifiable. This must also be true for geocentricity. But of course, this is where it gets dicey for the other side, because although they WANT to assert that science involves the leveraging of data, this is not the case when they attack geocentricity. The other side is running away from the data, and the invention of relativity (by Poincare and Einstein) was intended to help science discount the results of measurements. The Michelson-Morley experiment WAS repeated more carefully in the Michelson-Gale configuration, and still the researchers found no measured velocity of the earth through space. Do scientists accept these results? No, the data must be explained away, which they do. Who is truly dogmatic, then? Here it’s the geocentrists pointing to the instrument readouts, not the heliocentrists, who are pointing away from the instruments and explaining why it’s safe to ignore those measurements (while yet wearing the mantle of “we’re the true empiricists”). So, I find it curious that the other side insists they’re not being dogmatic (that’s simply not true). Their official position is (1) there is no center to the cosmos and (2) if there were, it isn’t the Earth. The argument is premised not on astronomical evidence but on “extreme improbability,” an issue which never bothers them when discussing macroevolution with confidence.
Which brings us to your fascinating third question. The Roman Catholic church went to war over Copernicus and Galileo not so much because of the Church’s understanding of the Bible, but because of its adherence to Aristotle, and its willingness to (essentially) criminalize dissent from Aristotle. Few and far apart were men like Paracelsus (who tore up his students’ papers for regurgitating Aristotle rather than conducting actual experiments — Francis Bacon’s scientific method was still in the distant future). And the Catholics found themselves in this position because an earlier pope instructed Thomas Aquinas and William of Moerbeke to develop a synthesis between the Bible and Aristotle. This put the Church on the hook to support Aristotle’s views, for better or worse (worse in my opinion). The Puritans, who treated Aristotle as a toxic influence, were not beholden to his work in the natural sciences (much of it admittedly quite good, but far from inerrant), so their motivations were different.
Concerning Biblical texts, note that Bernard Ramm’s book, “Science and Scripture,” did much to appeal to “phenomenological language,” the language of appearance, to attempt to harmonize Biblical texts with modern science (asserting the prescientific character of the “primitive men” to whom those writings were directed). I don’t find Ramm’s views to be particularly satisfying: it’s an attempt to weasel out of a very serious conflict between the two sources of information about the natural world.
As to specific Biblical texts (apart from the ones that speak about the creation of the subquantum domain), I think the most troubling one for accommodationist Christians is James 1:17 because of WHEN it was written and its choice of terms. We know that when James wrote his epistle, heliocentricity had already been on the scientific scene for at least two centuries (and arguably more looking if you examine data in the older star charts then in use) and that heliocentricity was being suppressed due to pagan religious commitments to geocentricity (e.g., via the Serapic cult at Canopus, etc.). So, here was the perfect time for the Bible to come out and side with the modern heliocentric view, which was already out in the open and doing battle with pagan religion for decades. But James doesn’t go there. He contrasts the constancy of God as the “father of lights” with the variability (“parallage” in the Greek, remarkably akin to our word “parallax”) and shadow cast by turning (“trope aposkiasma,” an astronomical term of specific geocentric intent) in regard to the heavenly bodies.* In short, by supporting geocentricity here in the New Testament, the Bible is endorsing an already dated view that the leading astronomers for several centuries had discounted in favor of heliocentricity. The Bible is either woefully out of date, and this passage is a terrible embarrassment (as H. Gordon Poteat asserts in “The Interpreter’s Bible” when he shames James for making a “show of erudition” over things he doesn’t understand), or the Bible is correct and not issuing a course adjustment to stay relevant with then-contemporary heliocentric science because there was no reason to do so.
*The notion of such a turning (“trope”) in James 1:17 might have arisen from the Greek translation of Job 38:8. The Hebrew reads, “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven?” but the Septuagint translation into Greek reads, “Knowest thou the turning of the heavens?” But James doesn’t just use the bald term “trope,” he annexes the qualifier “aposkiasma,” compounded from “apo” (a radial-measure preposition roughly meaning “from”) and “skiasma” (from the Greek “skia,” shadow or occlusion).
I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined that James 1:17 impacts on questions of cosmology. You appear to be reading it as having at least evidentiary value in favor of geocentrism, but are you going so far as to say it actually establishes the geocentric position (no pun intended) in the same sense that Genesis 1 establishes the proposition that God created the heavens and the earth?
Yes, James 1:17 often gets short shrift. I consulted over 30 commentaries, and many modern ones were running away from the text. The earlier ones confronted it head-on. What James 1:17 does is presuppose the geocentric position (it cannot be explained on any other grounds), and that fact alone is quite damaging to the Bible if geocentricity is nonsense spouted by ignorant non-scientists. And as I mentioned, the timing of the composition of James is damaging in light of the work of Aristarchus and Hipparchos prior to that point.
A few more questions before I am even more late for work:
1. Would you agree that your view of geocentricity requires going beyond Newtonian mechanics, if that is the correct term?
2. Do you agree that your view of geocentricity requires going beyond special relativity?
3. Am I correct in thinking that ideas such as the expansion of space itself are derived from general relativity?
4. Regardless of your answer to question 3, does your view geocentricity, including the rotation of space itself, require going beyond general relativity?
5. If you are taking us beyond general relativity, where are we going? Where do we find the theoretical framework? Are you now proposing to take us into a realm of ideas where the world of classical and relativistic physics is contained within a quantum mechanical domain rather than the other way around?
Question 1 is tricky: the entire force equation (including standard acceleration, centrifugal, Coriolis, and Eulerian forces) is identical in Newtonian notation between heliocentricity and geocentricity (only the referential subscripts are altered). Further, Newtonian dynamics has problems, which is why there are so many Post-Newtonian formulations in the literature. According to Newton, a barbell held horizontally weighs the same as one held vertically if the center of mass is in the same position. This is not true (see the discussion in the long post about Long’s experimental evaluation of G using a Cavendish torsion balance for similar anomalies). In fact, both Newton and Einstein have problems accounting for these anomalies, which are accounted for in the LeSagean model of gravity.
Question 2: of course, the special theory of relativity only works in flat spacetime, and if there’s any mass in the universe, spacetime is by definition NOT flat. So STR is used as an approximation for local spacetimes that are asymptotically flat (approach flatness — as in “close enough”). The general theory was developed to handle non-inertial systems, and the Earth is not an inertial system in either the heliocentric nor the geocentric model. So, yes, it’s the wrong model to use for the physical reality we’re dealing with.
Question 3: Yes, expansion of space is usually regarded as a corollary of general relativity theory, and GR mathematics allows for it. But the “space” that expands in the majoritarian view is different from the “space” that rotates in the geocentric view, since a good number of geocentrists don’t believe the Planck particles are virtual particles but are real particles (based on the stability problem identified by Redmount & Suen referred to in the big post above).
Question 4: Yes, I think there are flaws in general relativity that require going beyond it to something that better explains the data without fudging. It’s not only geocentrists who have issues with GR — mainstream scientists are also giving it the gimlet eye in the light of mounting anomalies it fails to explain.
Question 5: that would take a book to answer. Basically, we’re talking about the recovery of a classical regime in physics, both in the world of relativity and in the quantum world (the latter is already evidenced in the Causal Stochastic Interpretation of QM that opposes Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation (like the hilarious wanted poster with a cat on it that reads: “WANTED: Schrodinger’s Cat — Dead and Alive”). So, just to take one example of the recovery of a classical electrodynamics: when muons are accelerated, time for them is alleged to slow down because they don’t decay as quickly as they did when stationary. So says relativity. But with a classical electrodynamics, the interaction of the muon with its own electrical field produces a magnetostrictive effect that makes the particle more stable than when it was stationary. So, time isn’t changing with speed, the particle’s stability is changing with speed, and this is accounted for using Maxwell’s equations. The assumption that the particle’s stability doesn’t change with speed leads to the conclusion that its decay is an accurate clock. But since this isn’t the case, what we have is clock error, not time dilation. And so it goes, case by case, experiment by experiment. It’s going to take decades to clean up the mess in science that the 20th century has bequeathed to us.
Changing topics, but not entirely. It’s been awhile, but I read a book by a young-earth physicist who explained the apparent age of the universe as indicated by red shift measurements (billions of years), as being consistent with a young earth. Something about time running at different rates depending on speed of (relative?) movement and the presence of mass. But it only worked if the Earth is at the center of the universe. I’m almost reluctant to encourage you, but what do you think?
That would be Starlight & Time, by the guy at the High Voltage Group at Sandia National Labs, Dr. Russell Humphries. The model relies on the theory of white holes, so if general relativity is falsified, this approach to the starlight problem is falsified with it. Humphries is in the minority with this approach. The other approaches include Spencer & Moon’s 1953 work on Riemannian paths for light rays, other small-universe models premised on negative parallax phenomena, and the CDK work by Australia’s Barry Setterfield. CDK is an acronym that sounds out the words “c decay,” as in the speed of light has been decaying since a recent creation. The final asymptotic roll-off of this decay can be seen in the optically (not electrically) measured speed of light since the early 1600s. Setterfield finds much in the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 speed anomalies to back up his view. It’s the wild wild west out there in astrophysics. The line between serious dissidents and crackpots tends to get pretty thin under these scenarios. The jury is out on all these approaches, but more data comes in daily. Which hypothesis finally wins the day (if any) might not be determined for years. Nobody knows.
So, I’d give the Humphries model a 5% chance of surviving peer review. It rides relativity’s coattails, and that could prove fatal. If relativity should sink, the Humphries white hole model will sink with it.
For the record, Humphries isn’t a geocentrist. He would put the Milky Way somewhere fairly near the center of the universe, but he doesn’t get heartburn if the center is simply “nearby” as seen on a cosmic scale. In this respect, the Humphries model has one or two similarities to the work of award-winning secular physicist George F. R. Ellis of South Africa (he’s of the more respected names in astrophysics and relativity theory).
I am not, of course, competent to pass scientific judgment whether your geocentric views are or are not accurate, or even tenable. I will be rather astonished if your views should force themselves into general acceptance, but what is there about modern physics that is not astonishing, even to a layman? I should take a closer look, but your understanding of the James passage seems to me to be a stretch. Yet, if only as a matter of pure speculation, why would it surprise Christians if God should choose to make the location of the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection the very physical center of His creation?
Inasmuch as your geocentric views are not at all what I anticipated they would be, I hereby withdraw the charge that they are looney tooney.
Fair enough. Of course, I may still hold to views that ARE indeed looney tooney. No guarantees here.
Re: James. Indeed, if I just examine the verse without reference to previous biblical scholarship, I’d conclude the same as you. But if I get a running start and see what several dozen scholars over four centuries had to say about it, then I might acquire additional context about the verse (the constancy of God in contrast to the inconstancy of the astronomical bodies over which He stands as Father — James is saying that “like father, like sons” isn’t true in this situation — James is denying specific attributes as inapplicable to God although applicable to the lights in the heavens). That’s why when I lecture on this topic, I have a bunch of Powerpoint slides painstakingly quoting the consensus scholarship on James 1:17 to establish my point. I dislike having a weak case. To avoid that, you do the research and see how strong the case really is when put under the microscope.
“Do you, Mr. Selbride, find the kinist views of the League of thr South to be biblical? Yes or no.
It’s not a compound question. Another rambling noncommittal answer will be deemed a “no” and we can move on. Others can determine for themselves whether you are right about that.”
Readers: Did this question ever get answered by Mr. Selbride? I cannot find it.
Why did Rushdoony, who made a big deal about his Armenian heritage, name his foundation after a council (Chalcedon) that the Armenian church famously rejected?
If anyone thinks that Christians can rule the earth better than other people we only have to look at the state of our churches! We can’t even get our acts together and get along in church. I would think our first priority would be cleaning up the messes within our four walls first before we tell others how to run the rest of the world. We attract others to the message by living it not giving it lip service.
This is like saying I will have brain surgery only by a Christian doctor, who has done one surgery, versus a non-Christian surgeon who has done thousands successfully. Who would you trust your loved one to in that case?