Monday, February 10, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2008
Christians Must Say "NO" to Obama
Regardless of what Barack Obama's overall platform is, all Christians must say no to Barack Obama. One cannot compromise with satan, and anyone who openly supports abortion is at minimum compromising with satan. Abortion is satanic ritual sacrifice, nothing short of this.
Many Christians will choose to support Barack Obama. A usual excuse is that the President has no power to change anything on abortion. This is not true, he has limited ability to do much currently, but if the President is a strong supporter of abortion, like Barack Obama, it is guaranteed that abortion will flourish under him.
Effectively, Christians have little power in today's US political world. Obama has a platform more tuned to many Christians overall, but his compromise on abortion makes it impossible for a Christian to choose him. There can be no balancing act on abortion. This is divide and conquer. Christians have no choice but to vote Republican, or in a small sense to waste their vote (by voting for an independent or minor party candidate).
Abortion is today's slavery, and much worse than slavery. Slavery almost destroyed the United States of America in its beginning, and if abortion continues as it is it will destroy the United States in the future.
Christians need to stand up on principle and say, "Sorry Mr. Obama, but I CANNOT support you".
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Pope, Speaks to Other Religions
Labels: Benedict XVI
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Some of God's Children at ANINI Orphanage in Guatemala
Most of the children suffer from physical or mental disabilities. They require significant care and physical therapy. Many people volunteer, and others are hired by ANINI to give care- many from the local village (Monte Bello).
Some of the children suffer from autism
This autistic boy is seen playing with one of the staff. The padding on his arms and neck is to protect him from himself.
What follows are some of the children, staff, and activities at ANINI.
You see Jesus here. (The boy's name is Jesus). Jesus was very curios about my camera.
This little three year old is Elissa. I was told she must be fed through a feeding tube, and will probably never be able to eat. She was recently abandoned by her parents, then dropped off by a social worker. This litttle girl touched all our hearts.
One of the actresses is Sofia.
Here is the chapel. They are looking for a priest. They are lucky to have a mass once a month here.
Some of the older boys enjoying the aftermoon.
This is one of the bedrooms.
In addition to the orphanage, ANINI has opened a school for the children of the village of Monte Bello (as well as a few of the more capable children in the orphanage). There is no charge to the children's families. Without this school, most of these children would likely be illiterate
Evangelina Dominguez is the director of ANINI. She poses here with Paula, one of the residents.
ANINI is constantly struggling to pay its bills. As they become more successful, more children are left with them. The children at Anini are getting older, requiring Anini to seperate the boys and girls, and requiring more facilities to house older children, and even some into adulthood. The options for those who leave Anini are generally not favorable. In addition to the special needs children, the school is a financial challenge. If these pictures and this story touched your heart, I ask that you offer a donation to ANINI. Even $5 or $10 dollars will help them. Thank you and God Bless.
Some friends of Anini in Chicago (Hugo Rodriguez and Dianne Schuyler) accept donations for Anini. At the time of this writing, Anini does not have a direct internet donation capability. I suggest donating through the Chicago based website. At the time of this writing it is not tax deductible, but it is still worthwhile. They report that they are working with the Rotary Club in Chicago to make it tax deductible. Here is their main web site: Travel to Guatemala With Anini.
Here is ANINI's website: http://www.aninigt.com/. There is currently no way to donate that I can find. I understood that you could donate through this site: http://www.anini.org.gt/ , but the site appears non-functional at this writing.
Feel free to link this article into your blog or website. If you want to insert the entire article, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, August 24, 2007
Galileo Was Wrong, Volume II Released
Monday, July 23, 2007
La Salette Pilgrims from Poland Perish in Bus Tragedy
I just wanted to offer my condolences to the victims and ask that everyone pray fror them and their families.
When I visited in June 2006, a number of Polish pilgrims were present. I attended part of a presentation on La Salette in Polish, French, Italien, and German. I snapped this solemn photograph of a candlelight procession on the grounds of the shrine. There were around 100 pilgrims, most to the right of the picture.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Some Thoughts on Benedict XVI's motu propio: Summorum Pontificum, The Chinese, and the SSPX
I just wanted to share some thoughts on Benedict XVI's motu propio. First, I want to say God Bless Benedict XVI. I do not know what the final outcome of his motu propio will be, but I personally am very pleased with it.
In fact, I want to talk about three things: The motu propio, the letter to the Chinese, and the SSPX.
I will start with the Chinese. I have been to China, but never attended Mass there. I just presumed it was not available (short of finding an underground Church). If I go again, and the letter to the Chinese is accepted, I may attend, but would likely not receive the Eucharist. This would not be a lack of faith, but an rather act of caution.
It is very clear that there is a link between the letter to the Chinese and the SSPX. The link is indirect, but after reading the letter to the Chinese, I was lead to state : "I guess if you want to deal with China charitably, the Vatican will need to deal with the SSPX honestly."
In the letter to the Chinese, Section 8, The Chinese Episcopate, Benedict XVI says:
...In recent years, for various reasons, you, my Brother Bishops [of China- Mark], have encountered difficulties, since persons who are not "ordained'', and sometimes not even baptized, control and take decisions concerning important ecclesial questions, including the appointment of Bishops, in the name of various State agencies...
Later he states:
...Notwithstanding many grave difficulties, the Catholic Church in China, by a particular grace of the Holy Spirit, has never been deprived of the ministry of legitimate Pastors who have preserved the apostolic succession intact. We must thank the Lord for this constant presence, not without suffering, of Bishops who have received episcopal ordination in conformity with Catholic tradition, that is to say, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter, and at the hands of validly and legitimately ordained Bishops in observance of the rite of the Catholic Church....
A little further down,
...Finally, there are certain Bishops -- a very small number of them -- who have been ordained without the Pontifical mandate and who have not asked for or have not yet obtained, the necessary legitimation. According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, they are to be considered illegitimate, but validly ordained, as long as it is certain that they have received ordination from validly ordained Bishops and that the Catholic rite of episcopal ordination has been respected. Therefore, although not in communion with the Pope, they exercise their ministry validly in the administration of the sacraments, even if they do so illegitimately...
Compare this with the language used by John Paul II in Ecclesia Dei :
1. With great affliction the church has learned of the unlawful episcopal ordination conferred on June 30 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, which has frustrated all the efforts made during the previous years to ensure the full communion with the church of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X founded by the same Archbishop Lefebvre...
3. In itself this act [of ordination- Mark] was one of disobedience to the Roman pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience—which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy—constitutes a schismatic act. In performing such an act, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning sent to them by the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Bishops last June 17, Archbishop Lefebvre and the priests Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta have incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law.[JPII cites Code of Canon Law, Canon 751 and 1382].
(Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Can. 1382 A bishop who consecrates some one a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See. )
In other words, the Chinese bishops are in the same boat as the named SSPX bishops. And vice-versa. This is not an apology for the SSPX, but it is trying to gain an understanding of some of the context of the motu propio. If you recall, the motu propio and the Chinese letter were both spoken of in recent weeks together (i.e., here and here ). I suspect there is more than a coincidence in timing involved. In both cases there is an issue of bishops being consecrated without Papal permission. In the case of China, everyone wants a faithful reconciliation with China. Every Catholic should want 1/5 of the world's population to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and convert. In the letter to the Chinese, even with the issue of illegitimate consecrations, Pope Benedict XVI is acting charitably to help bring about the reconciliation. With this in mind, if he is going to act charitably towards the Chinese, then all the Vatican and Church apparatus need to act honestly towards the SSPX. And Benedict has expressed his desire for reconciliation with them, and has taken concrete actions to support it- including the motu propio.
Many pundits are stating that the motu propio is not about the SSPX, but clearly it is part of it. I personally believe that without the SSPX, there would be no motu propio; though I am not in any way questioning Benedict XVI's stated reverence for the Tridentine Mass. I think everyone who has any honesty will have to admit that the SSPX was at least a catalyst for the granting of the motu propio. And if the popularity of the Tridentine Mass is going to grow quickly, it is going to take the help of the many priests and bishops of the SSPX (reunited with Holy Mother Church) to help train and implement it (along with the FSSP and others of course). This is not meant to excuse the at least technically schismatic act of the SSPX, but rather is a recognition of the truth of the matter. The ball is now in the court of the SSPX. I know there is much more to discuss with the Vatican, but Benedict XVI has swung the door wide open. I pray the SSPX enter.
Let us all hope and pray for a successful implementation of the motu propio, the succesful reintegration of the SSPX into the Church, as well as the conversion of the Chinese nation.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Coming Soon, Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying its Lessons Today, Michael Barber: A Book Review
Rest assured: The Holy Spirit inspired human authors of Scripture, and He helps us understand Scripture as the Faith is passed on through the life of the Church, particualrly in her liturgy and in her teaching authority
This implies that Barber will use the magesterium as a guide for understanding the Apocalypse. Still in the Introduction under the heading "Keeping it Simple" he states:
Whenever anyone attempts to explain a book like Revelation, readers often wonder whether the interpretation that is laid out can be backed by credible sources or whether it is simply the result of the creativity of the author. Recognizing that other faithful Catholics who strive to be faithful to the Church might come up with different interpretations of Revelation, I have done my best to provide extensive support in the endnotes...
So one may ask who these credible sources are? What are these "different" interpretations of Revelations? It is clear that the Church has historically taught the amillenial view of the Apocalypse (i.e., Apocalypse concerns the Church age- starting at the Cross and ending at the Second Coming and New Heaven and New Earth). But unfortunately this is not the interpretation Barber chooses to use. It is clear that he is using the view espoused by Scott Hahn (based on Euginio Corsini's The Apocalypse: The Perennial Revelation of Jesus Christ). In fact several of Dr. Hahn's books are referenced (as well as Corsini's). The book itself is dedicated to Scott and Kimberly Hahn, and is published in Steubenville, Ohio by Emmaus Road (a division of Catholic's United for the Faith). Now I am not being critical of Dr. Hahn's speculative theology. It is clear that there is a lot of room for interpretation of the Apocalypse, but a book aimed at uninformed Catholics on the Apocalypse, at least in my opinion, should start with the Church's well established view, not some modern and novel (though perhaps interesting) interpretation.
The first thing I did to review the book was start with Robert Sungenis' advice- see how the author handles chapter 20 (see The Apocalypse of St. John book review). This is key to understanding how the author places the Apocalypse in time, by understanding how the author handles the Millennium. This occurs in chapter 13 of Barbers Book, entitled "The Perennial Millennial Question". Therein he states (p. 243):
Traditionally Catholics have understood the "1,000 year reign" as referring to the age of the Church...the thousand years is understood symbolicaly...from the time of His [Christ] first coming to the time of His second coming. Satan is restrained...This view is well attested to in the Fathers of the Church.
He then goes on to state:
I whole-heartedly affirm this view. Nevertheless, I think we can add to this view. As stated, the interpretation laid out here understands the Millenium in terms of the Davidic Covenant.
This lost me immediately. He states that he will use credible sources to back up his interpertation. He states that the Fathers uphold the "age of the Church" view (amillennial)- clearly one cannot find more credible sources. He states that he whole-heartedly affirms the Church view. But he chooses to teach uninformed Catholics a novel teaching. He does not "add to the view" [of the Church], but rather replaces it with a novel teaching.
There is no Scriptural or Church support for the binding of Satan in the Old Testament, while there is ample evidence in the New Testament. Similarly there is no Church support for a Davidic Millennium in the Apocalypse, while there is nothing but support for a Catholic millennium, which starts at the cross (with the binding of Satan) and ends at Christ's second coming.
The book also promises to apply the lessons of the Apocalypse today. If the established Church view is that Satan is currently bound in the pit, and the beast and the false prophet are wandering the earth deceiving the nations as agents of the dragon (Satan), one would think this might a useful piece of information for Catholics of today to have. While trying to relate the Apocalypse to the Mass (as Barber does) may be appealing and actually appropriate, this can be done without changing the basic eschatology of the Apocalypse as traditionally interpreted by the Church. The main lesson should be 'keep faith, Christians, resist the deceptions which you are daily bombarded with on TV, newspapers, advertisements, political movements, etc. Watch that your children understand this so they are not deceived'. Instead Barber ends up drawing some generalized allusions from lessons learned 2000 years ago in the collpase of Israel. While I do not want to state what Barber's intent was, this seems to be a "Precious Moments" view of the Apocalypse and current state of the Church, which somewhat ignores the intense spiritual battle the Church and world are currently mired in, and effectively places us 2000 years after most of the challenging times (though Barber does teach the final judgement).
I ended up reading through much of the book, but did not complete it. I was personally disappointed in the approach Mr. Barber took in trying to reach uninformed Catholics who "ought to begin in the Scriptures with a Gospel or the Book of Genesis". I really think it does a disservice to write a beginning book on the Apocalypse for Catholics which does not teach the traditional Catholic view. Though the book was nicely written, entertaining, and probably did a reasonable job capturing Scott Hahn's views, I cannot recommend it for the reasons stated.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The Apocalypse of St. John, The Catholic Apologetics Study Bible, Volume II, Robert A. Sungenis, Ph.D., A Book Review
In light of the above discovery, one of the most important passages in the Apocalypse, and the one passage that will directly set the boundaries for the interpretation of every other passage in the Apocalypse, is Chapter 20. In fact, one can immediately know which of the half dozen interpretive schemes an exegete has chosen for his analysis of the Apocalypse by turning first to his treatment of Chapter 20. It is the exegetical cornerstone for the rest of the book. The main reason for its importance is that it is the only instance in the Apocalypse where the time period "a Thousand Years" or "the Millennium" is mentioned. An exegete must first decide:
· Whether the Thousand Years is a literal or symbolic time period.
· When the Thousand Years begins and ends.
Similar to the many plausible interpretations of John 3:5, the Thousand Years of Apocalypse 20:1-6 has a variety of options. If one interprets the years as a literal time period, he has three possibilities for its placement in history: (1) the past, (2) the present or (3) the future.
After some more explanation, Robert then outlines six common schemes for interpreting the 'thousand years'. These include:
Which he relates to different Biblical events- especially the first and second coming of Christ. Some people choose a literal time from David's reign until the the coming of Christ (or the destruction of the temple), i.e., #1. Many protestant's choose #3, i.e., Christ literally rules for 1000 years after his second coming, etc. The Church, solidly starting with Augustine and through the current Vatican Catechism, have traditionally accepted #5- present symbolic. Though some early fathers held #3, the Church has stated that it "can not be taught safely" (Pius XII).
The importance of the thousand years is that this is the time period in which Satan is bound (in the bottomless pit), and during which the two beasts "deceive the nations" in his stead. In the standard Catholic interpretation, this symbolic thousand years (i.e., a very long time starting at the first coming) is the Church age. Basically, prior to Christ's sacrifice, Satan was able to stand between God and man. It was basically impossible for man to attain salvation. This is why the saints of the Old Testament had to wait in Hades for Christ's sacrifice. At Christ's sacrifice, Satan was defeated, and bound in the bottomless pit. This was God's plan to recover from Adam and Eve's failure in the Garden. This plan was written on the scroll with seven seals, and only the Lamb of God was worthy to unseal the plan and carry it out. And carry it out he is doing, now, in the Church age. At the cross Satan was defeated, but it was not over. Satan was bound in the bottomless pit to allow the Church time to evangalize and spread the gospel to all mankind. Though bound, Satan was still able to act indirectly through his intermediaries- the two beasts. These agents of Satan have acted throughout Church history creating wars and in various ways deceiving the nations. Those who are sealed by God (baptized) have grace to stand firm against the beasts (though not all do), but many who are not will be deceived and follow. For a short while just prior to the second coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead, the dragon (Satan) will be released again from the pit to wage war against the Church. The book says of the beasts:
In Ap 13:14 John says that the pseudo-lamb will demand "bidding them make an image for the Beast which was wounded by the sword and yet lived." We might compare this to similar instances recorded in the Old Testament...John may purposely be trying to stir up these Old Testament scenes in our minds in order to indicate the goal of the Second Beast. After he has deceived the world with pleasantries and pseudo-miracles, his main goal is to have the people give their full allegiance to the First Beast, for he is the one with the seven heads, the brains and muscle behind the Dragon’s [Satan bound in the pit- Mark] false gospel. We could say that each of its heads symbolizes some form of intellectual control over the world. One head could represent worldly philosophy. A second head could represent world politics. A third could represent world finance. A fourth might be atheistic science, etc. This is not to say that these disciplines are evil in themselves or detrimental to man, but only that any discipline that does not incorporate Christian principles at its foundation is essentially anti-Christian or atheistic, and thus will be used against Christianity. Whatever means the first Beast can use to draw people away from the Christian Gospel, he will use. He knows, of course, that the most productive means of swaying them is by intellectual persuasion, the same technique he used against Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In turn, the people of the world "worship" the Beast by sacrificing themselves to its cause. In practical terms, for example, they sacrifice their families to divorce and adultery; their babies to abortion; their bodies to drugs, alcohol and pornography; their homes and property to usury and unjust taxes; their souls to godless art and music; their minds to anti-Christian philosophies and sciences, etc. So successful is the campaign of the Second Beast to bring the people to worship the First Beast that, as John says: "and the whole earth followed the Beast with wonder" and "they worshiped the Beast, saying, ‘Who is like the Beast and able to wage war with him?’" (Ap 13:3-4).
Standing against the beast:
The only institution that will be waging war against the Beast is the Church, and particularly her faithful members. But the Beast will do his best to silence them, either by persecution or death. As John writes in Ap 13:15: "to cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain." In the history of the Christian church, persecution from the world has been the norm. The bloodthirsty emperors of Rome, many of whom deified themselves and required worship from the populace, dominated the first three centuries. After the fall of Rome, the Muslims came into power in the 600s, persecuting and killing Christians for the next 800 years. Afterward, numerous man-made movements sought to replace Christianity as the dominant authority of the world, including the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Communism, Capitalism, Deism, Nihilism, Nazism, Masonry, Militarism, Scientism, and Pan-Religionism. They all played their part in ridiculing and trying to stamp out Christianity wherever and whenever they could. In the last century, there has been more persecution of Christianity than at any time in history, thus, the onslaught of the Beast has not only remained, it has increased, preparing the way for the loosening of Satan for his "little time" (Ap 20:3). This is the reality of life, and John is telling it to us in the starkest of terms. If mankind, perchance, is in a time of peace and there is no persecution in our little corner of the world, this is highly unusual, for such havens do not last very long before they are overtaken by the Beast.
And of the "Image of the Beast":
In Ap 13:15 John tells us that the Second Beast "gives breath" to the image being worshiped. The Second Beast even makes the first "speak." Obviously, this is no ordinary image. Such bodily animations symbolize that the image of the Beast will be an active, functioning, multiplying and growing entity. The image of the Beast will articulate its ideas and have the power of persuasion. Practically speaking, we can see this power of persuasion in the world today as the "image" propagates its anti-Christian message through books, newspapers, magazines, computers, internet, music, art, architecture, movies, television, billboards, speeches, lectures, pamphlets, stamps, memorials, money, libraries, schools, colleges, universities, institutions, merchandise, etc. Almost all of these mediums are anti-Christian at the core and all "breathe" and "speak" as the "image of the Beast."
These brief excerpts make it clear that the traditional Catholic view indicate that we are currently in a spiritual battle against the minions of Satan, and that the "world" is really stacked against the Church and its spreading of the gospel. This is inconvenient for some who want to reach out to the world or who do not want to have trouble with the world. Relegating the Apocalypse to some past event (i.e., Jewish history through Christ's first coming) becomes a more convenient package for such purposes. Fortunately Benedict XVI, who is open to some dialogue, states he wants to do so in "The Spirit of Truth".
The book is 536 pages, which includes the text of the Apocalypse (RSV), plus verse by verse commentary explaining what all the symbols mean. Following the standard Catholic interpretation, the Apocalypse is broken into seven dramas (seven being highly symbolic nunber). Each drama starts with the first coming of Christ and ends with the second coming. Each drama is the same story told from a different perspective. Related Old Testament prophcies- especially Daniel, but also Ezekial, Isaiah, Zechariah, Jeremiah, and others and New Testament prophecies are worked in as appropriate.
I highly reccomend this book to all who truly want to understand [what we do know] about God's plan, and how it is actually carried out on earth and in heaven in the current age.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
For the Record, Mark Shea
For the record, I would like to post my comments.
You take the readers of Catholic Exchange as pretty gullible. You know that Gary Hoge gave up his geo-stationary satellite argument, even shutting down his web site (possibly for other reasons, too), yet you repeat it. You have no proof that geocentrism is wrong, you just believe this based on your stubborn disposition. I really wonder from what perspective you are operating- certainly not truth. Go ahead repeat all the lies you want, you are a big man. I hope someday you will have the courtesy and conscience to actually study the issue before you flap your gums, but I doubt it at this point. I have been following your comments on this for some time including repeated exchanges with Robert Sungenis (where you as much as admit that you have no knowledge in this area). You truly do not represent open mindedness. You really should be ashamed of yourself, and certainly should not have written this article without at least mentioning the history of your engagement with Sungenis, and the fact that you really have no knowledge on the topic.
You need to read Galileo Was Wrong by Sungenis and Bennett. If you have serious issues with specific points, then air them, but from what I have seen you do not care about facts, just your gut feeling.
Submitted by markjwyatt on Thu, 02/08/2007 - 4:13pm.
"That Mr. Hoge has taken down his site does not equate to saying his argument was bad. On the contrary, it was quite elegant. "
He (or more precisely his chosen representative) conceded the argument. I never said his equations did not work, nor that they were not "elegant". Read the debate.
"to say "The enthusiasm for geocentrism among a few reactionaries is not particularly credible" is not a "lie"."
No, it is not. All Catholics should be proud to be called "reactionaries". Our ideas came from our Lord who left earth 2000+ years ago.
But this is a lie:
"The falsity of ...[geocentrism]...has, of course, been shown many times"
The key element you are missing and that does not exist is the "showing", i.e., the evidence. Bellarmine's demonstration has yet to be made.
Submitted by markjwyatt on Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:31pm.
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You have allowed Mark Shea, a person who has basically admitted he knows nothing about geocentrism to write an article condeming it as a "flat footed" "fundamentalist" myth. (I guess Paul V, Urban VIII, and Alexander VII all needed to see a podiatrist).
Why not invite Robert Sungenis, who has written a doctoral thesis and a book on the topic to write an article to be displayed prominently on your site? If you are interested in truth, not saving appearances "to the world", this would make a lot of sense.
Submitted by markjwyatt on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 9:08am.
I said nothing about Mr. Shea's degree. My concern is that Mr. Shea himself has admitted he knows nothing on the topic, yet he proclaims it nonsense. As to degrees, keep in mind that Robert's co-author, Dr. Bennett, has a Ph.D. in physics with thesis on general relativity.
On top of Galileo Was Wrong, the standard for the geocentrism issue, you can also visit my 4 part blog series, Geocentricity 101:
Geocentricity 101, Part I: Basic Principles
Geocentricity 101, Part II: Basic Physics
Geocentricity 101, Part III: Scriptural and Church Position
Geocentricity 101, Supplement: Discussion of Scripture and Church Position
I have visited your site (and left some comments), but have not been by for a while. I will check out our arguments.
I hope you take the time to read Galileo Was Wrong. It goes far beyond a relativistic argument, and shows that most of the observational and experiemtnal evidence actually points to a non-moving central earth. It also shows historically how science has ignored and even obscured this evidence in order to reconcile the evidence to its presuppositions (the earth moves and is in the center).
BTW Mark Shea:
Note the difference in approach betwen you and sciencemom. She did not just blow geocentrism off as "flat footed" "funadmetalism", but actually studied the issue and put forth an intelligent response.
You have much to learn from her.
Submitted by markjwyatt on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 4:56pm.
As a final note, in the next article down, I answer sciencemom's concerns in her Part 3 (which relates to my Geocentricity 101, Parts I and II).
A Response to "Sciencemom" of Unity of Truth Blog and Her Article "The New Geocentrism- Part III"
I will respond specifically to the science aspect of Part III. I will reply to "Up- to date cosmology", and the scriptural/ecclisiastic portions of "The New Geocentrism Part III" in a seperate article. I have replied to sciencemom's article "The New Geocentrism" in the comments of the actual article. This led to the writing of the additional two articles.
"...I have now read Mr. Wyatt's four-part series on Geocentrism, and I offer the following brief summary of his argument:
1. The math and physics of parts 1-2 boil down to the idea that it is possible to construct a frame of reference such that with respect to it, the earth is stationary and the entire universe apparently moves around it, and the related idea that this is entirely acceptable within the framework of general relativity.
2. Parts 3-4 attempt to establish that the Church has in the past taken positions that obliged a geocentric view, and that these still oblige, not having been rescinded to the author's satisfaction.
3.Since relativity does not "prefer" a certain "centrism" but (as is claimed) the Church does, we should hold geocentrism to be obligatory..."
She explains Part 1 in more detail later. I will briefly comment on her points 2 and 3, then comment on her explanation for point 1. She states in her point 2 that I claim the Church "has in the past taken positions that obliged a geocentric view", which is correct, I have demonstrated this. She then goes on to state, "these still oblige, not having been rescinded to the author's satisfaction", which I take some exception to. I have not stated that they still oblige, necassarily. I have stated that "...It is not clear whether the statements of the Popes reached the level of infallibility. Clearly they have reached at least the level of being worthy of consideration by the faithful (and possibly much more), but given the Vatican's ambiguity towards the issue in recent centuries, there is probably little moral culpability for the average person who has been taught unimpeded from early childhood (even taught at Catholic schools) that we know that the earth goes around the sun and spins on its axis. Clearly science supports the notion that we do not know either way (see Parts I and II, Geocentricity 101)."
This same comment goes for her point 3. I have basically said this without the claiming it an "obligation", but also more. I have not tried to "prove" geocentrism with a relativistic argument, but, as sciencemon correctly infers, I show it as still possible.
What follows is sciencemom's commentary of her point 1, with my counter-commentary interposed:
The math / physics that Mr. Wyatt is suggesting leaves important things unsaid:
1. The "frame of reference" needed for this to work is a rotating, translating frame. To put it even more simply, one simply takes the movement of the earth as heliocentrists would see it, and transfers that to the frame of reference. Thus, the frame of reference moves along with the earth.
This immediately shows that sciencemom cannot see past her presumptions. She states that a frame attached to the earth is actually a "rotating, translating frame"! How does she know this? Because she presupposes that the earth is rotating translating. SHE MISSES THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE DISCUSSION. I.e., the geocentric contention is that the earth is actually NOT rotating and translating. If this contention is true, then the frame attached to the earth is a stationary non-rotating frame. Until we can establish that the earth is rotating/translating sciencemom can not make absolute statements about its rotation/translation. The book Galileo Was Wrong explains in great detail that science has never established that the earth is either rotating or translating. Scientists do understand this, and they are quoted.
2.Only within this moving frame of reference can the earth said to be "still" or "at rest". This is indeed a paltry form of immovability! It is little more than mathematical sleight of hand. In fact, it is precisely the sort of immovability that Mary's ballerina would experience while doing a pirouette, provided the frame of reference moves right along with her.
Again, sciencemom presupposes a moving rotating earth. Of course if we accept her ASSUMPTION, then the case is closed. Since geocentrists have not, we are not impressed with her choice of assumptions.
3.The rest of the universe only apparently moves around the earth, given this frame of reference. We can easily tell that it does not really do so because the apparent speed of even nearby stars (as measured from our moving frame of reference) is well over the speed of light. The stars are most definitely not moving at these speeds; even if it were not a contradiction of special relativity, we would see the luminous effects in the form of Cerenkov radiation. If Mary's ballerina did her pirouette under the night sky, the moon orbits her (in her frame of reference, remember) just as much as the universe orbits the earth.
Finally sciencemom actually tries to make a scientific argument (rather than relying on her presuppositions). Unfortunately the argument does not hold as I explained in detail in part III of Geocentricity 101. First, if the universe is rotating, then special relativity does not apply, general relativity is required. In general relaitivty, "...If one considers the rotating roundabout as being at rest [i.e., fix the earth], the centrifugal gravitational field assumes enormous values at large distances, and it is consistent with the theory of General Relativity for the velocities of distant bodies to exceed 3 x 10^8 m/sec under these conditions." (An Introduction to the Theory of Relativity, W. G. V. Rosser, London, Butterworths, 1964, p. 460). This is one of the many points I used to establish that general relativity does not see this as an issue. Now, if we go a step further and consider a rotating aether, then the stars are travelling along with the aether (i.e., they are co-rotating with space), and under these conditions there is no local exceedance of light speed.
The Cerenkov radiation issue only deals with special relativity effects, which are not present in this case. In flat space-time ( the realm of special relativity) objects exceeding the speed of light can generate radition (as seen in particle accelerators), but in the case of general relativity, in the case of a rotating universe, the theory directly accomodates the rotating objects relative superluminal state. If an object were to locally overtake a star at a relative speed greater than "c", then in that case, even under general relativity, Cerenkov radiation would be locally generated, because in that case space-time would be [approximately] flat.
As to sciencemom's ballerina, unfortunately, general relativity has to consider the the universe rotating around the tip of her nose just as real as the ballerina rotating in a static universe, because general relativity excludes the concept of absolute space. So if this example bothers sciencemom (or she finds it amusing), then she should feel the same about the big bang theory- which explicitly relies on general relativity to be correct (else there is no cosmological constant and no expansion of space, and thus no big bang). Amazing the corner that Catholics back themselves into to be "cool" to the world!
4.In reality, there is no significant rotation of the universe. While it is very difficult to rule it out entirely, it is relatively simple to set an upper bound on the maximum rotation of the universe, and direct measurements indicate it is well under 0.1 arc seconds per century.
Correct, it is difficult to rule out entirely, and just stating so does not constitute evidence. True, if one accepts all the assumptions relating to the current cosmological view (big bang with inflationary phase, isotropic and homogeneous space, etc.) then within the framework of the myriad of assumptions involved (the ones exposed in Galileo Was Wrong), you could make a case that the universe appears not to be rotating. If the earth is actually stationary and not rotating, then these assumptions will have been shown to be wrong.
5.To someone in an inertial frame of reference, looking "down" on the solar system from somewhere over the sun's north pole, all the planets would trace over time the elliptical paths around it that we know as orbits. (The sun would also be seen rotating on its own axis, and gradually moving in its own orbital path around the galactic center, taking the rest of the solar system along with it.)
Again, sciencemom misses a fundamental point. True if one stared down on the sun then one would "see" the entire universe rotating around the sun! This is because we have in effect transformed to a coordinate system fixed above the sun's north pole. Of course if the entire universe appears to be rotating around the sun, the planets will also appear to be doing so. I spent most of Part I of Geocentricity 101 explaining this concept. Sciencemom then confuses the issue by stating that the "sun would also be seen...gradually moving in its own orbital path around the galactic center, taking the rest of the solar system along with it", which means that she actually transformed out to another coordinate system which at one point of time was above the sun's north pole, but is actually fixed relative to the galactic center. Since she claims this to be an inertial reference frame, and she is being precise, she must be proposing some form of milky-way-centrism! One in which the universal center corresponds to a point that sits above hte sun's orbit at least at one point in time. Rather, I think sciencemom is confusing coordinate transforms with reality, and trying to imply that the abstract mathematical concept of inertial reference frames, as applied in especially special relativity, "prove" that the universe is not rotating.
So, in sum, the math for a geocentric frame of reference may be available, but it's just math. To speak of it as if it were "the real truth" is simply untrue.
It is true that the math exists. Also the physics exist- both kinematics and dynamics. Also as shown in great detail in Galileo Was Wrong, most of our observations and mnay experiments support a central and non-moving (rotating or translating) earth! Science itself admits that it cannot demonstrate the rotation or translation of the earth (as independent of a counter movement of teh universe). Finally Scriptures, the Fathers, and a number of popes have testified or made declarations in favor of geocentrism. None have explicitlky denied it. Why not at least consider it?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Dr. Robert Bennett gets Cold Shoulder from Cardinal Schoenborn
In his [Cardinal Schoenborn] responses to my post-lecture questions, his eminence made clear that :
-- He wanted no support from Catholic creationists like the Kolbe Center.
-- He wanted to build philosophical bridges between science and religion
-- Creationists are no better than materialists in obstructing the search for common ground.
No words, but only a tape of his response could capture the facial expressions and body language that expressed his disgust with a literal Genesis interpretation of six days and a 6,000 year old Earth.
I found it incredible that his eminence would refuse to hear scientific arguments against evolution supported by literal exegesis. Most of my arguments are, in fact, not technical but philosophical – the use of logical fallacies and false premises by Darwinists.
He claims more authority and knowledge in the science domain than I have as a Ph.D. in Physics, by refusing to hear scientific young Earth arguments.
Though having authority and knowledge in religious matters, he rejects key beliefs of the Church – the unanimous Patristic Tradition on creation in 6 days and the litera prima teaching of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XII. Though a scientist, I embrace these cornerstone beliefs without reservation.
I wonder - who is the cardinal here and who is the scientist? What would St. Thomas say is the middle ground of truth between the poles of a contradiction?
Intimidation at Our Lady Queen of Angels, New York
Subject: OLQA Vigil Stopped By Force, with Six Arrested
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 15:02:09 +0000
Friends of VOTF:
I am sorry to report that the vigil at Our Lady Queen of Angels [in New York City] was stopped last night shortly after 11PM. We are still piecing together the complete chain of events, but as an eyewitness I can attest to the following:
A press conference was held outside the church at 2PM, during which the locks on the church lavatory were surreptitiously changed.
Several large men unknown to the parishioners appeared in the church around 7PM. These men turned out to be hired by the Archdiocese as security agents. The parishioners called the police because they did not know who these unknown men were.
All the doors of the church were locked by the security agents, and anyone trying to enter the church whenever the side door was opened was forcibly shoved back out into the street, including me. Police outside stood by while this occurred.
Priests from the Archdiocese entered the church at approx. 9PM and addressed the crowd of about 30 parishioners, including men, women and children, asking everyone to leave. The priests then retreated to the sacristy, and did not appear again.
At approx. 9:30PM, Carmen Villegas, chairperson of Our Lady Queen of Angels, managed to open one outside door. Several supporters rushed in, along with many members of the media and camera crews.
The camera crews were physically forced to leave the church shortly thereafter by the security agents. There was scuffling in the aisles, and some of the news crews were nearly shoved to the floor. (I am still trying to determine whether all this took place in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.)
A police lieutenant and two other officers entered the church, and began to talk with a City Councilwoman who had entered the church when the doors were opened at 9:30PM, and then with the priests sequestered in the sacristy. In the church, the parishioners continued to pray the rosary and sing hymns.
Soon the police captain from the precinct joined the group.
For the next 90 minutes, the police shuttled back and forth between the parishioners in the pews, and the priests in the sacristy. Negotiations went back and forth. The lawyer for the parishioners arrived on the scene, but was refused access to the church.
At the end of this process, the police said that all parishioners had to vacate the church by 11:30PM, or everyone would be arrested.
Carmen Villegas and the other leaders of the parishioners considered all the available options, but it was clear that the police were going to back the claim by the Archdiocese that it was the owner of the property, that the parishioners were trespassing on church property, and that the parishioners would have to leave for face arrest for illegal trespassing. So the decision became: How do we best conclude this protest?
The decision was made to have six parishioners agree to be arrested and taken out of the church in hand-cuffs, so that all the media outside could see what was being done. All other protesters were to leave the church first.
When we left the church at approx. 11:15PM, the scene outside was surreal, camera crews and trucks everywhere. Some 15 minutes later, the six hand-cuffed parishioners were led single file down the driveway of the church, as a crowd of perhaps 100 supporters chanted “Save our church.” The media rushed forward as they were being loaded into a police van in front of the church, and the arrested parishioners managed to shout brief comments to the press. Some of the children of the arrested parishioners were crying as their mothers were loaded into the vans. The parishioners were taken to the precinct on 102nd Street , where they were booked and then released.
These are the facts as best I can recall them.
In the end, the Archdiocese asserted, and the police backed, a claim to be the owner of real estate, and refused to acknowledge the rights of the parishioners to conduct a peaceful prayer vigil in their own church. The Archdiocese resorted to intimidation, threats of force, and invitations to police to enter the sanctuary of the church in order to suppress the vigil through threat of arrest.
I am trying to understand the true implications of these events.
It is always about faith, but had I not seen these events with my own eyes, I never would have believed this could happen inside a Catholic church.
Francis X. Piderit
Piderit + Partners, Inc.
119 West 23rd Street
New York , NY 10011
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Recent Endorsements for Galileo Was Wrong
A truly magnificient work. There exists no better exposition of the history and science of geocentrism. Very highly recommended and a must for all those interested in the issues surrounding geocentrism today. The animations of the CD are excellent. They illustrate the daily and yearly motions of the sun and planets about the earth, the seasons, retrograde motion, and parallax in a uniform way. The authors have done a very admirable job all around.
Gerardus Bouw, Ph.D.
Author of Geocentricity
In their over 700-page book, Galileo Was Wrong, Drs. Robert Sungenis and Robert Bennett make a convincing case for the special and central position of the earth in the cosmos, both physically and spiritually. This is, of course, radically at odds from what everyone is taught from childhood; everyone "knows" the earth revolves around the sun. However, from time to time, like the little girl in Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Emperor's New Clothes, accepted "wisdom" is challenged; and what everyone "knows" to be true turns out to be merely a concocted fantasy. Drs. Sungenis and Bennett make a powerful case that the "truths" of heliocentric and acentric cosmologies aiming to describe the "fabric" of space-time may in fact be constructed out of the same type of "cloth" as the outfit of the Emperor. Admirably presented in a format accessible to a scientific layman, the authors dismantle "proofs" of the earth's motion such as Foucault's pendulum, stellar parallax, and stellar aberration. In exhaustive detail, the authors also present the results from modern physics (such as interferometer experiments) and astronomical observations, suggesting that in fact the position of the earth may be where it was held to be prior to the "Copernican revolution"; namely, the unmoving center of the universe. The authors provide quotes from eminent cosmologists admitting that this cannot be refuted by observation but is only rejected on philosophical grounds, and raise the disturbing possibility that part of modern cosmology and physics, including Relativity Theory, has been invented out of "whole cloth" precisely to avoid the philosophical implications of a universe with a motionless earth at the center.
While many of the arguments contained within Galileo Was Wrong have been previously presented by other geocentrists, it is unparalleled in the breadth and detail of the information presented supporting a geocentric cosmology and its accessibility to the lay reader. Galileo Was Wrong therefore stands as a unique reference and starting point for future debate among all who are searchers for the truth and willing to entertain the possibility that perhaps the little girl proclaiming the Emperor's nakedness was correct.
Unfortunately Galileo Was Wrong is likely to be scorned not only by the mainstream scientific community but also by the mainstream creationist movement. But all who believe that man's creation was not by "accident" would do well to consider the following questions, posed by the authors. Is the earth an insignificant rock, a mere chance artifact of the Big Bang, one out of many planets in one out of many solar systems, of no special position but hurtling with great speed through the cosmos towards no final destination in particular? Or has the earth been specifically designed by a benevolent Creator as the habitation place for man, the highest creation in the physical universe, and therefore placed in the central position in the universe? For an important corollary to the question of whether man came into being only by accident or via the design of an omnipotent and loving Creator is whether the place of his habitation in the universe likewise came into being only by accident or by design of a Creator, and whether its place in the universe has any importance or special significance. As others strive to restore man to his rightful role as the crown of physical creation as opposed to a mere assortment of molecules arising by chance, Drs. Sungenis and Bennett have made a powerful case for restoring man's central physical position in the universe.
Vincent J. Schmithorst, Ph.D.
Imaging Research, Ohio
The confrontation between Galilei and the Catholic Church is consistently portrayed as a sort of David and Goliath struggle, where truth ultimately triumphs. When this episode is examined in greater detail, however, a different picture starts to emerge, as so often is the case with many things that we are taught as being fact. If there exists an obligation upon each of us to think and to reason for ourselves, then it follows that there is also an obligation upon those who are able to conduct independent research to publish that research, no matter what ridicule and trouble is then heaped upon them for doing so. For unfortunately, in this Orwellian age of enlightenment in which we find ourselves, the Emperor's New Clothes fable has gone from being an amusing insight into human nature to a dangerous psychological weapon, with those who openly question and explore ruling paradigms being branded as extremists, fundamentalists, or conspiracy theorists.
In Galileo Was Wrong, Robert Sungenis and Robert Bennett have provided an excellent synopsis of a field of science that most people today have probably not even heard about. It is not a regurgitation of some ancient, debunked theory. Neither is this a lightweight paperback, in the vein of so many publications by scientists who have lost the dividing line between science and science fiction. Rather, Galileo Was Wrong, is a work of monumental proportion which ranks, in my opinion, on a par with the meticulous observations of the Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe, and the tireless efforts of Walter van der Kamp who almost single-handedly raised geocentrism from the ashes in the 1970s and 80s. Although the World on which we all live gives an appearance of being located at the centre of the universe, is there any scientific evidence to say that it is at the centre? Conversely, is there scientific evidence to show that it definitely is not at the centre of the universe? What would a geocentric universe imply? To adequately contemplate these and similar questions necessitates our being in possession of facts, as opposed to simply making assumptions (even Albert Einstein took it as read that the World orbits the Sun, whilst acknowledging that there was no proof that this was indeed the case). In short, a formulated conclusion on such an important topic as this is only of value to anyone if it is based upon factual material. Galileo Was Wrong is a scholarly piece of work that should thus be welcomed by any thinking person, and that provides ample food for thought on our place within God's universe.
Neville Thomas Jones, Ph.D.
Imperial College, London
Galileo Was Wrong is an evocative book. It evoked memories which have lain dormant since my undergraduate days: things like the disturbing conclusions of the Michelson-Morley experiments; things like Leibniz's critique of Newton's system as shot through with appeals to occult properties; things like the fact that no one, least of all Newton, can explain what gravity is or refute the materialists' conclusion that it is intrinsic to matter. In their new book, Sungenis and Bennett take no prisoners. They look all of the anomalies in the current cosmological system in the face without fear and come up with conclusions that will startle the followers of Carl Sagan out of their dogmatic slumbers. Truth to tell, Newton was turned into an idol to serve the political purposes of the Whigs, who used him to bring down the House of Bourbon across the English Channel. His cosmological system was used as a justification of the Enlightenment. Now that the Enlightenment is over, it was inevitable that the system upon which it was based should come in for the powerful critique which Sungenis and Bennett provide. Not inevitable, however, was the brilliant way they provide it.
E. Michael Jones, Ph.D.
Editor: Culture Wars
Ironically, aerospace engineers assume an "earth-centered, earth-fixed" coordinate system when launching and flying satellites. The Global Positioning System (GPS) does the same for navigation on earth and in space. In Galileo Was Wrong, Sungenis and Bennett examine the "anomalies" that arise from the Copernican model, anomalies that are swept under the rug by the same scientists who assume the earth is immobile in order to "simplify" complex problems. A must read for those who can set aside prejudices and a priori assumptions.
Joseph A. Strada, Ph.D.
Aerospace Engineer, NRO
The book, Galileo Was Wrong, forcefully addresses the history, science, theological, philosophical, and worldview implications of our place in the universe. It is virtually a one volume encyclopedia on geocentrism. After the science has been discussed and the history has been told, it is a powerful reminder of the worldview struggle that faces Christians today.
Russell T. Arndt, Ph.D.
It takes some measure of discipline to collate and assemble, in cogent form, the relevant scholarship touching on the matter of geocentricity. The task is complicated in no small part by the diversity of viewpoint evident among the adherents to this admittedly dissident approach to astrophysics. Well-intentioned but poorly-executed attempts along such lines have tended to discredit the geocentric model, and it is not without reason that the opposition focuses attention on such blatant misfires (if they focus attention on the issue at all). This volume, however, achieves a cumulative effect that is formidable. No one geocentrist, aside from the authors, will agree with every scientific tenet in this work, and many geocentrists might detect the absence of their primary concerns or preferred theoretical alternatives, myself included. How could it be otherwise? If the book were to be fully comprehensive, it could never enter print, its completion being diverted by continual data acquisition. It is right, then, that this effort storms the field in the powerful form it already exhibits, and it is my hope that it will become a living document, growing in value as new updated editions are issued.
I am not a Roman Catholic. Some may find it inexplicable that someone like myself, from the Protestant side of the aisle, would write an endorsement for this project. I believe that in the matter before us, we'd have to credit sectarian tunnel-vision for giving rise to such perplexity. My appreciation for the monumental labors of Drs. Sungenis and Bennett does not entail my adopting their views concerning the weight of Patristic evidence, for instance (although the difference between us is one of degree), and my endorsement of their work does not imply my repudiation of sola scriptura, among other distinctively Protestant positions. The critical question involves the value of the specific scholarship being presented. Just as the Chalcedon Foundation, a Protestant Christian educational institution, published the work of Notre Dame Universityâ€™s Prof. Edward J. Murphy due to the importance of his work, so it is fitting and right to extol this particular compendium for so clearly demonstrating that the emperor's wardrobe is not merely diaphanous, it's positively massless (or expressed more plainly, the emperor, modern science, is wearing no clothes).
It is with pleasure that I remand this volume into the hands of the reader, whether he or she is an atheistic scoffer, a Roman Catholic inquirer, a Protestant polemicist, an Evangelical skeptic, or is otherwise motivated to re-open an issue heretofore thought, wrongly, to have been settled nearly four centuries ago. I would recommend approaching this work with as open a mind as you can muster. More importantly, I would urge the Christian reader to come to grips with our built-in, and very human, "lust for credibility", our desire to have "friendship with the world" and retain "the praise of man", all of which have sapped our resolve and lead to slippery-slope compromises that continue to lead men into the ditch. This is all the more remarkable, insofar as the present volume exposes the dark, seamy underside of modern science and its Janus-like propensity for speaking out of both sides of its mouth simultaneously. For the critic consulting the volume with the sole intent of attacking it, Drs. Sungenis and Bennett have provided the right thing indeed: a big, fat, juicy target. Therefore, let the debate begin in earnest. With documentation this thorough, the opposition can be quickly called on the carpet for misquotation or taking points out of context. Such interaction with hostile critics can only strengthen future editions of this work. If more Christians would raise the bar like these two authors have done, we would more readily perceive that the Word of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers ... and will continue to do so.
Martin G. Selbrede
Chief Scientist, UniPixel Displays, Inc.
Vice President, The Chalcedon Foundation
Once upon a time, there was a big bang. It filled the sky with debris that formed into stars and planets. One planet developed a special slime that brought forth plants, animals, and men. The men became wise and discovered the truths of the universe. Or did they? Fairy tales have their place, but they should not be confused with science. Why has speculation come to replace observation as the basis of science? Galileo Was Wrong takes a critical look at the thesis that the Earth is flying through space. Here you will find an thorough review of the scientific observations along with a review of the scientists themselves. You will see how their unquestioning support of the thesis led them to redefine the nature of the universe. You will have the evidence to make up your mind for yourself. Robert Sungenis and Robert Bennett have done a great service to science and to men of good will. Those who see the universe as the handiwork of the benevolent God need no longer be subservient to fairy tales.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Galileo Was Wrong is an amazing work which opened my mind to many things in the field of astronomy and cosmology. I am grateful to Robert Sungenis and his co-author Robert Bennett for this lucid, philosophically powerful and meticulously documented work. Looking at cosmology from the point of view of the "discredited" geocentric theory is a remarkable educational approach, and one that could be applied with profit to many fields today. Western culture reveals a hardening of the arteries of thinking all across the spectrum, and the recovery and exposition of alternative and dissenting views will be necessary to its regeneration. By its very nature, the geocentric theory occupies a central axis in this sclerosis of imagination and imperviousness to reality that so degrades the intellectual functioning of Western leaders and elites today. Many bad habits and automatic assumptions sprang from the rejection of geocentrism, and even to detail these, as Galileo Was Wrong does, is an achievement in itself. But there is more than excavation here. Galileo Was Wrong is a model for the kind of scholarship we need today- intellectual understanding not as an end in itself, but as a commitment to reality, infused with moral passion, love for the earth, common sense and philosophical sensitivity. We don't need "new knowledge" as the peer-reviewed science establishment keeps forever intoning so much as the ability to do things, and see things, differently. In our moral darkness, Galileo Was Wrong opens up an important path to the reconnection of thought and life.
Caryl Johnston, M. Ed., M.L.S.
Jerfferson Medical College
Author: Consecrated Venom
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Communist East Germany: Youth Indoctrination
The GDR implemented a concept called Jugendweihe (literally "youth consecration"), a rite of passage for 14 year olds. This source describes Jugendweihe :
Building on a socialist tradition, the GDR worked hard to establish the Jugendweihe, something of a rite of passage for 14-year-olds. It was intended, among other things, to replace the Christian ceremony of Confirmation, and inspire the youth with a love of socialism and the German Democratic Republic. By 1989, over 5,000 committees involving 150,000 volunteers organized the ceremonies. Leading up to the ceremony itself was a series of meetings to prepare participants for the event, and remind them of the glories of socialism. This is material for leaders of one such session in 1960. It is interesting that Stalin's works are still recommended reading...
[From primary material]
...The youth should recognize:
1. We need the scientific worldview of the working class if we are to really understand the social transformations and the great events of our day and are to contribute consciously to building socialism, the future of humanity.
2. The worldview of the working class is not just any "faith" in the progress of humanity, but rather a scientifically-based understanding of the world and its laws, whose truth and correctness are constantly proven by new scientific-technical achievements.
3. With the help of a scientific worldview we can not only explain everything in nature and society, but also become capable of changing the world in ways that put it in the service of human progress. It is therefore a weapon of the working class.
4. The socialist worldview gives people the strength to fight bravely for the best ideals of humanity...
...With the example of two contradictory characters from the book or the film, we can make clear that there are differing worldviews, progressive and reactionary, which despite differences in detail lead back to two fundamental worldviews: the materialist scientific, and the idealistic unscientific.
The boys and girls should understand why we speak of the materialist worldview of the working class as the scientific worldview. (We do not discuss religious views of the world, and do not want to discuss other idealistic worldviews.)
The working class depends on the discoveries of astronomy, physics and chemistry, and bases its worldview on the discoveries of natural sciences as well as on the knowledge of the laws that govern the life of society,...
One book used to "guide" the youth through this process is called Der Sozialismus- Deine Welt (Socialism- your world. Note that the form of "you" used is very personal and intimate, as opposed to the formal "Ihre").
(Verlag Neues Leben, Berlin, 1975 )
In this book, there are some clear elements of removing hope from the youth and teaching them that there only choice is to join the socialist cause. First the youth are taught that man is a descendant of apes.
Next the youth are shown how man had to struggle for hundreds of thousands of years (after "evolving" for millions) to get to the technological point they now have established.
Then the youth are told that the earth travels around the sun; and basically they are told that we are nothing but an averaged sized planet, travelling around an averaged sized sun, in an average sized galaxy,...
Next God (and thus Christianity / Judaism) is mocked:
How could a society which teaches their youth these things expect to survive?
Monday, November 20, 2006
John Paul II's Special Mission?
I keep hearing from many places that people are meeting their need for new priests by getting them from other countries- often third world ones. I wonder if while the West was ignoring the Church, JPII was not planting seeds in the third world, now bearing fruit. Is it possible that the third world will come back to the US (both in terms of priests and possible lay people) and Europe to re-evangilize us?
In the "first world" we have it good, and we used our influence to demand things from the Vatican. In the third world, perhaps a visit from the pope was seen as a sign of hope more than another opportunity to try and make changes. In any case, this seems plausible. If it occured, I do not know whether it was deliberate on JPII's part, or guidance of the Holy Spirit, but it does seem possible.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Maciej Giertych in Polish Radio Interview: Evolution (Geocentrism Mentioned)
Giertych started with:
I am a scientist, I am a geneticist, my specialty is population genetics and I reject the theory of evolution on the basis of the field of science I represent. I find that in many fields of science there are scientists who reject the theory of evolution because in their fields they also find evidence against the theory.
Next he voiced his concern on Darwinianism in education:
Schools are teaching evolution as a fact and there seems to be very little reference to new research that would either support or negate the theory of evolution. There is so much new evidence that is being simply ignored by the school textbooks.
At this point the voice of establishment science was brought in, equating anti-evolution to geocentrism (Kielan-Jaworowska):
There are people who still believe that not the earth is going round the sun but the sun round the earth. His views have nothing to do with science; I would not call him a scientist. We are deeply ashamed that he got the title of a professor and that he is a biologist.
Yes, Ms. Kielan-Jaworowska, there are those who look at the evidence rather than worshipping at the altar of science. Some of us are glad that a few people with the title 'professor' are willing to have an open mind.
Later Giertych made a statement regarding working with established science:
The proponents of the theory of evolution are not prepared to sit down and look at the evidence and present their own evidence for the theory of evolution. Debates on the subject immediately develop into philosophical conflict, a lot of emotions are involved and a tendency to label the other side as ignorant, as motivated ideologically - whereas what is needed is a serious scientific debate and confrontation of results.
Kielan-Jaworowska predictably supported Giertych's contention in her next segment:
I don't think scientific discussion with him is possible.
The radio show in Catholic Poland ended in a manner not likely in the US or much of western Europe (announcer Joanna Najfeld ):
The liberal archbishop Życiński of Lublin, has criticized Prof. Giertych's call for scholarly debate. However the official Catholic Church position on the subject was reiterated by the late Polish Pope, John Paul II, who in a 1996 statement to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences said, "fresh knowledge leads to recognition of more than one hypothesis in the theory of evolution."
Monday, October 16, 2006
Evolution Debate in Poland / Europe Continuing
Daily News & Analysis (India) 14 October 2006
Link to original
WARSAW: Poland's deputy education minister called for the influential evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin not to be taught in the country's schools, branding them as lies in comments published on Saturday. "The theory of evolution is a lie, an error that we have legalised as a common truth," Miroslaw Orzechowski, the deputy minister in the country's right-wing coalition government, was quoted as saying...
Here is the tie in to European Parliament Lectured on Macro-Evolution :
Orzechowski called for a debate on whether Darwin's theory should be taught in schools. "We should not teach lies, just as we should not teach bad instead of good, or ugliness instead of beauty," he said.
"We are not going to withdraw Darwin's theory from the school books, but we should start to discuss it," he added.
The deputy minister is a member of a Catholic far-right political group, the League of Polish Families. The league's head, Roman Giertych, is education minister in the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Giertych's father Maciej, who represents the league in the European Parliament, organised a discussion there last week on Darwinism. He described the theory as not supported by proof and called for it to be removed from school books...
A couple of related items:
The Polish News Bulletin (www.PNB.pl), an English language Polish news service posted this as their quote of the day Saturday (oct. 14th):
Evolution is one of the many lies taught in schools.
Miroslaw Orzechowski, deputy education minister
Also, Truth in Science (www.truthinscience.org.uk) picked up on the Paliament story at this link.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Interview With Dominique Tassot on Evolution
By John L. Allen Jr.
NCR senior correspondent
(original document available here)
EXCERPTS FROM THE LINKED DOCUMENT FOLLOW
[Note from Mark Wyatt: I highly recommend the entire interview. Get it at the above link]
On Aug. 22, 2006, Allen interviewed Dominique Tassot, director of Centre d’Etude et de Prospectives sur la Science (“Center for Studies and Prospectives on Science” or CEP), a group of 700 European Catholic scientists and intellectuals based in France. They discussed evolution, science and intelligent design.
NCR: Can you describe the Centre d’Etude et de Prospectives sur la Science?
TASSOT: It was formally founded in 1997, though that was really the transformation of a preexisting informal group of people into an organization. We’re mainly a French-speaking association. We publish an in-house quarterly, CEP, and sponsor an annual conference. We have 700 members, with about half of them being scientists. There are also historians, religious men and women, and others. We publish some materials on the history of science. The main axis around which our interest revolves, however, is a critical approach to evolutionary theory.
Would you say it’s a Catholic organization?
Yes. Not all members are Catholic, but certainly the most influential members are Catholics.
What is your scientific training?
I graduated from the Paris School of Mines, which is an elite school of engineering. I studied mathematics, physics and chemistry. In my professional career I worked in metallurgy plants, not in a teaching or research centers. Many members of CEP, however, are involved in full-time teaching and research.
Do you have any relationship with the French bishops?
Yes. Bishop Henri Marie Raoul Brincard of the diocese of Le Puy-en-Velay, for example, is a friend. (Le Puy-en-Velay is an important Marian shrine and pilgrimage destination in France). In fact, it was through Brincard that I was able to get a letter to Benedict XVI about evolution directly on the desk of the pope. I wrote the letter before the New York Times article on evolution by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, but sent it afterwards.
What did you say in this letter?
I made two points. First, I reminded that the pope that Pius XII in the encyclical Humani Generis in 1950 suggested a debate inside the Catholic Church on evolutionary theory, but it has never happened. I said that it’s now time to open the debate, because in each discipline we can find people on both sides, which was not the case in the 1950s.
Second, I said that the impact of this debate is not just scientific. In itself, evolution is a scientific question, but it has consequences on a much larger scale. It opens a possibility for the church to regain the initiative in the field of culture. Right now, Catholic intellectuals spend their time explaining that such-and-such a theory is or is not compatible with the faith, which means that the initiative is always coming from other groups or movements. What’s important is the possibility for the church, for Christians, to reestablish an autonomous world view. The concept of creation is important in this regard. Today, most people believe that truth is given by science and the church reacts to it. If you accept that science gives the truth, inevitably Christian intellectuals will all move inside a scientific worldview which is actually foreign to Christianity.
What was the pope’s response?
He responded very positively, offering a blessing for our members and encouraging us to continue with our contacts with the scientific world. He didn’t say anything, however, about the idea of creating a commission or some other vehicle for launching a debate.
What was your reaction to the op/ed piece of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in the New York Times last July?
Schönborn didn’t say that Darwin is or is not compatible with the Christian faith, but that Darwinism is wrong. From a theoretical point of view, that’s quite different. He affirmed that it’s possible for philosophy and theology to attain certainties which are higher than scientific certainties. That’s something new from theologians. For three or four centuries, theologians have generally followed the scientists, taken their lead from the sciences. This is a question of intellectual authority, and of course it stems from the Galileo case and so on. Little by little, authority has shifted from theologians to the scientists.
Once again, the question is whether it’s possible to recover an autonomous Christian worldview, within which science has its own very important place. To have a place, however, is very different from being the frame within which everything is set.
What are your thoughts on the Sept. 1-3 meeting of Pope Benedict’s Schülerkreis?
In my letter to Benedict XVI, I advised him that he should remain the master of this debate. By that I meant that he shouldn’t delegate it to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, even though I couldn’t quite say it that way. Even though it’s not possible for me to see all the influences behind the Schülerkreis, I suspect the pope has the aim of using the Schülerkreis to test new opinions and to review them. For me that’s very important, though I don’t know what the result will be.
What are your concerns with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences?
The problem is that it’s not a Catholic academy. Instead, it’s the place where the scientific worldview can enter inside the Catholic Church. Two-thirds of its members are not Catholic. It’s also the pontifical academy with the greatest number of Noble Prize winners, who are very well known in their disciplines. I’m not questioning the quality of these people, but the meaning and use of this academy inside the church.
Do you see the Centre d’Etude et de Prospectives sur la Science as an alternative to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences?
I wouldn’t say that. I would say instead that it’s a place where the debate that has gone on for many years can take place. My concern is simply that the Pontifical Academy for Sciences exists almost by itself, and I’m not sure it’s the tool for the pope that it should be.
Can you cite any prominent scientists who belong to your group?
I’d mention Guy Berthault, whose work on the dating of sedimentary remains is highly relevant for this debate, as well as interesting from the point of view of the history of science. Evolution relies from the beginning on an extremely long chronology of the earth, which is based in turn on sedimentary theory. Basically, the idea is that when you find many different strata of sedimentary rocks, the strata at bottom is older than those on top, and the whole complex took a extremely long time to form. It seems so obvious that for two centuries geologists didn’t question the underlying principle...
When you say that evolution does not have a sound scientific basis, are you talking about micro-evolution (development within species) or macro-evolution (development from one species to another)?
I mean macro-evolution. This, by the way, is what makes the book Truth and Tolerance (2003) by then-Cardinal Ratzinger so interesting, because he’s one of the few theologians who understands this distinction. Normally people talk about ‘evolution’ but they don’t distinguish, and it’s impossible to say anything meaningful that way.
You may remember that in his New York Times piece, Cardinal Schönborn said something fairly incredible about the 1996 text of John Paul II that termed evolution ‘more than a hypothesis.’ Schönborn called that text ‘rather vague and unimportant.’ Many people were surprised to hear him talk about a papal text that way, but it’s actually very easy to understand. ‘Evolution’ is never defined in that text. In philosophy, we are supposed to define everything, but that was not the case here.
The phrase ‘more than a hypothesis’ was actually a reference to Humani Generis. [Note: Pius XII in that encyclical referred to evolution as a ‘hypothesis.’] But what does this formula mean? What does it mean to be ‘more than a potato’? It means nothing without further definition and distinction.
You said Pope Benedict is one of the few theologians who distinguishes between micro and macro-evolution. What do you know about his thinking on the subject?
For one thing, Pope Benedict became familiar with the discoveries of Professor Berthault many years ago, from the time he was a cardinal. He met Berthault at a conference center and spent several days with him, quite by accident. This is a center in the Alps that Ratzinger used as a meeting place for a theological conference, and Berthault was one of the directors of the association that owned the place. Ratzinger came several times over a period of years, and got to know Berthault. I think that has had some influence on him. It was an opportunity for him to see that even on the scientific questions surrounding evolution, debate is possible. Most people think that the findings of science are completely established and are beyond discussion. They think it’s the way it’s presented in textbooks in school. But those textbooks are the result of a long process, which in itself is not so simple. Science doesn’t give definite certainties.
What do you expect from the Schülerkreis meeting?
I expect that the debate will go further. Some months ago, Cardinal Schönborn published an essay in First Things on this subject that I found interesting, and I translated it into French. I sent it to him along with my letter to the pope. In reply, Schönborn said that the debate is going on, and he’s delighted with that. At the time, I was unsure of what Schönborn was thinking, because what he was saying at that time was unclear.
What I hope the meeting at Castelgandolfo means is that this scientific debate will interest philosophers and theologians more and more. For many theologians, the very fact that there’s a debate within science is something new.
Do you think Benedict XVI will make a formal statement on evolution?
I think it is too early. I think he’s using the meeting of his Schülerkreis to give a broader extension to the debate. But even if he himself knows where he wants to go, and I believe he does, it will take more time. Most Catholic intellectuals today are convinced that evolution is obviously true because most scientists say so. To show that debate is possible on scientific grounds, and also on philosophical and theological grounds, is more than a question of a few months. In the meantime, what I see is that in his normal daily teaching, Benedict is providing some glimpse into the importance of creation and so on. I do not expect, however, an official theological statement quickly.
You say you think you know where the pope wants to go. Where is that?
In the past, Cardinal Ratzinger was convinced that evolution was true, and being an intelligent man, he devised a way to make it compatible with theological truth. Today I think his view is different. Some years ago, he began to understand that there is a difference between micro and macro-evolution, which is an important point for him. At a conference in Germany, he actually said that this was one of the most important experiences of his life. The fact that he devoted three pages to the subject of evolution in Truth and Tolerance is by itself abnormal. He grasps that micro and macro-evolution are not the same, and I think he believes people accepted an atheistic world view in relation to evolution because they accepted the confusion between micro and macro-evolution. He wants people to understand this important truth.
If he doesn’t make a statement, how will he do this?
I think he will use Cardinal Schönborn once more, or perhaps several more times. They know each other well, Schönborn understands where the pope wants to go, and together they are devising a way. Sometimes the best way to get from A to B is not by a direct path. The first thing is to let people know that debate is possible. Ultimately, the solution will be given by science, because evolution in itself is a scientific question. But it’s important to let theologians know that within the scientific world, debate is not only possible, but it’s happening right now. For the moment, only that will change the minds of theologians, because in too many cases their thoughts are subordinate to science.