Wednesday, 26 March 2014

St Augustine was - Literally - a Young Earth Creationist and Geocentric, and he was Right

1) New blog on the kid : St Augustine was - Literally - a Young Earth Creationist and Geocentric, and he was Right, 2) HGL's F.B. writings : Diverging slightly from Sungenis, 3) From Catholic Cosmology Group, on Size of Universe, 4) Continued from Previous, Some Debate

Why am I pointing this out?

Well, if it could be presumed he were in Hell or Purgatory instead of Heaven, he would be rotating in his grave (but he is in Heaven and so not rotating in his grave, and that is the only conceivable reason why he is not rotating in his grave) because ONE quote from him, dealing with a matter distinguishing indeed his Geocentric Round Earth cosmology from a Flat Earth cosmology*, but certainly NOT affirming that Earth spins round its axis or around the sun, let alone that this were some kind of KNOWN fact, is of late become a meme and a catchword for people who want to Theologically shut up Geocentrics and Young Earth Creationists, because it is embarrassing to them that they are in fact agreeing with what St Augustine actually wrote, though obviously not with what THEY think St Augustine would be meaning NOW in uttering the words.

It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian.

One such thing being that the Earth is round. Another such being that it is still. A third being that Universe (or visible parts of it, like Moon, Sun, Stars - both planets and fix stars) are each day getting from East to West around it.

It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters and, as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. . . .

Sure, baby!

By the way, I am quoting this from an article by Mark Shea:

Catholic Answers Magazine :
Puny Humans, Vast Universe
Does Christianity Make Sense?
By: Mark P. Shea

Big mistake of Christian Heliocentrics to be touting St Augustine's this one passage on this, if ever KNOWLEDGE (as opposed to Modernist prejudice) should get the upper hand among non-Christians again. Which however might not happen up to Doomsday.

With Scripture it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason . . . if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of Scripture.

Let it be noted: Heliocentrism and Billions of Years Old Earth are NOT the perceptions of anyone's rational faculties. They are conclusions, and I would say erroneous such.

In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation.

"Our authors" - would that include Kings David and Solomon? St Robert Bellarmine had a few things to say to Galileo on the matter of Ecclesiastes or Wisdom and Psalm 92.

Now, the Pastry Pontiff, as some like to call him, alias Mark Shea, made the mistake (it is one for a mere meme touter, a huge tactical mistake) to give also an exact reference:

(The Literal Interpretation of Genesis, 1:19–20; 2:9)

So the quote is ...

  • a) conflated from two passages?
  • b) one only from book two, and the previous one from end of book one?

Has it occurred to Mark Shea that if he wants to know the value St Augustine put on the literal interpreation of the Genesis, and he goes to a work which is by St Augustine and which is called "De Genesi ad Literam" or "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis", it might do to have a look at what St Augustine says right at the beginning of that work. I e 1:1? Book one, chapter one.

Now we will see what Mark Shea makes out of this:

The fact that modern geocentrists persist in their beliefs despite all the evidence to the contrary tells us that they are confusing physical reality with spiritual reality.

Is that what De Genesi ad Literam says in 1:1? No.

Just as some people think our physical size means something, so others think our physical location means something.

Location might be more important than size. Inside or outside the ark. Of course outside it were quite of few Nephelim who really thought size mattered ... and Baruch has a thing or two to say about them. Location will matter immensely "at the end of the day", whether we go to Hell or to Heaven.

"But they are not really locations! You are confusing physical fact with spiritual fact!"**

Well, no, I am not. I am insisting on the Resurrection of the Body. One Robert Barron (described, presumably, by Mark Shea and similar people, as a "Catholic Priest") has an awful moment when he describes the damned and the saved as invited and indeed come to "the same party." Anyone who gets to Hell will know it is Hell he got to. Anyone who gets to Heaven will know it is Heaven he got to. St Augustine knows his soul is in Heaven and his body will be there too. Judas Ischariot knows he is in Hell and that his body will be there too. Hell and Heaven are not the same party. Therefore they are not the same place. Therefore "where" or "what place" matters immensely. Earth's surface is, by the way, situated around and therefore above Hell.

They believe that if we are not literally at the center of the physical heavens, then we cannot be at the center of God’s heart.


That is NOT what we believe. That is a cute quip about us. Precisely as when in Sweden I spell "of" as "af" and get asked with a similar quip if I pronounce it "ahph", no, I pronounce it "ahv" as any other Swede and pretending one prononced it "ahph" earlier and that that was why it was spelled "af" is an excuse for non-necessary updates, as Swedish "no longer" pronounces it "ahph" (never did, actually), it is OK now to spell it "av"*** ... similarily older generations of Catholics (you know guys like St Robert Bellarmine or Pope Urban VIII) may have been unenlightened enough to think that if we are not literally at the centre of the physical Heavens we cannot be at the centre of the Sacred Heart's attention either ... (never did that either, by the way), but now that we are more enlightened (since Vatican II allowed babblers of a Robber Baron type to obscure history), it is OK to be Heliocentric.

But humans have dignity because they are made in the image and likeness of God, not because of where they happen to be located in God’s universe.

Not even with very obvious locations such as Hell at the Centre, Heaven at the Rim, Earth surface in between? One place for suffering and loss of God's likeness made permanent, one place for joy and for recovery of God's image made permanent, and between them one place for fight and choices. Fittingly enough in between. I think what exact dignity a man has depends a bit on where of the three main places he is.

Such obvious physicalism was put to bed three thousand years ago, when the king of Syria was rudely disabused of the notion that God was a God of the hills, not of the plains (1 Kgs. 20:23).

I think hills and plains are all one in so far as parts of the Earth surface which is a place of choosing one's eternity and fighting for it. Not so with Earth (i e the surface), and Heaven, and Hell (i e inside Earth).

The Christian faith has always believed that the universe contains non-corporeal, non-human, intelligent beings. We call them angels and demons, but the same definition can be applied to "extraterrestrials."

The great difference between extraterrestrials and angels and demons is that extraterrestrials are not non-corporeal but corporeal. Except insofar - and I agree - they are seen as temporarily bodily manifestations of angels or, more probably, usually, demons.

Every age creates an aesthetic mythos to support its deepest beliefs, and ours is no exception. A mythos is not necessarily false or true. It is a picture of the world with a satisfying shape. Sometimes that shape accords with reality and tells us something true, and sometimes it accords with our wishes and tells us something about ourselves.

Well, no. Ours is very especially fertile in creating an aesthetic setting (I would not abuse the word "mythos" for this!) which tells more about the wishes of its adherents than about reality. Heliocentrism and Raelianism (i e with "other earths" in "other solar systems" with "other humanities" that are otherwise more advanced and that are supposed to have visited us and even created us by genetic manipulation) are on the top, but so is one setting which is precondition of both: billions of years.

The faith teaches us that our ultimate hope is in Christ, who will come again in glory on the Last Day with his holy angels to judge the living and the dead. A Christian mythos grew up around these basic truths and populated the world with stories of angels, visions of Judgment Day, and an entire folklore that adorned the Christian imagination as it contemplated the truths of the faith.

Except some of us think there is more to it than just a "mythos" growing "up around these basic truths". Some of us, and here you might have mentioned Geocentrics with more propriety, think the setting given by saints like Thomas Aquinas, Robert Bellarmine AND Augsutine of Hippo if you only read more of him than the one abused quote is actual reality.

But that might perhaps not be so concordant with the friends of Mr Shea? I mean the "Every age creates an aesthetic mythos" passage reminds me very unsubtly of one Peillon, French [former, replaced 2 April] Minister of Education (heavily abusing his position - while he had it) who attended a step-son's Bar Mitzva. And Mark Shea has shown over anxiety over "Antisemitism" in a way Chesterton would not have done, he might have similar friends. Or perhaps it is a question of his parish priest having them.

But let us not give up hope for him totally. I did confide his case to St Francis of Sales a year ago ... and here I see a glimmer of hope, about his intellectual honesty:

The point is this: For millions in our culture, the spirit of progress occupies the niche once held by the Spirit of God mysteriously at work in the world

But, wait, I am ghasping .... that is true. And a man I thought a prime sample of victim of that delusion actually denounces it, even in an article that otherwise more than once shows it!

Millions of poets think they are rationalist philosophers; they declare.aspects of Catholic teaching to be "superstition" while confidently assuming that First Contact, the invention of the warp drive, and the colonization of the stars are just around the corner.

Nobody but a few Trekkers dwell on such ideas consciously, but millions receive them as cultural background music. These ideas must be clearly seen for what they are: the triumph of poetry over revelation and reason.

Sure. It is just that this is exactly where I place Heliocentrism as well.

You see, there are two kinds of proof the Earth is round. The Eratosthenes proof at least proves it is bent between Alexandria and Assuan, since parallel sunbeams strike these places at different angles for local vertical, which means local vertical is not identical, which means the distance is not as falt as it seems. The other kind of proof is Vasco da Gama.

But for Heliocentrism we have an incomplete Eratosthenes type of proof (and incomplete proofs prove nothing) and we have no hint at all at a Vasco da Gama type of proof in facts, but we have more than a hint in popularised fictions. Star Trek, Star Wars, Foundation series by Asimov ... Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Scotty and Spock, I guess you can see how these are for popular fancy substitutes for the clearer and less tangled Vasco da Gama type of proof.

As for the Eratosthenes type of proof (as I said: incomplete and proving nothing of what it is supposed to prove), it being more tangled than the non-extant Vasco da Gama proof for Heliocentrism, that is shown by how Mark Shea treats it:

Similar thinking is at work in the insistence of a small cadre of reactionary Catholics on geocentrism. They claim that the earth is the center of the universe and that all other heavenly bodies orbit around it. Some even insist that the earth does not rotate on its axis but that the entire universe moves around the earth every twenty-four hours. That this is folly has been proven many times.

Claiming something has been disproven many times is not the same thing as disproving it. On top of that - and here again I suspect a bad Jewish influence on Mark Shea - even disproving something is not proving it folly. The supposed refutation may be so complex that the supposed error is far more excusable than, say, Solipsism, even if it were an error. If Mark Shea were in fact talking to a Solipsist (that is a real fool), or a Pantheist (that is a Sophisticated Solipsist), Mark Shea would NOT be resorting to vague assertations like "That this is folly has been proven many times." On top of that without any kind of reference to those times. Precisely as with "The fact that modern geocentrists persist in their beliefs despite all the evidence to the contrary" - no reference at all to what this supposed "all evidence" consists of. Bulverism in the extreme, assuming someone is wrong and supposing one is proving it by explaining how he became to be wrong (using, as usually with Bulverists, guesswork for both).

I will not reply in kind. I could without lying refer to the many times I had refuted supposed proofs for Heliocentrism to my satisfaction. I prefer to cite one and refute it here.

Heliocentric (fictitious but realistic° example):
If you drop a pen, you can foretell by gravitation where it will fall. We can similarily foretell where planets will orbit. Therefore planets similarily move by gravitation. Which will only work on Heliocentric terms.
My first refutation:
If I drop a pen, where it hits first can be foretold with some precision, whether you explain it by Aristotle's, Newton's or Einstein's view. The first meantioned is of course unusable for Heliocentric purposes. But if instead of dropping it, I hold it, where it hits the paper will not depend on any such explanation but upon my intention. Now, if my intentions are very regular, like a complex spiralling shape circling itself to make a flower, it will however be foreseeable. THEREFORE being foreseeable is not ipso facto any proof of non-intentional, like gravitational causation. Angels moving heavenly bodies will work with either Heliocentrism or Geocentrism. And in that case, trusting them or rather their Lord, Geocentrism is the more honest construction of a Universe, since in whatever Universe is actually constructed, it is now in fact Geocentrism we are seeing. It is also useful by excluding directly a non-intentional, atheistic explanation based on gravitation.
My second refutation (refined since a few months)
A gravitational explanation of one body rotating or orbitting another WILL. NOT. WORK for more than very few orbits.

Universe today
Video: Dancing Water Drops In Earth Orbit
by Nancy Atkinson on February 7, 2012

If it is anything like the other videos, you will be able to count the circles before it glues onto the knitting needle. Between ten and twenty, so around fifteen. I had previously thought that an iron hockey puck shot by a locally fixed magnet on an ice rink would probably not make even one circle around it.

Obviously, the stone on a string experiment is no parallel. Three bodies with subtle forces through the connecting body are not a parallel to two bodies with an obvious force counteracting in each case another force which would by itself make body A pass and miss and remove itself from body B rather than circle it.

As I say that I have already seen other videos, Mark Shea may imagine I have already used this argument elsewhere. He might even like a reference. Given in footnote.°° I will not reply with this kind of "many times" without giving a reference. It is a trick of rhetoric rather than a real argument. So is the blog post in which he links back to this:

Puny Humans, Vast Universe
March 26, 2014 By Mark Shea 0 Comments
Given that Cosmos is busy regurgitating the myth of the War on Science by the Evil Catholic Church of Evilness (on the one hand) and Bob Sungenis is just about to embarrass the Faith with a movie on geocentrism that even his own attorney calls “fringe science“, I thought it might be fun to revisit one of most mysterious arguments trotted out by the fundamentalist mystics of physicalism (both Christian and atheist): the notion that the physical size of the universe or the physical location of the earth has some sort of spiritual significance. Here’s a piece I wrote some years ago for Catholic Answers magazine.

Let me underline:

Bob Sungenis is just about to embarrass the Faith with a movie on geocentrism

Is "embarass" a scientific or philosophical argument?

that even his own attorney calls “fringe science“,

The wording about "even his own attorney" calling it that makes it kind of sound as if "fringe science" were something bad. Maybe it is socially so in circles Mark P. Shea likes to frequent. But it could be that the lawyer is simply repeating a description which Robert Sungenis uses himself, and does not despite this effort from the Pastry Pontiff (yes, that is a thing he likes to call Mark) himself consider embarassing. He might be spelling it out as in fringe as in minority and science as here is where the real science is.

Rick de Lano
I expect our lawyer will have something to say to Mr. Shea, having already addressed certain statements by Mr. Keating.
I will add that ... (wonder what his lawyer will do for my open use of Pastry Pontiff, and on top of that Robber Baron for guess who)

You know, being against the Boer War and at same time nor being against all wars was once upon a time a fringe position in England. One fringe to which belonged Gilbert Keith Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. But fringe as they were, they were arguably right. England was not wrong to fight because fighting is wrong, but because in that fight it had picked the wrong fight. England was wrong to fight because the Boers were right to fight. England was wrong to fight because deeply involved in Imperialistic interest of the Cecil Rhodes type. Boers were right to fight because fighting for the preservation of the liberty of their own home.

So, in the England of that day, the fringe position on the Boer War was the righteous position.

Why should there not be places and times when and where the fringe position on science (or, if you deny physical astronomy the status of science, of physical astronomy, then, there are no different positions on planar astronomy, since it is a summary of observations usually made from Earth) is the sceintifically or philosophically correct position? And if there can be such, why should "right now, as in XXth and XXIst centuries, right here as in Western World" not be a setting where such a scenario can apply? No. Reason. At. All ... really.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Castulus, Martyr
(ask for his aid if ever
risking to be buried in sand!)

* As you can see, a Flat Earth Cosmology must be Geostatic, but need not be Geocentric. Earth could in such a scenario be one of the lower shelves or one of the higher shelves rather than strictly middle shelf. But St Augustine was not Flat Earth, he was this other kind of Geostatic which is also Geocentric.

** Not what he actually said, but what I imagine he could reply to what I said. The real quotes are indented, they are "squares" or "oblongs" which are narrower in the vertical.

*** English speakers! I have been taught that "of" is pronounced "ov", and "off" is prounced "oph". Is that a mistake? Are you really pronouncing them as "oph" for "off" and as "awph" for "of"? I should think not! There is no natural necessity that in writing the letter F should be used always or only when denoting a sound that IPA would spell [f] within square brackets. Tradition counts (and that is why I am not buying US Spelling reform either, I have an axe to grind with it, but even more so with the Swedish one.

° In an old fashioned way. Back in the days when two non-specialists would reason about a thing instead of gassing on about "contructing an aesthetic mythos around a truth". Now such Heliocentrics with their clear head and clear elocution seem to have become rare among the Heliocentric tribe.

°° Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... to Unbalanced Anti-YEC priest (?) and his defenders, part I
scroll down to a quarter or a fifth from top and ExtantFrodo2 gives the video to me

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Sometimes Luther Got it Right!
scroll down to footnote ## close to the bottom on a shorter page

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