Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset or Galileo Shmalileo

Just when you thought we’d put the Dark Ages behind us, the Chicago Tribune reports that the Society of St. Pius X (no relation to Malcom) is urging the Catholic Church to once again reject the findings of Galileo Galilei and abdandon it belief in heliocentrism, the notion that the earth revolves around the sun. Galileo had his telescope to prove his findings; the Society has the Bible:

"And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe.… The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course." (Joshua 10:12-14)

The group’s concern is that by admitting the Bible is wrong with regards to astrophysics, the Church is losing its capacity to rule our lives. This is from the Tribune:

"Heliocentrism becomes dangerous if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system," said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. "False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today.… Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her."

I for one am always nostalgic for the Dark Ages, so bring it on Pius X! But as always there are those who just have to disagree. Take for example Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY (the state, not the jelly). Now Ken believes there is scientific proof that the earth is less than ten thousand years old, and that humans coexisted with dinosaurs, and even has a triceratops in his museum with a saddle on it! Ken says that the Bible is mum about the structure of the solar system.

"There's a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated," Ham said. "The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system."

Now when you have people who think the Flintstones was a documentary claiming that your biblical notion that the sun revolves around the earth isn’t biblical, you know you’ve got a problem. But don’t laugh. In a couple of years Texas science books will teach the heliocentric controversy right next to a short biography of the paleontologist who found the triceratops with the saddle.

America our future is bright, but only because we are so dim.


dtedac said...

This is truly ridiculous. Why do we have to insist that a choice must be made between science and the Bible? The Bible was never intended to be a scientific treatise and should not be treated as such. The Society of St. Pius X has always been reactionary and seems to be running further down that road. God help us!

Raksha said...

WOW! I was already aware that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is one of the most reactionary Catholic organizations out there, and that there is no end to its nostalgia for the Dark Ages. But this one is a new low even by SSPX standards. In the past, I've run into ultraconservative Catholics who questioned the heliocentric structure of the solar system (as well as evolution, of course), but I never thought one of their leaders would advocate for this absurdity in public. They must be getting pretty desperate!


Romanitas Press said...

Actually, the SSPX does not promote such a view as can be seen by their recent press release (

PLATTE CITY, MO (8-30-2011) A recent news report implied that the Priestly Society of St. Pius X promotes the scientific theory of geocentrism as a Catholic teaching based upon the Bible. The SSPX holds no such position.

The Church’s magisterium teaches that Catholics should not use Sacred Scripture to assert explanations about natural science, but may in good conscience hold to any particular cosmic theory. As a religious congregation of the Catholic Church, the SSPX holds to these principles and does not teach any solar scientific theory (read more here: