by Greg Krehbiel on 9 April 2014
I am a Star Trek fan, so when my daughter told me that Captain Janeway was going to narrate a documentary about the Sun revolving around the Earth, I had to look it up. Sure enough.
Robert Sungenis, the man behind the film, is an interesting character that I’ve interacted with online and spoken with on the phone a couple times. He’s an uber-conservative Catholic, and back when I was obsessing on that stuff his name was everywhere. He has some odd views on many things, including science.
None of that concerns me in this post. My real point is to wonder how any of us actually “know” that the Earth revolves around the Sun. I don’t doubt that it does, but I also realize that I’ve never seen any data or actually studied the question. In fact, I have little doubt that your average geocentrist knows more about the facts, figures and relevant issues than your average heliocentrist, simply because in order to be a geocentrist these days you are far more likely to have read about the subject, while to be a heliocentrist all you have to say is “everybody knows that.”
It’s like the guy who’s “sure” that the earth is billions of years old and he knows this because oil is made from dead dinosaurs. Well, yes, the earth is billions of years old, but oil is not made of dead dinosaurs.
We think we know so many things, but our knowledge is no more than skin deep. Your average believer in [fill in just about anything that "everybody knows"] has far less “reason to believe” than the heretic, who has studied all sorts of weird stuff and come to outlandish conclusions. For example, the average Jehovah’s Witness has far more data for his wrong-headed ideas than the average Trinitarian.
Our belief in heliocentrism is really just a belief in the reliability of established opinion.
-- 2014-04-09 » Greg Krehbiel