Saturday, September 18, 2010

Galileo was wrong? Oh I don't think so...

We've been exploring inertia in the physics class lately. We've been through some of my favorite demonstrations and will do a lab on Monday. We also watched the Mechanical Universe episode on Inertia, which includes the story of how Galileo used the concept of inertia to "set the world spinning." Spinning away from geocentrism and toward heliocentrism.

Recall that in the early 1600s, the rest of the Enlightened world was growing to accept the idea that Earth was but a planet circling the larger, grander Sun. Galileo was hoping to move Italy in that direction, despite its Church-enforced geocentric predilections. He imagined that his personal connection to the Pope might help him get away with it. And he was wrong.

But according to one Dr. Robert Sungenis, Galileo was wrong about heliocentrism, too.

Sungenis and his followers are modern-day geocentrists! Oxymorons? Perhaps. But they are scheduling a conference to share their beliefs. It's November 6 in South Bend, Indiana (near Notre Dame, they hasten to add).

Galileo was wrong and The Church was right, they claim. Science teachers, our work is never done.

The "Teach the Controversy" spoof T-shirts might sell well there. I hope actual scientists (especially well-spoken astronomers) attend. I'd pay for Phil Plait's registration out of my own pocket to get him there.

Thanks to Michael Shermer for spotting the conference.


Anonymous said...

New rules. Out: Those who can't do, teach. In: Those who can't do run for political office and rail against those who can do. Proof (OK, hypothesis): Christine O'Donnell compared "Physics" to a "Pimp", claimed there is more evidence for creationism than evolution and thinks ‘The Sopranos’ are a model family.

Anonymous said...

I'll chip in on Phil's airfare

Frank said...

More about Sungenis "credentials" here

Please note that Sungenis has no official capacity in the Catholic Church and was forced by his bishop to take the name "Catholic" off of his organization. Thank you.