I haven't read his book, but I did read the interview he made about it. It is shorter.
In Wilson’s course we took the ancient observational data, worked through the calculations, and discovered that, as observations became ever more precise, the Ptolemaic and Tychonian theories failed to account for the movements of the celestial bodies. It was this failure that led Kepler to develop his three laws of planetary motion, and it was this course that sparked my interest in geocentrism.
Problem, if Tychonian theory fails to "account for the movements" even geometrically (as first observed by observations at such and such times), Kepler does TWO things to change that. One is switching to Heliocentrism. Another is to make orbits elliptical and introduce a correlation between speed and surface area of ellipse figure (equal areas of ellipse are covered in equal times).
The Catholic astronomer Riccioli integrated ALL of this, except the Heliocentric part. And when challenged with a series of Heliocentric arguments - apparently, since I have not read that passage in Riccioli, his link is THICK and in Latin, and though I read it, I read it less well than English - those from motoric difficulty for accounting for CAUSALITY of intricate Tychonian and somewhat Keplerised orbits, he answered with angelic movers. Now, that he believed these to be not only a fact but also a a good piece of theology to believe in, I have read that part.
Despite being at loggerheads on many theological issues, these groups have joined forces to promote their idea that the Earth is not only at the center of our planetary system but is motionless (that is, it neither moves through space nor spins on its axis) and is at the absolute center of the entire universe. In their thinking, all other bodies—planets, the Sun, the distant stars, galaxies—revolve around the Earth each 24 hours.
OK. This Riccioli, like Tycho, thought too.
Note, as we are talking about absolute centre of the universe, Keating may be earlier in the text somewhat off, and he is certainly not clear to others, when defining Geocentrism thus:
Just as heliocentrism is the theory that the Sun is the center of our planetary system, so geocentrism is the theory that the Earth is the center.
That sounds a bit, not as if geocentrism means earth is non-moving centre of the universe, but rather as if Earth is relative centre of solar system. With an added option of soilar system, having Earth in its centre, wandering slowly (relatively speaking, but quicker in absolute speed) through the galaxy and through the galaxies.
No. Rather, the Ptolemaic position is that Earth is centre of both universe and solar system in its periodic movements (or rather solar system is not a recognised category, but at least of the bodies it involves - except for that thing about epicentres). But the Tychonian position is that Earth is absolute centre of the universe, but Sun relative centre of the bodies that really belong to solar system (i e Earth is within it but not of it). Earlier on, Heliocentrism also meant Sun being absolute centre of universe - that is Galileo's expressed but in 1633 abjured position.
There are two things wrong with these notions.
I am taking note : two. When I have dealt with these two, I have dealt with Keating, then.
First, the science is wrong. That’s bad enough.
Would be bad enough, if true.
What exact "science" is this wrong in?
Observational astronomy? Or astrophysical astronomy? Laplace recognised these as two different disciplines and gave one book to observational, which he describes in - appropriately - Geocentric terms. Then he starts book two by arguing for Heliocentrism being the most rational explanation.
I e, Geocentrism is not wrong in observational astronomy.
But as to astrophysical astronomy, I don't see how it can be wrong there either, unless you start out as discounting the angelic movers' explanation and force yourself to use Newton's laws "alone" (as in either alone or slightly modified by Einstein or even Roger Boskovic), as if "we now knew" that the angelic explanation "must be" false.
Worse, for Christians, is that the new geocentrists insist that the Bible (in the case of the Fundamentalists) or the Bible and the Church (in the case of the Catholics) teach infallibly that these scientific theories are true and must be accepted by faithful Christians. They are laying on Christian shoulders burdens that the Bible and the Church don’t really place there.
Neither Keating nor I are the Pope.
The ideal of ridding the faithful of non-necessary burdens was there in the Reformers too. But they were wrong, Confession is really Biblical. As in Confession of one's sins after Baptism to a Priest of the Church. See Epistle of St James and Gospel of St John 20:21-24. So, whatever the nobility of the motive, Keating might be wrong here. Like the reformers were.
Must I believe Abraham had two sons at age hundred to be saved? Not if I don't know it is in the Bible, but as soon as I do know, it, yes, I must believe it, since otherwise I would deny a dogma on the Holy Ghost : qui locutus est per profetas.
Some have taken the distinction St Thomas makes between what must be believed for its own sake (like Holy Trinity) and what is there as part of the packaging so to speak, as a distinction between what must be believed and what need not be believed. No, he very clearly states that the other stuff too must be believed as soon as you know it is in the Bible.
And he has no one contradicting him in high Church positions up to Vatican II or a bit before.
Most specifically, neither the Anfossi case, nor, even less, the Dante encyclical of Benedict XV, state in so many words that Heliocentrism may be believed.
Indeed, Benedict XV is very instructive here. Have you heard that conservative news anchor express himself on Obama's stance "against" Putin over Ukraine a year ago? "Affirm is not a strong word" he said.
No, and Benedict XV used no strong words to make perfectly clear that Heliocentrism was licit either. If Obama was afraid of Putin, Benedict XV was afraid of being ipso facto excommunicated as a heretic by the act confirmed by Urban VIII in 1633. Note, he was not stating that would be the case any more than Obama was stating he dared not face Putin. BUt he was not courageously disregarding 1633 decision as a matter already settled for free enquiry either.
But is is fine to know Keating is at least for freedom in this matter. Normally that would imply he is also for free discussion of the topic. He could have fooled me. What with his being a major representative or even the chief of Catholic Answers Forums and me being excluded for discussing this topic on it, what with my contacts with him resulting in a huge ignore attitude on FB, well, he could have fooled me.
Or is he for liberty only like the reformers were? Liberty for the less obviously Catholic alternative - and a censorship against Catholic apologetics in case these should succeedd in putting unnecessary burdens on faithful by discrediting the less obviously Catholic alternative.
Like saying that fasting is medical along with prayer and recommended as such by Jesus in a context of exorcism. Like saying that Jesus words about fasting and the bridegroom make fridays and even wednesdays ideal fasting days - because Wednesday the bridegroom was taken away in intention by the betrayal of Judas, and Friday He was taken away in reality, by the Crucifixion. And precisely therefore, Sundays are not fasting days. Because Sunday He was giving Himself back to His friends.
My Biblical stance, like that of St Robert Bellarmine, is pretty concentrated on Joshua X. Not just on what happened, and what words the astronomical event was expressed in, but the fact that Joshua turned to Sun and Moon rather than to Earth and its supposed daily rotational axis.
But this, and also an answer to his point that geostationary satellites are among his best scientific proof, was already given in the previous post, the one which answered CMI.
As far as Keating's honesty is concerned, about his concern for freedom, I am waiting for a readmission to Catholic forums, ideally under my initial user name, hansgeorg.** I'll perhaps update you if he does, but don't keep your breath.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Valentine, priest
martyred under Claudius Caesar
* See: The Catholic World Report : Circling the New Geocentrists: An Interview with Karl Keating
** See : Catholic Answers > Members : hansgeorg
Banned : Last Activity: May 30, '12 2:04 am