For an enlarged, easier to read index click here . To "google search" this site, scroll to the bottom of this page. (This site is best viewed with "Firefox")

(Tips: F11 key enables full screen viewing & Ctrl-F to search the index)


TORAH & SCIENCE-----geocentric or heliocentric

Rav Moderator,

Is the world geocentric or heliocentric? I know that some people believe that the world is geocentric because that is the approach that Chazal appear to take. Certainly, that isn't the approach that modern science takes, and although that itself counts for very little, is there any theological problem with believing in a heliocentric model of the solar system?

And if there is, then what do we make of space exploration?


The earth revolving around the sun is only relative. Nobody has proven nor even claims that it is absolute. In other words, if the Earth is the center of the universe, and the entire universe revolves around the earth, it will appear form the vantage point of anyone located within the universe that the sun is revolving around the earth, when in reality it is the opposite.

For example, lets say you throw a ball south at the speed of 60 MPH. To you and to those around you it would appear that the ball is moving and you are stationary.

But then, if you and all of those observers were actually riding on a bus traveling north at 60 MPH, then from the perspective of someone outside of the bus that ball, after you threw it, was perfectly still. It was you and your environment that were moving.

But then, what if the world was rotating at a speed of 60 MPH in the direction of south. Then, those observers outside of the bus would be the ones moving, the bus would be stationary, and the ball would indeed be traveling at 60 MPH.

Movement relative to another object depends on your perspective. And in order to know, ultimately, whether the earth revolves around the sun, because the earth is moving, or the sun revolves around the earth because the universe is moving and earth is stationary, you would have to measure form a vantage point outside of the universe, and nobody has been able to do that yet. At least not scientists.

So the idea that the earth revolves around the sun is like saying that the ball is moving inside the bus. Maybe. Or maybe everything is moving in your immediate area except the ball. You'd have to be outside the bus to know that.

Same thing here. To know whether it is the earth or the sun that is moving, you would have to take into consideration the entire universe's movement, which no scientists has been able to do.

I don’t know what you mean about space travel.

There is another, deeper explanation to this, which bli neder I will discuss when time allows. It follows according to what I said elsewhere in this forum, that the scientific statements of Chazal are not based on surface level, observable-in-the-laboratory science but on internal, reality-based science.

No comments: