On a whim, I decided to poke around the Internet for serious defenders of geocentrism. And, behold, galileowaswrong.com from one Robert Sugenis!
He has written a 1000-page treatise explaining the accuracy of geocentrism. No, I haven’t read it, and until his website addresses a couple of shortcomings, it is not worth the time. Sugenis asserts that retrograde motion and parallax are handled in the geocentric model, but with little or no explanation as to why we would accept these claims (I looked).
An important aspect of a scientific model is that it should be able to make predictions.* As an example of heliocentrism’s strength, we can observe the retrograde motion of planets. Normally, planets move from east to west relative to the stars. But once in a while, they slow down and then start moving eastward! Then, they start their normal westward motion again.
This is difficult to explain in a geocentric model…why would the planets sometimes move backwards? The ancient Greeks settled on a system of “epicircles” to explain this motion. As the planets orbit the Earth, they would also orbit a point in space, like so:
But you now need another explanation…WHY would the planets orbit these points? (Plus, you’d need to demonstrate that the motions of all the solar system’s bodies can be explained with this model.)
With the heliocentric model, just add the Theory of Gravity and a little more physics, and you’re almost done. Even if you weren’t aware of retrograde motion, the heliocentric predicts it. The inner planets orbit the sun at faster than outer planets, so there is a period of time when the inner planet is passing the outer planet. During that time, the outer planet appears to be going backward, much like a slower car appears to be going backward looking out a side window.
And just for fun, a quote from the website:
Before I begin my scientific critique of Alec MacAndrew, I think it should be stated that he admits to being an atheist. Because of that, he would no sooner entertain the possibility of a geocentric system than he would accept six-day creationism over evolution.
Yep, he thinks that atheism implies heliocentrism. It’s hard not to guess why he thinks that, and it’s a sad example of tribalism trumping logic.
*The ability to make predictions is a sticking point for intelligent design. It doesn’t tell us anything about life. If the Creator can make anything that is possible, then it might exist. Literally any piece of evidence needs no further explanation than “the Creator made it that way”.
Evolution, however, makes falsifiable claims. If we ever discover a Pegasus or find trilobite and human fossils together, there is some serious splainin’ to do, Lucy!