10 Interesting Heliocentric Solar System Quotes

Solar System
Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Heliocentrism is the astronomical model which places a stationary Sun at the center of the Solar System while the Earth, planets and other bodies revolve around it. As early as the 3rd century BCE, Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system but the idea wasn’t accepted until the 16th century when Nicolaus Copernicus produced a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system. Even then Copernicus came under fire from the Church, especially as his claims seemed to contradict their understanding of the Bible. In the King James Bible First Chronicles 16:30, for instance, it states that “the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.” It would then take another century at least before works by eminent scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton gave the final proof to the Heliocentric model. Here are some interesting quotes related to heliocentrism through the ages:

The Aitareya Brahmana (9th century BCE): “The Sun never sets nor rises. When people think the sun is setting, it is not so; they are mistaken. It only changes about after reaching the end of the day and makes night below and day to what is on the other side.”

(Reference to Aristarchus, 310-230 BCE by Archimedes): “His hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the Sun remain unmoved, and that the Earth revolves about the Sun in the circumference of a circle, the Sun lying in the middle of the orbit.”

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (1149-1209): “Even though the Earth is described as a bed in this verse, in the other verse it is portrayed as a sphere. Spherical earth is revolving around the Sun. If questioned “How people and objects can stand on the Earth if the Earth, as a sphere, revolving around the Sun?”, my answer will be that the Earth is such a huge sphere where flat surfaces appear.”

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543): “For when a ship is floating calmly along, the sailors see its motion mirrored in everything outside, while on the other hand they suppose that they are stationary, together with everything on board. In the same way, the motion of the earth can unquestionably produce the impression that the entire universe is rotating.”

Martin Luther (1483–1546): “There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must..invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.”

Tycho Brahe (1546–1601): “The body of the Earth, large, sluggish and inapt for motion, is not to be disturbed by movement (especially three movements), any more than the Aetherial Lights [stars] are to be shifted, so that such ideas are opposed both to physical principles and to the authority of the Holy Writ which many time: confirms the stability of the Earth.”

Galileo Galilei (1564– 1642): “The Bible tells us how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go..Take note, theologians, that in your desire to make matters of faith out of propositions relating to the fixity of sun and earth you run the risk of eventually having to condemn as heretics those who would declare the earth to stand still and the sun to change position—eventually, I say, at such a time as it might be physically or logically proved that the earth moves and the sun stands still.”

Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001): “We know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only,and that such a difference has no physical significance…”Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is “right” and the Ptolemaic theory is “wrong” in any meaningful sense. The two theories…are physically equivalent to one another.”

Carl Baugh (born 1936): “Again, once more for the record: it has been shown at least six different ways this century alone that the equations and physics used by NASA to launch satellites are identical to the equations derived from a geocentric universe. Thus, if the space program is proof of anything, it proves geocentricity and disproves heliocentrism.”

Philip Pullman (born 1946): “It’s only through honesty and courage that science can work at all. The Ptolemaic understanding of the solar system was undermined and corrected by the constant pressure of more and more honest reporting.”

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