Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘B’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’

with Respondent No. 1

Some Of The Topics Covered

universe – evolution – astronomy and bible – Galileo Galilei – flat-earth gods – human development

July 22 1998:

RESPONDENT: The really famous quote is from Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over empty space, he hangeth the earth upon nothing; What’s particularly important about this quote is its context. This is part of an answer to a long statement in Job 25 complaining about how everything is broken, particularly the celestial bodies. Consider this, Job was from the far East, he was not a Hebrew. One of the problems at the time 900 BC was that ancient temples no longer showed the correct positions for the risings of the stars. The Babylonians (the Canaan’s) believed that stars were gods (not constellations). Now, correct explanation for this ‘break’ in the stellar system is the precession of the equinoxes which is best described using the paradigm of imagining the rotating earth hanging in space moving like a top, changing the position of North across the sky.

RICHARD: Although you say that it is the ‘correct explanation’, it is only correct insofar as modern astronomical observation (with their technological exactitude) can extrapolate back in time from the current configurations. In other words it is a scientific hypothesis. Are you familiar with the much-discredited works of Mr. Immanuel Velikovsky? His work explains Job 26:7 differently to the explanation of modern science. He had a far more interesting hypothesis, based upon examining the writings and legends of early peoples around the globe, that a comet passed close by the earth around 1500 BC (this is all from memory as I do not have the books) and again around 700 BC which affected the spin of the earth, the axis inclination and magnetic field ... among other things. He used this hypothesis to explain the sun standing still and the sunrise changing from being in the west (prior to 1500 BC) to the sun rising in the East as it does currently. He later used geologic and paleontological evidence to support his hypothesis that catastrophes have indeed overwhelmed the earth, but that they have a physical explanation rather than metaphysical cause ... like God’s wrath.

Interestingly enough, the animosity of the American scientific community toward his first book (‘Worlds in Collision’) caused the original publisher, threatened with a boycott of its scientific-textbook division, to turn Mr. Immanuel Velikovsky’s work over to a firm not involved in textbook publishing. So it is not only the religious who are bigoted.

RESPONDENT: Actually that paradigm is not completely correct, although it’s still used today, There are two effects causing precession, one is the lunar-solar precession, which is due to the slow rotation of the axis of the Earth, the second is the Jovan precession which is due to the gravitational drag of planets over time, both effects cycle over thousands of years.

RICHARD: So, what emerges is that scientists do not actually know either ... it is all speculation. The only problem that arises is when people start believing these speculations and hypotheses to be correct or to be the truth ... is this not so?

RESPONDENT: I have PLENTY more about the modernly created flat-earth myth, but I’d thought I’d give you this little ‘pearl’ before I go on. That’s a hint by the way.

RICHARD: Oh, is it now? Have you read any of No. 24’s posts from earlier this year, by any chance?

He had a messiah complex too.

July 25 1998:

RESPONDENT: I’m sorry I haven’t been watching much about this conversation because I have two interesting avocations, one is the study of the history of astronomy and I am also working on a translation of the Bible. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about a number of things here and perhaps I can help shed some light on the situation. Galileo made a great discovery but it had nothing to do with the shape of the earth. Galileo’s discovery was of the moons of Jupiter which showed orbiting bodies that displayed no retrograde motion, thus providing hard evidence (previously lacking) to confirm, in part, the Copernican model of the solar system in which the Earth was not the centre. So the motion of the earth in question was not its rotation about its axis but its revolution about the sun.

RICHARD: I am not too sure just what confusion you are speaking of. I have been reading every post that comes onto this List and I am the only person to mention the name of Mr. Galileo Galilei ... and I have not written anywhere that his ‘great discovery’ had anything to do with ‘the shape of the earth’ at all. For your edification, I am happy to post a relevant paragraph of what I wrote: ‘It’s not surprising that flat-earthism has been associated with Christianity since the beginning. Many of the Fathers of the Church were flat-earthers, and they developed a system with which to oppose the Greek astronomy then becoming popular. As late as 548 A.D., the Egyptian monk Mr. Cosmas Indicopleustes was vigorously defending the flat earth in his book Christian Topography. But he was fighting a losing battle, and the Ptolemaic system, based on a spherical earth, rapidly took over. By the twelveth century the flat-earth concept was essentially a dead letter in the West. ‘The Bible’ repeatedly says in plain Hebrew that the earth is immovable. Thus, while churchmen found it easy to ignore its flat implications and adopt the spherical system of Mr. Claudius Ptolemy, they were rudely shaken by Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus and Mr. Galileo Galilei. The Catholic Church’s reaction to Mr. Galileo Galilei is well known. It’s less well known that most of the reformers – Mr. Martin Luther, Mr. John Calvin, Mr. John Wesley – also rejected the Copernican system on Scriptural grounds. A few Protestant Bible-Scientists have been fighting a rearguard action against heliocentricity ever since’.

Do you see that I was talking about ‘heliocentricity’, when bringing Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus and Mr. Galileo Galilei into the story and not the ‘flat earth’, as you seem to have assumed I was? I have always found that it pays to read what others have to say before jumping in and airing my wisdom about something that totally disregards what the other was saying ... do you not agree?

RESPONDENT: Actually, the final proof for the revolution of the Earth required the discovery of parallax of stars which did not occur until the 1700’s. Furthermore, the model of the universe that was accepted by the church, which Galileo made his point in debunking was the Ptolemaic model, based on Aristotle’s conclusions.

RICHARD: Yes indeed ... as you will see, this connection of Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus and Mr. Galileo Galilei with Mr. Claudius Ptolemy was already briefly mentioned in my original article. Of course, you would know that Mr. Claudius Ptolemy had a geocentric system and not heliocentric, wouldn’t you? In doing so, Mr. Claudius Ptolemy rejected the heliocentric view as espoused by Mr. Archimedes, Mr. Aristarchus, Mr. Seleucus ... and even Mr. Hipparchus. Perhaps he was awed by reverence to Mr. Aristotle’s logic and ignored sensibility ... but that is only me speculating, of course. Mr. Aristotle built on the work of Mr. Callipus ... who of course was a student of Mr. Uedoxus. Now it is well-known that Mr. Uedoxus was responding to Mr. Plato’s metaphysical assumptions. (Mr. Plato is reported to have instructed astronomers to ‘save the phenomena’ in terms of uniform circular motion. That is to say, he urged them to develop predictively accurate theories using only combinations of uniform circular motion. As a result, Greek astronomers never regarded their geometric models as true or as being physical descriptions of the machinery of the heavens. They regarded them simply as tools for predicting planetary positions.) All of which only goes to show that holding fervently to pre-conceived ideas can – and does – often prevent direct observation and understanding ... which is why I was writing to this thread in the first place.

RESPONDENT: In this model, the earth is globe shaped and in rotation about its axis. And the globe was in the centre of celestial spheres. We still use this model today to describe the night sky even though we ‘know’ that it is an observer’s illusion. Aristotle offered four ‘proofs’ that the earth was shaped as a globe. Proof 1: When ships come over the horizon, the sails can be seen before the body of the ship. Proof 2: When one travels north or south the stars change, stars that couldn’t be seen before may now be seen and there turn around the north is at a different angle. Proof 3: During a lunar eclipse the reddish coloured shadow cutting into the moon is curved like a circle. Proof 4: (This is my favourite!!!!!) Elephants exist in Morocco (to the east) and India (to the west) but not in between, so they must have travelled since the dawn of creation up around the globe of the earth and haven’t met on the other side yet. Despite the hilarity of the elephant proof, the point is that there was no church-based flat-earth model in use that Galileo debunked. This is a misrepresentation of Galileo’s great technical achievement.

RICHARD: I guess that you will have become aware by now that no one was ‘misrepresenting’ anything?

RESPONDENT: Now, I have huge amounts of material regarding the biblical understanding of the earth, but that’s another matter.

RICHARD: Why is it ‘another matter’? The influence of the prevalence of believing in ‘The Bible’ over observable facts is what this thread is all about.

RESPONDENT: What’s important to know here is that the earth is a globe and a telescope doesn’t help demonstrate that it is. No telescope required. It can be demonstrated with naked eyes and a really good pair of shoes.

RICHARD: Actually, all I do is look at NASA’s photographs ... which another person will not accept as proof. That is what started this thread, by the way. Are you subscribed to this List or do you just peck away at ‘likely’ subjects from the archives?

My favourite subject is peace-on-earth.

July 31 1998:

RESPONDENT: I am a bit distressed that you have accused me of doing something, or should I say, failing to do something, without good reason.

RICHARD: I have no idea why you would be distressed, because I have nowhere ‘accused’ you of anything ... and certainly not ‘without good reason’. I simply pointed out your error ... at the risk of belabouring the point, I will copy and paste the relevant sections:

• [Respondent]: ‘There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about a number of things here and perhaps I can help shed some light on the situation. Galileo made a great discovery but it had nothing to do with the shape of the earth’.
• [Richard]: ‘I am not too sure just what confusion you are speaking of. I have been reading every post that comes onto this List and I am the only person to mention the name of Mr. Galileo Galilei ... and I have not written anywhere that his ‘great discovery’ had anything to do with ‘the shape of the earth’ at all’.

Clearly a ‘good reason’, I would say. Anyway, why on earth are you ‘distressed’? Have you never made a mistake before? And why go to the trouble to tell me that you are ‘distressed’? Are you trying to make me feel guilty or something? This is all a bit childish, is it not?

RESPONDENT: I already apologised for mistyping my first apology upon entering the fray of this thread.

RICHARD: Goodness me ... two apologies in one sentence! There is no need to apologise ... I never take offence at anything anyone ever does or says. Taking offence is just silly emotionalism and passionate indignation ... just like getting ‘distressed’, passion leads to war when on a national level.

RESPONDENT: In fact, I did read all the prior E-Mails that I had received. I had not received the one you have quoted. I switched ISP’s and there was a period where my E-Mail was bouncing, that is how I must have missed your earlier E-Mail. I was unaware of it’s existence. I politely did not quote what I thought the confusion was.

RICHARD: What is this ‘politely did not quote’ business? You have a strange notion of social manners and etiquette.

RESPONDENT: But I will now include the statement that I thought indicated confusion before I became aware of the missing E-Mail, which you have quoted. You wrote: ‘... it is a fact that the writers of ‘The Bible’ thought that the earth was flat. They lived before modern technology – like telescopes and satellite photographs and so on – so they had no way of knowing otherwise’. This is a from an E-Mail quoting a previous letter you wrote.

RICHARD: Well now ... that has nothing to do with the error you did make ... as I have quoted above. So this is mistake number two. Tell me ... are you going to get distressed all over again and feel that you have to apologise all over again? This is all becoming rather fascinating.

RESPONDENT: Let’s examine this. You claim that they had no way of knowing otherwise that the earth was flat because they lived before modern technology. (paraphrased) Method’s of knowing otherwise: Method 1: (Aristotelian) Observe that the sails of ships precede the bodies as they return to port. Method 2: (Aristotelian) Observe that the stars change at different latitudes, and specifically the angle of the Northern point is the latitude. Method 3: (Aristotelian) Observe that the shape of the shadow cast on the moon during a lunar eclipse that is curved as a circle. Method 4: (Sumerian and Babylonian) Observe the nemesis effect. For each star or meridian, there is a nemesis star or meridian which is never visible at the same time, like Clark Kent and Superman, and that the angles of right ascension of stars is constant so that as one star rises another sets. Method 5: Observe the longitudinal libration of the moon. In the early evening of a full moon, the moon’s face is slightly turned one way exposing more of one side and by morning it has turned slightly to the other side hiding some of the earlier features and exposing new ones. Think of this one as showing one ‘ear’ and then the other ‘ear’. (The observable features of the moon are about 55% and the unobservable ‘dark side’ about 45%, although at any given instant the maximum visible is 50% by definition).

RICHARD: Aye ... these observations certainly did lead different people at different places to posit the notion that the earth was not flat. That is clear ... but positing a theory is not knowing it as a fact, now, is it? Also ‘Genesis’ was written down – from oral tradition stretching way back into mythical times – somewhere around 900 BC and Mr. Aristotle was flexing his brain cells around 300 BC ... 600 years later. The Babylonians and Sumerians did not get their act together until the fourth century BC either. And it is handy to reflect upon the fact that life then is not as it is now with instant communication and vast libraries and compulsory schooling for all children and so on. Ideas travelled slowly and superstition had a far stronger grip on people’s minds (though there are some that would give lie to this) and heaps of other differences in world-views and mind-sets. All this is worth bearing in mind as you are doing your scholarly research and applying your modern-day thesis to the past with the added clarity of hind-sight.

Apart from that, what you are doing is somewhat akin to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. In other words: what does it matter? The writers of ‘The Bible’ believed the earth to be flat ... and believers will not listen to reason. You may re-visit and re-write history on unto your old age ... but your re-write will not alter what actually happened in the minds of the people back then one little bit. Why, it is even so today ... No. 23 will not accept satellite photographs.

RESPONDENT: How a telescope helps: Method 1: The features of Mars show a rotational cycle, hence mars is round. (More dramatic than the moons puny longitudinal libration) Method 2: Observe that the planets have ‘phases’ like the moon. Method 3: Observe the red spot of Saturn (well, for the past 300 years, that is).

RICHARD: Yes ... look, shall we clarify all this with a bit of history? In 1610 Mr. Galileo Galilei announced a series of astronomical discoveries. He found that the surface of the Moon was irregular and not smooth, as had been supposed; he observed that the Milky Way system was composed of a collection of stars; he discovered the satellites of Jupiter; he observed Saturn, spots on the Sun, and the phases of Venus.

In 1611 he visited Rome and demonstrated his telescope to the most eminent personages at the pontifical court. Encouraged by the flattering reception accorded to him, he ventured, in three letters on the sunspots printed at Rome in 1613, to take up a more definite position on the Copernican theory. Movement of the spots across the face of the Sun, he maintained, proved Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus was right and Mr. Claudius Ptolemy was wrong. The Aristotelian professors, seeing their vested interests threatened, united against him. They strove to cast suspicion upon him in the eyes of ecclesiastical authorities because of contradictions between the Copernican theory and the Holy Scriptures. They obtained the cooperation of the Dominican preachers, who fulminated from the pulpit against the new impiety of ‘mathematicians’ and secretly denounced Mr. Galileo Galilei to the Inquisition for blasphemous utterances, which, they said, he had freely invented. And thus he was later forced to recant.

Perhaps the most far-reaching of his achievements was his reestablishment of mathematical rationalism against Mr. Aristotle’s logico-verbal approach

As for the early astronomers ... it is known that modern astronomy had its origins in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Egyptian astronomy, which was neither a very well-developed nor an influential study, was largely concerned with time reckoning. Its main lasting contribution was the civil calendar of 365 days, consisting of 12 months of 30 days each and five additional festival days at the end of each year. This calendar played an important role in the history of astronomy, allowing astronomers to calculate the number of days between any two sets of observations.

Babylonian astronomy, dating back to about 1800 BC, constitutes one of the earliest systematic, scientific treatments of the physical world. In contrast to the Egyptians, the Babylonians were interested in the accurate prediction of astronomical phenomena, especially the first appearance of the New Moon. Using the zodiac as a reference, by the fourth century BC, they developed a complex system of arithmetic progressions and methods of approximation by which they were able to predict first appearances. At no point in the Babylonian astronomical literature is there the least evidence of the use of geometric models. The mass of observations they collected and their mathematical methods were important contributions to the later flowering of astronomy among the Greeks.

The Pythagoreans (fifth century BC) were responsible for one of the first Greek astronomical theories. Believing that the order of the cosmos is fundamentally mathematical, they held that it is possible to discover the harmonies of the universe by contemplating the regular motions of the heavens. Postulating a central fire about which all the heavenly bodies including the Earth and Sun revolve, they constructed the first physical model of the solar system. Subsequent Greek astronomy derived its character from a comment ascribed to Mr. Plato (fourth century BC) who is reported to have instructed the astronomers to ‘save the phenomena’ in terms of uniform circular motion. That is to say, he urged them to develop predictively accurate theories using only combinations of uniform circular motion. As a result, Greek astronomers never regarded their geometric models as true or as being physical descriptions of the machinery of the heavens. They regarded them simply as tools for predicting planetary positions.

Mr. Eudoxus (fourth century BC) was the first of the Greek astronomers to rise to Mr. Plato’s challenge. He developed a theory of homocentric spheres, a model that represented the universe by sets of nesting concentric spheres the motions of which combined to produce the planetary and other celestial motions. Using only uniform circular motions, Mr. Eudoxus was able to ‘save’ the rather complex planetary motions with some success. His theory required four homocentric spheres for each planet and three each for the Sun and Moon. The system was modified by Mr. Callippus, a student of Mr. Eudoxus, who added spheres to improve the theory, especially for Mercury and Venus. Aristotle, in formulating his cosmology, adopted Mr. Eudoxus’ homocentric spheres as the actual machinery of the heavens. The Aristotelian cosmos was like an onion consisting of a series of some 55 spheres nested about the Earth, which was fixed at the centre. In order to unify the system, Mr. Aristotle added spheres in order to ‘unroll’ the motions of a given planet so that they would not be transmitted to the next inner planet.

The theory of homocentric spheres failed to account for two sets of observations: (1) brightness changes suggesting that planets are not always the same distance from the Earth, and (2) bounded elongations (that is, Venus is never observed to be more than about 48 and Mercury never more than about 24 from the Sun). Mr. Heracleides (fourth century BC) attempted to solve these problems by having Venus and Mercury revolve about the Sun, rather than the Earth, and having the Sun and other planets revolve in turn about the Earth, which he placed at the centre. In addition, to account for the daily motions of the heavens, he held that the Earth rotates on its axis. Mr. Heracleides’ theory had little impact in antiquity except perhaps on Mr. Aristarchus (third century BC), who apparently put forth a heliocentric hypothesis similar to the one Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus was to propound in the sixteenth century.

Mr. Hipparchus (130 BC) made extensive contributions to both theoretical and observational astronomy. Basing his theories on an impressive mass of observations, he was able to work out theories of the Sun and Moon that were more successful than those of any of his predecessors. His primary conceptual tool was the eccentric circle, a circle in which the Earth is at some point eccentric to the geometric centre. He used this device to account for various irregularities and inequalities observed in the motions of the Sun and Moon. He also proved that the eccentric circle is mathematically equivalent to a geometric figure called an epicycle-deferent system, a proof probably first made by Mr. Apollonius a century earlier.

Among Mr. Hipparchus’ observations, one of the most significant was that of the precession of the equinoxes, that is, a gradual apparent increase in longitude between any fixed star and the equinoctial point (either of two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic). Thus the north celestial pole, the point on the celestial sphere defined as the apparent centre of rotation of the stars, moves relative to the stars in its vicinity. In the heliocentric theory, this effect is ascribed to a change in the Earth’s rotational axis, which traces out a conical path around the axis of the orbital plane.

Mr. Claudius Ptolemy (AD 140) applied the theory of epicycles to compile a systematic account of Greek astronomy. He elaborated theories for each of the planets, as well as for the Sun and Moon. His theory generally fitted the data available to him with a good degree of accuracy, and his book, ‘The Almagest’, became the vehicle by which Greek astronomy was transmitted to astronomers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It essentially moulded astronomy for the next millennium and a half.

In view of all this theorising and conflicting ideas, it is no wonder that many of the Fathers of the Christian Church were flat-earthers ... after all, they believed in ‘God’s Word’ as written in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. (Its name derives from the opening words: ‘In the beginning’). Genesis narrates the primeval history of the world (chapters 1-11) and the patriarchal history of the Israelite people (chapters 12-50). The primeval history includes the familiar stories of the Creation, the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. The patriarchal history begins with the divine promise to Abraham that ‘I will make of you a great nation’ (12:2) and tells the stories of Abraham (chapters 12-25) and his descendants: Isaac and his twin sons Jacob and Esau (chapters 26-36) and Jacob’s family, the principal figure being Joseph (chapters 37-50), whose story tells how the Israelites came to be in Egypt. Their deliverance is narrated in the following book of Exodus. Genesis must thus be seen as a part of a larger unit of material traditionally understood to comprise the first five books of the Bible, called the Torah, or Pentateuch.

Scholars have identified three literary traditions in Genesis, as in Deuteronomy, usually identified as the Yahwist, Elohist, and Priestly strains. The Yahwist strain, so called because it used the name Yahweh (Jehovah) for God, is a Judaean rendition of the sacred story, perhaps written as early as 950 BC. The Elohist strain, which designates God as Elohim, is traceable to the northern kingdom of Israel and was written 900-700 BC. The Priestly strain, so called because of its cultic interests and regulations for priests, is usually dated in the fifth century BC and is regarded as the law upon which Ezra and Nehemiah based their reform. Because each of these strains preserves materials much older than the time of their incorporation into a written work, Genesis contains extremely old oral and written traditions.

With this overwhelming ‘evidence’ of ‘God’s Word’ it is easy to see why the Christian Fathers of the Church developed a system, with which to oppose the Greek astronomy then becoming popular, when the New Testament writings were collated into a coherent whole with the Old Testament. As late as 548 A.D., the Egyptian monk Mr. Cosmas Indicopleustes was vigorously defending the flat earth in his book ‘Christian Topography’. But he was fighting a losing battle, and the Ptolemaic system, based on a spherical earth, rapidly took over. By the twelveth century the flat-earth concept was essentially a dead letter in the West.

Hence my statement that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was a ‘Flat Earth God’.

August 02 1998:

RESPONDENT: I will be able to use much of the information you have provided regarding the Greek’s because I am going to be working at ‘Renaissance Faire’ and will be debating other players and customers regarding the nature of the solar system (as an Elizabethan educated man, Thomas Campian) The actors and players are instructed to get into the ‘mind’ of the Elizabethan people, to understand what it was like to them, and remember ‘The Earth was Flat’ is a common reminder. This helps get the actors ‘correctly’ believing that we modern people are reasonable, and the Elizabethan’s were, well, silly.

RICHARD: But you will not be able to use the information to see the gradual development of astronomical thought, I take it? Besides, I have nowhere suggested that early astronomers were silly ... they were ignorant. This is to say that without the technology of today they were unable to know – as a fact – what is known now. As for modern people being reasonable ... just look at the ‘Big Bang’ theory for an example of logic overtaking reasonableness ... it is indicative of a blind faith in mathematics. Logic is not reasonable ... if it is to be called reason, then it is reason gone awry

To have blind faith ... now that is being silly. The early Christian Church Fathers believed the world to be flat ... yet you say the prevailing astronomical wisdom was that it was globular. If they ignored the superior wisdom of their astronomers – refusing to see the evidence you present that they knew from observation – and plunked instead for faith in ‘God’s Word’ ... then that is being silly.

RESPONDENT: There are some things you said though that I strongly question. You say, ‘The Babylonians and Sumerians did not get their act together until the fourth century BC either’. I’m not sure what you mean by that. The Sumerian civilisation existed prior to, not concurrent with the Babylonian’s.

RICHARD: A fair enough critique ... I stand corrected. It is my tendency towards irreverence ... a flamboyance in writing style that sometimes leads me into trouble. Like where I wrote ‘Mr. Aristotle did not exercise his brain cells until about 300 BC’ would read better as: ‘Mr. Aristotle did not formulate his theories until about 300 BC’. Thus, if I were to write the above in a more scholarly style it would read: ‘The Sumerian/Babylonian evolution of astronomical research did not reach its full flowering until the fourth. Century BC’, instead of ‘getting their act together’.

RESPONDENT: The Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh, Inanna’s Descent, Eanna and Nerhsigal, these were all written in the second millennium B.C. All the mythology regarding their cosmology is contained in these writings, and um, that was Babylonian, the later civilisation, not Sumerian, the older civilisation.

RICHARD: But the Sumerian influence persisted down through the years. The first centuries of the second millennium BC did indeed witness the demise of Sumerian as a spoken language (and its replacement by Akkadian). But because of its role as bearer of Sumerian culture, as the language of religion, literature, and many arts, Sumerian (much as Latin in the Middle Ages) continued to be taught and spoken in the scribal schools throughout the second and first millennia BC. New compositions were even composed in Sumerian. (Although as time passed these grew more and more corrupt in grammar).

Akkadian, when it supplanted Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia, was not without its own literary tradition. Writing, to judge from Akkadian orthographic peculiarities, was very early borrowed from the Sumerians. By Old Babylonian times (nineteenth century BC), the literature in Akkadian, partly under the influence of Sumerian models and Sumerian literary themes, had developed myths and epics of its own, among them the Gilgamesh epic (dealing with the problem of death) as well as hymns, disputation texts (evaluations of elements of the cosmos and society), penitential psalms, and not a few independent new handbook genres ... rituals, laws and legal phrasebooks (often translated from Sumerian), mathematical texts, and grammatical texts. There was a significant amount of translation from Sumerian; translations include incantation series such as the Utukke Limnuti (‘The Evil Spirits’), laments for destroyed temples, penitential psalms, and others.

The prestige of Sumerian as a literary language, however, is indicated by the fact that translations were rarely, if ever, allowed to supersede the original Sumerian text. The Sumerian text was kept with an interlinear translation to form a bilingual work.

RESPONDENT: You do mention later about Babylonian astronomy dating as far back as 1800 B.C., not unreasonable but I don’t quite reconcile that with your statement about the fourth century. The order of sequence was Sumerian, then Babylonian, the Israelite, with a long co-existence of Babylonian and Israelite.

RICHARD: It is okay ... you would know more about details than I do. My knowledge is only encyclopaedic and thus I have understood that there was a long tradition of astronomy dating back to at least 1800 BC ... but, as I said above, it did not reach fruition until about the fourth. Century BC. As this fits in with the timing of further Greek developments in formulating theories about the nature of the stars and planets, there was apparently some communication between these cultures.

RESPONDENT: You correctly listed some of Galileo’s accomplishments but you stated, regarding Galileo ‘Movement of the spots across the face of the Sun, he maintained, proved Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus was right and Mr. Claudius Ptolemy was wrong’. Actually, Galileo’s contribution was better than that. He demonstrated that both Ptolemy and Copernicus were wrong, but it was not the sun spots that showed it, it was the Jovan moons. Ptolemy’s model was geocentric. The Copernican model was NOT geocentric, but it was not heliocentric either. The Copernican model posited that there was a mathematical point between Earth and the sun around which all objects of the solar system rotated. He placed this point fairly close to earth, and with good reason. Here’s why. A heliocentric model improves on the geocentric model by explaining one mystery in a simple way, it explains the retrograde motion of the planets as being an illusion of the earth’s revolutionary motion. But just as it simplifies the explanation for one mystery, it introduces yet anther mystery, if the earth revolves around the sun, then the stars should show a parallax effect. That is there should be stars which are next to each other during one part of the year, one behind the other during another part of the year, and switch sides during the other part. These stars would be in conjunction with the sun but not always with the earth. Despite plenty of searching by everybody and their mother, no one found a single example of this out of all the stars. So Copernicus tried to minimise this dilemma by making the Earth’s distance from the centre very small, big enough to show retrograde motion of the planets and the stars wouldn’t have to be very far away. Galileo did not find the expected hard evidence of a heliocentric universe, he found hard evidence of an entirely different and unexpected nature, the moons of Jupiter. Here was an example of an orbital system with a centre, no peculiar orbits exhibiting Ptolemaic retrograde orbits, but the centre was Jupiter itself. If Jupiter’s system is that simple, why should the sun not be just as simple. The Copernican mathematical point was not real, it was not near Earth, it was inside the sun! This was finally the first observable evidence of a heliocentric universe! Furthermore, it meant that the stars must be really, really far away, the only reasonable explanation for the missing parallax effect. And if they were really that far away, then they must be really bright, like the sun, and ... you get the idea. It’s the moons of Jupiter! That’s the big discovery, that’s the big chunk of evidence, for the heliocentric universe, and technically he proved the Copernicus was wrong, although only technically. Of course we know now that the universe has no centre per se.

RICHARD: I have no reason to dispute any of the above. They are only small points of detail anyway, and – as I said – you would know more than me as it is your specialised study. It is the over-all conclusion that you draw from your studies that I question.

RESPONDENT: By the way Hipparchus did not ‘observe’ the precession of the equinoxes, he didn’t live that long, no one lives that long. He modelled it, based on data from the temples made by people already dead, and his predictions turned out fairly accurate after he was dead. Earlier I posted a quote from Job, regarding a description of precession, one of my first contributions to this thread.

RICHARD: Okay ... fair enough comment. My casual writing style again.

RESPONDENT: Regarding the Babylonians astronomy you say this ‘by the fourth century BC, they developed a complex system of arithmetic progressions and methods of approximation by which they were able to predict first appearances. At no point in the Babylonian astronomical literature is there the least evidence of the use of geometric models’. First of all, both the Sumerian’s and the Babylonian Astronomy was sufficiently developed to predict lunar eclipses long before the writing of Genesis, as well as the helical rising of stars.

RICHARD: And modern-day humans are able predict things that they do not yet understand ... or fully understand. It is one thing to formulate predictions based on observation of recurring phenomenon and another to understand why that phenomenon re-occurs. Even then, that understanding is often later superseded by a ‘new understanding’ ... or a ‘full understanding’. Look at Mr. Isaac Newton’s ‘understanding’ compared with Mr. Albert Einstein’s ‘understanding’ ... and Mr. Albert Einstein did not ‘understand’ quantum physics. My guess is that quantum physics will have their heyday and be supplanted by a ‘better understanding’ ... and so on.

RESPONDENT: Now let me see if I understand you correctly. Are you trying to describe a people who can intercalate the lunar phases and the tropical year, who can predict the first helical rise of stars but not really understand what they are doing?

RICHARD: That is correct. Just look at the development of the Greek understanding that I posted instead of rushing off to Elizabethan Faires with it. They were able to predict certain occurrences without fully understanding them. (‘Understanding’ according to a heliocentric geometric model, that is. Nowadays one is supposed to ‘understand’ according to a ‘space-time continuum’ that bends back upon itself).

It is all good fun. Each generation thinks that they know fully because they are modern. (‘Modern Times’ is only where you live. Everybody who has ever lived, when they were alive, lived in the ‘Modern Era’).

RESPONDENT: Were they autistic? Idiot’s Savants? How did they do this strange thing? It’s like Rain Man winning at blackjack but not knowing what gambling really is. How did they create arithmetic methods of the motions of stars sufficiently good for yearly predictions of lunar events, equinoxes, solstices, helical rising of stars, but fail to notice that some stars are circumpolar, and other stars are not? That the moon doesn’t actually show the same face all night long? That the stars on the meridian will set when the rising stars reach the meridian, invariably? You really believe these walking human calculators had no idea of what they were spending their lives studying and measuring, the basic motions of the Earth, daily rotation, monthly revolution, and yearly revolution.

RICHARD: You are trying to understand how people thought and felt in another era from your Twentieth Century paradigm. They experienced a different world-view ... as I wrote in another post. One will never be able to see the world through their eyes no matter how much one studies the archaeological records and translates and re-translates their language. They are dead ... and their world-view experience of themselves died with them.

For example: some Australian Aborigines two hundred years ago counted ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘plenty’ (in their language) and all the while they had ten fingers. Yet there were no words for three through to ten. I, for one, cannot comprehend this because of my Twentieth Century Caucasian mind-set. Modern day Aboriginals cannot throw any light onto this because they have a modern day understanding. Human development is a fascinating study.

RESPONDENT: The writers of the Bible were certainly offended at the notion that women who are regarded as leaders, who were doing astronomy, who are making the predictions, who are directing the planting and harvest times, who schedule the festivals, who teach the ways of civilisation, who taught how to have good sex, might actually be smart enough to figure out that the world is not flat! Perhaps we should take our cue from the Biblical writers who plagiarised their mythology and cosmology, making it patriarchal, and call them Jezebel’s, harlots, temple concubines.

RICHARD: I get the impression that you have a romantic view of the ‘feminine principle’ ... as in it being superior to the ‘masculine principle’. Neither patriarchy nor matriarchy is better than the other ... they are both rotten to the core. Just as men can be – and are – patronising towards women ... so too are women ‘matronising’ towards men (to coin a word). If there is to be salubrity, it behoves one to clear the decks and start afresh. Chuck both models out and start thinking and acting as a fellow human being ... the ‘war between the sexes’ has gone on far too long.

Women – just the same as men – are born with instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire.

August 04 1998:

RESPONDENT: Let me make this clear: Richard, you said, ‘... it is a fact that the writers of ‘The Bible’ thought that the earth was flat. They lived before modern technology – like telescopes and satellite photographs and so on – so they had no way of knowing otherwise’.

RICHARD: Yes, that is indeed what I said, because there is a difference between ‘knowing’ as a certainty – seeing a satellite photograph is factual knowing – and ‘knowing’ as a certitude – observing various phenomenon is theoretical knowing (the word ‘certainty’ means a state of being free from doubt whereas the word ‘certitude’ means a state of being with some doubt ... the Merriam-Webster Dictionary states: ‘whilst ‘certainty’ and ‘certitude’ are very close in meaning, ‘certainty’ stresses the existence of objective proof; e.g.: that which can be confirmed with scientific certainty, while ‘certitude’ emphasises a faith in something not capable of proof. e.g.: to believe with certitude in an afterlife’).

RESPONDENT: I disagree with your statement. My disagreement with your statement after having read all the prior E-Mails available to me upon looking at this thread prompted my interest in this discussion. I believe that the writers of the Bible had ways of knowing otherwise without aid of modern technology. I do not believe that these methods are unique to Greek or Egyptian inventors, I merely used Aristotle’s name because my first three methods are famous as 3 of Aristotle’s of four proofs (his words) for the earth being a globe. I do not hold much sway with the ‘Great Man’ view of history.

RICHARD: I do not dispute that the Sumerian/Babylonian development of astronomy never came to a globular earth conclusion. My point is that such a development occurred somewhere around the fourth century BC ... over 600 years after ‘Genesis’ was written down. And even then the written ‘Genesis’ came from oral tradition stretching back to who knows when? Back to 2,000 BC? Or even 3,000 BC? Or even further ... lost in the mists of time? It was this oral tradition, passed down through ‘Genesis’, that held sway in the minds of the early Christian Church Fathers when they collated the ‘Old Testament’ with the ‘New Testament’ ... and thus produced ‘The Bible’.

Otherwise, why would the Egyptian monk Mr. Cosmas Indicopleustes be vigorously defending the flat earth in his book ‘Christian Topography’ as late as 548 A.D., for example? Where did he get that notion from if it was not the ‘official’ world-view of the early Christian Church Fathers?

RESPONDENT: These methods do NOT require modern technology. Method 1: Observations of ships coming over the horizon. Method 2: Different stars at different latitudes. Method 3: The shape of the shadow during a lunar eclipse. Method 4: The nemesis effect and the consistent right ascension of stars. Method 5: The longitudinal librations of the moon.

RICHARD: Yes indeed ... these observations certainly did lead different people at different places to posit the notion that the earth was not flat. That is clear ... but that is not what ‘Genesis’ makes clear. Individual Babylonian astronomers in the fourth. Century BC would have had to face the opposition of their religious leaders to make their case just like Mr. Galileo Galilei did over a millennium later. The ‘Old Testament’ in the Christian ‘Holy Bible’ supports the view of the early Church Fathers ... it nowhere states unequivocally that the earth was globular. On the contrary, there are some passages that use imagery that indicates a Flat Earth view on the part of the author. Obviously, the views held by some Sumerian/Babylonian/Israelite astronomers did not influence them enough to deviate from the oral tradition.

Hence my statement that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was a ‘Flat Earth God’.

August 07 1998:

RESPONDENT: I am looking for the missing myth. There are plenty of references abound regarding boundless things, ‘deep as the bottomless pit’, ‘high as the sky’, ‘till the ends of the earth’, always to describe something in grandiose hyperbolic terms. What I would like to see, is a story, a myth, a description of nature, anything that describes what happens when you fall off the edge of the world. I keep finding references about everyone, the Elizabethan’s, the Napoleonic French, the Spanish before the Explorers, the Portuguese before the Explorers, the Italians before Galileo, EVERYBODY before Copernicus, Ptolemy, Jesus Christ, the early Church, the writers of the Bible, the Babylonians, the Sumerians, and these references all have the same common theme, ‘well THEY actually thought the earth was flat!’. But I don’t find any dramatic stories about this dangerous world. Where are all the heroes, dangling at the edge, looking down at the horrid nothingness below? Where are the screams of the ship’s crews begging their captain to turn back before it’s too late? What happened to all these stories, sheesh, if I believed the earth was flat, I’d have the heroes of my stories rescuing fair maidens about to fall off the edge into the dark void, wouldn’t you? And what about God? There are all these stories about floods, and fire-pits and conquering armies, and rapists, and murderers, and the leviathan, and the whale, and plagues, all under God’s supposed whim. What’s the matter? Did the Bible writers believe that God is afraid of the edge of the world? Was that God’s Achilles’ heel? Sure, an occasional good person is given lands stretching to the end of the earth, yawn, but still no drama. Isn’t the edge, the end, the boundary of all something BIG and dramatic!

RICHARD: Apparently not so. Most of the people I speak to, read about, see on television and so on are of the opinion that the universe is finite ... which means that it has an edge to it.

They are decidedly uninterested about the danger of falling off the edge of it ... but they are worried about mad scientists creating a naked singularity in a laboratory somewhere and sucking the universe down its own plug-hole!

RESPONDENT: Or perhaps, maybe, the prevailing understanding at the time was that the world was a rotating globe, as is obvious to anyone who navigates the sea, or keeps the appointed times of the year, and keeps track of the moon and the daylight hours, no drama, no edge, no story, just the warm familiarity and regularity of the sky.

RICHARD: Not necessarily. The ‘prevailing understanding’ of this era is of a quantumised space-time continuum that bends both space and time into being one contiguous ‘thing that is not a thing’ ... yet it was the Newtonian space and time ‘mechanistic’ view that was used to navigate to Mars in order for a jeep to drive around taking photographs of a rocky desert.

(And – just by the way – wasn’t that considered an important thing to do!)

What I am pointing out is that people do what works ... irregardless of the current belief systems or scientific theories or intellectual paradigms. Mostly they bend their view-point to fit the facts ... or bend the facts to fit their view-point. Peoples bumble along, smugly thinking that their current understanding is the be all and end all ... and vigorously oppose something new. Eventually the ‘something new’ comes to be accepted ... and then is vigorously defended when the next ‘something new’ comes along. It is all quite humorous, actually.

It is fun being a human being.

August 07 1998:

RESPONDENT: If I didn’t make it clear, at Renaissance Faire, I am going to be describing as an Elizabethan gentleman the solar system in which the earth is a globe, but the solar system is geocentric, not heliocentric. I will attempt to convince the other actors that the Elizabethan characters they portray did not believe the earth was flat. This will be difficult to do, of course, because the ‘flat-earth’ paradigm, used to generally insult ancient peoples, is part of our modern day mythical system of beliefs and it will be unsettling to people to have their ‘religion’ challenged in this way, even though the other actors would not call this a religious belief, they would call it a historical fact or a scientific fact.

RICHARD: ‘Insult ancient peoples’? Just who is doing this foul deed? You start to sound as if you have more than just a barrow to push. Are you seriously suggesting that no one at any place in any time ever thought the earth to be anything other than a globe?

I have heard of ‘Anglophiles’ and ‘Francophiles’ and so on. Are you an ‘Ancientophile’ or something?

Or a Scientific Creationist?

August 09 1998:

RICHARD: ‘Insult ancient peoples’? Just who is doing this foul deed? You start to sound as if you have more than just a barrow to push. Are you seriously suggesting that no one at any place in any time ever thought the earth to be anything other than a globe?

RESPONDENT: Hmm ... well, let’s see, all the schoolteacher’s who teach that before the great explorers, Columbus, Magellan, etc. people thought the world was flat. People who say that Galileo proved the that earth was not flat and that the church punished him for that (they punished him for something else), people who say that Copernicus taught us that the earth was flat, the cartographers who drew Mercator projection maps (global-aware maps) with illustrations of dragons in the oceans thought the earth was really flat.

RICHARD: Yes, there is certainly all that being done ... but that is their ignorance, surely. Is it that they have not bothered to study history closely? Why are you pushing this point that there is a conspiracy to ‘insult’ ancient peoples?

RESPONDENT: People who say that the Norse who navigated to and from Europe and Greenland and Iceland and probably the New World as well thought the earth was flat (this one I’m still looking at, it shows some promise for the motifs of the flat-earth myth in question).

RICHARD: Yes, do that ... this way you will deflect attention away from your heroes. (The Sumerian/Babylonian/Israelite lineage).

RESPONDENT: People who say the early Christians thought the world was flat, people who say the Old Testament writers thought the world was flat, people who say the Babylonians thought the world was flat prior to 400 BC, people who say that Babylonians thought the world was flat throughout the duration of their civilisation, people who say that the Sumerians thought the earth was flat, I’m referring to those people.

RICHARD: Ah, this is where Richard comes in ... he is one of those (especially the 400 BC Babylonian bit because of the conquests of Mr. Alexander the Great at that period in history). Okay, I am not in the business of ‘insulting’ ancient people ... I am in the business of ascertaining facts and actuality. This way the facts speak for themselves. And the fact is that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was not omniscient (the whole thrust of this thread was me stating that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was not omniscient – as millions of people still believe to this very day – and you have raced off to make it into something else). That is what I meant when I wrote the title ‘God’s Flat-Earth Wisdom’ ... not what you say it means.

The ‘Holy Bible’ can stand or fall (usually fall) on its own merits ... it is so shot full of contradictions, distortions and blatant untruths that its lack of credibility does not need a shove from discredibility due to some ‘Myth of the Flat-Earthers Myth’.

Besides, I am rather partial to that title ‘God’s Flat-Earth Wisdom’ ... because it is the fact.

RESPONDENT: I am not suggesting that no one at any place at any time thought the world was anything other than a globe, ancient cosmologies have all sorts of interesting and false things about them. Flatness though hasn’t been one I’ve been able to uncover yet. I find plenty of people who say ‘oh, well X people thought the world was flat’ but I find out different when I look at the original stuff close.

RICHARD: What about the detailed analysis of the early Greeks? They understood the earth to be flat until about 500 BC ... or do you dispute this too. Then again, probably not as they are not your hero lineage, now, are they?

*

RICHARD: I have heard of ‘Anglophiles’ and ‘Francophiles’ and so on. Are you an ‘Ancientophile’ or something? Or a Scientific Creationist?

RESPONDENT: You seem to have added to your list of identifiers, bins, and slots.

RICHARD: Just trying to find out where you are coming from ... you have more than a barrow to push.

RESPONDENT: Myths abound throughout time. Often a myth remains the same, it’s just the actors change. But the myths remain because they serve a purpose. The flat-earth myth, or more correctly the ‘myth of a flat-earth myth’ has a purpose, by grouping people by some identity, let’s say the Old Testament Bible writers and attributing to them a laughable absurd belief, little further credence need be given to their contributions to thought. I’m mean really, how much can you learn from a ‘flat-earther’. That is the purpose of the myth, that’s how it is used, and that is how it’s used, and why it was developed and persists.

RICHARD: Have you ever considered an alternative view? That is, they actually did not know how to live? What is their wisdom worth? Were they happy and harmless? Were they free from malice and sorrow? Did they live in peace and harmony? The ‘Holy Bible’ is bloodthirsty from beginning to end ... is this the wisdom you admire so much that you will go to the trouble of learning Hebrew and doing all this detailed study? Even if you were able to scholastically demonstrate that they knew the earth to be globular (which you have not done at all yet) will you then eagerly follow their specious advice – and their shining example – on how to live life benignly and benevolently?

Besides, this ‘myth of a flat-earth myth’ is not something new ... I am sure you have heard of Mr. Jeffrey Burton Russell? He is the author of that book detailing this very barrow you are pushing: ‘Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians’. (With a foreword by Mr. David Noble. Library of Congress Control: 91000067. ISBN:0275939561. Price: $16.95). Now where is he coming from? What bin shall I slot him into?

RESPONDENT: Not that we’ve done nearly the exhaustive analysis of the cosmology of the Old Testament writers, yet.

RICHARD: Who is this < we > exactly? I have no intention of doing an exhaustive analysis ... I have already studied enough to ascertain the facts.

They were not a happy and harmless bunch at all.

August 13 1998:

RICHARD: Yes, that is indeed what I said, because there is a difference between ‘knowing’ as a certainty – seeing a satellite photograph is factual knowing – and ‘knowing’ as a certitude – observing various phenomenon is theoretical knowing.

(The word ‘certainty’ means a state of being free from doubt whereas the word ‘certitude’ means a state of being with some doubt. Merriam-Webster Dictionary states: ‘whilst ‘certainty’ and ‘certitude’ are very close in meaning, ‘certainty’ stresses the existence of objective proof; e.g.: that which can be confirmed with scientific certainty, while ‘certitude’ emphasises a faith in something not capable of proof. e.g.: to believe with certitude in an afterlife’).

RESPONDENT: In what earthly way does a satellite photograph provide ‘knowing as a certainty’ that the earth is not flat. Are you trying to imply that when the first satellite photographs were shown, there was anyone who said, ‘ah!!! now I know with certainty that the earth is a globe, while before I only knew it with certitude’.

RICHARD: Yes, I was around in the late fifties and early sixties when it was all happening, and I remember well the atmosphere generated by this conclusive proof. I was in High School at the time and it became part of the lessons.

The same thing happened with the moon landings; people were saying (jokingly) ‘well we now know for sure that the moon is not made of cheese’. But, more importantly, they were saying: ‘We (humans) now know – with a certainty – that the Biblical Heaven is not above the clouds wherein Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene supposedly resurrected bodily to sit on the right hand of The Father’.

As I said at the beginning of this thread: ‘It is well-known that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was a flat-earth god ... even though his ‘Father Who Art In Heaven’ was omniscient and all that. Space exploration has poked a rather large hole in the veracity of ‘God’s Word’.

RESPONDENT: Where these HUGE STEREOSCOPIC photographs, 2 stills, taken simultaneously by 2 different satellites hundreds of miles apart?

RICHARD: Oh, come on, please ... this is getting a trifle desperate, do you not think?

RESPONDENT: There are certainly things about the Newtonian model of the universe that we know now with certainty rather than certitude but the didn’t come from photograph’s!!!

RICHARD: Try telling Mr. Albert Einstein that ... or the quantum physicists (seeing that he is dead). There is not much that is known with a certainty ... mostly it is hypotheses that have so far worked to produce the desired result.

*

RICHARD: I do not dispute that the Sumerian/ Babylonian development of astronomy never came to a globular earth conclusion. My point is that such a development occurred somewhere around the fourth century BC ... over 600 years after ‘Genesis’ was written down. And even then the written ‘Genesis’ came from oral tradition stretching back to who knows when? Back to 2,000 BC? Or even 3,000 BC? Or even further ... lost in the mists of time? It was this oral tradition, passed down through ‘Genesis’, that held sway in the minds of the early Christian Church Fathers when they collated the ‘Old Testament’ with the ‘New Testament’ ... and thus produced ‘The Bible’.

RESPONDENT: You simply don’t know what your talking about with regards to this ‘development’ around the fourth century BC.

RICHARD: Methinks you will eventually come to see that I do ... if you can drop those blinkers that you are wearing. Just examine the spread of the Greek influence throughout that region – right through to the Indus – with the conquests of Mr. Alexander the Great. The Greeks first formulated the theory that the world was a sphere in 500 BC ... yet you are saying that it was known in an oral tradition stretching back before 3,000 BC. There is more to studying history than a detailed analysis of a language or two.

RESPONDENT: I DO very much agree with the fact that the written ‘Genesis’ came from an oral tradition stretching back to who knows when. This is very insightful.

RICHARD: ‘Insightful’ in what way? That they somehow knew all along about how the cosmos actually is? Or that they did not ... and that their belief-systems prevailed through to the collation of the texts for the ‘Holy Bible’?

RESPONDENT: That oral tradition encapsulated both linguistically and mythically earlier cosmologies of cultures that had an advanced cosmology.

RICHARD: Dream on ... ‘advanced cosmology’ indeed. They just did not know what is known today. And today’s people do not know what will be known tomorrow.

RESPONDENT: There is very serious study now regarding the development of Hindu astronomy and it is believed that many of the advances of Hindu sidereal astronomy may have been introduced to the ancient Sumerians before the third millennium. I have not had much opportunity to evaluate this.

RICHARD: Oh, please ... the early Indians had a flat earth being supported on four corners by four elephants standing on a giant tortoise swimming in the cosmic ocean! Or have I got that wrong too?

*

RICHARD: That the notion of a globular earth was known by the Babylonians by the fourth century BC is clear, but that is not what ‘Genesis’ makes clear. Individual Babylonian astronomers in the fourth. Century BC would have had to face the opposition of their religious leaders to make their case just like Mr. Galileo Galilei did over a millennium later.

RESPONDENT: What individual Babylonian astronomer’s. You mean the priestesses who were continually working and honing their predictions? Do you have any indication at all that any such ‘making their case just like Mr. Galileo did over a millennium later’ took place. You are creating your own mythology .

RICHARD: Not really ... it is called knowing human nature. That the Sumerian/Babylonian development of astronomy did not reach its fullest expression until the fourth century means that new ideas had to come in. It is well known – as I said in another post – that peoples bumble along, smugly thinking that their current understanding is the be all and end all ... and vigorously oppose something new. Eventually the ‘something new’ comes to be accepted ... and then is vigorously defended when the next ‘something new’ comes along.

Even you acknowledge this aspect of human nature when you say that the wisdom of the priestesses was obscured or in someway altered or ignored by those nasty patriarchal peoples ... of whom it could be said you are creating your own mythology about.

*

RICHARD: On the contrary, there are some passages that use imagery that indicates a Flat Earth view on the part of the author.

RESPONDENT: Let’s take a look at this. You might find that you are placing your own perceptions of a flat-earth model onto a geocentric description, not readily identifying the imagery of one versus the other. You might want to try starting to differentiate between flat-earth imagery and geocentric imagery. It might take you a while.

RICHARD: Shall we take up your notion that they were knowledgeable about geocentricity and had never had the flat-earth imagery? Is this what you call ‘advanced astronomy’? Did they know the difference between geocentric and heliocentric ... the ‘Holy Bible’ passages I was referring to have nothing to do with that, either. Would you say that these priestesses that you admire so much in the Sumerian/Babylonian/Israelite lineage already knew about heliocentricity? Is their knowledge of this evidenced in passages in the ‘Holy Bible’? Or in more original translations that you have brought to light?

It must be so difficult defending the indefensible.

RESPONDENT: Try coming up with descriptions of observed things in a flat-earth model and also a geocentric model. 1) Describe a solar eclipse 2) Describe a lunar eclipse 3) Describe ‘noon’ 4) Describe dawn and dusk 5) Describe climbing a mountain 6) Describe ‘really far away’ 7) Describe the relationship between the sun and the seasons 8) Describe the relationship between the moon and the seasons. 9) Describe the ‘set times’ the yearly festivals, using the sun and the moon, starting with the easy one, the vernal equinox, how would you go about predicting it a week in advance. 10) Describe the phases of the moon over the course of a couple of example months 11) Describe what lunar-solar (Hyparchus-like) precession would look like to someone who could live a few hundred years. Bear in mind you need to think of these things using 2 models, the flat-earth model which has the sun spinning around the earth on a daily basis, as well as the moon, in addition to the yearly north-south variation of the sun, and the monthly phase cycle.

RICHARD: ‘Geocentric’ imagery versus ‘Flat Earth’ imagery, eh? But – and at the risk of repeating myself – did the writers of the ‘Holy Bible’ know all along that it was heliocentric?

RESPONDENT: All of these things have ‘imagery’ in the Bible, let’s see how the 2 competing available models fit the imagery. Of course, it would be highly unlikely that heliocentric imagery would fit, but then again heliocentric imagery isn’t that good at describing the night sky (that’s why so many modern people describe it so badly).

RICHARD: Whoops ... you just shot yourself in the foot with this paragraph.


CORRESPONDENT No. 01: (Part Two)

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