Thursday, June 7, 2012

There's a Little Black Spot on the Sun today

If you follow science news (and if you follow this blog, I am sure you do) then you know that Venus is making an historic trip across the sun.  The last time this century.



It's not just that Venus is doing it.  We are all lined up in such a way that we can see it.

I recall reading about the Transit of Mercury back in the late 70s early 80s.  For those of you keeping score at home you know that this is also the same time of my atheist self-awareness.

I can't help but connect the two.

The Copernican Model of the Solar System was revolutionary for a number of reasons.  It helped explain why Transits of Mercury and Venus can occur for starters, but it also took in all the data we had and explained the observations we could make.  It did it all by throwing out one basic assumption. The assumption was that the Earth was the center of the Universe.

This assumption, while observational, was given biblical weight in the passage of Joshua 10:12-13 which talked about the Sun and Moon standing still.  I got into an argument with an adult at the time about this. Again she came from the point of view that if it was in the Bible it had to be true and all other evidence be damned.

Again this flies in the face of not just  Copernicus, but 450 years of data collection after that.  And much before that two since there were Greeks in 250 BCE that also knew this and I am sure the Egyptians and the Chinese astronomers also knew this (but I would have to double check).   What do these all have in common? They never made the Earth-centric assumption.

If we apply this same logic to other fields of science we see once again that once the bible is ignored then fields of evolution and cosmology do quite fine on their own.  It is only when people pull in this ancient text that has already  been shown time and time again to be in error that we have a problem.

So please, enjoy this once in a lifetime event and enjoy knowing that reason can explain why it happens and no supernatural forces are needed.